Cream of Asparagus Soup


Bowl of Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus.  Harbinger of Spring.  One of the first harvests from the garden.  The flavor of green.

We grow a bit over an 1/8 of an acre of asparagus, which gives us 800-1000 pounds of harvest each year.  Even though it comes in before the farmers’ market opens, we usually sell all that we produce.   Because, Asparagus!

When dealing with such an iconic food, it’s usually best to prepare it simply.  It’s a treat, so make it shine that way.  This very simple soup brings out the best in asparagus. Continue reading

2017 Week 17 – Week of 24 April

Close up of a lilac flower

Lilacs are blooming!

The asparagus is finally coming in!  We ate asparagus for 4 meals last week (though it wasn’t on the menu yet).  The harvest is picking up, and so are the pre-orders.  I imagine we’ll be fulfilling asparagus pre-orders this week, and need to begin marketing it next week.  Exciting/exhausting times!

Meanwhile, this week will be packed.  I was unable to do much while I was sick for 5 weeks (which is the reason I started this whole meal planning adventure), and this past several weeks has involved constant pushing to get caught up – at school, on the farm, and with my graduate classes.

Yes, I’m working on another degree, this one an MA in Public History.  I was in the early part of one of the classes I was most excited about in the whole degree program, Theory and Practice of Oral History.  Alas, missing 5 weeks of an 8 week class is problematic.  So I was given a 30 day extension to make up the work.  Wouldn’t have been too much of a problem if I wasn’t behind on everything else in life.  At any rate, that extension ends Sunday.  We also have parents’ weekend at school beginning Thursday, and that doesn’t offer much in the way of time to breathe for band director types!

Despite all of those challenges, we’ll try to both celebrate asparagus, and get as many home-prepared, all-organic meals in as possible this week.  Thankfully, I prepared a couple of freezer meals over the past few weeks, and have a slow cooker.  I wasn’t too happy with how the Crock Pot Chicken Tika Masala turned out last week, so I’m going to make a few changes and try again this week.  We are down to only 4 chickens left in the freezer (which probably makes X happy…), though, and 1 of those will lose its thighs for this…

MonZucchini Bread

Lunch meeting - box mealMini Shepherd's Pies (from freezer)

Cream of Asparagus Soup
Lancer Band

Thaw chicken thighs (from 2 chickens)

Finish Oral History Evaluation - last major project for HIST523
TuesZucchini Bread

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Cream of Asparagus Soup
Crockpot Chicken Tika Masala (another attempt)

Asparagus over Millet
Lancer Band

Thaw pork shoulder
WedZucchini Bread

Chicken Tika MasalaCarnitasspecial schedule - pm drill period

Lancer Band

Make Amaretto Nut Bread

Need to have finished all makeup work for HIST523 from when I was ill - extension ends Sunday, but no time with parents' weekend duties
ThurAmaretto Nut BreadCarnitasDining hall (if lucky - probably no time to eat)Retreat


Parents' Weekend begins
FriAmaretto Nut BreadDining Hall
Homemade Frozen PizzaParents' Weekend
SatAmaretto Nut BreadCheesey Rigatoni Bake from freezerSnacky things from the Fine Arts Honor Society induction reception - no other time to eatParents' Weekend
SunDining HallDining HallPuntParents' Weekend


Make Zucchini Bread

Extension for HIST523 ends

Groceries:  Kroger – $99.38

New from the farm:  Asparagus!  Also, rhubarb is starting to fill in, so that might make a dinner appearance early this year.  We’ll see.  Lettuce, spinach, and arugula germinated slowly this year, and is still probably 3 weeks from harvest.

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Chad's version of a philly cheesesteak sandwich

Chad’s Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak

I’ve had Philly Cheeesesteak Sandwiches in many places, though ironically never in Philly…  Nonetheless, the combination of beef and cheese with a flavorful au jus, peppers, and onions is certainly a winner.

