Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting Ready for Battle!!!

 I am always ready to wage war against my old nemesis, old man winter. I don't plow snow anymore, but my friend David does and he was getting his equipment ready for the upcoming storm that the local weathermen have been  predicting for our area.  One of his plow trucks had been damaged and was in need of a quick barnyard repair. We couldn't get the tailgate off because the back of the dump body was bent in an accident. We used the backhoe to pull the side of the body out and then David used the grinding wheel to cut away a small piece of metal that was blocking the clamps that held the tailgate closed. Now the fun began. I hung from the operating level that opened the tailgate while David, and Eddy, banged with mallets, pried with levers, and applied generous amounts of W-40 to the mechanism under the truck. Slow but ever so sure the clamps opened and the tailgate was freed. Now we could remove the tailgate from the truck. Sliding the sanding unit into the back of the truck was an easy task now, David  hooked the chains on the sander  and lifted the sanding unit while I backed the truck under the loader. Ed connected the electronics hook-up to the sander. All we need now is to pick up a load of sand. We were about to head out on our mission, when my wife Susan called us to come in from the barn to come in for lunch. She made cheddar-ale soup.   This is really good when old man winter wants to do battle.   Helps warm the bones after you've been outdoors in the cold ,damp weather.

                        Cheddar-Ale Soup


  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices, cut into 3-inch strips
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Toasted croutons for garnish
  • Olio novello for drizzling


In a 4 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the onion, carrots and celery, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ale and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, milk and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the cheese by the handful, stirring constantly; do not allow the soup to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish with croutons and the bacon and drizzle with white truffle oil. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

1 comment:

  1. Love your pictures and the recipe for this soup I will put on my must try list. Unfortunately it is supposed to get up to 84 degrees here in Tucson but there is always hope for a soup day next week.