Sick at the Osbornes. We have one of those viruses. It started with the young ones. Wish we could take it all on ourselves, but no. It spread to the parents, then to us. We have to work each day. "No rest for the weary," as my mother used to say. I'm spending my evenings knitting, just a little drunk of Cepacol lozenges.
When we first got it, I froze everything fresh in the fridge. I bought a large stew chicken from the Safeway at 99 hwy and 134th and made chicken noodle soup in my largest pot.
If you have a Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that is 15 years or older, you've got the recipe. If not, go to an Antique store and buy one. Homemade Chicken Noodle soup is cooking 101. It has a whole chicken, cleaned in the sink, internal bits and extra fat removed with a small knife or kitchen shears. A good kettle full of water, the chicken, and bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add any combination of the following: A good palm full of granulated chicken broth, an onion chopped, the leaves off a head of celery, Italian fresh parsley chopped, a good palm full of good salt, and several twists off of the pepper grinder. Simmer on low until the leg bone is loose and pulls away easily. The first time you do this well, you'll understand this concept. Set the pot off the fire to cool. Once it is cool enough to reach in and handle the chicken (1/2 hour), you can do what Paul Dean calls "picking the chicken".
But first, reserve the broth. Put a large bowl in the sink and a large colander into it. Pour the contents of the pot into the colander carefully. If it is still hot, feel free to run cold water from the faucet into the sink (not in the bowl) to avoid steam in your face and to keep from boiling your sink pipes. Return the broth less the bits from the colandar into the pot.
Picking a chicken is a very tactile thing. Get your fingers into it. Anything that you might want to eat goes back into the pot. The rest stays in the colander. This is not an easy task. Take your time and run your thumb across your fingers. Feel the chicken and make real decisions. For me, I pick out the dark blood veins. There are parts that feel slick or slimy. They go for me, but that is up to you. Pick out anything you don't want to eat.
Broth, chicken, three or four carrots chopped. 2 or 3 celery stalks chopped. A good mess of fresh green beans or a couple cans of Santiam green beans. Several good garlic cloves minced. More salt and pepper. Start with a 2 t salt and 1 t. pepper. Taste and add more until you are happy. 2 cups dry noodles. Simmer slowly until the vegetables are done. Turn off the heat and serve or reheat bowl after bowl as we did.
Tonight, we are tired of it and ready for a change. I made a large pot we call "'sgettiti" because I've served it to generations of children who are now adults or near. I can make it in my sleep and have. This is a commonly marketed bottle of spaghetti sauce. The "robusto" version of this sauce, I use with a small tomato sauce and a little additional herbs. The "original" version of this sauce, I add considerable Italian seasoning and pinches of Cayenne until I get the flavors I want. Hamburger, browned with salt and pepper. Spaghetti noodles cooked per the package, drained with extra virgin olive oil poured over top. I'm impressed with ground beef from the 1/2 cow we bought . Really nice.
It is Saturday morning as I post this. I wrote it on Wednesday. It was filled with spelling and grammatical errors and faulty thinking, which is not like me. Not kidding about that Cepacol. Good stuff. Or maybe I'm getting better.
Remember that you will breath well at some point in the future . In the mean time, take good care of your animals, serve the people as best you can, and everything will be fine.