Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Easy for who?

Hello everybody!! I just had to give a little shout out to my brand spankin' new followers. So last night my mama was here and she had a request for me seein as how I cook and she only microwaves could I please make this Colombian Chicken soup she saw on Emeril. I said well let me run and see what all goes into making it and if I can I will. So I look it up and see it's rated easy. Then I look at the ingredient list and realize I have everything except this funky Spanish spice and cilantro. It's just like chicken noodle soup except with potatoes instead of noodles and add some cilantro and this odd spice. I keep everything on hand for chicken noodle soup during the winter because of cold/flu season so I'm good to go except for cilantro and Bijol(the spice). Keeping in mind at this point that I am not always the details person I should be. For example I only do an over view of a recipe before I make it and that was a big mistake in this situation. Emeril says the spice should be easily attainable at one's local Spanish grocery store, which we don't have. However we do have an excellent cultural isle in our Meijers. This cultural isle did not have Bijol. So I read the recipe again and it says I can substitute cumin and saffron, well saffron is like $16 for 5 strands so that's not happinin either, I guess cumin and a lot of pepper it is! I come home ready to do business with the soup and I start detail reading the recipe and realized what I was in for. First I have to make a stock with the whole chicken cut up in it, then I have to drain the stock and pick all the chicken out of whats left. Next I have to boil the second round of veggies for the soup in the stock. I also have to make a paste out of garlic, stock, and spices. While this second round of veggies is boiling I have to add the paste. Then I have to make salsa.......salsa? yes salsa to go on top of the soup. I guess part by part this recipe is not that difficult but all together it takes over 2 hours of almost constant action. I started way to late last night and ended up just sticking the broth and the chicken in the fridge to finish tonight. This is what I started with.

In closing I would also like to leave you with kind of a thought from way back when. This cookbook was released in 1926 by the Alabama Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It is the real deal in old southern cooking, it includes a place of honor on the first page for Ms. Bashinsky's Mammy for faithful service of thirty-five years. It also includes many recipes for Tomato Aspic and cheese sticks, it will tell you how to cure a ham and how to use gelatin in about a thousand ways and cough cough gag gag-brain croquettes-made with hog brain.
My gran gave me this book when I moved up north because she figured she wouldn't be there to show me how to cook a proper meal and my mom didn't cook so it was necessary.

This is the opening of the book and I think this is the first time a cookbook has "moved" me.

Cookery means the knowledge of Medea and of Circe and of Helen and of the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all herbs and fruits and balms and spices, and all that is healing and sweet in the fields and groves and savory in meats. It means a carefulness and inventiveness and willingness and readiness of appliances. It means the economy of your grandmothers and the science of the modern chemist; it means much testing and no wasting; it means English thoroughness and French art and Arabian hospitality; and, in fine, it means that you are to be perfectly and always ladies-loaf givers.

I know they are just old fashioned words from an old fashioned world. However in my quest to be caring and helpful and always a lady(you will never ever find me on girls gone wild)this speaks to the part of me that wishes I could go back in time. Back to a place where women kept a good house and prepared good meals and were appreciated in doing so. Where we put more effort into raising our children and not just sending them off with a gameboy or ps2 or whatever they are these days. I will always think a big mistake the feminists made was not realizing that while all the women were clamoring for the jobs and positions that men held not a single guy was raising heck trying to earn the right to stay home and care for the children and home life. If everyone wants to be at work what happens to the home? Some guys these days are helpful with the home life, however just as many have that ingrained idea in their DNA that says even if a gal has a job she ought be keeping house as well. Ok I shall be back later to tell you how the easy soup went.


  1. That book is a treasure and I'm sure your Gran would never have given it to you if she didn't know that you would see it as such. The words in the opening were moving. Ahhh, a simpler time. I think you are an old soul and it takes one to know one. I think I was born into the wrong time period. We must be related.

  2. oh my lord i am loving that book. i would DIE to sit down and read it someday. that paragraph sang hallelujah chorus's in my brain. thank you for sharing :) good luck with the 'easy soup'!!!!