FROM THE FARM: Last week we were enjoying unseasonably warm weather. This week is a different story. Winter has indeed come knocking. Frigid temperatures with a little snow thrown in for good measure has me dragging around my soft, comfy throw, like Linus in the Peanuts comic strip.
Sheba, our malamute mix, has her own personal blanket of fur. She loves the cooler temperatures and is much more energetic this time of year. Sheba is puzzled that her people don’t want to play outside and tries to entice us to join her. This results in a revolving door game of “I want out. No, I want in.” If that doesn’t work, she plops down with a disgusted sigh.
I have been putting in a lot of overtime at work as well as traveling. Hopefully, next month will be calmer and I can catch up at home. I also have a stockpile of books, magazines and recipes to research and enjoy.
As most of you know from reading this column, I use my Crock-pot as much as possible. So many soup and stew recipes can be adapted for slow cooking. With a little preparation ahead of time, I can come home to the basics of a hearty meal. Just add bread, tortilla chips or salad and dinner is on the table in minutes. Gotta love that!
Here is a slow cooker recipe that has very little prep time. This hearty soup is perfect for a cold, wintry night.
Mexican Bean Soup
Pour into slow cooker: One 15-ounce can (undrained) each: pinto beans; kidney beans; navy beans (I sometimes substitute black beans for these); and cut corn Ro-Tel.
Add: One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes; 1 package taco seasoning; ½ package ranch dressing.
Mix ½ cup water. Stir to mix. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
**Those of you watching your sodium intake may want to purchase the no-salt versions of some of these ingredients.
If you are interested in becoming a member of our market for 2012, contact Gary Taylor at (859) 332-2539. The Boyle County Farmers Market is located at Boyle County Fairgrounds. The market manager is Gary Taylor of Knobview Farms.