March 28, 2012:
There was a time in my life when the only way to cook chicken noodle soup was by taking the following steps: Drive to supermarket, buy whatever chicken noodle soup in a can was on sale, drive back home, pour soup from can into bowl, and hit 2:00 on microwave. Sadly, this was not the way I “cooked” merely as a college student but well into my adulthood. Apparently I thought chicken that came in a can and soup that tasted like 80% salt and 20% aluminum was perfectly acceptable. (I knew the man who would later become my husband was a keeper when he didn’t look down on me despite this grave flaw).
As a late bloomer, many lessons I’ve learned in life has come, well, late. I wish I had a different perspective on food much earlier in life, but what’s important is that we cook now, real food – a mix of dishes that are budget-friendly, that keep us tied to our cultural and family roots, and mostly healthy with some tasty splurges thrown into the mix for enjoyment (see butter mochi and Caceio e Pepe below).
Back to chicken noodle soup, it’s hard to believe but we’ve developed our very own chicken noodle soup family recipe that we love. For the skilled cooks out there, this soup is probably nothing special and a recipe that you’d be disappointed with (which is why I haven’t included the recipe here). But I’m proud of how far I’ve come from my humble canned food days. And perhaps we’re biased, but we think this fragrant and light soup does wonders, excuse the cliche, for our soul, during days like yesterday and today when Seattle returns to its usual moody self. In exchange for two hours of cooking time, we get three meals that cost us about $2 per serving utilizing local organic chicken and some farmer’s market vegetables we froze from the Fall. For the third meal, we like to cook rice and throw it into the soup, Asian style.