Tim and Will are very good at starting fires in the wood stove, me not so great. I guess I better figure out the right placement of kindling and amount of crumpled paper before Will starts at Catholic school in January or we will be heating with expensive oil as opposed to not quite as expensive wood this winter. Two cords are on their way to the house this week after my nagging at my husband for weeks about getting some before the snow comes. A fire is so cozy and really warms up the house quickly and if I ever get around to putting the kettle on top, makes for some lovely hot cocoa.
What I have been doing is attempting to make soup that warms the bones and toes. Last week I used up 5 or 6 onions I grew this summer and made the worst french onion soup ever known to exist. Too many bouillon cubes made the broth overpowering so I pitched the whole batch in the trash. Big mistake. The soup leaked out of the trash bag all over the garage floor and truck bed leading to Tim having to scrub both out and becoming very angry. He did later scrub off the "NO LIQUIDS" notice on my kitchen trash can lid that he had marked there in a fit of pique. But yesterday I tried again with canned beef broth and the result was better, but still not close to La Madeleine's signature soup. Today's cooking experiment will be beef and barley, served with a loaf of homemade bread. There is nothing like a thick bowl of hot soup to ward off the cold so in the weeks to come, the family should expect to smell lentil and sausage, chicken noodle, and beef stew simmering on the stove.