Leftover Chicken Soup

Tonight’s dinner was quick and easy, made from about a half left over chicken. We had grabbed one of those whole roasted chickens at the store and had it with ceaser salad last night.

Leftover Chicken Soup
1/2 a chicken, cooked, deboned and chopped roughly
3 cups water
1/2 onion, chopped roughly
1-2 cups of a veggie (carrots, cabbage, celery, lettuce, potatoe, taro, water chestnuts, bamboo) chopped appropriately
1 package instant onion soup mix
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 bundles of mung bean noodles
1 tablespoon miso paste

Put soup mix, onion, veggies, soy sauce and water in the pot, bring to a boil. Add chicken and noodles, return to a boil. Boil about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in miso paste. Let rest a few minutes and enjoy.

It is a really simply recipe. Tonight I substituted garlic and herb soup mix for the onion instead. You could use any noodle you like, even ramen. I keep the fridge full of tupperware stocked with pre-chopped veggies. So it took me almost 9 minutes to prepare dinner.

Chicken and Pork Adobo

It is hot here! Like I could fry eggs on the hood of my car hot. The old-folk talk not only consists of who died, but of who got heat stroke. So, in longing for colder climes and the days when my crock pot bubbles up warm, hearty soups I am cleaning up my recipes. Here is a yummy recipe for Adobo

Chicken and Pork Adobo
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
2-8 cloves peeled and crushed garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb chicken thighs
2 lbs pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tb soy sauce
A little bit of vegetable oil

Put everything but the oil in the crock pot and cover. Cook on high for about 2 hours, or low for about 4-6. Whatever it takes your crock pot to get the meat to melt-away soft.

Pour out the sauce into a skillet and reduce. If you are in a hurry you can also just stir in some thickener. Put the oil over the meat in the crock and pop in the oven under the broiler to brown it. When the sauce is thickened and the meat is brown, pour the sauce over the meat and serve hot or cold with rice and tortillas. Keeps fine when made ahead, it is great the next day too.

You might notice my recipe calls for no chili or other hot spice. That is because I have a pepper allergy. So if you want to add chili powder or other peppers, feel free.

Summer freezing

Oh I just love the taste of summer! Fresh tomatoes,  fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary. Are you sensing a theme here?

Freshness is so wonderful in the summer. And having a garden, I experience abundance in a very literal way. My gardens over flow with produce in the summer and fall. I harvest herbs daily, many of them I turn into the wonderful blends, oils and potions I sell here on the website. But I also bring plenty of them into my kitchen to cook with.

When winter comes around and snow covers the garden, I am thankful for the herbs I have stashed away in my freezer.

To freeze woody or hard herbs, such a rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, tarragon, etc. I love to put them in a fat base and put them in the freezer. I prefer olive oil or butter, they work equally well.

Chop up your herbs, you can keep them seperate or mix them. Fill an ice cube tray about 2/3rds or 3/4trs full with the herbs. If some stick out, it is no big deal. Then pour in either olive oil, or melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer over night.

The next day pop them out of the ice cube trays and put in a freezer bag. Date and label and wait for winter!

These are great to saute onions and garlic in. They are wonderful to put into homemade bread, or on homemade bread. They make a handy base for meats in the crock pot. And they can just be dropped into soups and stews.

For other herbs that are soft such as basil, parsley and chives. I freeze them in oil too, but the taste will change. For these herbs I prefer to make a paste out of them, similar to pesto. Load up the food processor with hand fulls of your herbs. Again, mix or seperate as you prefer. Then put in just a little bit of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice and process away. If the mix is on the dry side, drizzle in the olive oil as it runs until you have a paste. You can use melted butter too, just make sure it is fairly cool, as too hot will cook the herbs.

To put these in ice cube trays, I find it helps to grease the trays a bit. Just swipe them with some olive oil, then scoop in your paste. Again cover with plastic wrap and freeze over night. In the morning, bag, date and label.

