Friday, September 14, 2007

My horse tells me it's autumn

I've ridden my horse, Blue, at least five times in the last week.  And every time, he's made it clear that fall is here.

How does he tell you, you ask?

My dead-headed, lazy-bones, dependable horse is suddenly looking for spooks everywhere.  He's developed a fear of school buses.  Or I'll be riding along in the river bottoms and Blue will suddenly jump sideways, and I don't see a thing that could have made him jump. 

All the horses out in the pasture are likely to take off running and bucking for no apparent reason.

Because that's how horses act in the fall. 

No matter what the calender says, autumn officially started about a week ago.  Today, the temperature actually agrees with the horses' ideas.  Soup and stew weather.

So I made hamburger stew.

I was working in the packing house at the apple orchard, years ago, alongside a woman named Ruth-Ann.  She mentioned, in her southern-drawl manner, that she'd made hamburger stew for supper the previous evening, and I said, "What?  You had what?"

"Hamburger stew; haven't you ever made that?"

I told her I hadn't, so she brought some to work in a thermos the next day. 

It's a tasty way to stretch a pound of hamburger so it'll feed a family, and I've been making it ever since.

She told me the ingredients she used, and I can almost recall the conversation verbatim:  "You brown some hamburger and onions.  Add water and put in your carrots.  Let them cook awhile, then add the potatoes and barley."  (I'd never used barley for anything, up to then).   "Not too much barley, or it'll give the stew a sorta slickish feel."

I've found I can add all the barley I want with no problem, though.

"Then you add some chopped cabbage," she went on.  "I can't use too much, because the kids don't like cabbage."

"Do you put tomatoes in it?"


Well, over the years I've added a little cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic; and I've even used tomatoes on occasion.  I did today, since I have tomatoes in the garden going to waste; why not take advantage of free vitamins?  I'm also making use of potatoes and onions that my green-thumb husband raised this yearin his first attempt at a garden.  I got in the habit, a long time ago, of putting the skinned tomatoes through the food processor, because there are so many young people who think it's horrid if they find a chunk of tomato in their stew or chili.

In order to use the rest of my thawed hamburger, and also to make utilize more free tomatoes and onions before they all spoil, I also made chili.

I sure wish it was lunch-time.


fowfies said...

MMmmmm that looks SOoo gooood! Ians mom would make that hamburger stew a lot, it was so good. Brings back good memories. The chili looks wonderful, and I never thought to put the tomatoes through the blender, sneaky! Shelby and Ian dont like tomatoes, but I bet I could sneak some in that way and it would make it taste oh so good! Now make some cornbread to go with both of those and I will be right there! MMMM hmmmm!

dbaumgartner said...

That just looks delicious! Now, I'm hungry LOL

amy122389 said...

I make hamburger soup, instead of stew..... it's one of Ryan's favorites.
I do love gives me a reason to bake.  :-D  (like I really need a reason...)


marainey1 said...

You've just made me very hungry for sure.  I used to make meatball stew for the babes.  It was just about the same thing except that I used mixed vegetables and no garlic and no cabbage.    It is just useless for me to make so much of anything like that now.  When ever I get company though, I do cook up a storm.  It is strange that the horses get spooked like that.  Must be a change in the air around them.  ???  Have a great lunch !  'On Ya'-ma

randlprysock said...

Okay I am starving now... those recipes look absolutely delicious and healthy too!!  I've never heard of hamburger stew til now but I'm sure gonna try that!!  And we are having perfect weather for chilli also.  Yummy!!!  I'd say you could call it lunch time now.  Hugs,
Lisa  : )

madcobug said...

Both of them sounds good. I have never made the stew like that but I have browned the h-meat and onions and drained them and added them to veggie soup. Helen

nerves05 said...

Both of these look very good
take care

robinngabster said...

Yum yum and chili freezes well.  I made egg rolls last night for the first time with my was fun and so good.  Maybe I will post my pics.

mutualaide said...

Well, I'm wishing it was dinner time and you've invited me over for a meal!  Yummy!

So guess what we'll be having for dinner?  Hamburger stew.  I haven't made any in a while, but there is a chill in the air.  :)

rollinghillsides said...

Oh gee whiz, I was just thinking about how hungry I was geting when I opened up and saw those yummy-looking pictures.  Must run to the kitchen right now and concoct something goooood!   Shall try your stew recipe one of these days, too.  

mftrotterlvr said...

Interesting about what you said about Blue!  My horses are also acting jumpy!  A couple of times I have seen baby doe's in the woods and this is what made them jump.  Otherwise, they are just friskier!  The weather here (SC) hasn't even cooled down that much, but I guess they can tell it is coming.  My one horse has even started to grow his winter hair.  (90 degrees here!).  But, they are definitely more spirited!  Hope you, Blue, Libby and family are well.

heyuno said...

I add mushrooms in mine, and no chunk, or tomatos at all.  I once bought purple cabbage for added color, the color didn't stay purple.  I also add Lipton Onion soup mix, for added flavor.  It's "one" of the best, food recipe that I have gotten from you, and I have used over the years, and still do.

iambeck58 said...

I have made hamburger stew also-its delicious-especially on a cold blustery day!

ziggy2315 said...

I don't know anything about horses, but your story is interesting. Your stew and chili looked absolutely delicious though. Thanks for sharing those pictures and recipes.

lanurseprn said...

I had no idea horses change behavior in Fall. That's interesting. Your stew and chili looks SOOOOO good! I'm now officially hungry!

suzypwr said...

The stew reminds me a bit of the beginnings of shepherd's pie. The chili looks excellent!

We have a frost advisory for tonight. It's definitely fall here!


luvmort said...

I am coming over!  LOL!