Babycakes caught my allergies.
Which obviously means I was mistaken and (luckily) still have not succumbed to Austin's notorious allergies. Rather, it seems I've been suffering from a full fledge, nasty cold. And as I inch bit by bit closer to recovery, BC is sadly just starting the ride- complete with endless sneezes, congestion, & body aches. I feel awful for inflicting this on him- we've been so careful this week about not kissing/etc, but I suppose when you share such tight space with someone contagion is inevitable.
My ability to breathe for the first time in 5 days had me buzzing about with renewed energy. Couple this with the guilt I felt about getting BC sick, and I decided that today I was going to cook chicken soup from scratch! Homemade stock and all! I would heal us from the inside out and eradicate those unwanted germs.
And you should know, Dear Readers, that I am not very adept in the kitchen. So this was a huge undertaking.
To illustrate this point, I bring you a sampling of items googled during the duration of my cooking adventure (which began with research at 10am and finished with soup at 6:30pm):
*Chicken soup with vegetables recipe
*Best chicken soup from scratch
*How to make chicken stock
*Do you leave the gizzards inside the chicken when cooking stock?
*Do people eat chicken gizzards? (apparently they do- eww)
*How to make matzo balls
*What are leeks?
*How to cut and clean a leek
*How to store matzo balls
*What are parsnips?
*What do you do with the chicken after making the stock?
*How do I know when an onion has gone bad?
*How to use a cheesecloth
*Can you wash a cheesecloth?
*How to clean a cheesecloth
*Are colds more common in early pregnancy? (yes yes- not cooking related, but a good snapshot into my ridiculous psyche these days).
I think I did pretty well for my first foray into homemade chicken soup. It did take a long time to prep & make (the stock itself took about 4-5 hours total), but overall it really wasn't that difficult (thank goodness for google and my sister-in-law Julie, who coached me through some of the steps by phone!) I'd give the finished product a solid 7.5/10.
I was also proud of myself for ad-libbing a bit, which isn't my usual style. This manifested in additions of mushrooms, spinach, & matzo balls. I knew from the beginning I didn't want to use pasta, so the matzo balls were a nice compliment in texture and flavor (and I always joke you can't take the "JU" out of "Ju-lene." I've had an interest in and love of Judaism that began in college with a series of Jewish boyfriends- I figured if I married a cute Jewish boy there would be no fighting over whose family we spent Christmas with!)
While the soup cooked away, I started a load of laundry and broke out my new Swiffer Sweeper, finally addressing our dust bunny infestation. I uploaded a new listing to my website, played multiple rounds of "Words With Friends," cleaned out and organized our bathroom drawers, & clipped the cats' nails. I was non-stop!
And I wasn't the only one in nest mode.
Despite his diminishing health, BC completed the first phase of our garden-to-be today! Behold the beauty:
He xeriscaped & tiered that entire side of our yard & hand built the garden boxes. Come spring (which in Austin is only weeks away!), we look forward to actually starting to grow some of our own vegetables. An added bonus? It was lightly snowing in Austin today! Super magical (and unusual), and made the day even more delicious.
It felt so good to be nurturing our home & ourselves today. We were in full nest mode, and are very much hoping to have some little buddies soon to share these kinds of cozy, domestic days with.