Probably the worse news I have had in years. Not about me, but a friend.
A good friend.
It might as well have happened to me though because when bad news hits a close friend you feel their pain as if it was your own.
I planned on telling you about the amazing World of Flavors conference this past week at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA. I hoped to entertain you not only with stories from talented chefs all over the world, but with yummy pictures (a new feature just added to our blogs).
But I'm afraid the news took the party right out of this food party girl.
What is it about pain and loss that seems to hit us right in the gut making eating or even thinking about food totally unappetizing and awful?
I guess I could put up a recipe for a drink (alcohol might make me feel better but probably not). During my eating disorder days, I abused sugar as a way to cope with stress and sadness, but that tactic doesn't even sound appealing.
No, tonight I am not going to The Food Party. And I don't feel much like doing my homework either (this week's Science and Cooking lesson is about Heat Transfer soooo interesting; but I must share it with you at another time).
Instead of any of that, I'm going to go to the store, buy some ingredients, and make homemade chicken soup for my dear friend. Chicken Soup for the Soul. We'll sit and slurp together. Hopefully the warmth will sooth some of the sadness.
When there's little you can do to help there's still chicken soup. It may be a small gesture, but often a perfect one for those you really love.
See you food partiers next week.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
The unique part of this dish is starting with premade chicken stock to cook chicken pieces in. It's a fast solution when you don't have time or energy to make stock and deal with a whole chicken. Adding in the brown rice rehydrates and makes good use of any leftover grain.
4 cups organic chicken broth
1 organic chicken leg (drumstick and thigh), skinned
1 small onion, diced medium
1 carrot, scrubbed and diced medium
1 celery stalk, diced medium
½ teaspoon crushed saffron threads (optional)
1 ear corn off the cob
1 carrot, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, small slice
½ cup cooked brown rice or any other grain
1 T parsley, chopped fine
Combine the broth, chicken leg, onion, carrot, celery and saffron in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface.
Drain stock, reserving liquid. Compost the veggies, but remove the chicken and when cool, chop into small pieces or shred, set aside. Put the stock back into soup pot with corn, sliced carrots and celery. Lightly simmer, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add rice, reserved chicken and parsley. Heat until warm.
Serve with a hug.