The month of July was crazy busy with siblings coming in to town and the adventures we had with them. We spent a weekend all together in a cabin in the mountains of Wyoming, and it was blissful, loud, rambunctious, and everything else you would expect with all the original 7 of us plus families, minus my little sister and her family. It was glorious, and doesn't happen nearly often enough. I look forward to next year when we all get together again.
|Beth turned 2!|
|Cabin in the Mountains|
|Keith and Hunter at church. The best of friends, and the cutest thing ever!|
But the busyness is not over yet. My sweet nephew will be receiving his mission call any day, and his sister is preparing for her wedding next month. Which means, busy busy! But family busyness doesn't ever seem all that hampering, instead it is wonderful, and we really are never together often enough. Time seems to develop super sonic speed when we all get together.
School starts in less than two weeks. Can you believe it? I can't! Where has this summer gone?! But really, I kept forgetting that August even existed during July. I remember constantly thinking that as soon as July ended I would be able to put up my Fall decorations, and enjoy the sweet calming breezes from the mountains which bring cool air and relaxation with them. I kept thinking school was starting the beginning of September, and that we were oh so close to the month of canning, and reading beneath the trampoline, and the brilliant blue September sky that I love oh so much!
At any rate, things are trucking along quite swiftly. Keith commented to me today that the days are going by so fast! I think he is in shock that school is starting so soon. He is excited to have Faye at school with him, though. I love what a sweet big brother he is! Faye can hardly contain her excitement, but she has always worn her emotions on the outside whereas Keith has always been very stoic and quiet about his thoughts and emotions.
I made some strawberry jam last month, the big girl way! None of that freezer jam for us! Not because I don't like freezer jam. I do. I just don't have room in my tiny-above-the-fridge-freezer for many jars of jam. But I was so proud of myself as I listened to that glorious popping sound, indicating the jars were sealing. I added a touch of vanilla to my jam, and it is delicious! There is a slight whisper of the vanilla, and it really adds to the whole flavor. Yum!
I am very excited that it is nearly time to go to the U-Pick farm and get a couple bushels of tomatoes for canning. I love having canned tomatoes in my fruit room all through the winter. I make my Grandma Jacobson's tomato soup when it is exceptionally cold outsider, and it warms you up, inside and outside. And it makes oh so much! Which I don't mind at all, because that means I can freeze half of it, and pull it out in a week or two, and there is a ready made dinner, right there!
I dare you to try it this winter. Your cold summer dreaming insides and tastebuds will thank me for it.
Grandma Jacobson's Homemade Tomato Soup
2 quarts home canned tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1/4th an onion
2 1/2 teaspoons chicken flavor bouillon
1-2 quarts of milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
basil, oregano, pepper to taste
There really is no exactness to this recipe. You flavor it to taste, desired thickness, and the amount you want. It can easily be halved. This amount easily serves 10 people, or 5 people on two seperate nights. :)
Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, oregano, and bullion in a blender on high. While the blender is running (for a few minutes) melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan on medium-high. I use the pan I am going to eventually put the soup in. Add the flour and mix, making a nice roux. This may need more or less flour. Again, there is no exactness to this. You want a thick paste (almost too thick) consistency. While stirring, allow the roux to cook for a few minutes, until brown but not burned. If you don't like to chew your soup, or you don't like tomato seeds you can place a sieve over your roux pan and pour the tomato mixture into the roux to strain out all the seeds. I usually skip that step and just dump the whole thing in. It takes far too long to get the seeds out, I think. Quickly stir the tomatoes into the roux, making sure to eliminate any lumps. Continue to stir until the soup is smooth, heated, and on the brink of boiling. Add the milk (watching the thickness. That is how much milk you know to add, completely based on your desired thickness), stirring constantly. Heat again, stirring constantly, but be sure not to let it boil. Boiling will curdle the milk. Serve hot and delicious. Season with pepper and fresh basil to taste. Eat with grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.
What? You want a recipe for the world's best grilled cheese sandwiches, too?! Well, lucky for you, I have that as well.
The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich
3oz of cream cheese
3/4 cup of Mayo
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder (or you can use a fresh clove, which I personally prefer. It adds so much to the flaovr!
1/8 teaspon Lawry's seaoned salt
In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and mayo until smooth. I just use a spoon, but you can use a hand mixer if you so desire. Stir in the cheeses, garlic, and seasoned salt. Once that is all mixed into a delicious mess of yumminess, get out your bread and butter one side of each slice. Spread the cheese mixture on the un-buttered side and place sandwich together, puttered side out. Put the sandwiches on a hot griddle and cook until golden brown. Dip these gooey cheesy sandwiches in the homemade tomato soup, and delight in the knowledge that you will never have to go back to Campbell's or the boring grilled cheese sandwiches again!
You are welcome!