Fall into Autumn

It’s been a hot minute since I made a new post.  September was incredibly busy – just getting back into the routine of regular dance classes and trying to eat better and get to bed at a decent time. That, combined with working on costumes for performances and the True Knit Art Show at the end of the month left me feeling a bit burnt out.

The first week of October was spent dealing with the fallout from that. My anxiety was so high that just getting up from my desk and leaving the office at lunch time felt like too much effort. In the past couple years, I’ve really started listening to myself and believing that I know what’s best for me more than anyone else does. If something feels like it’s too much, I dial it back and recognize my limits.  So I chilled out, laid low, enjoyed a 4-day weekend last weekend and feel like I’m back and ready to take on the world!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada. It’s a holiday that I’m not usually very excited for, given that I don’t eat meat and don’t care to spend much time with my family. But I already had the Friday and Monday booked off work (for plans that ended up falling through), so I figured I’d get me some pumpkin pie, do some crafting and enjoy my time off.

I took some photos around my neighbourhood of the perfect autumn we’ve been having. In the past few years, the weather has gone from fairly warm to cold and snowy way too fast. Autumn is my favourite season and it always seems to be so short! So I made sure to enjoy it while it was around!

These were all taken with Hipstamatic, which I’m just starting to use (oh hi, 2012!). Everything was golden and the ground was full of crunchy leaves. We’ve since woken up to snow on the ground 2 mornings this week and colder, blustery days.

Almost overnight, all I want are wool tights, cozy coffee shop visits, a good book and home made meals. I decided, over the long weekend, that a good meal that wasn’t just pasta or eggs on toast was in order.

Now, I am a vegetarian, but mostly because I don’t agree with the way animals are farmed and processed. If they were raised and processed more humanely, I’d eat more meat. But trying to find less-cruel meat where I live is difficult. This is hard because I love poultry. This time of year is especially hard, with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all calling for turkey dinners.  There is nothing better than a turkey dinner.

I decided to see if I could find an organically grain-fed, no hormones, free range, preferably local chicken (because turkeys are usually huge and expensive!). A tall order, I know. But I found out about Pine View Farm, whose chickens fit the bill. The farm is just outside of Osler, SK – just under 300 kms away!

I picked up a 6lb bird at Nature’s Best in downtown Regina, and only balked a little at the price I paid. Especially when I saw flyers for Safeway and Superstore and saw the price of conventional chickens!

I’ve, obviously, never made a chicken right from scratch like this. So naturally, I had to Google all the things before even stepping foot in the kitchen. I was terrified of salmonella! But I roasted the bird and made some mashed potatoes, peas, stuffing and even made gravy from the roast drippings all by myself!! It was so good! And of course I had pumpkin pie – with homemade whipped cream, not the aerosol can stuff!

Naturally, I was uncomfortably food-coma’d out for the rest of the night, but I had leftovers for the rest of the week! I was pretty proud of myself, I must say.

The next logical thing in my mind was to make soup from the carcass. I’m not a huge soup eater, but something about using every single part of the bird really appealed to me. So tonight, I made soup.

This is another thing I’ve never done before. “Making soup” to me, involves a can opener and a can of Campbell’s. Making soup from scratch just seemed like so much work.  But I thought I should at least give it a try!

So I basically followed this recipe that I just randomly found online. I simmered the water with the carcass and wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I cut up all the vegetables and wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I removed the carcass/water from the burner, pulled the remaining meat from the bones to be added to the soup, and  wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I added the meat, broth, vegetables and few noodles with some salt and pepper, and wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I kept checking and salting and peppering and just didn’t know. It didn’t smell like it was going to taste like anything but hot water. But about 5 minutes before I pulled the pot from the burner, I took the first tentative spoonful of soup.

Damn, I make good soup!

 

I had a small bowl tonight, just to make sure it’s okay, you know. I’m so impressed! I totally want to try and make more soup now!

So maybe, when I bought a 6lb bird for $23, I freaked out a little. But I got 2 big meals, plus 2 nights worth of leftovers, 4 chicken sandwiches for lunches and enough soup for probably at least 4 bowls. That’s a lot of meals when you look at it that way!

This weekend, I want to maybe try making Snickerdoodles. I’ve never had them before, but they look delicious! I’ll have to see what I have for ingredients in the house – payday isn’t until Monday this time!

If I don’t have enough ingredients, I’ll definitely be kept busy with costumes – Bottoms Up Burlesque’s Hallowe’en show is on October 28 and I’m in 5 numbers! You can find more about that show here. If you’re in the Regina area, make sure you check it out.

What are you busy working on this weekend? Until next time, be good to each other!

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2 responses to “Fall into Autumn

  1. Yum! Your soup looks POIFECT! We’re meal sisters, I swear we are eating almost the exact same thing. I’ll make some Snickerdoodles too. Just the name makes them irresistible 😉

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