Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sorting things out....

What does this ranchwife do in January?
Sorts things out.

This month I'm planning to clean, weed, and sort out my kitchen cabinets and deep clean my main room which includes the kitchen, dining, living, and an office. You see, in my profession, spring cleaning is not an option because those are the months that we are busy with the baby calves and lambs. In summer we're breeding cows and making hay and other things besides cleaning. Besides, there are lots of flies and millers in the summer that don't stop making their specks all over everything just because I cleaned. So......

I save the "Spring Cleaning" for January and February. There's not much going on outdoors during these frigid winter months anyway.

I created a little spice drawer next to my baking center. It's just a block of cabinets and drawers where I've put all the things I need to bake. I have always wanted a spice drawer, but my main drawers had 25 lbs. of flour and 25 lbs. of sugar in each so there was no where to put the table linens. Well, since our family is growing smaller and I don't need quite that much flour and sugar at my fingertips, I did away with one drawer, combining the flour and sugar into one. I made one into a linen drawer and put the spices in this narrow drawer. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for me.

"Perfect is the enemy of good enough." ~General Patton

Tortellini Soup with grated mozerella

One afternoon after sorting and cleaning, I decided to make one of our favorite soups, Tortellini Soup. I like to make it with homemade beef broth, but I didn't have time for that, so I made it in a Hurry-Up Fashion instead. Here's how.

Tortellini Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 a chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 stalks chopped celery
1 chopped red pepper (or your choice)
salt & pepper

In a large pot, brown all these ingredients together.

4 t. beef bouillon (to taste)
6 c. boiled water
1 - 15 oz. can of tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes)

Bring this up to a boil and reduce heat.
1 - 8oz. package of dried cheese tortellini (may add more)

Simmer about 15 minutes until tortellini is done and floats to the top.
Serve in bowls and top with shredded mozzarella cheese or grated Parmesan (or both).
*You may use the spices as you like according to your tastes.
*Adjust measurements to your liking. This is not an exact recipe.

Serves approximately 6 large servings.

On a day of dark swift-falling rain (or snow ~J.), there are a good many things not to do. Washing windows is futile, they fog up instantly. Polishing furniture is hopeless - the damp surface seem soapy. No use to clean floors, for Teddy and Tiki and Sister will be in shortly, small earnest fountains. The best occupation, we find, is cleaning drawers. Nobody is going to wade in, so everything can be spread all over the house. And it gives me a hopeful feeling to find the long-lost key to the front door in with a box of paper clips and my membership in the Bristol Obedience Club.
~Gladys Taber

What are you sorting out?


  1. Well... this sounds quite silly but in early January, I like to sit and plan, which tranlates to 'sorting my mind'. Does that count too?

    Sorting my mind means writing down some of the things I'd like to do or try. This year, my list included books I would like to read and skills I would like to learn. I'm even making a list of folks we would like to have over for a meal in order to extend some hospitality. Those are some of my mental sortings.
    Of course, I'm also going room by room here too, doing that kind of sorting. This week past, it was the living room and this week ahead, it's to begin the kitchen.


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  3. Oh, you're such a good example! My kitchen cupboards desperately need to be cleaned out too. I was just thinking today that I probably should throw out some old spices but it's so hard to throw stuff away! Your soup recipe looks delicious -- thanks for posting!

  4. love your blog post Jody (all of them)
    You make everything look so homey and inspire us so much!
    I cleaned out my fridge and am working on 'eating the pantry down'
    I am looking for spice jars for my spices as I have added more during the Christmas Season....have to figure out how what I would like....still in trasition.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. January does seem to be the month to get things in order. I've been just getting back into my routines of daily life - morning routines of prayer, study, practising my music, drawing, reading, daily housework, knitting. I like to do projects - my next one is to sort out my linen closet. it's very satisfying to get things like that done. Now I just have to add in my exercise - I'm a little resistant to that for some reason...

  6. Thank you for the encouragement...looking at your cupboards really helps! I have been spending just 15 minutes a day cleaning,mine. It;s a start! :)

  7. Mom,
    Why does your tortellini soup have spagettie noodles in it????

  8. Good work on the cabinet sorting! Mine sure could use an overhaul... The tortellini soup looks yummy. Soup's on here too ~ I fiXed a pot of hearty minestrone and some garlic biscuit sticks for dinner. Mmm mmm good.

  9. Your pantry looks great, Jody. So does your soup. Very inspiring.

    I have been sorting out material for two different classes Iam teaching this semester. Fallacy Detective to jr high & an elem. nature class on birds. I enjoy pulling classes together like this.

  10. Yummmy, I am hoping to get my craft area sorted out. Clarice

  11. I just finished sorting my bedroom in preparation to paint. It's been about 7 years since I've seen some of the things I pulled out. Whew! I really need to do a deep spring cleaning more often. :-)

  12. That kind of order gives a lot of pleasure. This January I'm learning new stew recipes. So far I've found two good ones; chicken with cider and dumplings and beef in beer with a cheese cobbler topping.

  13. You and me both. It is so nice to do an inventory. The next of my process done this day as I inventoried the medication centers and the first aid center. There is a charitable foundation here that will take medications for the poor, though the clinic they run.


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