Monday, September 15, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

I belong to a book club; not a famous one, or a big fancy, high falutin' one, but a book club nonetheless. We began meeting the year that I lived without television the year of no TV for more details on that little social experiment. Back then, my friend, Lori, suggested "Hey, Vern why don't we start a book club since you are not watching television anymore and I have always wanted to do a book club?"  

I'll be honest; I was skeptical about the whole thing and not too excited about a book club at all.  I kept thinking, "how much fun can people really have at a book club?"  I feared it might be lame and the last thing my reputation needed was for me to be labeled LAME!  I was already known for being weird and abnormal.  Without television, I did have a lot more free time though and I recalled fondly a time when I did enjoy reading; however, that time seemed so terribly long ago.  An entire lifetime ago since my book reading days. I hadn't read adult books for fun in years so maybe I wasn't able to perform at that level?!  In short, I was a terribly conflicted person, but I did think that maybe this book club could be COOL and not LAME... 

And what I have since learned is that a book club is so much more than a book club.  It's so much more than I ever imagined.  It is an incredible support network of inspiring women. Book club has spanned nearly four years, the births of several babies (yes we are very fertile in our book club), countless life changing events, life's joys, life's sorrows and the drinking of several bottles of wine.  Salud! It has been an incredible ride! I truly don't know what I would do without this group of amazing ladies.  They are AWESOME!    

So this post is dedicated to my book club divas; you know who you are and I love you each dearly!  
D.B.C. forever baby!

Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul
This month it was my turn to host book club so I decided to make us Home-made Chicken Noodle Soup for our souls!  I could be wrong, but I think we all really needed it!

It started with a few good eggs (from our chicken coop)
I added three cups of flour because Ree Drummond makes her homemade noodles with this ratio of one egg to one cup of flour and she swears by it!  Here's her actual recipe Ree's Noodles I also added my mom's secret ingredient which I could share with you, but then I would have to kill you so I better not because I like you and I don't want you to die!  And I really don't want to go to jail where I would likely be gang raped (or worse) so I will keep that little secret to myself for the safety of all involved...

You have to knead the flour and eggs for a very long time and then flatten them for a very much longer time for drying purposes. This process is not so fun for those who, like me, lack patience,but I managed...

(and so I am confident you can too!)

Then I made a bunch (It filled my big old pot up about 3/4 full) of chicken broth from leftover packets of  Ramen noodle chicken flavor pouches I had saved the past few months **to reduce sodium intake, I only add half a packet when I make ramen so I save the other half for just such occasions and it works like a charm) This little stunt was pulled in order to maintain my resourceful nature despite my recent inability to leave a store without a bunch of random foods most of which are not healthy, nor are they fruits, vegetables, milk or bread.
I have frequently visited the Mellema Farm Market next door (reached old school style at (616) 837-5839) and I bought the onion and potatoes from there and threw them along with some carrots and celery into the pot with the broth and let them simmer for a good long while!

This stuff really is good for your soul...simmering to perfection!
I decided to get wild and crazy and threw a bunch of leftover green beans into the soup near the end when I was adding the noodles.  I did this for a couple of reasons. First, for nutritional value and secondly because the green really does add a little something to the look of this soup!

The noodles had to cook much longer than I ever imagined which gave us book club ladies plenty of time to catch up before dinner which was fantastic because we had not seen each other since May!  Thanks to my always generous book club gals, we also had home-made bread and a salad to help wet our palate while we waited.

And we topped it all off with a hand-me-down Pound Cake with Nutella on top! (really my friend passed this along to me because she had a bunch of leftovers from her birthday party!)

All in all another highly successful book club although we didn't actually talk about our books for the minimum 10 minutes time requirement and for the first time ever we didn't drink any wine so I hope the book club police don't hunt us down!

Vern Out

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