Archive for May, 2015

“Just Because”…..

“Just Because”….

Today, my dear readers….I am making this post just a bit shorter than most of my posts.

Why?, you may ask…

Well,…. “Just Because”…..

2015-05-18_17.02.01[1]I am going to do silly things or good things or just anything I choose to do, which may or may not include sitting in my Secret Garden and watching the butterflies fluttering in and about my little Herb garden

2015-05-28_10.22.16[1]Or I could watch one of the young Mockingbirds hopping on my baluster, snatching insects as they buzz by.

2015-05-07_15.08.28[1]And then there is “my” Cardinal pair.

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2015-05-07_15.08.32[1]Yep!  there she is….Bathsheba, ( my female Cardinal) bathing while David (male Cardinal) is perched on the pergola watching. πŸ™‚

garden10Or, perhaps I will watch back to back episodes of old “I Love Lucy” shows ….maybe even all afternoon!

2015-05-30_14-10-23Or, maybe I will take a drive over to the nearest park and watch the children as they squeal with delight as they play….

2015-05-30_13-39-24or as they climb on trees or discover a caterpillar.

2015-05-30_13-02-57I do know that at some point, I will be drinking cups of hot tea…..yes, that gives me calm and peace and I am sipping on a cup at this very moment with the tea pot perched near my desk to replenish as needed as I write this post.

2015-05-30_12.27.47[1]Why?  You ask again……Just because! πŸ™‚

I had a dear friend who passed away many years ago at a very young age of ovarian cancer.  She used to use the term “fishing off the front porch”.

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This was her way of saying that she just wanted time for herself to do…..well, to do whatever she wanted to do with no thoughts of appointments or shopping for groceries or of cleaning the oven.

Of course, with our busy lives we can’t go “fishing off the front porch” every single minute of every single day.

2015-05-30_14-18-22For if we did take up this practice, it wouldn’t be long before we would have to do our “fishing” with a Doctor of Psychology in tow. πŸ˜‰ 

BUT….we can take the time to refresh or regroup, whether it be for a day or for 20 minutes….it is called taking a deep breath and smiling for no reason at all….

 

 

2015-05-29_13-49-00Why?….”Just Because”! 

Have you my dear readers taken some time…”Just Because”?

Give yourself permission to set aside a “Just Because” day!

I am……:)

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I Can’t Find A Bank Anywhere! Not!

I Can’t Find A Bank Anywhere! Not!

I am sure you, my dear readers ….have noticed when out and about….. the number of the same type of eateries that are sitting side by side or across the street from each other.

Of course, I do know there are those much smarter than I, who have figured demographics and such….. which usually promises newly established fast food places that …”if you build it, they will come”!  

I am not sure that I agree with the concept of there being enough business for everyone in a one block area…but what do I know?

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While living in Seattle, I did note…. there is at least one street corner with a Starbucks on each corner.

2015-05-29_12-34-02The same is true of Atlanta…only the four corners boasted Waffle Houses!

So given that this is the way to establish a new business, I couldn’t help but notice something similar, just a few blocks from our home on a very busy street.

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Banks!

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Yep, not just one or two banks, but 8 banks.

2015-05-29_10.49.56[1]So I had to ask the question…to nobody in particular….more just talking out loud to myself.

2015-05-29_10.54.56[1]Why are there 8 banks on one street corner?

2015-05-29_10.55.35[1]While there are only four corners to a street corner….these banks are more or less sitting beside each other….but yes, there are eight of them!

2015-05-29_10.54.28[1]And if one drives down that same street, just a few more blocks….one will find duplicates, as well as a couple different banks!

2015-05-29_10.52.56[1]Another interesting note….there are many more banks scattered in and about our city, but I don’t believe there are so many “gathered” in one spot like there are on this busy street.

2015-05-29_10.51.17[1]The other day, the Captain and I were driving about and I decided to take a picture of each bank so I could post pics on this Blog.

2015-05-29_11.05.49[1]I must say we did have a chuckle when we thought of the implications of someone taking pictures of banks in the middle of the day! 

2015-05-29_11.14.20[1]I have to confess that I did’t quite understand the name of the Fifth Third Bank….until I learned the Fifth Third traces its origins to the Bank of the Ohio Valley, which opened its doors in Cincinnati in 1858.

2015-05-29_11.14.27[1]In 1871, that bank was purchased by the Third National Bank. With the turn of the century came the union of the Third National Bank and the Fifth National Bank, and eventually the organization became known as “Fifth Third Bank.” 

See?  You never know what bits of trivia you will learn from this Blog! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

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2015-05-29_11.11.48[1]I guess my question is this:  Is there enough money to justify so many banks in our little hamlet?

The answer must be “yes”….although I barely have enough for one bank! πŸ™‚  

Are there other cities with multiple banks or exact same businesses jamming up one street corner?… or is it only Seattle, Atlanta and our little corner of the world? 

