It's the fourth day of Yule and the kids are in Europe visited the Louvre in Paris early this morning. They sent us a picture that they took in front of the Pyramid. They looked a bit tired but very happy. David and I are so happy they are getting to see so much.
I woke up so stiff this morning that I could hardly move let alone walk. I had to exercise my legs, back, glutes and then finally stretch. Lucy was with me the whole time exercising with me until I could get up off the bed. Then I took a really hot shower and gradually turned the water temp to body temp. I felt so great afterward. Until the weather changes and it gets warmer I will be taking hot showers in order to loosen up my joints and muscles. I hate MCT in the winter but because I'm so stiff my post will be late posting. Sorry.
Tomorrow morning is the fifth day of Yule or Christmas Day for all you Christians. David and I will be going out for our usual holiday breakfast at IHOP and then coming home and exchanging Yule presents. I have 5 CD's for David tomorrow. Today I gave him four really nice Polo shirts for work and he gave me four nicely colored t-shirts. Don't get me wrong, I dearly love t-shirts. Especially the colored ones. I got a red, a light robin's egg blue, a burnt orange for University of Tx at Austin, and a dark blue-green. All these can go under my oversized henleys to keep me warm. I'm not a sweater person because I hate washing sweater sand henleys keep me warmer so much better. Not only that, I can cut down or build up the layering as the weather gets either warmer or colder. I just store them in Space bags during the summer until I need them again in the fall.
Tonight we are having 5 bean soup for dinner with spicy baked crackers that I made using saltines. Comfort food for the soul. I Start out with chopped onions, garlic, and bacon chunks that I diced that I saute until the onions are sweated. Then I add a ham bone into the stock pot with tiny ham chunks and the beans. I pour in around 10 to 12 cups of water, a couple of bay leaves, a can of diced tomatoes and let that simmer on medium to low heat for an hour and a half. Then I remove the ham bone and bay leaves and let it cook for an hour more or until the beans are tender. During the time that the beans are cooking, I remove the meat from the ham bone and chop or cut into small pieces and add the ham back to the pot, stir and then serve with the spicy baked saltines. Talk about awesome comfort food.
The beans I use are all dried that you can get from your grocery store separately either in small bags or by the bulk bins. I usually keep small clear containers full of my dried beans in my pantry so I can make my favorite soups in the winter. I keep lentils, tiny limas, yellow and the green split peas, black beans, you can use any dried beans that you love, this is what I like to use in this soup. Sometimes I will add red chili seed to give the soup a little spicy umph.
The spicy saltine crackers are so really easy to make. Preheat your oven to 350. Open a couple of sleeves of saltine crackers. Take a large resealable plastic bag( a gallon sized works pretty well) and add the 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1T garlic powder, 1T cracked red pepper flakes, 1/2t cayenne pepper. Personally, you can throw in whatever you like just as long as it tastes spicy good. Close up the bag and mix the spicy ingredients together with the oil, then add the saltines, zip the bag shut and then very, very gently toss to coat the crackers. I like to get David to do this part while I get the soup going. You should line a couple of shallow baking pans with parchment paper and take the crackers and place them flat on the pans pour whatever spicy oil is left in the bag over the saltines and then bake from 8 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't over bake or burn. When done, set them up on their sides and let cool. Serve with soup or whatever. You can store them in an airtight bag. These are great for snacking too.