Monday, September 21, 2009

beating the sniffles

on saturday my friend and i got together and made a TON of chicken noodle soup. it was a lot of fun getting together and catching up, and cooking is always more fun when it's with a friend!
the most important food ingredient in a good traditional chicken soup is the broth. many of us know that broth is good for us when we are sick, but does anyone know why? and did you know that the broth you are drinking is probably use less if it's not homemade? let me elaborate by taking some cues from "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" by Sally Fallon.
'Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.'
she goes on to list other important benefits of bone broth such as protein content (great any time, healthy or sick, but especially when you are ill and not eating a whole lot of protein rich foods) and gelatin which is a proven intestine healer and digestive aid. It is important to note that natural gelatin is good for you, but commerically produced gelatin can contain MSG which could be bad for those with sensitivities.
there are side benefits of drinking a warm broth as well when you are sick. first, you are taking in fluids. secondly the steam from the stock will open your sinuses, and some say that the sodium in it will raise your blood pressure a little and help you have a bit of energy.
stock can be made from chicken, beef, fish or game bones and tissue. i will briefly outline how i made chicken stock (according to the Nourishing Traditions recipe):
roast a whole chicken, let cool
take most of the meat off carcass, reserve for soup or sandwiches, etc
place carcass and any giblets that may have been included in the chicken in a stock pot with 4 quarts of water
add 2 tablespoons of vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
let stand 30 to 60 minutes, then bring to a boil removing 'scum' as it floats to the top. reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. the longer you cook the stock the richer and more flavorful it will be. about 10 min before finishing the stock, add 1 bunch chopped parsley (this will impart additional mineral ions to the broth)
remove carcass and vegetables with a slotted spoon. pour the stock through a fine strainer into a pot or large bowl to further remove left over 'stuff'.
pour stock into jars or plastic freezer containers. let cool, then strain off the fat. clear stock will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator and several months in the freezer.
so there you have it, my method for making a tasty, nutritious, healing meat stock. the vitamins and minerals that are readily available in the liquid are good anytime of year but especially when you are feeling like you want to die :)
chicken soup: good for the soul and good for your health!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

'tis so sweet

to trust in Jesus!!!

i am so happy to have had an upbriging where christian music was played and (even though i didn't particularly like it at the time) hymns were sung and listed to on tv or radio. it is these songs that come to my mind when i am struggling, evoking memories of scriptures through their words. the truths written in songs of the faith are encouraging and sweet.
as i have shared before on this blog my health is a major source of 'strife' to say the least. it seems like every time i go to the doctor or have some test done it doesn't turn out well. it gets really discouraging sometimes and i would be lying if i said that i had never prayed for a new body :) even as i think of my health woes, i am getting teared up. it is hard for me to remain positive when there are so many unknowns. as i fight my human nature and strive to trust my ultimate Physician, i remember the hymn below. lately, singing it has helped me to remember that i don't need to know what is happening...i just need to trust the One who does!
Trust the Lord your God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Psalm 3:5-6

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking Life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,Wilt be with me to the end.