Saturday, December 4, 2010

Freezer Soup

Jon and I went to the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation with my parents last night to check out the Christmas decor, watch the cannon's get fired, and step back into history with the 26th Georgia Infantry and other Civil War reenactors portraying the Glynn Guards and Brunswick Rifles militia.

It was an experience.

Something we noticed-"facts" seem to be based on where you are. One example Jon and I both noticed was our guide, the "plantation owner," told us that the northern soldiers were "ungentlemanly" and would burn down the plantations even if it was only women and children home "just to be mean." We both giggled under our breath because in the north, they say the exact same thing about the southerners...

I can never look at a bayonet the same way again. Interesting/gross factoid: the winning side of any given battle was responsible for burying the dead left on the battlefield. This wasn't always a high priority so it could be a few days before it was gotten around to. What would happen at that point was the men would heat their bayonets over a fire and form a big hook. They'd use these hooks to pull the remains to a mass grave then they'd throw the hooks into the grave. Burial had to be done this way to avoid transmitting diseases and illnesses.

We learned about cannon firing procedures. They shot off four cannons as our guide explained what was being done. My dad called my brother to let him hear the cannon fire(My brother was a history major and Civil War reenactor.) One of the cannons was used in the movie Gods and Generals, a movie that my brother was an extra in :) The thing that caught my attention was cannons generally fire 2 rounds per five minutes. So what was my first thought? I have 2 1/2 minutes to run as far away as I possibly can. Clearly I was not cut out for battle...

The plantation itself was a rice plantation started in the early 1800's. The house was passed down through the generations. When the last living relative passed away in 1973 the house was willed to the state of Georgia. The condition was the house and plantation was to remain unchanged. The state came in and catalogued every item, but moved nothing. Drawers contain letters, pictures, clothing, and trinkets just as they were. Nothing was brought in and nothing was removed. It's a very unique place to visit.

The live oaks on the property are incredible. Some of the trees are estimated to be over 800 years old.

Before our visit to the plantation we had dinner at our house. I made a quick vegetable beef soup. I called it freezer soup because I used frozen corn, frozen beans, frozen diced onion, and frozen(thawed) ground beef.

It was a nice way to warm up before heading out into the dark, chilly night.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Freezer Soup
Serves 8-10

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn
5 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 large red skinned potatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen snapped green beans
1 bay leaf
4-5 cups beef stock
3 cups v8 juice
1 tsp dry Italian seasoning
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic together. Drain any grease.

Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer over low.

Simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes to cook veggies and blend the flavors.

Remove bay leaf before serving.

Note: this soup only gets better the longer it sits.

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