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Sunday Soup with Phil, Feb. 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day and welcome back! Pull up a chair and have a seat with me at my table. Think of this blog as though you are a new friend or neighbor that I have invited into my home for a bowl of soup on a Sunday afternoon. We will have a conversation, where I do most of the talking, however, I do invite your responses, comments, and questions. I sincerely hope that this past week has been pleasant and productive for y’all, if not one then perhaps at least the other. For me, tax season has officially started and since I am semi-retired, reviewing tax returns remotely over the internet has started.

Our Cookbook Fundraiser has also been helping to keep me busy, inputting recipes sent to us and reviewing those that were input directly by contributors. We are now over 80 recipes, well on our way to achieving our goal of 150 soup recipes. The deadline for submitting a recipe to us is March 15th. The cookbook will go to the publishers on April 2nd and be back and ready for distribution and sale by the beginning of May. This cookbook is going to make a perfect Mother’s Day gift.

Speaking of recipes, let us review the recipe that I cooked up last Sunday, if you will recall it was “Beef Burgundy Stew”. It turned out great, I shared it with a couple of my neighbors, and they were impressed. The combination of round steak, garlic, red potatoes, carrots, onion and mushrooms cooked in some beef broth and burgundy wine was fabulous. I used baby Portobello mushrooms which complimented the beefiness perfectly. I did have a problem finding burgundy wine, however, I had to go to three different stores before I found some. The recipe calls for three cups of wine and now I understand why an awfully lot of chefs are also winos. They cannot just throw the rest of that nectar away. The stew also presented well; I took a photo of a serving in one of our Benton County Empty Bowls which was empty again in about 15 minutes. The only notation that I made on this recipe was that I would perhaps use 5 tablespoons of corn starch instead of three, only because I would prefer the stew a little bit thicker. This recipe is also in the running for Recipe of The Month in the future. Be sure and place an advance order for the Cookbook by March 31st and save $5.

The soup recipe that I will be preparing today was drawn at random by my neighbor Conneye Kraus. She drew “Green Chili Enchilada Soup” which was contributed by Sue Hacker from Bella Vista, Arkansas and is a member of the Village Art Club Inc. This is a crockpot recipe and looks quite interesting. I think that it is going to be very tasty and interesting at the same time. I love Mexican themed foods.

While that is getting happy in the crockpot let us discuss Volunteerism. To me, volunteering is totally a win-win-win situation. You are giving your precious time and/or talent to an organization that might otherwise be able to afford it. That organization in turn is helping those people that desperately need that assistance. Lastly, you are helping yourself ultimately with the feeling of worth and a sense of purpose. As I said win-win-win, I do not see any downside. Perhaps you are recently retired, or became an empty nester, or divorced, whatever has given you that feeling of “what am I going to do with all of this spare time”. Well, volunteer your time, there are numerous organizations in need of your help. If you are a potter, BCEB could use you to make some handcrafted bowls to further our cause, and if you are not a potter, we could use your help in other ways, by helping with and/or planning events, etc. If pottery does not appeal to you, there are all kinds of organizations that need your help. Here is a brief list, I am sure that you could also think of others:

  • Animal Rescue Shelters

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Local Libraries

  • Food Banks and Pantries

  • Museums

  • Hospitals and Clinics

  • Retirement Homes

  • Parks

  • Homeless Shelters

  • Church

  • Schools

  • Red Cross

  • Salvation Army

Those are just a few organizations that could make very good use of your time and/or talents, I am sure that you can think of others. Just do it. I promise you that what you receive back will far exceed that which you give, a sense of belonging and purpose.

See y’all next Sunday, until then, do not be afraid to try something new and different. Enjoy life!

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