January is coming to an end and as each week passes, my list of things to-do gets longer. School started back up a few weeks ago and every week more assignments are to be due than the week previous. For a language arts class I have clinical placement in a first-grade classroom, twice a week, tutoring a student in reading. To prepare for this, a lesson plan must be written for each tutoring session (which will last 10 weeks), a tool kit must be assembled, required reading is assigned, and assessments and analyses know and practiced to administer to students.  It’s the third week of the semester and I’m already worn out by this course.

Have you ever had a time in your life when you want to try or re-try or do something you’ve already done because you enjoy it or because you want to see if you enjoy it? Or you want to do something simply because you can? Yep, that’s how the year started out for me – and it’s still going strong but there is sooo much homework to do. And homework is not on my enjoyment list.

I borrowed the book Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann in hopes of finishing it over the weekend. I wondered if Colum was his first name – if he was paying homage to typography – or if that is simply his name. I never finished the book in the weekend – and I still haven’t finished it. I’ll have to return it and check it out some other time.

Early this week I made broccoli cheddar soup. It was delicious and easy to make. Remarkably easy. You should make it too. I got the recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics (1998) at the library. The librarian who helped me said that she likes to collect cookbooks and the Betty Crocker cookbook is one of her favorites. I would agree with her. Here’s the recipe.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Makes 4 servings


3 cups of frozen or fresh broccoli (do frozen, it’s easier)

1 small carrot, shredded or grated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) ready-to-serve chicken broth

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cold water

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. If you’re using fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces. If your using frozen, skip this step.

2. Peel and shred carrot. Any size shreds is fine.

3. Heat the broccoli, shredded carrot, salt, pepper, and chicken broth to boiling in a saucepan over high heat. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until broccoli is tender when pierced with a fork.

4. Mix the flour and water in a small bowl or measuring cup with a fork or wire whisk until the flour is dissolved. Pour this mixure gradually into the broccoli mixture, stirring broccoli mixture constantly while pouring.

5. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 1 minute, stirring constantly.

6. Stir in half-and-half. Cook, stirring constantly, occasionally, until hot. The soup should look hot and steamy, but do not let it boil.

7. Gradually stir in shredded cheddar cheese until melted.

Some pictorial steps

grated carrots

look at the steam coming off that broccoli!

broccoli cheddar soup = delicious

a cup of green tea to finish off the meal


M elissa