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These past few days have been brutally cold. Jack and I go out but we do it as a chore, rather than for the pleasure of being outdoors. The temperatures have hovered in the mid twenties and have been coupled with a bracing wind that cuts right to the bone. My hubby has also had a relapse in his chest cold; he mentioned on the phone this morning that perhaps some homemade chicken noodle soup would do him some good. That combined with brittle, cold weather outside and you have the perfect reason for making warm, soothing chicken stock and then transforming it into chicken noodle soup with vegetables.

Since I had a split chicken breast in the freezer; I figured that I would defrost it and then roast the chicken breast in the oven, sprinkled with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and drizzled with olive oil for 40 minutes in a 350 oven. While that was roasting, I chopped up some celery, onion, garlic and carrots and sautéed them while I waited to get the chicken out of the oven. Once I was able to get the meat off the ribs I put the ribs in the pot with the vegetables and covered it with six cups of cold water and let it simmer for an hour or so. The house smelled lovely with the roasting and then the sautéing; aromas of roasting chicken, thyme, onions and carrots and celery all combined in different ways made our house smell so warm and inviting.

I diced up another onion, five carrots and four stalks of celery for the finished soup. Once the stock was done, I strained the solids through a cheesecloth into another pot. My stock was done, I diced up the chicken meat, I sautéed the onions, carrots and celery until they were tender and I added the chicken and poured the chicken stock in the pot covering everything. The only thing that needs to be added are the noodles and therein lies my dilemma. Do I put elbow macaroni or the rice noodles. If I use the elbow macaroni, I can put them in now without any trouble. If on the other hand, I use the rice noodles I should only put them in at the last minute; they suck liquid up like a sponge, if you put them in for too long you lose all your broth. I think that I’ll decide when the critics come home; they’ll decide; it only takes ten minutes or so for either one of the noodles to cook, so it isn’t a huge dilemma. Nothing is really when you keep it in perspective.

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