“Just sayin'”“just curious”! πŸ™‚

Have a great week-end my dear readers!

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Just in case you were curious as to the connection of the pair of turtle doves in the featured image…there is none. I just took their picture because…well, just because! πŸ™‚

Just A Bump In The Road!!!

Just A Bump In The Road!!!

What could be more American than Mom (Me),  Apple Pie (I just made one) and Baseball???

This post is all about the Kansas City Royals…..yes, my dear readers, it is Sports time….so if you don’t care for sports, you can stop reading here…but if you would like to see “my team”….please read on.:)

You knew it had to be coming soon….I just can’t seem to go for very long without talking about one of my Sports Teams and in this case, it is the Royals.

baseball1FYI….My other teams include the Kansas City Chiefs {football} and the Kansas Jayhawks {basketball}.

The pics below are taken from the game in New York yesterday…note the Yankees don’t seem to have many hometown fans to cheer them on.  Very unlike Kaufman Stadium which is filled to capacity for all home games.  Just sayin’ πŸ˜‰

2015-05-28_8-53-44The very same Royals who came from behind last year and ended up playing in the World Series. (tis true they lost the last game, but they still have the rings…and they were the only team in the American League to make it to the World Series…quite an accomplishment.) 

2015-05-28_8-55-05This very same Royals team…who despite the snide remarks that that were a one shot wonder last year…. seized the best record in baseball through the first 42 games of this new season.

2015-05-28_8-53-06However, after beating the New York Yankees in Kansas City (two out of three games) just a couple weeks ago…the Royals went to the Bronx and swiftly lost 3 games to the Yankees. In my opinion, this “skid” is going to be brief. I believe in this young team and we are still early in the season of 162 games.

This too shall pass.

2015-05-28_8-56-18After the loss yesterday….First Baseman Eric Hosmer commented… β€œJust a bump in the road, man, …We didn’t really do anything this entire [3 game] series. That’s part of the game β€” 162 games, you’re obviously not going to be firing on all cylinders all year.”

2015-05-28_8-52-24So true, especially when these baseball teams play every single day with only a day off now and again to travel to the next series of games.  Many times, after a game is played…. there is not a day off to travel…the team boards a plane (or bus if the City is close to KC) and plays the next day. 

2015-05-28_8-54-27As one of our really good pitchers, Chris Young said….. β€œWe put ourselves in a great position. We’re a great team. We’ll bounce back. I’m not worried about it.”

And I have to confess…I am not worried about it either. πŸ™‚

Let’s Go Royals!!!!!

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Menu/Recipes Memorial Day 2015

Menu/Recipes Memorial Day 2015 …I promised to provide the recipes I used on Memorial Day Week-end and a little free rhetoric, they are below.

First, I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Week-end.

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But lets talk food…one of my favorite topics.

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Memorial Week-End Revisited….

Memorial Week-End Revisited.

Today, I would like to re-post one of the Memorial Day Week-End posts, so if you will forgive me for pulling from the past, please take a look at the below link…

Memorial Day Quotes

 I think it is very important that we do not forget those who have lived and died for our country’s freedom….as well as those loved ones who have passed away.  

Those wonderful people that have that special place in our hearts.  

Please see my child hood (and adult) memories of picking flowers (peony’s and roses and spirea sprigs in the Midwest), at the following link.

Memorial Day Week-end!

As a child, I participated in the Memorial Day activities (we called it Decoration Day)…. knowing there would be fun with cousins and other relatives followed by a wonderful picnic after.

As an adult, I participate because of the love I have for those who have gone before me, including those who were in the Military and their families….many times, they are names on a wall, obscure to me, but respected none-the-less and certainly we will never forget all the sacrifices these men and women made.

Memorial Day has been an official national holiday for over 40 years aimed at remembering those who served in the armed forces.

The Veteran’s Administration suggests Americans stop for a moment of reflection at 3 p.m. on the 25th of May.

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I took the above pictures when visiting twin number 2 at his home in Leavenworth, Kansas last September/October.

If you would like to see the whole post…please click on the following link.

Veterans Day – Tuesday Nov 11, 2014.

My dear readers, I hope you have a wonderful and safe Holiday week-end.

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Ps….I will be posting my Holiday Menu and more recipes at a later post. 

 

 

Ladies Afternoon Tea at Miller Manor

Ladies Afternoon Tea at Miller Manor

Low (Not High) Afternoon Tea.

Yep, there is a difference you know….more on that later.

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First, the invitation….I thought these were adorable when I found them on line.

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All About Me…Great Grandma’s (GG’s) Grandson!

All About Me…Great Grandma’s (GG’s) Grandson!

Today my dear readers, friends and family…I am letting my 8 month old Great Grandson write this post.

