Friday, February 3, 2017

Secret Subject Swap: Let Me Count the Ways

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

My subject is: I'm thankful I'm a blogger because . . .
It was submitted by: Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.

Ahhh, blogging. How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

Truth is, it's not a starry eyed, everlasting love. It's very much an up and down, sometimes rewarding and sometimes contentious relationship. There are times when we're so in sync, when I have so much to say, so many recipes to share, I wonder what I did before I had a place to share. There are times when she's a cruel taskmaster, when I've got nothin' and have to really wrack my brain or risk losing the rhythm of maintaining a schedule of posts my readers have come to rely on (you have, haven't you?). 

I cannot tell you how many times I've been a heartbeat from walking away. I cannot tell you how many times I have said that this blog has saved my life.
 
Like a hearty bowl of soup on a cold winter night, this blog has the ability to provide comfort, to warm me all the way to my bones.


Crockpot Beef Shank Pea Soup, a thick, hearty winter soup. Simple to make, throw the ingredients in the crockpot and let it thicken. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #soup

Crockpot Beef Shank Pea Soup
Crockpot Beef Shank Pea Soup, a thick, hearty winter soup. Simple to make, throw the ingredients in the crockpot and let it thicken. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #soup


I don't want to be cliche. Yes, the connections I've made here with both readers and other writers are incredibly valuable on a personal level. And I don't want to make points I've already made many times before. My tag line, "when all the walls are caving in, what could it hurt to bake?" says a lot. This blog provides me with a distraction from the stress that constantly threatens to overwhelm me. It's a place for a non-creative person to be creative and to share the resulting recipes so many have asked for. It's an outlet for my thoughts, sense of humor, endless opinions and just plain silliness. Whatever my mood, this blog is here for me. Mine.

So without being repetitive or cliche, why am I thankful I'm a blogger? Let me count the ways:

1) I love thee to beyond the depth and breadth and height of my stress.
 
2) I love thee for the end of my being would be nigh without thee as my scapegoat.

3) I love thee to the level of every night's need to place yet another meal on the table.

4) I love thee when out of sight, as you keep my cell phone binging announcements of spam comments.

5) I love thee when my most quiet need to cry or scream or explode requires either giving someone the finger or banging away at the keyboard.

6) I love thee freely. Although I'd prefer to be paid.

7) I love thee purely. As you do not answer back or manipulate (yeah, I'm looking at you, boys) or reject in any way that which I share with you.

8) I love thee with a passion for sarcasm that rarely bodes well when spoken freely in public.

9) I love thee with my grief and I love thee with my joys.

10) I love thee through smiles and tears as all of my life comes pouring out and yet you remain. For you are me. And I am you.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Crockpot Beef Shank Pea Soup
                                            ©www.BakingInATornado.com

 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup medium barley
1/2 cup baby dried lima beans
2 cups dried split peas
2# bone in beef shanks
5 tsp salt 
2 1/2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, washed and finely chopped
1 bag (10 oz) frozen chopped onions

OPT: warm biscuits for serving
OPT: french fried onions for serving

Directions:
*Place the barley, lima beans and split peas into a strainer. Rinse well and strain.
*Place 12 cups water in a large crockpot. Stir in the salt, barley, lima beans, split peas and carrots, celery and onion. 
*Add the beef shanks and turn the slow cooker on to high. Cook for one hour. 
*Reduce heat to medium and cook for 6 hours, stirring now and then.
*Remove the beef shanks, discard the bones and cut the meat into bite sized pieces. 
*Gently dab the top of the soup with paper towels to remove some of the fat. Return the beef to the pot and cook for 2 more hours or until the vegetables have softened and the soup has thickened. 
*Serve or cool, refrigerate, skim the fat from the top and reheat the next day.
*Options for serving: sprinkle top with crushed french fried onions and/or take top off of a warm baked biscuit, pour soup over the bottom, then add the top.

28 comments:

  1. Blogging is a fickle mistress. I love this <3 I know there have been many times, I've felt adrift at sea, in danger of drowning, and YOU were my life raft. Letting me know I'm not alone. I don't know that I've ever thanked you properly. Thank you, I grateful for you and your blog. xoxo

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    1. I'm grateful for your friendship too, Shannon. You're one of the few still around from my very first group of blog friends.

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  2. You warm our bellies and our hearts every single week and for that you should be very proud! I would be heartbroken if you ever gave it up!

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    1. If I were to give it up, we'd stay in touch. You're not getting rid of me that easily!

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  3. Isn't it amazing how a blog becomes part of our identity?

    Not too long ago I started to tell a friend about something we experienced. She went "I know". I haden't seen her in a couple of months so she couldn't possibly know?! "I happen to read your blog, silly!"

    I^m glad I met you in the blogosphere! ♥

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    Replies
    1. That's pretty cool that it turned out that she reads your blog. We reach more people than we think!

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  4. This sounds like most creative people I know.

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    1. I think I'm a lot more train wreck than creative, but I sure do thank you for the compliment.

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  5. So truthful and poetic your prose about the blogging gig!This recipe just looking at it warms me up.

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    1. Well, can't really take credit for the basis of that prose, but you can't say I didn't make it my own!

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  6. I love this! Reminds me why I decided to do what I am doing at 50. Thanks for sharing and adding some humor in to the daily grind we call life

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's not when we start blogging, but that we do take the plunge and do it.

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  7. You speak for many of us who blog. All the feels here. Sometimes I am so ready to quit, but then I think of how hard I've worked at it and all the wonderful things that have occurred because of it, and I just can't give it up. But I am stepping back a bit to breath. Blogging a little less these days. Great post, Karen. Right from the heart.

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    Replies
    1. I stepped way back. Turned out it became less of a chore and reverted back to being more fun.

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  8. I love barley in my soup and I've got a hankering to make a big pot this weekend! Thanks for the suggestion!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, barley is a great addition to a hearty winter soup.

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  9. I love blogging, I don't get how people don't love it, I love to share my life and opinions with people who in some ways are complete strangers but in other ways are friends does that make sense

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Jo-Anne, that makes perfect sense to me.

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  10. so many positives and negatives of blogging and you've captured that. Though without you we wouldn't have all these amazing writing challenges.

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    1. And without you all joining in I wouldn't have these challenges either!

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  11. Well, thank YOU for sticking around! I've pinned this amazing sounding soup. Isn't anything worth while worth struggling for? (ask me again when I'm down.) Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Ha ha, I hear ya. In general I feel the same way, happy I stuck around. But ask me again when I'm down . . .

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  12. Thank goodness you started blogging! Love your writing, recipes and take on life. Lord knows you keep me going with your words.

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  13. I have such a love/hate relationship going on with my own blog right now. If you could bottle up the gumption that pushes you to keep going, I'd buy the whole lot of it right now. I'm so grateful we crossed paths because of blogging, as you are a very warm and loving friend to me just as that soup will be to my belly.

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    1. I know you'll find a way to keep going. You're a talented and thoughtful writer, there's a lot in there still needing to come out.

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  14. I think I'm in a slump, a down period, myself. These challenges keep me going, but the last couple years for me have been really tough. I haven't written anything much on my own, and I wonder what the point of it is most days, but I can't give it up yet, and I am certainly glad I met you and all the challenge bloggers. It has really made a mark on my life.

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    1. You're very thoughtful and intelligent, Jenniy. I'm so glad you join in the challenges. I know when you're ready, you'll write more on your own. Until then, we're here for you.

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