Hello and welcome to The Capricious Crafter blog! Who or what is the capricious crafter? Well, that would be me, Becky, a sixty something child of God, wife, daughter, aunt, great aunt, friend and lover of crafting, cooking, reading, travel, and more. My husband and I have been married almost thirty years and are looking forward to his retirement at the end of 2014. Our plans are to buy a new camper and hit the road as much as possible. Oh, the possibilities are endless for our future!

I am a child of the 1950's and that is definitely my favorite 'era'. I collect Fire King items from the 1940's and 50's, clear glass or crystal glassware, especially pitchers, cream and sugar sets, etc., as well as old dishware and serving pieces, vintage fabrics and so much more!

I have been crafting for as long as I can remember, and definitely from my early childhood. I remember my mother teaching me how to make paper dolls from the Sears catalog and 'shirt cardboard' from the cleaners. And now I still love playing with paper! My primary crafty passion is paper crafting items such as mini albums, cards, tags, etc., however I also enjoy crocheting, some sewing, embroidery, mixed media art and art journaling, felt crafts and so much more.

My purpose for this blog is to share the crafts I make, foods I cook, decorating and caring for my home, new products I try, treasures I find at estate and yard sales, my collections, and anything else I come up with. I hope you will join me on this journey ... it's going to be a very 'capricious' ride!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sharing ... Mama's Potato Soup ... A Tasty Bit of My Heritage!

As I sit here, comfy and warm in my bed with my laptop in my lap, there are literally THOUSANDS of people in the Atlanta/northern Georgia area who are stranded on the roads due to the bad weather.  School buses can't get the children home, OR back to the schools.  And it's 9pm!!!  Emergency vehicles can't get through to accidents because the main highways and interstates are totally gridlocked with cars.  A little baby girl was born on the side of the interstate tonight when her Daddy couldn't get her Mommy to the hospital in time.  Some people have been trying to get home for 7 hours or more, and can't get to their families.  It is REALLY bad out there folks!  I am so thankful all my loved ones are home safe and sound!  I guess the worst thing that happend is that my nephew and his wife couldn't get to her Mom's to pick up the baby so he is having a 'sleepover' with his grandmother and step-granddaddy, who is also trying to get home.

Since it was a cold and snowy and yucky day, I decided to make one of our favorite cold weather meals ... potato soup and cornbread, or in our case, fried cornbread aka 'hoe cakes'.

When I was a child, we ate homemade potato soup and cornbread … a LOT! Little did I know, or realize back then, it was because it was all we could afford. Once I grew up I tried making it, but mine never turned out like Mama's did, so I eventually gave up.

This past November (2013) we took Mama to Florida on a camping trip with us and the weather turned wet and cold, so we decided on potato soup and fried cornbread (hoe cakes) for dinner.  Mama stayed inside and peeled the potatoes and diced up the onions whle I went out to my outside kitchen and made the hoe cakes and the soup, with her telling me through the door how to make the soup. I paid closer attention this time, and have made it several times since, so I finally feel comfortable with sharing the recipe. Please bear in mind, until now, there has been no written recipe … this is just how Mama taught me to make it!

Mama's Potato Soup

3 cups (approx.) diced potatoes
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons salt

Put potatoes and salt in a pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are just getting tender and add:

¼ cup finely diced onion

Continue cooking until the potatoes are tender and add:

1 ½ to 2 cups of milk

and your seasonings. Check for saltiness and if needed, add salt, and some black pepper to taste.

(Edit:  I had a very good question about draining the water out, and no, you do not drain the water out.  That is where I always messed up when I tried it before, because draining and adding milk to the potatoes just didn't come out the same!  Thanks, Ladybug, for verifying!)

You can also add other seasonings if you want. I added a good sized pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch or two of Ancho Chili Pepper (ground), plus about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of garlic salt. No other salt was necessary.

For thickening, pour about 1/3 cup of COLD milk into a cup or bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Once the soup is back up to a boil, stir together the corn starch and milk and pour into the soup. Stir well and often until the soup is thickened.

If desired, stir in about ¼ (or more) cup of sour cream to the soup. It gives an extra bit of creaminess and a depth of flavor … in my opinion ... and this is one step Mama doesn't do!

If you want to have 'loaded potato' soup, once you have some in your bowl, top it with crumbled bacon, scallions and shredded cheese. Also good with a small dollop of sour cream.