Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Nose

Why don't they just change the name to "You-Used-to-Have-a-Well-Baby Visit"?

BJ's come down with the creeping yuck, now, too. I swear to God, I am not going to sit in a hot steamy bathroom and bounce him on my lap. For. Get. It.

Not that we've had to do that with the kids - the steroids the doctor gave MG have been working just fine at preventing middle of the night fever and stridor freak outs. (Stridor is what doctors call that wheezy barking seal cough that you get with croup).

I made my medicinal chicken noodle soup tonight to try to nurse my mucussy brood back to health. I felt that I should probably share the recipe, since it contains actual magic.

Amy's Magic Chicken Soup
(if I were Pioneer Woman I would have awesome pictures of all of the ingredients sitting obediently on my counter, as well as each step of the process, but I am so not Pioneer Woman... so you'll just have to play along at home)

1 of those big cans of chicken broth
4 cups water
1 bag frozen mixed veggies (I like the kind "for soup" that has onion, celery, carrots, and other stuff, but the regular corn/beans/carrots combo is just fine)
1/2 a bag of "No Yolk" egg noodles
Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (I used boneless skinless thighs tonight, because PW told me to, but you can use breasts, or the leftovers from a roasted chicken, or even canned chicken if that's all you have on hand. There's enough going on in this soup that it doesn't really matter. Are you ready for the magic?)
2 cloves worth of garlic, chopped (I use the jarred kind, because I am lazy)
a generous shake of ground red pepper

Cook the chicken, if it isn't already cooked, in a bit of oil in your soup pot. Once it's almost entirely cooked, dump in the big can of broth and the water. Once it's boiling, dump in everything else. Return it to a boil for 10 minutes (or however long your noodles take to cook). Serve really hot with lots of black pepper and crusty bread.

Now, if you want to pretty this up (and I have) you can use fresh celery, carrot, and onion, and you can cut them up and cook them in a bit of oil after you cook the chicken. You can also use real garlic. You can even use real honest to God broth from an actual chicken that you raised in your own yard with your own bare hands, massaging it daily and feeding it only the crusts of the freshest French bread in the United States. I find, though, that when I have a house full of sick people, cooking like Julia Child is about the last thing on my mind. If you feel like you must have thickened soup, well, you're weird. This soup is just fine without thickening, but I guess you could use some corn starch or carageenan or whatever the Campbells use.

The thing about this soup is that you will not eat it all before you are better. It is physically impossible. If you live on this soup, tea, and OJ, by the time you run out of soup you will be better. Either that, or your body will just convince you that you're better enough to order a pizza.

And it's so much better than Campbell's. I can't even eat canned chicken soup anymore. I can still tolerate vegetable soup from a can, but that's rapidly changing, too, now that I'm dumping leftover veggies in a container in the freezer and using them for soup when it fills up - just like Mom used to make.

There has to be a business model in this somewhere. Would you hire someone to come over and make homemade chicken noodle soup and get you fresh boxes of Kleenex, popsicles, and generally dote on you when you and your whole family is sick? What could I call it? "Jewish Penicillin on Wheels"? Seriously, I'm thinking that I could do this for families for $100 a pop, which would include soup, videos, Kleenex, juice, and a couple of hours of TLC. I could watch the kids so Mom could take a long, hot shower without worrying that someone is going to implode. Of course, I would be sick, myself, all the time.

I'll tell you what, I would hire someone to do this, if I could, because the truth is that I've been sick, too, but I'm Mom, and Mom doesn't have the luxury of being sick. Mom has to hold everything together, start the videos, wipe the noses and butts, and make the soup. Mom has to go to the store. Mom has to power through it, because the babies aren't allowed to use the knives or the stove. And Dad is sicker than the babies, so he gets a pass.

Being Mom sucks, sometimes. Next life, I'm coming back as a house cat.


Rob Monroe said...

I hate soup, so I refuse to get sick. The only soup that I like, Tomato, I'm not allowed to have because of the potassium.

That might be why I whine more when I'm sick than a normal person....

Jenn said...

Sorry to hear you have a house full of sick ones now.

Erin said...

I hope everyone is feeling better soon!

I love the comment about the Pioneer Woman. Thanks for steering me to her website. I love it! I made her nachos the other day minus the beans and am planning on making her orange muffins w/brown sugar glaze tomorrow morning for breakfast. I'll let you know how they turn out. If there's any left over I might send you some. Maybe. haha!

Get better, Pretty Babies and BJ!

Anonymous said...

See the trick is to make sure to schedule a pedi/mani for yourself after the hubby is well or alpha grandma comes to visit so you can rejuvinate. Veeeery important to keep the mom well and happy for all the reasons you stated. Be good to yourself or you are no good to anyone!
xo, Connie