The lemon juice helps keep the brightness of the herb flavor. Not exactly the same as fresh, but still wonderful for winter.

An Encyclopedic Friend

 

Do you have one of those people in your circle of friends who seems to know all the odd trivia? They have an answer for everything, and odd little bits to insert into any conversation.

I am one of those people. I get random phone calls, emails, and instant messages asking various questions all day. It has always intrigued me where these questions come from, and why the person is asking. Now, I do not claim to be the omniscient being of fancy. On occasion I don’t know the answer, so I go look it up. Then I know for the future.

Some of the questions I have answered today:

What is tiramisu?

Well, only heaven on a plate. It is an Italian cake dessert. You take lady fingers and dip them in coffee, then layer them with marscapone cheese (whipped with cream and egg yolks). Drip the whole thing over with a chocolate liquer and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Here is a recipe.

How many miles in a league?

About three and a half. The calculator says precisely 3.45233834 miles.

What is entropy?

Entropy is why ice melts, and ice baths stop cooking vegetables. It is a thermodynamic principle that causes heat to seek a level, like water seeks a level due to gravity. Cold is only an absence of heat, so when something hot comes into contact with something cold, the heat evens out with both bodies becoming the same temperature. Since heat is simply the presence of molecules vibrating or moving at a higher frequency, the transfer of energy at this molecular level spreads out the heat, and tadaa! entropy.

What is the difference between a cigar and a cigarillo?

Cigarillos are sort of like little cigarette sized cigars. They are wrapped in whole tobacco leaf like a cigar, not paper like a cigarette. They are much smaller than cigars though and are known on the continent as seven minute cigars. Cigarillos are however often machine made, where as a good cigar (and who wants a cheap cigar?) is rolled and packed by hand. Since cigarillos are often smoked like cigarettes, they are packaged similarly and are not stored in humidors. They are a lower quality product that a cigar, and the price reflects that. But they are closer to a cigar than a cigarette can ever hope to be.

How is ozone made?

Ozone is when there are three oxygen atoms together in one molecule. Oxygen, which is two oxygen atoms in one molecule floating around in the stratosphere is struck by ultra-violet rays (at the right velocity and angle), this splits the molecule into two free oxygen atoms, which then attach to existing 2 atom oxygen molecules, hence producing ozone. Ozone is naturally made and destroyed in the stratosphere. Without pollution, the planet maintains a balance of creation and depletion that keeps the ozone layer fairly consistent, but not constant. As the thickness and concentration varies based on the location and temperature.

and What does skullcap do?
In short answer, it grows. But you probably mean more than that. Medicinally speaking it is considered antispasmodic, slightly astringent, diuretic, nervine, sedative and strongly tonic. It has been used to treat various problems of the nervous system including epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety, delirium tremens, withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquillizers, and neuralgia. It is also used for calming and relieving stress, promoting suppressed menstruation, relieving breast pain and encouraging expulsion of the placenta. Due to its strong action on the uterus it is not recommended for use during pregnancy, as it can cause abortion. Use with caution, causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching, in excess.

Magically speaking Skullcap is used for love, fidelity, and attracting money. Fidelity is an interesting use here, as it is the sort of ‘stay with me, or pay the price’ kind of fidelity. I include attracting money, as it is given as a traditional association, but I much prefer bay leaves and lodestone for that myself. For its use in love magic, it is a stupor of love, being lost in a glamour and a haze. It is most often used for sleep and connection with Mercurial entities. Providing you are only using a pinch, and have other appropriate herbs, I do like a bit of skullcap in my dream pillows. Especially if they are for prophetic dreaming. And, it goes great in small doses in incense designed to put you in touch with the Mercurial spirits. Combine with mugwort for such uses.

But, who really needs an encyclopedic friend like me around these days with google?

Green Goddess Dressing

This dressing is tangy and tasty and is fabulous for using smidgeons or overflowing hand fulls of fresh herbs from your garden.