My version uses the slow cooker to braise the steak all day.  Then you can simply assemble and broil the sandwiches and be eating in just a few minutes. Continue reading

2017 Week 16 – Week of 17 April

We were finally able to harvest a little bit of asparagus over the weekend, so that’s both exciting (we’ll get to snack on asparagus!), a little intimidating (we have to find the time to harvest asparagus every day, and because the farmers’ market isn’t open yet, we also have to hustle to sell it all, and we’re one week out from when things get stupid busy until the end of the school year…), and, of course, very yummy!  I’ll try to post some asparagus recipes this week.

MonAmaretto Nut BreadLeftoversBiscuits & Gravy


Green Beans
Honors in Music final juries

Lancer Band

Thaw sandwich rolls & sirloin steak (AM)

Thaw chicken
Slice sirloin (PM)
TuesAmaretto Nut BreadBiscuits & Gravy
Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak SandwichesLancer Band

Cut up chicken
WedAmaretto Nut BreadPhilly Cheesesteak SandwichQuick Green Curry Chicken

Coconut Jasmine Rice
Make Pumpkin bread

Cut up chicken

Lancer Band
ThurPumpkin BreadSaladCrockpot Chicken Tika Masala

Jasmine rice

Retreat & Late Lessons

Thaw Italian sausage
FriPumpkin BreadChicken Tika Masala


Sausage & Fennel Ragout

Thaw lamb chops
SatYogurtOn the RoadGrilled Lamb Chops

Grilled Asparagus
Thaw sausage or bacon
SunYogurtBreakfast for Lupper:


Sausage or bacon



Make Zucchini Bread


New from the farm:  Asparagus!  Just starting, so we’ll probably have  a small bit simply prepared most meals this week, then start really celebrating asparagus in the next couple of weeks!

Chad’s Pizza Crust

Pizza Crust

A partially-baked pizza crust, ready to top and freeze for homemade frozen pizza (if you were making fresh, you would’t pre-bake it)

This is the recipe I use to make homemade frozen pizzas.  Of course, it also works well for pizza made fresh!   Continue reading

2017 Week 15 – Week of 10 April

I’m starting to enjoy planning these weekly menus, but still struggling to execute them…  Often lunch follows from dinner the night before, or I need to remember to prepare something in advance or thaw something.  But if I forget or get interrupted, that can lead to missing the plan several times.

Still, I’m eating much less pre-processed and non-organic food.  And, once winter finally gives up its grip and the farm starts giving us lots of veggies, the variety can start to improve.

Also, this week I’m going to try turning the menu sideways.  That might give a bit more width for the menu items, especially when viewing on a phone.  Lemme know what you think.

MonZucchini BreadBeef & Bean Pocket

Pot Roast



Green Beans
Sub for Dave – AP Music Theory

Lancer Band
TuesZucchini BreadFreezer Burrito

Beef-Vegetable SoupSub for Dave – History of Rock & Roll

Lancer Band
WedZucchini BreadBeef-Vegetable SoupChicken Tetrazini Bake (from freezer)Make lemon-Poppyseed bread

Lancer Band
ThurLemon Poppyseed BreadBeef-Vegetable SoupDining HallRetreat & Late Lessons
FriLemon Poppyseed BreadSaladSpaghetti w/ meat sauceGet your darn tax return finished!
SatYogurtChicken & Noodles

Mashed Potatoes

Lamb K’dra

cous cous
Make & freeze sandwich rolls for next week’s Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches
SunYogurtEaster Sunday – family pitch-inleftoversEaster – no parade

Make Amaretto Nut Bread

Groceries: Kroger – $102.17 (that includes an entire case of the yummy yellow mangoes!)

New from the farm: Asparagus is coming soon!  Maybe by the weekend.

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread is a must with ham and beans, great for breakfast (with apple butter on top, of course!), and just one of those great dishes you need to have at the ready from time to time.  I bake mine in a cast iron skillet, which gives it a much better crust, and works well in the wood burning stove oven.

Continue reading

Pizza Sauce

Pizza crust with sauce

Saucing a pizza

This is the sauce I used when I made homemade frozen pizza last week.  Yes, I’ll probably post the parts and pieces to make a frozen pizza recipe, but mostly, I’m experimenting with a new recipe format/features for this blog.  I’m hoping for feedback, either as comments here, or via email, Facebook, in person, whatever. Continue reading