Gurgle Gurgle Gurgle

This weekend I had my first soup making experience. Last Saturday when Dave was feeling pretty low, he said that all he wanted to eat was his mom's matzo ball soup.  So I, being the super awesome wife that I am, texted his mom to get the recipe. Upon receiving the recipe back that started with the word "easy"... I realized I had NO idea what I had asked for!

Let me preface this by saying that I'm a baker, not a cook.  I can bake all kinds of super tasty things that involve sugar and flour. But regular, standard cooking...it's not my forte. So when the first ingredient for this soup was a whole chicken....a whole, raw chicken....I freaked. I've never made anything involving a whole bird before....I don't even like eating chicken on the bone. Just the thought of  a fork scraping the bone makes my skin crawl, so the idea of raw chicken bones...all in my food...blech! 

I'm going to be perfectly honest, I asked my mom to come help because I knew I was going to struggle.  I'm glad she was here!

I was fine at first.  I had all my ingredients out on the counter and I started the prep of peeling and chopping vegetables...lots of vegetables. Easy peasy.  But then it came time for the chicken (and I blame my struggle on the lady at the meat counter at Kroger who refused to cut up my chicken for me).  If mom hadn't been here, this is where I would have likely given up! I got the chicken out of the packaging, tried to take the goodie bag out of the middle....then it made this horrible gurgling sound and I was done! By the time I looked back over at that ugly thing, my mom had one hand in one side of the chicken and one hand in the other...I thought I was going to vomit!

Once everything was in the pot and simmering away, I thought to myself "OK, it'll be easy from here!"  I was wrong.  I mean, as usual! (Yes, I'll freely admit that I'm a lady and I tend to be wrong....unless where Dave is concerned...then I'm ALWAYS right!)  It came time to fish out the herbs, some of the veggies, and all of the turnip to put into the food processor to puree into oblivion.  I thought I had been smart when I cut up the veggies and left the turnip pieces pretty large so they'd be easy to find.  Well guess what?  Once they've been in a soup cooking for 2 hours, they're all underneath the damn chicken and there's no way to get them all out! So my puree consisted of the herbs and some veggies, some turnip pieces included.  Oh well, it is what it is.  So as I'm getting ready to put the puree back into the soup, my mom says "well aren't you going to strain the soup and get the loose bits of skin out?"  Say whaaa? Uh, no...I had not planned on that...the recipe didn't mention straining the soup out, so the answer is no.  Fun fact:  when making chicken soup, no matter what the recipe says, you have to strain the damn soup.  As soon as mom showed me a piece of the skin floating in the broth, figuring out a way to strain the soup became her job!  (I don't have a stock pot with a strainer, and the only other two pots I had that would have been good for straining broth back into were about to be used for noodles and matzo balls...what a conundrum)

The matzo balls....those aren't for me.  I made them from a mix, followed the instructions on the package (except I used EVOO instead of vegetable oil because vegetable oil is disgusting and I don't even keep it in my house).  Dave had given me a tidbit about separating the egg whites from the yokes and whipping them and some nonsense, but I wanted to do it exactly as the package directed.  Let me tell you, I didn't like 'em.  They tasted like how they smelled (which is odd...like old cornmeal or something).  There's no spices or anything in them...just a bland ball of mushy "bread".  Maybe it's something you've got to be raised on or something, I don't know...but next time I make this stuff, I'll leave the matzo ball out of my bowl.

I will say...the soup was really good.  Considering that I DO NOT like chicken noodle soup, it was pretty good.  But, to be fair, I had only about an inch worth of broth in my bowl with all my chicken and veggies...it was more like a sauce for me than a broth.  Something about that greasy sheen on top of that odd yellow color really just turns me off.  It's nothing personal, I just don't care for chicken soup.  I don't even remember liking chicken noodle soup when I was a kid.  To be honest, I don't really like soup at all.

An interesting experience.  One I'll repeat, but with a few modifications and better preparations.

Sunday was pumpkin carving day and the Packer game (GO PACK GO!)

And this morning, while in the shower, Dave noticed that his hair had started to fall out. 

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