Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Winter Visit

Today we woke up to the world (yet again) covered in snow.  It was easily another foot of loveliness out there making the world look perfectly magical.
The gate to the backyard is burried under all that snow!
Our grill is under there somewhere!
On top of all the excitment of another snowy morning, we were also excitedly getting ready for a visit with Leigh, Josephine, Hannah and Brad.  The girls and I spent some time late morning preparing the ingredients for the soup that we would be having at lunch while we waited for everyone to arrive.
Veggies for the wild rice soup.

And then they arrived and the fun began! I had not seen Leigh and Josephine since my wedding day (eight and a half years ago)!  It was so wonderful to see them again, along with the newly engaged Hannah and Brad!  We got right to catching up,  Quickly chatting as if no time had passed at all.  During all this chatting, soup was made and consumed.  Seconds were had. Toys were played with.  Dessert was shared.  Stories were told and wedding plans gushed over.  Some of us even got choked up at being asked to perform the ceremony (me!) and photograph it (Josephine).  Before long it was time to say good-bye to our beloved friends, and I realized that I had not taken one decent picture ofeveryone.  Such is the way it goes when you are too busy talking, I suppose.  I quickly snapped a couple pictures before they went on their way, all the while wishing I had taken more before our time together was over.
Brad is such an awesome guy that he went to remove some snow from the end of our driveway before they took off. 

It was a truly incredible day!  Many fabulous memories were shared and made today.  Thank you for spending the afternoon with us, dear friends.  We had a most terrific time!

Wild Rice Soup
1/4 cup butter

2 cups sliced celery stalks
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups cooked wild rice  (I used two packages of Carolina Long Grain and Wild Rice since w could not find just wild rice)
2 cups water
2 10.5oz cans chicken broth
3 cups half-n-half
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (omit if you would like)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a 4 quart dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. cook celery, carrots, onion, and bell pepper in butter about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. stir in flour salt, and pepper. stir in rice, water, and broth. heat to boiling; reduce heat. cover, simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. stir in half-n-half, almonds, and parsley. heat just unti hot, do not boil or soup will curdle.

Serve with bread.

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