The Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s the new year and my desire to live a more healthy and mindful life has hit a snag.  More specifically, we’ve been hit with the flu.  So far it’s only claimed one of us (here’s to hoping our flu shots do their job!) but I’ve seen this movie before . . . it’s only a matter of time before it starts picking us off one by one.  And with three kids, that’s a whole lotta sickness waiting in the wings.

In the meantime, I will remain positive, keep exercising, disinfect the house to levels of surgical integrity and have a pot of chicken noodle soup at the ready.

Baba’s Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Chicken 2 to 3 lb. or about 2 lbs. deboned and skinless chicken (this is easier and Baba swears by Costco’s chicken).

Wash and place chicken in large pot (about 8 litres) and cover with cold water.

IMG_3875Bring to boil, remove scum, add a tablespoon salt, and boil for about 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and remove bones and skin if chicken is whole.

Put aside.

Into the water used to boil the chicken, put aromatics:
a large handful of parsley with stems, a few stalks of celery with leaves, large onion peeled and quartered, green leaves of a few leeks, a few cabbage leaves or broccoli stalks or cauliflower stalks.

IMG_3880

Side note: If Baba knows that she is planning to make soup, she saves these in a baggie in the fridge.
Boil these aromatics in the soup for 20 minutes then remove and drain them. Taste soup for salt and adjust seasoning.

If you want, add 2 packets or 1 cube of chicken bouillon. Add
additional water if necessary.

Bring soup to boil and add spaghetti or fine noodles or any shaped pasta. The amount is contingent on the amount of soup there is and how much pasta you want in it.

IMG_3881

My boys like it both noodley and with spaghetti – all the better for slurping!
Boil for about 2 to 3 minutes, taste for salt and adjust if necessary, then add the chicken and more water if necessary, and boil until pasta is done.

Remove from heat immediately and serve.

IMG_3884

Grandma and The Pirates and Baba’s Chicken Soup

Last year all three boys couldn’t get enough of Jillian Jiggs and her wonderful pigs. Particularly my middle son would beg me to read it night after night prompting a search for other books by Toronto-based author Phoebe Gilman.

Allow me a side bar if you may, but if your child has a favourite book, I suggest a visit to the local library to seek out other books written by the same author even if your child is just thumbing the pages of picture books.  We have done this for Maurice Sendak, Melanie Watt and Audrey Penn (to name a few) and it never ceases to amaze me the discussion that inevitably ensues about which books are better and why and if the author remains a favourite or if it’s really about a penchant for a particular story.

But I digress.

Marry one passion for pirates with a fondness for Phoebe Gllman and that is how Grandma and The Pirates came to live at our house.

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While Melissa is picking flowers in a nearby field, pirates are lured by the smell of noodle pie to her grandmother’s house.  The pirates kidnap Grandma and her pet parrot, Oliver, from her cozy cottage and take her to their ship so that she can cook for them.  Melissa, fearful for her grandmother’s safety, waits until nightfall to swim out to the anchored ship.  It doesn’t take long before the pirates come across their stowaway and now Melissa is prisoner too!  After a time of sailing the seas, Melissa, Grandmother and Oliver put their heads together to formulate a plan to escape the greedy, selfish pirates.

Grandma’s cooking is a theme in this story about plundering pirates seeking their fortune, so what better way to enjoy this book with its beautifully illustrated pictures than following it up with one of Grandma’s best-loved recipes?

While Melissa’s grandma made noodle pudding, my boys’ grandma made her celebrated chicken noodle soup.

Grandma and The Pirates + Baba’s Chicken Noodle Soup:

 The Perfect Recipe For a Rainy Autumn Afternoon.

1 Chicken 2 to 3 lb. or about 2 lbs. deboned and skinless chicken (this is easier and Baba swears by Costco’s chicken).

Wash and place chicken in large pot (about 8 litres) and cover with cold water.

IMG_3875
Bring to boil, remove scum, add a tablespoon salt, and boil for about 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and remove bones and skin if chicken is whole.

Put aside.

Into the water used to boil the chicken, put aromatics:
a large handful of parsley with stems, a few stalks of celery with leaves, large onion peeled and quartered, green leaves of a few leeks, a few cabbage leaves or broccoli stalks or cauliflower stalks.

IMG_3880

Side note: If Baba knows that she is planning to make soup, she saves these in a baggie in the fridge.
Boil these aromatics in the soup for 20 minutes then remove and drain them. Taste soup for salt and adjust seasoning.

If you want, add 2 packets or 1 cube of chicken bouillon. Add
additional water if necessary.

Bring soup to boil and add spaghetti or fine noodles or any shaped pasta. The amount is contingent on the amount of soup there is and how much pasta you want in it.

IMG_3881

My boys like it both noodley and with spaghetti – all the better for slurping!
Boil for about 2 to 3 minutes, taste for salt and adjust if necessary, then add the chicken and more water if necessary, and boil until pasta is done.

Remove from heat immediately and serve.

IMG_3884

Story Time: Pirate Edition

Story time is one of my favourite parts of the day with the boys.  We have two designated times during the day when we cuddle up and read: while the baby is napping and just before bed.

From my post yesterday, I am sure that you can surmise we have been reading a lot of pirate books lately.  Here are some suggestions that I am sure will be a hit with your little matey!

Grandma and The Pirates by Phoebe Gilman

I am such a fan of Phoebe Gilman.  Her talent as an author and illustrator shines from the first page of her books and instantly captivates her audience.  The boys love when I read them Jillian Jiggs and when Jillian’s mother passes out from the sight of Jillian’s messy room, I am guaranteed a giggle.

Grandma and The Pirates has been read nightly for the past few months.  My pirate-obsessed son can be heard reciting passages of the book long after the lights have been switched off.  I am waiting for Pirate Pearl to arrive in the mail which I am sure will be enjoyed as much as Gilman’s other works.

 

 

How I Became A Pirate and Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long

These fanciful stories are fun to read and most definitely appeal to imaginative kids.  David Shannon’s distinct illustrations give life to Captain Braidbread and Long’s repetitive chorus engage emergent readers (and those with a flair for theatrics!).

Pirates Go To School by Corinne Demas

Pirates go to school too according to this silly rhyming book.  Swords and parrots along with funny looking clothes accompany this lot of young pirates to their school.

Mungo and The Picture Book Pirates by Timothy Knapman

This is actually a book about a book!  My friend Nathalie will love this!  Mungo is a pirate-loving boy who jumps into his favourite pirate storybook when the hero of the story takes a well-deserved break.  Initially, I thought the concept of the story would be beyond my four-year-old but not so.  This led to an interesting conversation about what books he would like to jump into.  Not surprising, Grandma and The Pirates topped the list.

Now I pose the question to you:  If you could jump into any book, which one would you choose?  I wouldn’t hesitate to jump into the pages of Little Women.