Homemade chicken noodle soup, with homemade stock – this was my big accomplishment for the later part of this week.
I love cook and bake but my cooking and baking (until recently, see previous post Valentines) have been on hold since my husband suddenly died in December 2018.
For the past couple of months I’ve been living on what I could forage at Whole Foods (well at least it was a recently healthy diet). Many very kind and thoughtful friends and coworkers gave me Whole Foods gift cards after my husband died.
At first I would just get food at the Whole Foods hot food bar and sit in the supermarket dining area and eat so I would not have to dine alone every night. Luckily that got old after a while (plus the hot bar food is charged per pound and is rather “spendy” unless you only get really light food…) and I started buying groceries to take home.
But I was only buying groceries for quick prepare meals and it seemed like I lived on avocado toast, boiled eggs, Miso soup, and hummus with carrots for a couple weeks.
My diet was fairly vegetarian and the thought of meat turned my stomach, but earlier this week I was really craving some hard core protein. So armed with the remaining funds on the last of my Whole Food gift cards, I bought a whole cooked rotisserie chicken.
After a couple days of chicken, chicken, chicken, I was trying to decide what to do with the rest of the bird. I convinced myself to not only make homemade chicken noodle soup but to make my own from scratch chicken stock with the carcass, something I’ve never done before.
I found this wonderful recipe online: Easy Chicken Noodle Soup from Leftover Roasted Chicken on the chowhound.com cooking website.
Here is the stock simmering with the cut up and browned rotisserie chicken carcass:
Here is the strained stock:
The soup made with my homemade stock simmering (and the house smells so good):
And finally a yummy bowl of my very own homemade chicken noodle soup!
I’ve made homemade chicken noodle soup before but with store bought chicken stock or chicken bouillon base. Soup with my own homemade chicken stock tasted very different – It is pretty darn delicious!
One of the best things I learned from the Chowhound recipe is that you have to cook the noodles separately – do not try to cook them in the soup. You boil them per package instructions in their own pot and then add the cooked noodles to the soup. If you try to cook the noodles with the soup you will get what I’ve experienced in the past – a pasty mess of noodles!
Of course this recipe made a lot of soup so now my life is chicken soup, chicken soup, chicken soup – but it seems to be satisfying my soul (smile).
I’m currently listening to an amazing audiobook – Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens.
I did not think I would be at the point now where I would be interested in reading any “Self-Improvement” books but this one caught my eye when I was browsing my local library’s audiobook loan offerings online.
Goodreads has a wonderful synopsis of the book:
You cannot bounce back from hardship. You can only move through it. There is a path through pain to wisdom, through suffering to strength, and through fear to courage if we have the virtue of resilience.
In 2012, Eric Greitens unexpectedly heard from a former SEAL comrade, a brother-in-arms he hadn’t seen in a decade. Zach Walker had been one of the toughest of the tough. But ever since he returned home from war to his young family in a small logging town, he d been struggling. Without a sense of purpose, plagued by PTSD, and masking his pain with heavy drinking, he needed help. Zach and Eric started writing and talking nearly every day, as Eric set down his thoughts on what it takes to build resilience in our lives.
Eric’s letters drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Resilience explains how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more. Eric s lessons are deep yet practical, and his advice leads to clear solutions.
We all face pain, difficulty, and doubt. But we also have the tools to take control of our lives. Resilience is an inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us.
It is a pretty powerful book even if it took listening to a chapter or two to get me engaged. Although the book is based on letters from one Navy Seal to another Navy Seal suffering from PTSD who also recently lost his brother to an auto accident, the messages in this book are quite universal.
I’ll close this post with a quote from this powerful book:
Smiling and breathing. These are simple things. Exercising and serving. These are simple things. Being grateful and gracious. These are simple things. Acting with humility. Acting with courage. These are simple things. Some people try to make this business of living too complicated