Look to the Ants (Or, Holding Off Winter)

Look to the Ants (Or, Holding Off Winter)

Winter is coming. Look to the ants. In East Texas, it seems to me that when the ants start swarming, it’s time to seriously consider putting as much as you can of your harvest into jars. Winter is coming.

It was pretty much the same when we lived in South Arkansas. Although, I don’t recall the ant activity of South Arkansas, just the cool fall days. May I take a moment to say I love having distinct seasons again? Yes? I LOVE having distinct seasons again!

When we moved to Lake Jackson my oldest son was four and my daughter was three. We moved in August so when Christmas came around I made what had been tradition, Christmas Sweaters, to go to pick out the Christmas tree. This was about mid November. My poor children suffered the 86° temps in wool sweaters. The next year we started the new tradition of Christmas Tee Shirts.

I have a friend that has lived with her four children in Hawaii. She recently moved to North Texas and had to explain the concept of a jacket to her oldest two children, ages 4 and 5. “But mommy, why would we put clothes over our clothes?” You haven’t thought of that have you?

So, I’m excited to bring back the sweater tradition for Second Family. And I’m excited to feel a crisp in the air. And I’m excited to plant my fall garden and decorate Paddy’s garden. And this week, it’s all about getting soup in the pantry before it’s too late to buy local produce. I use my Sofrito in this soup. If you don’t have any on hand you can get the recipe here, or you can substitute a cup of diced tomatoes, or simply omit.

Note: This must be Pressure Canned for shelf storage.

Mexican Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

3 large boneless chicken breasts (cooked, shredded or cubed )
1 1/2 cups carrots (sliced )
2 cups celery (sliced )
1 large onion, chopped
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans Rotel Tomatoes
15 oz. Sofrito (or one pint tomato juice) I have also used spicy V-8 successfully
4 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned )
6 cups water
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups corn (frozen or fresh cut kernels from cob)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon canning salt
3 garlic cloves (minced)

(Some people use 3 bouillion cubes, with the Sofrito, I don’t find it necessary)
1. Boil chicken covered in water until done. When chicken has cooled you can shred it or cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.

2. Prepare pressure canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. ( do not boil ).

3. In large pot add all ingredients except chicken. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 3 minutes. Add chicken and boil lightly for 5 minutes.

4. Ladle hot soup into hot jars leaving 1-inch headspace, remove air bubbles and wipe rim of jar. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fingertip tight. Place jars into pressure canner.

5. Process quarts at 11 pounds pressure for 90 minutes or pints for 75 minutes ( adjust for altitude if needed ).

6. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


For, Look to the Ants

Mexican Tortilla Soup in Jars

When you’re ready to serve, heat your soup, serve with strips of crisp tortilla chips, a squeeze of lime, black beans and perhaps a dollop of Sour Cream or Yogurt. Yum!

I’m getting things done as I can, like the ants. But, I’m not overly concerned by much. My God is So Big! There’s Nothing He Can Not Do!

Have a great, Paisley day!

P. S. New items in the Etsy shop…check it out! https://www.etsy.com/listing/110541545/napa-valley-cloche

For Look to the ants

Napa Valley Cloche

For Look to the ants

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