Sunny Days and Fuzzy Brains


Recalling the events of last week has been, for me, fuzzy at best. I’ve had a nasty head cold, coupled with what appears to be the start of allergy season. Or as I sometimes call it, Itchysneezynosatitis. I’ve gone through so many boxes of tissues, rumor has it that I’m known as “that runny-nosed Kleenex lady” by my much younger FVTC classmates.

If ever there were a time to doubt my popularity with the younger generation, this would be it, but fortunately for me, I can bake…and what do college students love more than SNACKS? I was armed with lots of home baked treats as I headed into class last week…Nutella brownie bites, M&M cookies, banana muffins, and when all else failed, I carried in a great big bag of Tootsie Rolls. After all, who can resist these cuties?

A fellow “Fox” would surely be making the faux pas of his/her young lifetime if/when they chose to make fun of THIS old lady… I’d hold back on the treats…no brain food for them!

Anyway, my point is that allergy season has its benefits. We all know that where itchy, sneezing, fuzzy-brained people are found, beautiful weather and fragrant flowers can’t be too far behind. I am SO ready for spring! The snow in Wisconsin is beautiful…for approximately 2 months. Shortly after Christmas and prior to New Years Eve, I lose all adoration for it. I start aching for sunshine, temperatures above 40 degrees, and GOLF…the green grass variety. So if I have to endure a couple more weeks of Itchysneezynosatitis, so be it. Screaming obscenities at a little white ball is in my foreseeable future!

While I wait for my golf season to begin, I will tend to my physical ailments. Fortunately, spring break begins for me today, so I’ll start off my week of relaxation by making myself a big pot of chicken noodle soup. It’s time to start feeding my cold!

CHICKEN SOUP

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole chicken, thoroughly rinsed
  • Salt to rub inside chicken
  • 1 pound chicken parts (or cut & use wings and legs off of the whole chicken)
  • 2 stalks celery, including leafy tops, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 large whole onion, unpeeled
  • 1 large whole carrot, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons each of dried oregano, thyme, and parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Place 12 cups of cold water into a large stockpot, and add the chicken parts and celery. Bring to a boil. While the water is heating, rub the cavity of the whole chicken with salt.

2. Add the chicken to the pot, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Test whole chicken with a fork to see if it’s tender and fully cooked; then remove it from the pot, and set aside on a large platter. Leave the other chicken parts in the pot. When the chicken cools, remove skin and bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. You can add it to the soup, just before serving, or save it for chicken salad.

3. Add all herbs & spices, carrot and onion. Let soup simmer for 45 minutes.

4. Strain the soup. Discard any bones, skin, and other undesired solids (Some people like to cut up the veggies and put them back into the soup. Others choose to discard them.)

5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Also add the chicken pieces if desired. Other options: Add cooked egg noodles, rice, pasta, or matzo balls.

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