I thought that the nazi germ regime that launched a full-scale attack on my body at the end of last year and rendered me utterly, feverishly, lifeless through New Year’s Eve and Day was gone with a very strong defense of Mom’s Soup. Clearly, I underestimated the naughty nazi germs’ strategy, perhaps overestimated my own body’s defenses, because the germs simply went undercover then re-emerged with all new head exploding, innards shooting tactics.
I am still sick.
The last thing you think about when you are sick is what you look like. Okay, maybe it’s the second to last thing because the last last thing I think about when I’m sick is…cleaning my house. I barely clean my house when I am the picture of health.
I think I might even be…sicker. It shows. The tiny of army of very large white blood cells is using every last ounce of cellular energy in my body for resistance. It makes me tired. They’ve turned up the heat in my body to burn the nazi germs out. Two words: Fee. Ver. The fever dehydrates me. Dehyrdation drains me of what little energy I have leftover from the WBC army surplus. Low- to no-energy incapacitates me. Incapactiation keeps me in bed, which means I don’t get up to brush my teeth, wash my face, or even change the germ-infested clothes that are probably a breeding ground for germ mutation and re-infestation because if I get up, that means I have to get out from under the covers and it is freezing out there in the central-air heated heat of my bedroom. Staying under 27 layers of cashmere and goose down with a fever makes me sweat. I should shower because I sweat, because that is what people do when they sweat. They shower. But if I shower, the water will be too hot on my overheated feverish body and too cold for my underheated feverish body. I can’t shower, and even if I managed to find the one degree of shower water temperature that is perfectly positioned between warm and cool, I couldn’t take a shower because I don’t have the energy to stand there in the shower for 30 minutes.
I take long showers. When I actually take showers, that is.
I am so sick that I can hardly blog. While it may appear that I don’t put much thought into whatever I spew forth onto the Delicious screen, I actually do take time to brainstorm ideas, outline my points, and even try to string the words together in a way that is, you know, witty. I can’t do it today. The mind is willing, but the body is beyond weak. Okay, the mind is pretty weak right now, too. I doubt I will even have the sense to run a spellcheck.
Not being able to blog properlymakes me cranky like all hell.
Sickness is not pretty. Bloggers are not pretty. Sick bloggers are an absolute national disaster.
But at least being a sick blogger forces me to cook!
Since my entire family has me on quarantine status for fear of transmitting evil from myself to either my baby niece with her nascent immune system or my sister who is pregnant which basically means she is a cranky girl in a bubble, I have to take care of myself. I got a set of hermetically sealed containers full of Korean Vegetable Soup that was passed off to me in the most germ-free manner possible, but I finished that in three days. They won’t come near me anymore unless I have some voodoo certification from a magical rabbi elf in the Himalayas proclaiming my germ-free-osity. Last I checked, there are no trains to the Himalayas, so I am resigned to making Chicken Soup for myself.
Making the soup itself is wash-n-go, but the effort it takes to drive to the market to buy the ingredients, drive back, carry the groceries upstairs, put away the things that you had no intention of buying because they aren't related to the cooking task at hand but bought anyway because who goes to the market and doesn't buy a six pack of wine for the 10% discount (?), prep the vegetables, declare a national sanitation project on the chicken, and then finally start the cooking, is a massive hair-do. For a sick person, it's more than just a hair-do. It’s a cut, bleach, re-color, highlight, French twist with Swarovski crystal accents.
Let’s not forget the fact that after the soup cooks, you have to remove the ingredients, strain the broth, then let it chill in the refigertor overnight so you can chisel away the 1” thick layer of schmaltz that has congealed at the top.
Don’t get greedy. There was no way I was making matzo balls.
I didn't care how the soup looked. I just wanted something. I mean I barely cared that the vegetables were clean. I just plopped everything into a pot, then felt sorry for myself on the couch wearing a tiara and wrapped in a cashmere throw while I let that stuff simmer away until the chicken practically fell off the bone. I heaved the enormous pot toward the sink to strain into a container to go through the de-fatting process. Hair. Do. The soup the next day was absolutely fucking fabulous. Ugly, but fabulous. I feel like half a million bucks.
Basic Chicken Soup Recipe for the Blogging Soul
Wash a whole chicken, toss out the innards (gross), and cut the chicken into eight pieces. You should know how to cut the chicken if you're going to buy a whole chicken. Otherwise, buy the pre-cut chicken, amateur.
Put the chicken in the bottom of a very large pot along with 3-4 each large carrots, stalks of celery and potatoes that have been washed, peeled (if necessary - I never peel potatoes), and cut into 3-4" long pieces. Add enough water to the pot to cover the contents of the pot by about 3" over.
I also added whole cloves of garlic from about half a head.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat. Simmer at the lowes
t possible temperature for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken in cooked.
Remove the chicken and vegetables to a separate container. If you care enough, you can remove the chicken meat form the bones, but I don't.
Strain the broth into a heat-proof bowl (unless you don't mind all the weird nasty bits of chicken residue). Chill the broth overnight in the refrigerator to solidify the fat. When the fat has floated to the top and hardened, remove it. You can do what you want with it. I hear that it's great for the skin.
Heat the now de-fatted broth with the chicken and vegetables over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Eat. Feel better.
** a year ago today, i was a pizza pacifist at antica pizzeria **