Please bear with me, because this post will most likely have lots and lots of pictures….of him.

So take it away little precious one!

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This picture is of my beautiful mommy and me.

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And my daddy…..I am safe in his big strong hands.

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I’m going to fill his boots some day….

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I love Sports…especially the Kansas City Royals!

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My mommy is giving me my bath!

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My Great Grandma (GG)  visited me all the way from Florida and she thought I looked so cute in this little outfit.

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I think I look cute too!

 

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I like to watch the trains with my Grandpa!

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I know I’m “rockin'” this Christmas outfit!

10891471_10152459584695404_1203233914430058127_nAnd this one….

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Did I tell you that my Grandma baby sits me while Mommy is working and Grandma took me to get two of my 4 month old shots???….look at the band-aids on my little legs!

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Now I am sittin’ up pretty good by myself…I like to sit on my Grandma’s bed!

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And I love sitting with my Grandpa watching the trains.

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Easter in Grandma and Grandpa’s front yard….Mommy and Daddy hid the eggs so I could find them pretty easy!

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Now that the weather has turned warmer…Grandma likes to put me in my swing on the patio.  
IMG_2163Or in my walker…..

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Grandma and I go to the park sometimes…..I look Hollywood don’t I?

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And I now can play Grandma’s piano…and I think I am pretty good!

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Yesterday, Mommy and Daddy took our whole family to the Kansas City Royals Baseball game and the Royals beat the Yankees!

 

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Mommy and I were very happy!

I am tired now so I am going to take a nap.

Thanks Great Grandma (GG) for letting me post on your Blog.

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And that’s the way it is….Sweet dreams little one from your GG.

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De-cluttering The Linen Closet!

De-cluttering The Linen Closet!…. was my thought yesterday when I reached for a new bottle of shampoo.

I stared at the linen closet and I have to confess that I was not too proud of the way it looked.

Sometimes I get in a hurry when putting bottles of lotion or shampoo on the shelf and instead of putting them in their proper place…I just sit them at the first available space and if that happens to be in front of the towels…..oh well.

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And I noted that some of the towels were folded correctly (my usual fold) and some were hastily folded (kind of helter-skelter) and “stuffed” into the linen closet.

Ugh!  Ugly! πŸ˜‰

Of course my excuse is who is going to look into that messy linen closet? 

Well, the answer is obvious…ME!  and My Captain, but why does it have to be messy?

And so began the de-cluttering of two of the shelves.

Yes, it takes a little effort to put things away neatly, but I thought I am worth it. (taking a line from the hair color commercial)

I love the way Hotel towels look on shelves.

I said to myself, If the maids can do it at hotels…surely, I can do the same in my home.

Soooooo I removed everything from two shelves of the linen closet…I really need to pace myself! πŸ™‚

What a good time to toss out “old” bottles of lotion and other little goodies that I thought I couldn’t live without.

I am sure you have heard that old saying….. if you haven’t used something in 6 months (or because I hate to throw anything away…a year) then one should give item away or toss it out.

Since I was positive no one wanted half used bottles of lotion, (smelling a bit rancid I hate to admit) etc…..I tossed them out. 

I also refolded my towels to make them appear neater and fluffier and well, they just looked better without all the clutter around them.

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On my bath towels, I folded them in half and then in thirds and then in thirds again.

I really like that look on the shelf….and I didn’t press them down because it made the towels “fluffier”.

Next, I decided I could make the towels on the towel rack look a little better…..from this….

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To this….

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I got a little creative by using a different color wash cloth for the pocket. 

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For my hand towels, I folded them in thirds and then in thirds again.

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I thought I was really clever when it came to my wash cloths.  I folded them in half and then I rolled them.

I had a decorative wire basket stored in the garage (I bought it some time ago with thoughts of using in my kitchen as decor….just could never find that perfect place for it) so I commandeered it to become the new holder of my wash cloths.

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I had to experiment a bit…I found if I rolled the wash cloths too loosely they wouldn’t “stand up” neatly and you can see in the pic that they sorta unraveled and looked a bit unsightly.

There was a little learning curve in folding and placing the wash cloths in the basket as you can see below.  Some were not too neat, but I kept working with them and they look better.

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I really like where the wire container sits on my bathroom counter and the cloths are so handy…I just lift up the lid.

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I experimented with colors and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really care for anything but white towels.

Due to the expense of replacing all my color towels with white….I really need to keep them.  

But when replacing them…I will replace with white only. πŸ˜‰

AND….in keeping with the “neat and tidy” look, I ended up with more towels than we really need…two people certainly don’t need 30 towels…so some of the towels went into guest bath rooms and some went to Goodwill.

Since the Captain and I travel a lot, I had a lot of little bottles of shampoos, hair sprays, razors etc,…so I placed these smaller items in a plastic container rather than sitting on the shelf….AND I have to confess that I will go back through the stuff in a few weeks to see if I can eliminate a few more bottles.

