Good evening Travellers,
My my, it is brisk as f*ck outside…and I will be so glad to have my new washing machine next week because slinging a large mountain of wet laundry in and out of my car, down a flight of stairs in a precarious balancing act is not my idea of fun. Because my dryer works, so I’ve only been washing at the laundromat to save money and while that was fine on warmer days, tonight it felt like an odd obstacle Indiana Jones would have had to conquer in a far more domestic adventure…
Enough about me and my trivial winter hardships, let’s talk about opening that little door on our virtual advent calendar, and behind the little door is picture of a tiny bowl of soup with those little steam trail swirlys above it’s liquidy surface…nothing feels more yummy than soup on cold days. Or rainy days or just crappy days during the fall and winter months. Does it?
I’m sure someone out there doesn’t like soup. They’ll say it’s a texture thing. I feel that way about split pea soup. It’s just too Exorcist texture for my taste. I tried making it once, it was an elaborate recipe and I had hopes that somehow, I’d love it because I love healthy things. No, No I did not love it in any shape or form. AWFUL Texture.
I always first think of Chicken Noodle soup when I hear the word soup, don’t you? I learned a rather odd habit as a child, from I think my mom? I like to eat chicken noodle soup with a stack of 6-8 saltine crackers with slivers of butter on them. REAL BUTTER. Yes, Me a healthy person believes in eating butter, not that margarine crap, not that I can’t-believe-we-are-calling-this-butter-when-it’s-a-few-molecules-away-from-plastic-shit, EAT REAL BUTTER. One of the greatest things on this Earth is butter, is it not? Not pounds of butter, but responsibly tastefully dispensed butter….I’ve lost the plot…a bit of butter brain…
I also remember there were a series of books years ago called Chicken Soup for the Soul. Indeed, I feel like soups and stews and chilis are warming to our little haggard souls. Especially in cold times, stressful times, in sickness times, sad times, I don’t have time to eat well times, I’m not feeling like eating much times. It’s a food for the many difficult seasons of a human life.
AND you can make a large amount of soup/stew and then divide it into smaller dishes that will provide you meals for a week or more, depending on your recipe. You can freeze some of it and warm it up each night. It can provide simple, healthy, convenient soul food. And whom among us doesn’t need that right now?
Before I decided to do this little virtual Advent calendar I gave serious thought to practical small joyful things a person could do to ease themselves and their emotions during this time of year. As a fit human, I could lecture you like everyone else about Don’t do this, do that, Make time for this, stop doing that, but there is no joy in that AND NO ONE LISTENS TO THAT KIND OF ADVICE, DO THEY? And I believe we all need to find Joy during this time of year in the simplest ways.
Here is what I say about eating around the holidays. The holidays are filled with sugar dense foods. And alcohol. And just dense foods that people consume in dense quantities, and after you eat of it, you’re gonna feel like the middle of your body is made out of fruit cake. Dense gross fruit cake. (Sorry if you are the ONE HUMAN who likes fruit cake..) You can’t move easily, you’ll feel stodgy and just, URGH…Right? ARRRGHHH..
Soup. Soup is not something that will make you feel like that, unless you eat a ridiculous amount…try this…if you make a fist right now, and look at that, it’s approximately the size of your stomach, un-stretched…so after your food is chewed and therefore compacted abit, you’d like it to fit in an almost fist size, not a football size….it’s a good way to look at your plate, look at your fist and think when I chew this all up, will it be approximately the size of my fist? No? Well, if you persist, it’s a fruit cake middle for you…
I’m a big fan of Chick Fil A chicken noodle soup. Yes, there is a fair amount of sodium in that I’m sure, but working out six days a week means I sweat ALOT, so it’s not an issue for me. If you are sensitive to salt however, there is a brand I like, Pacific Foods soups, because they don’t use cans, which is a whole different post, but they are also organic. I think they have a low sodium option on the chick and noodle. In fact, one of my favorite simple throw it together soup ideas, is I buy a box of their Organic Tomato Bisque, which is two servings and then add baked chicken pieces and little pieces of mozzarella ball. It give the soup a protein punch and makes it heartier. It’s easy and delish. And happy.
I also love THIS RECIPE, which is a watercress soup. I add carrots, zucchini, and chicken to the ingredients and increase the amount of potatoes. YUM, and watercress is a sadly overlooked veggie that’s good for you. It has a nice light clean taste and it feels like a happy soup. Watercress is a certain kind of awesome, sort of springy in a soup…and that’s what we all want in winter, SPRING!!
If you’d like something heartier, I love this Mexican Taco Stew. I make it just as the recipe says, it’s very filling. Divide it into glass containers and freeze anything beyond your next day, it seems to last and taste better that way. I make it with turkey, because I’m not a red meat eater, but I’ve had it that way and the turkey just works better for some reason. Give it a try.
There you have it. Eat more soup. Soothe your weary souls. Eating soups between your heavy meals should dissipate that fruit cake tummy feeling and yea, go easy on yourselves Travellers. Take small bites of holiday life, it’s easier and let the good moments, when they show up, work their magic.
This life is hard, but it’s good. I know sometimes it seems hardly good, but then you’ll see a beautiful full moon, like tonight, and I swear the moon says to us in her knowing voice, “It will all be okay, I promise, and I’ll be here, just look up” and dear Travellers, I always believe her…now, how about a really great Christmas song to end on?