The plan today was to change the right side drive axle on the Subaru because it's making a bit of noise and then go enjoy this 80 degree day with the top down to celebrate my little Firefly's fourth birthday (she rolled off the line at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant on April 1, 2010; daughter thought the cake and ice cream was a bit much but she ate it anyway).
The reality was two bad axles and two bad ball joints.
I already had one drive axle, but of course I didn't have the ball joints or the other axle. Off to the parts store I went (at least I got to ride for a little while with the top down) to get another drive axle and the ball joints. They had the axle, but we had to order the ball joints.
Back to the house with the drive shaft and the disassembly began. The right ball joint separated from the control arm just fine, but it was rusted into the steering knuckle. Son In Law and I managed to get it out after much cursing, sweating, pounding, prying and PB'laster. We then got the drive shaft installed (sans ball joint, which will have to wait until Thursday cause I have stuff to do tomorrow) and went over to the left side.
We were running out of daylight and the ball joint had barely budged, so we called it a day and went inside. After a quick shower I tried out my bacon cheddar broccoli soup recipe.
It must have been good, because it's all gone now.
6 slices bacon
1/2 of a medium Vidalia (sweet) onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half (or 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy cream)
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 bay leaves
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped small
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a cast iron skillet over medium heat fry the bacon crisp. Remove the bacon and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are tender. Stir in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the bacon grease is absorbed. Continue cooking until the flour has browned slightly, then transfer everything to a stew pot. Crumble the bacon and add it as well.
Slowly add the half and half and chicken stock, stir until smooth. Add the nutmeg and bay leaves and cook on medium low until thickened.
Reduce heat. Add the carrot and broccoli and simmer until tender. Discard the bay leaves. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bread bowls.