Since the blog was originally supposed to be for food talk, it’s about time I say a few things about the subject.
Chicken soup. Perhaps one of my favorite meals to prepare. Since my discovery of the Weston A. Price Foundation three years ago, cooking has been one of my greatest passions. At a time where I could not express myself artistically or creatively, cooking filled the void. At a time where I was not able to practice any forms of spirituality, cooking acted as my meditation and prayer. While my daughter napped I quietly chopped vegetables, read recipes, and was a master of my own stove-top symphony. I enjoy some bit of challenge and welcome the thrill of turning what would appear to be chaos into pure delight on the dinner table. With the right tools food preparation is soothing and meditative. You really have to be in the present when wielding a substantial chef knife. Encompassing all senses, preparing meals has been a source of pride and newfound self esteem for me as a new mother. Learning the right way a certain pot of cooking food should smell like, look like, and feel like was not without failure. I indeed have had my fair share of “kitchen fails” and smile when I think back on all of the dinner mishaps my kind husband had to sit through. Luckily he has a wonderfully open mind and doesn’t flinch at the sight of chicken feet, raw oxtail, or liver which frequents our kitchen counter. He has supported me 100% in my crazy counter top fermenting “science experiments” and never thinks twice when I bring home a new kitchen appliance.
There is a time and place for everything and each season comes to us exactly when it needs to, always, always, always. Time and time again this has been shown to be true in my life. Today I am making chicken soup and I am honoring my feminine cycle by nourishing myself and taking quiet time to reflect. I’m staring into the abyss as it bubbles away. For several days now I have felt quiet, still, with nothing much to say. I have retreated within to only observe. I have found great pleasure in therapeutic stretching routines as my form of exercise. Hannah from Kombucha Kamp says that once you are done brewing your kombucha to give it a final stir, sending in thoughts of gratitude and love. Love is the main driving force behind my technique. I recently read that in some cultures when women are on their periods they are tended to with care. Meals are prepared for them and they only rest. While this is not applicable to my life, I can honor myself and love myself by taking care to ensure that I have the right building blocks to renew myself after shedding the old. When I ask myself what is the most nutrient dense meal I could make, chicken soup from scratch comes to mind.
I have adapted my broth routine from Sally Fallon’s book “Nourishing Traditions” and “Nourishing Broth”. There are actually many ways I make broth depending on what meals I have planned for the week. I have used many of the techniques and recipes in “Nourishing Broth”. Today I simply boiled a whole pasture raised chicken with vegetables from our garden, and our garden share along with himalayan pink salt. Details matter here and the better quality ingredients increase the constitution of the final product. I swiftly processed each ingredient for the meat stock and let it simmer throughout the day. I removed the chicken from the carcass, strained out the vegetables to use as baby food, and placed the bones in my crock pot to make a bone broth. The second round of broth made from only the bones will be frozen and used to make rice or bases for sauce (or even just sipping!) I am delighted to have fresh lemongrass and eager to use it to make some sort of lemongrass ginger coconut curry.
Chicken soup is theraputic in so many ways other than the obvious nutrient content. On a cold winter day a simmering pot of soup on the stove accompanied by a warm fire adds a glow to the house, whereas you may even release any negative associations with the season. For now, as August comes to a close, I can be thankful that I am able to cook with fresh ingredients, harvested with compassion only a short time ago. It is nothing short of a miracle that Ohio has welcomed me with such open arms. Ohio has cared for me, fed me, and has provided me with some of the most beautiful and special people to have ever touched my life.
And if anyone ever said you can’t over think a bowl of soup… they never met me 😛