part of the joy (and frustration) of living in the midwest is that there tend to be anywhere between 3-7 “false springs” before the true spring takes root and the weather starts to look up.
while this can be disheartening, i try to look at this period as a time to really settle in to the idea of the hectic hustle and bustle that is summer and take stock of what i want to carry with me as i move forward.
i also take this time to deep clean my home of the winter stuffiness and whatever baggage (both physical and emotional) remains from the sleeping months.
this summer is one that i’m looking forward to for various reasons, but mostly, i am just thrilled with the idea to get out in the sun and soak up the warm, soothing rays of light and breathe the fresh air of the outdoors again. it’s been a long time coming and not something i take for granted.
it’s fitting that there was snowfall last night, calm and quiet, with little wind to usher in the shortest day of the year.
many people, myself as well sometimes, don’t enjoy the snow or cold or bitterness that seems to trail after every thing and one this time of year, but the snow last night was a welcome one.
waking up to a pristine unbothered whiteness and a crisp chill was a reminder to take it easy and to take the time to slow down, dress warmly and go with intention into the new cycle.
on this shortest day of the year, i will be taking the time to reflect on the last 12 months and meditate on how i’d like to spend the next 12 upcoming.
we can leave the past behind us, but we do ourselves a great disservice if we fail to learn from both our triumphs and mistakes.
i would implore you to also make a moment to sit with yourself, to check in, and to take stock of what’s important to you. it’s okay if those things aren’t the same as they once were. people grow and change, and with that, their priorities.
may you find peace and happiness with your life, your self, and those around you in the coming year.
here in the midwest, this time of year is known as a lot of things but to some people, it’s known affectionately and unofficially as “soup season”.
soup is honestly one of my most loved meals. they’re just so comforting and hearty and really do warm the soul on cold, blustery days, especially if you’re able to have them with warm from the oven homemade bread.
for the challenge, i thought i’d share a recipe that’s near and dear to my heart. i have long since believed that my grandmother was magic and this recipe and the way it makes me feel does nothing to convince me otherwise.
Grammy’s Chicken Dumpling Soup
What you’ll need:
one(1) medium onion, diced for protection, remembering loved ones, breaking down barriers
three (3) large carrots, diced for prosperity, abundance, and wellbeing
three (3) stalks celery, diced
three (3) medium potatoes, diced to ground you and remind you to keep your feet firmly planted
two (2) cans chicken noodle soup one (1) carton chicken stock
one (1) tbsp thyme for protection
one (1) tbsp marjoram for good luck and happiness
one (1) tbsp sage for cleansing of negativity
two (2) bay leaves for health, luck, and joy
three (3) chicken bouillon cubes two (2) eggs two (2) cups flour one (1) cup milk salt and pepper to taste
and now, we cook.
start by melting some butter in the bottom of your soup kettle and adding the diced veggies and spices, cooking them until they’re slightly tender. once this is done, add in the chicken noodle soup, potatoes (not pictured bc we didn’t have any), and bouillon cubes and simmer until your heart says it’s enough.
from here, you’ll want to add the chicken stock and allow the flavors to continue to incorporate while you mix up the dumplings.
in a bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, milk, and a little salt and pepper. DO NOT OVER MIX.
bring your soup to a steady boil and heat the head of a tablespoon in the broth. once heated, scoop a bit of dumpling batter onto the spoon (again, measuring with your heart) and drop it into the broth, shaking the spoon a bit to dislodge.
continue to drop all dumplings into the broth until done and then cover and let simmer for twenty minutes. DO NOT REMOVE LID.
after twenty minutes, remove the lid and give the soup a good stir. ladle into soup bowls, tear of a chunk of bread and enjoy!
this soup is such a good way to end the day. it’s cozy, comforting, and most importantly, delicious. i always like to send up a little “hi grammy” as i tuck in. perhaps you can use this time to remember someone you care for who is no longer around as well!