Tuesday, November 25, 2008
A Letter To My Readers, and Chicken Noodle Soup
Dear Loyal Readers (all 3 of you),
The quintessential culinary holiday is upon us. It's the only holiday I can think of which is centered around all things having to do with food, my favorite subject. I ought to be posting about new and old culinary traditions and giving you all kinds of ideas for the holiday table. Instead, I'm completely out of commission.
I have one of the worst colds in my memory and I'm unable to leave the house. Even worse, I'm unable to just lie in my misery, because my kids have been sick too. There are many great things about motherhood, but being sick while your kids are sick is NOT one of them. It's true, they are getting more independent, but they still need me for many things. And so, as a mom, I need to rally.
Fortunately, I don't have Thanksgiving at my house. My awesome mother-in-law hosts Thanksgiving at her house every year. She is truly an angel who brought me wedding soup yesterday which I had for dinner last night and again for breakfast this morning. (Thank you!)Before I came down with this awful sickness, I volunteered to bring some appetizers for Thursday's celebration. Now I'm not sure I'll make it to the party at all! My dinner on Thursday may be a Benadryl/Motrin cocktail. And if I am better by tomorrow, I can only think of having all the kids underfoot and the long lines at Costco and Giant Eagle because I haven't had the chance to get out there and get some ingredients. Woe is me!
But enough of the self-pity! Here's the list of appetizers I plan to make tomorrow when I am all better...
Sugared and Spiced Pecans
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Black Bean Salsa and Chips
Crab Salad in Endive Leaves
Assorted cheese, salami, fruit and vegetable tray with crackers
It's not a compete list, but here's a few of the things I'm thankful for at the moment:
My kids still need me
This sickness does not include vomiting
My neighbor, friend, and carpool partner (also an angel) who has volunteered to take my driving shifts this week
Chicken Noodle Soup (the method follows)
A warm, dry house while it's snowing heavily outside
This gratitude thing really works! I think I'm feeling better already!
So, be thankful for everything in your life and be thankful for your health! And if you do find yourself or a friend under the weather, whip up some chicken noodle soup, cuddle up under a blanket and know that, in the words of my wise mother, "this too shall pass".
Chicken Noodle Soup
1. Take a whole organic chicken, pour a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on the top and bake at 375 until it registers 165 on a meat thermometer. Slice some of the meat off the breast and have it for dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy.
2. Remove the remaining meat from the bones and refrigerate the meat.
3. Place the chicken bones in a stock pot and cover with cold water. Add a couple of celery sticks, a couple of carrot sticks, a quartered onion or leek, 2 garlic cloves, about 10 peppercorns and a bay leaf, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Continue barely simmering (not at a heavy boil) for 3 hours or so. Strain out the solids and place the stock in a container and refrigerate to separate out the fat.
4. Saute 1/2 cup each of chopped celery and carrots in butter in a soup pot until translucent. Add the chicken stock (solidified fat removed) and simmer until the vegetables are very tender. Add some egg noodles and cook until almost done. Add the chicken and simmer until the chicken is heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.