Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Feeling like a bag of rats
The title of this post is for this article I skimmed earlier today about a study that harvests blogs for data on the emotional state of the human race in general. Well, thanks to a hideous Klingon virus contracted just in time for the New Year, I can honestly say that Popsey and I both feel like a bag of rats. They can harvest that for their study. Hope it doesn't skew their statistics or anything. Popsey is on his second week of the never-ending crud, and I’m well into my first. It must be punishment for giving in to the temptation to smooch unsuspecting, plump, little, virus-carrying toddler cheeks over the holidays. Lesson learned: next time pay attention to that raspy cough.
While listing New Year’s resolutions would be a timely subject to write about this time of year, I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions. Dieting has just gotten too cliché, and I can't help but want to resist that pack mentality (even though it would probably be a good idea). My dieting philosophy, which holds pretty much all year round with some exceptions is: Don’t eat like a pig. I’m not sure how that can be improved upon just because I stuck a new calendar on the wall.
Okay, I will commit to a few other things:
1. I’ll switch to Bloody Mary’s instead of margaritas as cocktail of choice for health reasons.
2. When putting cans of food in the cupboard, I’ll put them face out.
3. If I’m twisting a cap on something, and I feel it starting to cross-thread, rather than just continuing to jam it on, I will stop and redo it correctly.
And there you go.
Being sick really cuts down on the creativity, but it does inspire a lot of chicken soup making. We're on our second batch in two weeks. Making chicken soup is practically religion for me, being that I was brought up in a Jewish family, and now live on a former chicken ranch. You can't get much more qualified to expound on chicken soup than that. Miso soup is also believed to have healing powers in Asian cultures (and is not so hard on the chickens) but although I do like miso soup, when I’m sick nothing but a well-boiled chicken will do. So in case anyone else feels as rotten as me, I offer up this recipe. This also should fit the bill for those New Year's resolution dieters.
Mom’n Pop’s Ranch-Style Chicken Soup
8 stalks of celery
1 head of garlic
Bunch of mushrooms.
Bunch of little potatoes
1 turnip (these last three ingredients are a vital part of the magical healing powers, but are also fun because they mystify any checker at the market under age 30 who will stare at them in bewilderment before asking you what they are. See if I'm not right about this.)
Any other kinds of vegetables (green beans, Brussels sprouts, spinach, chard, etc.)
Whatever spices you feel like
Can of diced tomatoes
red or white wine
Wash and cut up chicken and put in large pot. Fill with water and bring to a boil. In the meantime, chop and add half of the carrots, celery, garlic, and one of the onions. Let boil for 2.5 hours. Take out chicken and put aside to cool.
In a frying pan, sauté remaining chopped onion, celery, carrots, garlic and mushrooms in butter or oil. Or, roll them in olive oil and roast in the oven until soft. Don't skip these very important steps even though it's a hassle, because the soup will be kind of bland unless you make this extra effort—so I don't want to hear any complaining.
While that’s happening, remove chicken from bones and add back to pot. When sautéd/roasted vegetables are soft, add them to the pot. Then add potatoes, and whatever other vegetables, spices and optional ingredients you want. Cook for another half hour. Next day skim off fat. Eat for the next four days.