Enjoying Our Journey

Living, Loving and Learning Together

Old Mother Hubbard Learns Her ABCs

on December 2, 2012

It is one of those nights. It has been too long between grocery shopping trips. Fridge and cupboards are nearly bare. Dinnertime is fast approaching. Boys will be hungry. What is a mom to do?

Hmm. Ground beef already browned. Check. I think I have some beef broth, maybe a beef and vegetable soup? But I used up the frozen veggies the other night when I was making corn chowder and realized that I only had a tiny bit of corn left and improvised. Well, there are carrots in the fridge at least. I can still make this work.

Drat. There are only 2 cans of beef broth. I could have sworn there were more. Digging deep in the cupboards now I find some diced tomatoes hiding behind the peas. Someone must have exchanged the beef broth for the diced tomatoes that were not here the other day. Ooh, a quart of home-canned tomatoes. Now we are getting somewhere.

Into the pot goes the quart of home-canned tomatoes after a momentary panic that they looked different. My dear friend on the phone reminded me that we canned some heirloom tomatoes and that a batch was yellow and orange. Phew! I add to that the 2 measly cans of beef broth and the ground beef. Good base, but there is no way that is going to feed everyone. Maybe adding the veggies will help it look like more. Sliced baby carrots, diced bell pepper and onion are a nice addition, but it still does not look like enough. Back to the almost empty cupboards.

My first intention was to grab those cans of diced tomatoes that had appeared in place of the beef broth. But then I saw something better. 2 small cans of condensed tomato soup. I added them to the pot without diluting them hoping this experiment would end well. Time will tell.

Now for my favorite part of cooking, adding the seasonings. My inner child delights in acting like a mad scientist for a few minutes adding a bit of this and that without measuring *gasp*. I add my usual standbys, sea salt, cracked pepper, and a bay leaf. It is not soup without bay leaves. Ask my kids. 😉 Italian seasoning goes well with anything so I add that too. And since we are all suffering with sinus illnesses, I decide some chili powder is the way to go. Some minced garlic gets added in and the simmering begins. Now what to dip in the soup?

My helpful friend who has been on this journey with me via the phone suggests some garlic cheddar biscuits. Using her mad computer skills, she finds this recipe which is close to the one she uses. A quick scan over the ingredient list brings a sigh. I don’t have milk. The recipe actually calls for buttermilk, but I typically substitute regular milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice for the buttermilk without incident. But it doesn’t work without milk. Always quick-thinking, my friend asks if I have evaporated milk. I do! I always buy a can of evaporated milk every time I buy pumpkin in anticipation of pumpkin pie. When the pumpkin gets used for pumpkin bread or something else, the cans of evaporated milk hang out in the back of the cupboard. Or that is my theory anyway.

Back to the biscuits. My friend gets another call and I start the biscuits while smelling the delicious smell from the soup. I am hoping that it tastes as good as it smells. The biscuits include cheese and garlic and are brushed with melted butter. I am confident that we will at least enjoy the biscuits.

When the biscuits go in the oven, I add some alphabet noodles to the soup for a little fun. In just a few minutes it is dinnertime. I brush the biscuits with the butter, dish out the bowls and call the troops to wash up for dinner. The verdict is: success! We all love the soup and of course the biscuits.

I am grateful for a yummy meal despite initial grim prospects. But I am also looking forward to a thorough, stocking up grocery shop in the very near future. Now that I have a more accurate idea of what is actually in the cabinets. 😛

The improvised Alphabet soup:


And the garlic and cheese biscuits:



2 responses to “Old Mother Hubbard Learns Her ABCs

  1. Good job! I have been in that situation so many times! I think I’ve even made cheese and garlic biscuits to go with soup before, but we call them ‘scones’ over here – biscuits are what we call cookies and crackers (sweet biscuits and dry biscuits). Anyway, that dinner looks YUM!

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