It was originally created in the 1920’s in San Francisco. Named for the hit play of the time The Green Goddess. Many modern day versions include avocado in the recipe, but it originally was not there. This recipe is pretty flexible, so feel free to muck about with it.

This is great on salads, with grilled or fresh veggies, on fish and makes chicken or tuna salad really quick and easy.

INGREDIENTS
  • About a 1/2 cup of parsley leaves. Try to cut out the stems
  • About a 1/4 cup of fresh tarragon, stripped off the stem
  •  2-4 tablespoons of fresh chives
  • 1-8 garlic cloves (I like garlic, so I use 8, but if you are not a garlic lover, you can tone it down, but don’t omit it)
  • About a 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • Any other herbs you come up with while in the garden 🙂
  • 2 anchovies. Your dressing won’t taste fishy, just put them in and trust me.
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
Put everything in a blender or food processor. It seems to work best for me if the herbs go in first, and the mayo and lemon juice go in on top. Blend it until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice if you would like it thinner. Store in the fridge until needed. It is best to let it sit overnight to let the flavors blend. But I know there are days I can’t wait.

Witch Bottles

Here is an interesting formula for making a protective Witch Bottle

Take a clean Brown or Blue bottle that has a cork to it, and mark on the bottle a six-sided white snowflake symbol. This symbol is known as the Witch’s Foot, and is an ancient symbol of protection. I would recommend marking the witch’s foot with a grease pencil or white paint. Then begin to roam about your home (and it must be you home) and begin to fill the bottle with buttons, needles, housedust, strings,etc. You want the bottle to be filled with the odds and ends of the home, its essence. Dust bunnies are great. Bits of string or fiber from the carpets and furniture, etc.

Only fill the bottle part way. Then return to your work space and mix equal parts of the following herbs;

Patchouli
Mullein
Rosemary
Thorns from a Rose bush
Vervain

Just a pinch will do. You can order this blend here (temporarily down while I move the site, please email if you would like to order. I will have it back up soon).

Place the mixed herbs into the bottle. Top off the bottle with your own urine or white vinegar. Then add 3 drops of your own blood. Use a lancet and be sure to clean your fingers first. The middle finger of the right hand is the ideal place for this spell, but if that won’t work, be creative. If you absolutely can’t do your blood for some reason, use a lock of your hair with spittle and sexual fluids on it.

Hold the open bottle up and invoke into the mouth;

“Callieach Looms and Nicnevens Sending,
Bring ye all ill Unseelie to an ending,
Bottle,Stone and Sacred Tree,
Be upon the Blood and Not my Bones!
Cast ye to the Earth and Not ye roam,
Cast ye to the Seas and Begone!
Free am I,and Safe as the Holy Stone!”

Speak with feeling and force. Repeat until you feel the power has entered the bottle. Cork it at the peak of energy. Seal the cork completely with red sealing wax. Then gently shake and roll the bottle in your hands to mix the ingredients and allow things to stir about.

That night, bury the bottle by your front door. Make sure it is far enough down that rain or animals won’t unearth it. If you live in an apartment or other dwelling without a yard, put it at the bottom of a large planter, and put some flowers (real or fake) on top.

As you are putting the earth on top of the bottle, you make chant:

“Bind Rending, as the Cauldron Turns,
Trapped Sending, as the Oceans Churn,
Return Not or thy Presence to Burn,
Turnabout, Turnabout, Turnabout,
Bound will ye be..I cast ye out!”

Return to your work area after cleaning up, and burn a white candle and your favorite incense for filling you with good energy and happy thoughts. I recommend some Blessing Incense.

Within the coming week pay it forward, do a kind turn for someone, and share your new abundance. Think not of the bottle as you cross by it, just know that it is doing its job, tying up all the ill thoughts and maleficia sent your way.

Do not dig up the bottle for any reason. If you move, make a new one. If you feel it has filled up with bad energy and can not hold any more at the time, make a new one and bury it near but not touching the old one.