Archive for December 10th, 2007


Monday, December 10th, 2007

Minestrone Soup (Serves 30)

First Ingredients:

5 pounds beef stew meat

Olive oil for skillet

¼ cup McCormick Beef Base (this is a condensed, pasty form of bouillon that requires refrigeration)

1 cup water

2 bay leaves (remove when the meat is tender)

10 whole allspice (remove when the meat is tender)

First sauté the beef stew meat in the olive oil until browned. Add the water and beef base. Once this boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 ½ hours, until the meat is tender.

Next ingredients:

2 ½ cups chopped onion (or ½ to ¾ cup of dehydrated onion)

5 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

13 or 14 cups water

More beef base (I think I used ¼ cup)

5 or 6 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 small head cabbage, shredded

40 ounces of canned beans, such as pinto beans or kidney beans

2 or 3 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (depends on how tomato-y you like the soup)

4 teaspoons Italian seasonings, such as oregano, basil, marjoram (or seasonings of choice)

2 ½ cups fine pasta (optional)

Once the stew meat is tender, cut it into smaller bits, if desired, and store in the refrigerator while you prepare the broth.

Stir the beef base, onions, garlic, celery, diced potatoes and dehydrated vegetables into the water and simmer until vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add the pasta and stir frequently, until the pasta is done (Follow package directions.).

Add the cooked stew meat, the canned beans, and the Italian seasonings, and heat thoroughly.

Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, and crackers, if desired.

This is my own recipe for Minestrone Soup, which I am entering, belatedly, in BooMama’s Soup-tacular Celebration. You will find a wonderful assortment of soup recipes at this link. 🙂


Pensions are available for American Wartime Veterans

Monday, December 10th, 2007

I have been helping my elderly mom since my dad died a couple years ago. In his day, my dad saw active combat duty in Korea. While he was alive, he, understandably, received some benefits through the Veterans’ Administration. Through some wonderful people at the American Association for Wartime Veterans, we learned that my mom might be eligible to receive some benefits from the Veterans’ Administration as well because:

  • My dad was involved in combat duty
  • She was married to him
  • My mom requires an assisted living situation

So, with the assistance of Jack and Gail Wright of AAWV, we applied for Surviving Spouse Aid and Attendance. Dealing with bureaucracy can be intimidating for anyone but especially for the elderly. These wonderful people walked us through the paperwork, and then did all the interfacing with the Veteran’s Administration.

Today I received the news that my mom will indeed receive these benefits, retroactive to when we applied for them (July of this year) for almost $1,000 per month. This is a little less than what she receives from Social Security, and will almost pay her assisted living charges!

Jack and Gail can be contacted at (360)592-2609, or a generic phone number is (800)850-5504.

I hope that someone else reading this is able to benefit from this information.