I love weekends. I truly have a special little place in my heart just for weekends. It’s as if you’re retired for two whole days, and you get to do anything that your beautiful heart desires.
This past weekend Sean and I escaped to Chestertown, Maryland on the eastern shore. I’m a graduate of Washington College, located right in the heart of good ol’ ctown, and every year the College hosts an enormous dance called Birthday Ball (think of prom, then multiply it by 100) in celebration of George Washington’s birthday. It’s amazing. But the best part of it all was simply being tucked away with our good friends in their new home. The food, drinks, and laughter were non-stop, and exactly what we all needed. The next morning Sean and I wandered up and down the historic brick walkways that cover the beautiful town. I was long overdue for an “Alaskan” (a frozen mocha drink, sent down straight from heaven) from Play it again Sam’s coffee shop, so I took full advantage of being back home.
Just before we began to head back to D.C., Sean bought me a cookbook that I had my eye on: “Easy Soups.” I’ve been wanting to challenge myself to make delicious homemade soup for months! It was meant to be. Flipping through the book on our peaceful ride home through the eastern shore’s countryside, I found it: Chicken Noodle Soup. Not too scary, good for the soul, but not too easy either. It was perfect.
I won’t go through the whole recipe. You should buy the book and take on a “newlie” perspective of your own. Instead, I’ll let you know what happened….all the JUICY details! HAH! Moving on.
So on our way home I realized that I needed juuuust about everything that the recipe called for. Any boring perspective would’ve just said “Ohhhh well. Maybe I’ll make it another day.” But no! No no no. Another day will lead to never, and we can’t have that. The “newlie” mindset kicked in, and Sean was on board. He dropped me off at the grocery store that was conveniently situated right next to a Home Depot. Perfect! I proudly opened my new cookbook, propped it up carefully on my shopping cart, and off I went. Carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, chicken drumsticks & thighs, and the exciting list continued. It was quite a little adventure. I was even stopped by a precious old woman who admired the open cookbook and wanted to know what I was making. She recommended that I put something in my soup…but after about 3 attempts to understand what it was I politely gave up, nodded and smiled, while telling her that I’ll be sure to do that. I’m still wondering what it was…
Anywho! Let’s now fast forward a bit to the moment of truth. The moment (more like hour and a half) when I proudly followed through with a “newlie” idea. The recipe was simple in both ingredients and explanation. Something I needed. I started by browning the chicken in a pan and meanwhile I chopped all the veggies like a mad woman. I think timing is one of the biggest challenges in cooking, but it also inspires heart pumping adrenaline. Everything seemed to be going well! Check it out:
“Shake shake shake……SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! Shake yo veeeeeeegies. Shake yo veeeeegies!”
After I sang that out loud once or twice, I added it all together and let it cook for about 15 minutes without any liquids. Then I added about 6 cups of water … and this made me a little nervous. “Sean…I think we need a bigger boat!”, I said loudly. He didn’t quite understand my quick “Jaws” reference in relation to my nearly full pot, but that’s okay. Thankfully it all stayed in there without overflowing. And for my next move? Letting it simmer for one full hour. If I could somehow share with you the unbelievable aroma that filled my house from this creation, I would. But maybe this photo will help:
Amaaaaazing!!! One hour later I was soaking in the wondrous creation while laughing at Billy Crystal’s opening act for the Oscars. What a great way to complete a refreshing weekend. This soup was the gift that kept on giving…we had plenty left over for dinner tonight too! I highly recommend it with garlic bread for dipping.