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Ta muchly for visiting. Here you will find musings, ramblings and a few statements of fact. They say women can have it all, motherhood, careers and crazy social lives. But what if we don't want it all? What if we want some of it sometimes and other bits not so often? Here I'll mix and match as the whims and energy levels take me. Your tuppence worth is always welcome!

The mask...

The mask...
Life is for loving and living no matter what it involves...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Chicken soup for the soul (or immune system for the more pragmatic)

New year, new broom. Well I would sweep things clean but I've been too wiped out thanks to the flu bug doing the rounds. Is it swine flu? Well I have pigged out over the past month but doubt that porky behaviour garners porker diseases. It was definitely flu though, not your common cold or even dubious man-flu but full-on bludgeon your brains to mush flu. Nothing like a spot of flu to knock the oomph right out of your sails. While I did feel right royal rotten it was also secretly quite lovely to abandon all hope and collapse on the sofa. Big tall hubby came into his own and whisked the wee ones off my head to allow me space to be properly ill. Yes, they were indeed on my head, both of them. So weak was I that I couldn't raise the energy to shift them. They thought it was hilarious. Although they aren't laughing now the bug has got them under its wicked spell. Not that I'm laughing either. Two sick wee ones demanding cuddles, too cranky to share their mummy, chocolate not even a temptation; it is the stuff of nightmares.Plus I'm still in what we'll optimistically call recovery (this is a vicious bug and I fear a second assault) so have limited resources myself to bestow on my needy offspring. Impossible to refuse them though, their poor hot faces looking to me to make it all better. Thank goodness for calpol for without madness will surely come.

On the upside all this illness has kick started the homemade soup marathon that will form the backbone of lunches for 2011 in a bid to shift some of these extra pounds (sadly not financial ones) and get our bods in healthy shape. We started with red lentil and sweet potato but the real jewel in this culinary crown is chicken noodle soup. When I was a wee girl my dad made this soup like no one else and it is from his recipe that I draw inspiration today. There is a reason they call it Jewish Penicillin; this soup has magical medicinal properties. By accident, if not design I have started the year as intended, home cooking in the most economical and healthy way possible.

For your eyes only here is the recipe, feel free to play with it and add stuff or take it away...

healthy and tasty; the perfect fix for flu

Take a chicken carcass (save the stripped off cooked meat) or chuck in 4 legs or 6 drumsticks and boil them for at least two hours with 2 bay leaves. Remove the bones and leaves, keep the liquid and save the flesh to one side.
Chop an onion into thin slices and throw into the liquid.
Shred half a cabbage thinly and chuck that into the liquid.
Add a generous couple of handfuls of sweetcorn and peas.
Add a pack of cooked prawns (can be a large or small pack to your own taste)
Add one teaspoon of white pepper, a big pinch of salt, a hefty twist of ground black pepper and a teaspoon of Chinese five spice.
Bring to the boil then let simmer for at least 30 mins (the longer this cooks the  better it all tastes although the prawns can get a bit rubbery so you can add them with the chicken later if you prefer)
Add a pack of instant noodles, or any dried noodles you like, even pasta will work. Simmer for another 15 mins.
Chuck in the cooked chicken meat.
Whisk a couple of eggs in a cup. Remove the soup from the heat and immediately add the egg slowly, stirring gently to swirl it all around. And voila - soup to make you feel good in the inside in all possible ways.

By the way if you fancy a black & white movie to while away the ill-hours I can recommend On the Beach, great cast, bizarre plot and most un-Hollywood in execution, spoiler alert: it is a tad depressing. That and a bowl of soup makes being ill almost worth it.

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