Monday, November 17, 2008

Frugal Fare Challenge Day 3: Monday

Today has been very tough.

I've found out that one of the jobs which I was still holding out slight hope on had gone to another person as a result of a bit of a miscommunication between the HR lady, the Directors and the recruitment consultant. I made half a dozen furth
er new/continued feelers into the world of jobs and just received even more 'there's just not many roles at the moment'. I'm home alone, and for a whole hour I was in a bit of a slump.

So what's the best thing to do?! Cook some comfort food is what! I cheered myself up and took my mind off things by chopping leeks, sweating onions, and skimming chicken stock. It's an old friend coming to the rescue, the one dish which has supported me through thick and thin, and which never fails to comfort me with just one spoonful - I've ranted about it before, but the time has finally come for me to forsake it to cyberspace: Ma Pea's famous Chicken Soup.

Here is my hug in a bowl:

Leftovers: a couple of generous handfuls of cooked cold chicken, roughly chopped/pulled apart; 1.5litres of homemade chicken stock (see here for previous recipe)
From the fridge/veg bowl: 1 clove garlic, chopped; 1 onion, diced; 2 sticks celery, diced; 2 carrots, diced; half a leek, diced; salt, pepper; generous handful parsley, chopped coarsely

In a flat soup saucepan heat some olive oil and add the garlic. When garlic wafts are a-tantalising, add the onion and stir until coated in the oil and frying gently. Add the celery, carrot and leek and stir, covering the pan with a lid to allow to sweat for about five minutes until softened slightly. Ladle in the chicken stock, season and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Keep an eye on them so that they don't overcook and lose their vibrant colour. Taste - the soup should be sumptuous and packed full of flavour, but season if it needs a little more pizzazz. Stir in the chopped chicken and the parsley, and heat through for 3-5 minutes until the soup (and the chicken) are piping hot. Serve with more iron-packed parsley.

Yet another slightly blurry photo from moi - I can't seem to figure out this fancy schmancy digital camera works....

The lunch was a success: distracting me from jobsearch woes, living up to my mantra of maintaing morale through nutrition, and resigning myself to the fact that without Ma Pea around to deliver a motherly sympathy hug, chicken soup was the next best thing. Not that I'm saying she's like a big bowl of hot stock, but...

Dinner: Sausages with second Bubble & Squeak
I confess that I'm finding it slightly tricky to balance the 'variety' and keeping things interesting, with the frankly overwhelming need I feel to make the most of leftovers - waste not want not, as my granddad said to me when I was little. So rather than beat myself up about this, I really am focussing on the frugal/economic meals. Hence an almost exact repeat of yesterday's lunch. With peas instead of beetroot. Hey - it was the perfect comfort food.

No comments: