“Best Soup In the U.S.”

Last Thursday night, one of the guys told me that I made the best soup in the U.S. I told him that I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t gotten around that much to sample soup. He assured me that he had and that mine was the best in the U.S. With humble pride, I will accept his assessment.

Now you probably want a recipe. Well, I can’t remember that far back, but maybe I can give you the recipe for the soup I made on Tuesday. I started at 7AM. I placed a seventeen pound turkey into a large roasting pan and filled the pan up with water. I placed the lid on and roasted it at 350 degrees for almost four hours. (It was in a semi-frozen state when I started, and I don’t just mean the state of Pennsylvania.) I drained the broth from the roaster pan into my 22 quart double boiler set up and let the turkey cool for a bit. While that was cooling, I added a handful of Greek oregano into the broth, and chopped and added vegetables to the pot. I kept the water in the outer pan pretty high and the heat on the burner set to high. I added one pound of carrots, about a half a celery root, about three pounds of russet potatoes (leaving the skins on), six eight inch tall stalks of broccoli, one large head of cauliflower, four entire leeks, three large, red, sweet peppers, a big bunch of cilantro (stems and all), a baby bok choi and a yucca root (peeled). By then the turkey had cooled sufficiently that I could start tearing it off the bones and throwing into the pot, which I did.

The yucca root was an impulse buy. It was sitting all lonely in the middle of a table of greens at Produce Junction, with no label or price. I snatched it and took it to the check out. I asked the girl what it was. She told me it was a yucca root. I asked if yucca root was any good. She said she didn’t know. I asked how much they cost. She said $1.75 for two. I said, you only have one. She said $1 then. So I Googled yucca root. It turns out it is also called manioc and is the source of tapioca. It can be toxic unless the waxy skin is removed and it is cooked thoroughly. They are a good source of vitamins C, B & A, and phosphorus, potassium and iron. They are a natural anti-inflammatory and promote colon health.

I let the soup cook for several more hours. I added a couple of quarts of boiling water. I then added about three tablespoons of granulated garlic, about a tablespoon of parsley flakes, two tablespoons of ground sage, three tablespoons of salt and twenty-one twists at medium grind of mixed peppercorns from the grinder. The pot was full to the top.

When it was time to leave for Philadelphia, I dumped the soup into the Igloo cooler and loaded into the back of the TKJ-mobile. It was piping hot, when we served it an hour and a half later. The guys told me that it was “all that!” I think that means that it was bumpin’.

Make an Ugly Quilt to Save a Life

You may not think this is the season to be thinking about blankets for the homeless, but it is still freezing at night and will be cool at night for some time yet. If you sew, or would like a basic project to work on to learn how to sew, this is something you can do. You can make a roll up sleeping bag for us to distribute on the street. The pattern is here:  http://www.uglyquilts.org/ and below.

Happy stitching!




a.The Sleeping Bag is a utility quilt made from clean used or no-cost fabrics.
b. This simple sleeping bag should not have a market value to assure the homeless are beneficiaries.
c. The name indicates the skill level needed for this tied quilt.
d. The Ugly Quilt can be made in less than a day.
e. A group can make one in an hour.


1. Sew enough pieces together to form a seven foot by seven foot (7′ x 7′) square.

2. Sew two, 7′ by 7′ squares together to form the sleeping bag cover. 7′ by 14′ finished length.

3. Stitch two sets of three foot straps to a 7′ edge, approximately 15 and 30 inches in. Straps are made of neckties, dress belts, etc.

4. On three eight foot (8′) church tables, fill one half of the 14′ x 7′ piece with clean old blankets, mattress pads, fiberfill or light-weight rummage. Leave a threeinch (3″) seam allowance on the three open edges.

5. Cover with remaining 7′ length. 6. Tie knots through all three layers with a double crochet cotton every eight inches (8″), to secure the covers to the fill layer.

7. Lay the 3′ straps up onto the tied quilt.

8. Fold the tied 7′ x 7′ in half, R to L forming a 7′ x 3 1/2′ sleeping bag shape. * Triple knot with crochet cotton the remaining side and bottom edges every three inches catching only the four cover layers. Raw edges will insulate the seams when turned * The top edge and folded side are finished.

9. Turn right side out.

10. Roll up and tie straps tightly to secure. Feel free to implement your ideas but keep it simple, quick and cost free.

You are personally saving lives!




Ask a blessing for those who suffer from the cold.
Add a hat, gloves, a scarf socks, underwear, soap, etc.
Homeless women are warmer in men’s clothes.
With a Magic Marker, sign and date Sleeping Bag with:
My Brothers’ Keeper Quilt Group / The King’s Jubilee and your zip code.
Add a message of “HOPE”, Non-judgmental
e.g. – a page from an old hymnal, daily paper, prayer book.