Friday, January 22, 2010

The Hairport

Friday, January 22, I'm up early at 6:45 a.m. I stare at digital picture frame in the dark living room while sipping my coffee. Very soothing. After a light breakfast I dig my Merrill hiking boots out from 'down under' to see if they give me relief from the new neuroma on my foot. It's always something. So I go for a walk for the first time in two weeks. The thick soles on the hiking boots help. Feels more like a bruise rather than a stabbing pain. I run into the camp host out for her walk and we match pace for a few hundred yards to her place. She is at the end of a successful weight loss and looks fantastic.

Back home my friend Marilynn in nearby Smithville returns my call. She will pick me up here for lunch tomorrow at Chai Cafe in Bastrop. That way she'll get to tour The Titanic. I pack up some excess boxes this morning (ones Glenda gave us for our upcoming trip to the storage unit and our new Sony box from the digital picture frame.) It's a hard thing to keep boxes in an RV. We hold on to them for a bit until we're sure we don't have to mail something back. But eventually it all has to go. I wrap a present and send an article on the nesting eagles out by Llano to some RV friends.

Bob puts new line on his fishing reel in case he gets a chance to fish later with this great warm weather. Unfortunatley when he gets his line and equipment out from the sub-basement he discovers a pool of water. After lunch he will investigate where it came from. What a bummer.

We do a drive-by of The Hairport on Chestnut in Bastrop as I would love to get my hair cut (with apologies to my stylist in Austin but I can't justify driving 40 miles one-way in our 2500 HD truck.) So I stop in and Carmen has a cancellation and can take me now or at 3:00. I opt for 3:00. Bob and I go to lunch at Maxine's. Our fun waitress talks us into a three-layer chocolate cake (you know that was a tough sell.) First Bob enjoys the chicken-fried pork chop special and I get to try the fried green tomato BLT. I would have preferred more fried green tomatoes and less 'B' but it was good.

On to HEB for fruit, veges and ingredients for Journey's End Vegetable Soup. This has always been one of our favorite soups. It calls for a lot of ingredients and requires quite a bit of chopping but it is worth it. Once you have about half of the ingredients they are always on hand and you just need to pick up the fresh veges.

We just have time to get home and stow the groceries and I have to hop in Big Bertha and head off to my hair appointment. Carmen is ready for me and we have a nice visit after she reads my card and figures out a plan of attack. She lived in San Antonio until a year ago January when she married again after being a widow for quite a few years. She met Mr. Right and followed him to Austin (she drives to Bastrop to this salon.) She misses her long-term clients from her shop in San Antonio but still sees them when she goes back to visit her parents. She says she does several RV ladies in the area.

I stop to get a watch battery and go next door to Beall's to replace my PJ top that was torn in the laundry yesterday. Then I get the Arts section of the newspaper that was stolen out of the copy we bought earlier at HEB.

When I get back to the RV park around 5:00 Bob is fishing at the pond. But the RV smells like heaven as he made Journey's End Soup while I was gone. What a guy! Here's the recipe--don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off--after all, even Bob can do it!

Journey’s End Vegetable Soup (from Bon Appetit!)

Makes 9 cups

Cook following 10 ingredients in ¼ cup bacon drippings until vegetables are soft; about 8 minutes:

½ cup peeled and diced carrot
½ cup diced onion
¼ tsp. Dried oregano
¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. Dried basil
1/8 tsp. Dried thyme
1/8 tsp. Dried Rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf

Add next 11 ingredients:

7 cups beef stock
1 cup canned peeled whole tomatoes (16 oz.) I chop or puree them.
2/3 cup peeled and diced potato
1/3 cup peeled and diced turnip
¼ cup cooked red kidney beans
¼ cup cooked navy or lima bean (I use a small can of lima beans and skip the kidney beans if I have no way to use the rest of the can)
2 tbsp. Macaroni
1 tbsp. Chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. Barley
1 tbsp. Green split peas
1 tbsp. Lentils
Salt and pepper to taste

Cover and cook 40 minutes
Add 1 cup chopped spinach and ½ cup chopped cabbage.
Cook 10 minutes.


I relax and read the paper with a big glass of iced coffee. Then Bob and I enjoy big bowls of Journey's End Soup with oyster crackers. That's right I had iced coffee as the high was 74 degrees today after a low of 50 this morning. It's 8:36 p.m. and the humidity is 74%.

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