Saturday, April 19, 2008

Martinis and Mushrooms

Today we're going to do some cooking and the reason is, I found this at the local Italian grocery store.


It's about 8 lbs. of mushrooms and they were being clearanced out at $2 simply because they're not the freshest. That means I'm going to be making lots of mushroom omelets, mushroom appetizers and a large batch of mushroom soup, which can be frozen to enjoy later.

Over 20 years ago I attended a cooking class and the instructor made mushroom soup. It was not like anything I'd ever tasted, at least not like any canned mushroom soup. It's just fantastic. Here's the recipe.


But before we get started let me explain the martini thing. No, I don't drink martinis when I'm cooking and I don't usually serve martinis with mushroom soup. In my world the martini glass is the universal standard of measurement. Whether you're in Lily Lake or Helsinki, a martini glass is a martini glass, and so this is how large the box is compared with the glass.


Yes, that's alot of mushrooms!

Start slicing those mushrooms. I like a wooden cutting board, using one side for meat and savory foods and the other side for sweet things.


I do not know what this thing is called, but I couldn't live without it. It scoops up large amounts in one pass and allows you to move it to the pot.


This is stock base. They sell it in beef, chicken or vegetable flavors and one jar goes a long, long way. You mix 1 tsp. to 1 cup of water to make a cup of stock. It's so handy. This particular brand came from Sam's Club, but you can find stock base at alot of different stores.


Here I'm mixing the sour cream into the ingredients. Don't worry, you're not eating a quarter pound of butter or a cup of sour cream, you're only eating the small portion that would be in one serving of the soup.


Let it simmer for awhile after you've added all the chicken broth. This allows the flour to slightly thicken the soup.


Here's the finished soup. It's really delicious with some crusty bread and a salad.

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Now that we have some delicious soup in our bellies we can make ourselves that martini. You might need it because I feel a mini-rant coming on.


This story is fueling the rant. Believe me when I say I've seen the effects of child abuse up close and personal and I'm always on the side of protecting the children. Do you remember me mentioning that "kid" we adopted, fed and got into college? Well he wasn't really a kid when we took him under our wing. He was 18 and just starting out in life. That's a little difficult to do when you discover that as a result of your abusive upbringing you're missing every skill you'll need as an adult. Believe me when I say it's heartbreaking to look into the soul of an abused person.

Having said that, I truly believe that officials need to use some kind of common sense. My hearts go out to these mothers. Are their beliefs putting their children in danger? That's not for me to determine and I'm sure that those armies of lawyers will figure it all out....someday, maybe in 3-5 years of litigation.

My personal experience with this subject came one sunny day. For some reason the Farmer was home that day. The doorbell rang and I found a case worker from the Dept. of Children and Family Services was standing on my doorstep. I was dumbfounded and frightened when she informed me that someone had filed a report that we were showing our children (ages 6 and 8) explicit materials. Yes, those kinds of explicit materials.

In one second, between folding laundry and making lunch I found myself facing the possibility of losing my children. Right then. Right there. In one hot second. If this women standing on my doorstep determined through her questioning that there was a possibility of truth in the accusation, my children would be in "the system". Gone in sixty seconds.

I can't even tell you what mode I shifted into, but it was hellfire. You know, that mother she-wolf claiming her ground and daring you to mess with her cubs.

Things were further complicated by the fact that my son was at a friend's house. Since she needed to interview the children together she would need to return another day.

Hell no! I drove like a madwoman to retrieve my son. There was no way I was going to sleep even one night with this unsettled.

Thirty minutes of questioning in another room. The Farmer and I were a ball of confusion - frightened, angry, defensive. I was frightened this woman might misunderstand or misinterpret my children's words. How could this be happening to me?

We listened as hard as we could and I heard one exchange.

"Have your parents shown you anything that made you feel quesy or frightened?" she asked.

"You mean like the Incredible Hulk?", answered my son.

Breathe.....oh my son, my boy...the Incredible Hulk. Yes honey, the Incredible Hulk. That's one scary dude! My knees were ready to buckle out from under me when the social worker returned to the room.

"Your children don't know what I'm talking about." she offered.

"NO...they don't", I answered.

So the scary part's over right? No. The really scary part is that we were not allowed to know who was accusing us and we needed to petition to have the report removed.

I don't know anything about this case in Texas, and I do believe in erring on the side of caution in abuse cases, but having said all that....

taking children from their mothers?

After 20 years I can close my eyes and remember standing in that doorway with the entire future of my family hanging in thin air. I saw God that morning.


You can pour me a martini now.


Kari & Kijsa said...

The soup sounds delicious! And we are there with your rant... we truly feel for those children and mothers right now!

kari & kijsa

Suzanne said...

There they are, the dynamic duo- Kari & Kijsa! This soup is so delicious. Unfortunately this batch was a little watery because I discovered there was only a smattering of flour in the house. I simply must be more efficient about stocking the pantry.

... abd the rant. Just the phrase "children taken from their mothers" stops me dead in my tracks. Sigh.

Thanks for visiting and thanks for commenting too.

- Suz

Ashley Ladd said...

The soup looks yummy. Love mushrooms!

I'm glad the earthquake didn't affect you.

Bax said...

First things first...that soup looks so yummy and it will be prepared in this my hubby! : )
I am having a very difficult time putting into words how I feel about those poor children being taken from their mother's. Are the authorities doing more harm than good in this situation? Shouldn't each family be dealt with on an individual basis instead of this mass kidnapping into the night? It's very troubling and I can't imagine what those mother's are going through. If someone tried to take my children they would have one heck of a fight on their hands!
Whew! Now my rant is over! LOL!


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Good heavens! I don't often drink, but I need a martini myself. I can not even imagine what that must have been like. Did you ever discover where the accusation came from?

I don't know enough about the Texas case to comment, but it seems unnecessary to separate the children from their mothers. I heard about the court scene where all the cases were being handled at once and mayhem and bedlam ensued. Sounded as if it would take years just as you suggested. Horrors!

(My nan loves mushroom soup. I suppose that she might think that I was a real whiz-bang boomerang if I made this for her.)

Robyn said...

Heck I'll have a martini too. What a terrible thing to go through.

C.C. said...

Oh my gosh, Suzanne, your rant gave me chills. The thought of some anonymous person and that strange woman at your doorstep having that much control over the future of your family is frightening. Did you ever find out what that whole thing was based on?

Marty52 said...

I've been away a few days so I'm late on weighing in on your rant. I feel so sorry for those children... this will affect them all their lives. Yes, they were in an abusive situation, but pulling them away from their mothers isn't going to help their emotional state any. It's just not a win-win situation for anyone. It's just all so sad!

I would have reacted just as you did when that social worker appeared at your door. She-wolf would definitely come out if that ever happened. How frightening for you!

Gonna have to give that mushroom soup a try!