The house is back to its quiet self. With the heavy rains this past weekend we got an extra day with our son due to a flight cancellation. Alas, he has returned to college and it’s only my husband and I left to hold down the fort. It is both nice and melancholy at the same time, a different type of quiet around here.
As the boys have gradually moved on I’ve had to adjust from cooking for four of us down to just the two of us…
and sometimes it’s only me. In some ways this is easier; other times it is more difficult. My husband has no issues with a ‘cook once, eat twice’ concept, so often I am able to make a pot of hearty soup or stew and get 2 – sometimes three – dinners from it. Paired with a green salad it makes a healthy meal. Whether or not soups and stews really DO taste better the next day, well, I would say ‘yes’ if for no other reason than you don’t have to cook and clean up after another meal. But I really do think there is something to that hypothesis that says the flavors come together when it sits. Whatever the reason, I’m a fan two-for-one meals.
This transition from our St. Thomas time to here has added a twist to my cooking for two. I had not been cooking as much the weeks I spent on island. For various reasons we had gotten into the habit of eating out much more often than was normal. I’ve got a ‘few’ extra pounds as proof! We have been anxious to get back to our former healthier eating habits.
Easier said than done it seems…
Transitions are generally difficult for me. I know this and yet it still surprises me when I have so much trouble with them. While I did not expect things to be smooth sailing once we were here permanently, I was still surprised at the level of difficulty. I suppose I thought that since I knew I’d have trouble I would be able to recognize it sooner, and thus handle it better. Wrong.
But things are beginning to clear here. My mood is improving and I feel as if my routines are coming back. Slow and steady wins the race, eh? Transition is morphing into normalcy, and I find myself ready to cook more.
One of my favorite ‘cook-once-eat-twice’ meals is Chicken Soup. Since it is claimed to be good for healing – and healing of the soul is no less important than a physical illness – I will leave you with my recipe.
- 1 pint chicken stock
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt to taste
- 2-3 qts water (depending on how thick you prefer it)
- shredded chicken from 1/2 rotisserie chicken
- optional: various vegetables such as tomatoes, corn, rutabaga
- optional: rice or pasta or beans
Take a stock pot and add in the chicken stock, vegetables, thyme, salt and water. Bring just to a boil then reduce to a simmer. About 30 minutes before ready to serve add in the chicken and pasta or rice (if desired). Once the pasta/rice is cooked it is ready to eat!!
I ladle it into bowls and often grate some cheese on top. A loaf of your favorite crusty bread and a green salad rounds out the meal.