Randolph County (where I live) has been reported to have received 0.0 inches of rain in the month of September. The ground around my house has cracks almost an inch wide. I haven’t mowed grass in two weeks, it is so dry it hasn’t had a chance to grow and that is okay in my book. I have been so busy I didn’t have time to mow it anyway. All Mudpuppy does now is stir up a cloud of dust when she runs laps around the yard.
Everyone is getting ready for hunting season and I miss the excitement. I used to hunt both with bow and gun but I have grown soft in my older years. I just can’t bring myself to shoot a deer but let me make myself clear that I am not against hunting. I think it is essential to keep the deer population in check. If not for hunting season, the population would explode and result in overpopulation and disease. Momma Said, “Sometimes less is more.”
When hunting season comes around my nephew lives in the woods. I think he could be a professional hunter if he had the opportunity. Momma Said, “If you are going to do something, do your best at it.” Maybe I can talk him into giving me a nice piece of deer tenderloin which is my favorite cut of meat. Deer meat can be substituted in any recipe that calls for beef and is much better for you. He has practiced so much with his bow that he can shoot one arrow into the end of another (which is called a Robin Hood shot.)
Hunting is a traditional that has been passed down from Gran, to Mom to me and my brother and now to his son. Both my nephews hunt and will pass that down to their kids. Hunting has sustained our family for years and with proper management, it can do the same for the next generation.
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN AND WILD RICE SOUP
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.
- Stir in chicken stock, wild rice, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Add mushrooms during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
- Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and half and half, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir chicken and milk mixture into the slow cooker. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.