Hello all

Geoff and I bid our daughter and grandchildren farewell last night and set off home to the suburbs in the pouring rain in Brisbane. The heavens were weeping for our leaving! 

Our child minding now officially over, we were tired and looked forward to the familiar things that spell HOME. I really enjoyed being in Maria’s beautiful home for a week and being part of the children’s lives too, but let’s face it THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

So this morning as the rain continued to pour down, I had a feeling that what we needed was some Chicken Soup for the Soul for dinner tonight. The ultimate comfort food for tired and weary travellers like us. I remembered a book that a friend loaned me called Chicken Soup for the Soul and how uplifting it was filled with good news stories and my curiosity was piqued(more on this later). 

But, I also remembered a recipe for chicken stock for soup which I found at Maria’s place which was healthy and even medicinal!  I decided we had to have it. This is how I prepared the stock:

Medicinal Chicken Stock for the Soul (make early in the day):

Chop through the bones of approx 400 grams of chicken legs (or whatever chicken you have) so that the marrow of the chicken is exposed. This gives the soup both flavour and the nutrients to make the soup medicinal. It was a bit hard chopping those chicken legs in half but it was achievable with a big knife. You actually have to BASH through the bones!  It felt good too.  After the chopping begin the stock as follows:

  • Fry up the chicken ‘pieces’ after chopping and throw  in a few smashed garlic, a chopped onion, small amount of celery with some of its leaves, a chopped carrot, a sprig of parsley, some fresh rosemary and salt.
  • Add approx 8 cups boiling water in a large pot. Simmer the lot for 1-1/1 hours until the chicken falls off the bones.
  • Leave to cool for a several  hours then strain, pressing the goodness out of the chicken and vegies to get the nutrients. Put stock  aside keeping the pieces of chicken only and not the vegetables.

As the stock simmered away, I googled Chicken Soup for the Soul to find out what this phrase really meant and I found out some interesting things which I will share later. Now for the soup which is a “whatever vegetables you can find” type of soup which is a combination of two recipes I found:

Curried Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul (make close to serving):

  • Fry up 1 large onion until soft, add finely chopped small piece of fresh ginger (a small chilli if desired) 1 tab good curry powder and cook until fragrant in a little oil.
  • Add finely chopped: 2 carrots, 2 sticks celery and cup corn kernels (I used what I had available) and stir fry for a minute.
  • Add the strained chicken stock  and simmer everything for about 20 mins.
  • Next add some baby spinach leaves and broken up egg noodles (or even spaghetti will do) and the reserved chicken pieces.
  •  Add 500 ml coconut milk or cream and cook for another 10 mins.
  • Stir in fresh basil (or whatever herbs are available) before serving in bowls.

Now that you have made the soup, you are ready for a ‘taste’ of how the term Chicken Soup for the Soul came about and who it was that came up with the term. (This is the link to the website:   http://www.chickensoup.com/ )

“Internationally known speakers Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield knew the power of a good story long before Chicken Soup for the Soul was published. Each had built their speaking careers by telling inspirational, motivational and uplifting stories that their audiences could use to discover, experience and retain key concepts and approaches.

After years of continuous audience requests that they put their stories into book form, Hansen & Canfield finally agreed. Rather than focusing only on their stories, they decided to reach out to others and seek contributions of powerful tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. After rounding up the 101 most inspirational submissions, they were left with an untitled book they both knew had the potential to make quite an impact.

As they searched for a winning title, Jack & Mark each agreed to meditate on the subject for one hour a day. Jack visualized the image of his grandmother’s chicken soup and remembered how she told him it would cure anything. The book would have the same healing powers as that soup, but not for the body—for the soul. Thus, the now famous title was born…Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

Now, isn’t that fascinating? The term has become so popular that we use it without even knowing how it came about! I think our Prime Minister Julia Gillard could do with some Chicken Soup for the Soul right now!

Maybe even Kevin Rudd may need some, with all the character assassinations, name-calling and vitriol going on, both of them could do with a good bowl of chicken soup and someone to tuck them in for the night (see explanation on yesterday’s blog 24/2/12)

At least our Opposition Leader, Tony Abbot, is being left alone and no one is joking about his sticking-out ears or his budgie smugglers (tight swimmers). He can rest easy tonight while Julia and Kevin go for the jugular. I know I jest but lets hope our lives return to normal after a decision is made on Monday morning!

In the meantime, stock up on some Chicken Soup for the Soul and get a good night’s sleep yourselves.