A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Here's my soup. Full of kielbasa and vegetables and a hint of rosemary. I'll post the recipe later today. It is an original Balisha recipe. This is my rosemary plant in the basement. In the spring, I will give her a haircut and put her back outside.

Yesterday I made a soup for dinner. I wanted to experiment with the herb Rosemary. I have a rosemary plant overwintering in the basement. It started growing at first...very thready and frail little new tops on all the branches. Now it has acclimated to the basement and the growth has stopped, but it is very much alive. I wanted to know more about this herb that smells so piney.The rosemary plant is a shrubby thing that can grow to be as tall as five feet, if you let it. The stems are covered with slender, inch-long, pine-like leaves. Rosemary flowers aren't very showy..the plant is mostly grown for the foliage. Humans have believed that rosemary can improve memory, which is why it was so often used in weddings and funerals. A bride might wear a wreath made from the rosemary plant to help the couple remember their wedding vows. Mourners would also throw sprigs of rosemary into graves, a symbol that the dead would not be forgotten.I have painted lots of floral things. I love to paint rosemary in viney or wreath shaped floral designs. I have found that rosemary is a great herb to grow in pots. I brought mine in last fall, because it was doing so well. Rosemary is a heat-loving plant and doesn't deal with cold very well. A few things a rosemary plant needs is good drainage and air circulation. Re-pot your rosemary once a year to keep it healthy.If you re-pot your rosemary once a year, water it every other day, and bring it indoors when the weather turns cold, my gardening book says that it should do well for you. My first experience with rosemary was many years ago, when my husband bought me a plant shaped like a wreath. It smelled just like a pine tree. I took care of it and planted it outside. Sadly, it died over winter. I didn't know that you could use it in cooking, until my garden club met at my house and one of the ladies told me about it. I don't use it very much as it is a strong herb. But in Mediterranean recipes it tastes so good.
Here's the soup recipe...Snowy Day Soup.... ALA Balisha
1 lb. kielbasa cut into circles
3 carrots crinkle cut into same size rings
2 parsnips cut the same size...I had these leftover
1 lg onion chopped in a rough chop
3 stalks celery chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped small...add this last.
Brown the kielbasa in a large skillet. When they are browned take them out and put in the vegetables ...season with salt and pepper. Toss them around the pan. Joe was laughing at me trying to toss the frying pan ingredients like the chefs do on TV...without tossing them all over the stove. I still can't get it.Add a little chicken broth to the pan...just enough to barely cover them. Put the lid on and simmer until veggies are tender. Get your big soup kettle out and put the kielbasa in it. Add the veggies to the meat and pour in 2 cartons of chicken broth. (could use beef, but this was all I had)Add...1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can butter beans (could use any kind of beans...we like butter beans) 1/2 can spinach, 1 can of corn, 3 Yukon gold potatoes, cut in same size as carrots, a small handful of barley, then add 2 c water, and then the seasonings.....a couple of TBS of a good beef base, several shakes of garlic salt, lots of cracked pepper, several shakes of dried parsley, a couple shakes of red pepper flakes, 2 tsp of sea salt, a big pinch of rosemary. Just taste this as you go to get the flavor just right. I didn't drain any of the veggies. You can toss in any leftover veggies that you have in the frig. It turned out simply delicious. Joe had two bowls.


Lynn said...

WOW does that look good I may just have to try it, that is when I can get out to the store!!!LOL

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Balisha, your soup looks really good. I enjoy a hearty soup and fresh, crusty bread on cold days like this.

Your rosemary looks really good considering it is Feb in N. IL.

Where you awake for out little earthquake this morning?

thesouthernlady64 said...

Hi Balisha, I can smell your soup just looking at it. Sounds so good. Don't you love making up your own recipes? I must grow some rosemary especially if it is good for your memory. I am going to start feeding it to my Bob!

Balisha said...

You know...I just love soup. I think that watching the food channel has made me a better cook. I experiment more and fool around with flavors.
I feel for you guys on the east coast. It must be so difficult. I guess we should all have an emergency cupboard in our homes.
We didn't feel the earthquake this morning. We clicked on the TV while still in bed and that was the first news we heard. Did you feel it, Marnie?

One Woman's Journey said...

That sounds so good - I made my favorite white bean chili - yesterday. Love soup in the winter.
Or really anytime. Wish I had a good crusty bread!!!

Amber Star said...

Your soup looks delicious. I have already made beef stew this week out of left over roast from dinner with our daughter while she was visiting. I may be able to add some more veggies to it and have it again. It is supposed to snow all day tomorrow and tomorrow night. That is a big time thing for us. We live in Texas and rarely get much snow.

I have no luck whatsoever growing rosemary! The children at the school where I vote have gardens out by the sidewalk and they grow rosemary like crazy. I guess it is just going to take finding the right place in the yard for it.

garden girl said...

looks delicious Balisha! I love a good, hearty soup in the winter. I haven't tried overwintering rosemary yet, but am encouraged to see it's not that hard keeping it alive indoors. My daughter is successfully overwintering a rosemary plant too. I've heard they're not so easy to keep alive indoors, but seeing it done successfully makes me want to try too, and I definitely will this year. I love the scent of rosemary.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I love soup, but I found out, after making it three times, that Howard doesn't really like soup! Can you imagine someone not wanting to eat soup??? I can't.
Everytime I made soup, I would find myself eating it alone. He would eat one bowl, and now I realize he was just being polite.
It takes awhile to get to know ones likes and dislikes. Anyway...your soup looks delicious, Balisha!