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The top shelf of my linen closet contains my sheets…but that is for another post on how I went from a ball of fitted sheets to a neatly folded sheets.

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Of course, the best tip on folding fitted sheets is to wash them and put them right back on the bed….as I said…one must pace oneself!

Have a great week-end. πŸ˜‰

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Mountains and Snow in Florida!

Mountains and Snow in Florida….Really?

Not!….:)

However, there is a brand new “theme” restaurant that has opened up in downtown Ft. Myers called “The Lodge”.

This new eating establishment takes one from balmy, warm, sunny, ocean breezes to chilly cozy-up-to-the-fire atmosphere in just a few steps from your car.

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The building, considered to be historic has been completely made over to resemble a hunting lodge that could be found in Yellowstone National Park or other mountainous northern parts of our country.

The Captain and I were invited to the soft opening this past week-end for the complimentary menu tasting!

I am going to share with you a few pics of this “chilly” mountain retreat. πŸ˜‰

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A giant bear greets one upon entering the front door and there are selections of beef and bison for review.

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The menu advises to “feed your wild side”

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There are a lot of choices on this menu.

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Once seated, one can not help but notice the mountainous views just outside the window.

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Very pretty mountains I might add.

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Mustn’t forget the roaring fire in the middle of the room and the warm fuzzy stools and comfy chairs surrounding that beautiful fire.

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You can’t have mountains without sleds can you?…and there is a ski lift off to the side.

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and the makings for hot toddy’s?? Perhaps bar-be-que sauces too?

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Add happy people rating the food and service, beneath huge antler chandeliers…..

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One can’t have a hunting lodge without giant screen Television screens.

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The kitchen was spotless and the chefs were spot on.

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The logs look a bit purple, but it is actually blue in color….if you blink, it will change color quickly. πŸ˜‰

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Look at the great smoke ring on this brisket…..simply yummy and tender and smokey in flavor.

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I love rare steaks…but I am very particular about rare hamburgers but this is Bison, which tend to be pinkish anyway and very delish!

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No matter what one eats…we still need veggies and there are great tasting veggies at “The Lodge”.

If you live anywhere near the historic downtown of Ft. Myers, I recommend trying the food at “The Lodge”.

You will think you have been whisked away to the northern climates…that is until you walk back outside.

Enjoy your week-end folks….

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The Lodge
2278 First St.,
Fort Myers, FL 33901

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potato N’ Ham Soup

Potato N’ Ham Soup is just plain good eatin’.

I love soup and it doesn’t matter if it is a crisp cool day or a hot and humid day…I love soups.

I had baked a honey glazed ham over the week-end and decided to make soup with the left over ham.

Yes, I had already made ham sandwiches which are really the best sandwiches ever….but I still had a bit of ham left so I chopped it up and added it to potato soup.

Potato soup has always been my quick “go to” soup as I can have it ready to eat and on the table in about 10 minutes.  

Dicing the potatoes and onions makes them cook quickly and I have to confess that when my children were little, potato soup became an almost staple for quick lunches.

Yummy! 

You can also use carrots or whatever you have in your pantry…but I used celery and onion and a bit of chicken broth for added flavor.

A chicken bouillon cube could be added, but I tend to stay away from them as they can have quite a bit of sodium.

So whether it is to warm you up on a cool day or to just have a quick great tasting soup for lunch…I recommend potato soup and if you have left over ham….WOW! you have a meal in one.

If you want a creamier base to your potato soup…add heavy cream in place of the milk.

Simply delish!

Do you my dear readers like soups?  

Do you have a favorite “go to” soup? 

Enjoy! and have a blessed day.

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Potato N' Ham Soup
Serves 4
Left over Ham and a chill in the air?...then it is soup of course with ingredients already in your pantry!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  2. 3 tablespoons diced celery
  3. 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  4. 1/2 cup diced ham
  5. 1 1/2 cups water
  6. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Freshly ground black or white pepper
Thickener
  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 3 tablespoons flour
  3. 1 cup milk
Instructions
  1. Place water in a large pot and bring to a boil
  2. Add the potatoes, celery, and onion and cook until the potatoes are tender
  3. Add the ham and let simmer for about five minutes while you make the thickener
  4. Over low heat....melt the butter in a small sauce pan, stir in the flour making sure the flour has time to cook through....about 2 minutes
  5. Add the milk and allow the mixture to thicken while stirring constantly
  6. Add the thickened mixture to the potatoes and ham and simmer while the flavors meld.
  7. Serve the soup with a sprinkle of grated cheese and chopped green onion if desired
Notes
  1. If you prefer a thicker soup, drain the potatoes and ham mixture and then add your thickened milk
  2. You can also use heavy cream in place of milk for a richer soup
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/
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