Christopher recently celebrated his 14th birthday. Recently, as in, three days ago.
We decided to travel to celebrate with his grandparents. Michael’s mother offered her house and my mama and daddy – who live three miles from her – made plans to come over for lunch and birthday cake. We would have this lunch on the Saturday before his birthday.
I asked Christopher what he wanted for his birthday lunch and he said simply, “Meatloaf.”
Meatloaf? Yep. Meatloaf.
He’s a young man of simple tastes.
So I set my alarm Friday night so I could get up and make the meal he requested in enough time for it to be transported two hours away for lunch.
At 5:27 a.m., I was awakened by a smell. Not a burning smell. Just a smell. When it didn’t go away, I got up to investigate. I found Christopher in the kitchen, making pancakes. I didn’t say a word, but he looked up and said, “There’s something wrong with this batter. The chocolate chips keep sinking to the bottom.”
I stirred in a little more flour, to thicken the batter and handed the bowl back to him. Then I turned to go back to bed. I realized later that I never said a word during this exchange.
When my alarm went off at seven, I went back to the kitchen to find that after making and eating a stack of pancakes, Christopher had gone back to bed, leaving the griddle, the bowls, the spoons, the measuring cups, and everything else he had used out on the counter.
His birthday lunch was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, devilled eggs, roasted vegetables, and biscuits. We had a great visit with family.
I wasn’t much in the mood for cooking on Sunday, so I made this simple, one-pot meal. I love this soup because it’s simple and delicious – but also because I almost always have the ingredients on hand.
- 3 pounds of ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 14.5-oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 cups of sliced carrots
- 3 bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2-pound box of beef broth
Brown the ground beef with the onions until meat is done. Drain off as much grease as you can.
Add the vegetables (fresh and canned), seasonings, and beef broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 1 hour – or until carrots are tender.
Well Duh #1: You can add a couple of big potatoes that you have peeled and cubed. I usually do that, but couldn’t this time since Michael is still low-carbing.
Well Duh #2: If you like your soup more soupy, you can add a cup or two more of beef broth or water after you’ve simmered it. Just heat it through and then add more seasoning if it needs it.
Well Duh #3: For the bell peppers, I use one yellow, one orange, and one red. That’s because I always find a nifty three-pack at the store, so that’s what I get. You can use whatever combination you prefer.
Well Duh #4: Ewww! I don’t like celery! You won’t taste it. I promise. But if you were frightened by celery as a child, just leave it out!
It was a cold day when we had this. I served it with warm, crusty French bread. We all loved it! It’s simple, but very yummy!