Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

For years my family ate chicken noodle soup out of a can. And it was okay, but not exactly the healthiest option or the tastiest. Then one day Mom was browsing through a family cookbook and found these recipes:

Grandma Hetrick's Homemade Noodles
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
3T. cold water
1tsp. salt
2 c. flour

Beat eggs and add water and salt. Stir in flour and mix with hands. Divide dough into 2 parts and roll out each piece as thin as possible on floured surface. Roll up as for a jelly roll and cut with sharp knife into strips of desired size. Shake out noodles and place on towels to dry (can be cooked immediately).

For soup go ahead and cut long strips shorter and place in soup.

Aunt Clara’s Chicken Soup

Start with several pounds of chicken breasts with the skin on and bone in. Boil in large pot with 1 cup celery, 1 onion and carrots (per your Taste). Salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for several hours. Remove chicken. Add 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon. Then add homemade noodles and after cleaning the skin and bones from chicken, return that to the pot also. Boil about ½ hour.

The longer you let it stand or simmer the thicker the broth will be, and the noodles will become thicker. Our family likes it better that way. You could just put it in the fridge and serve the next day.

This is one of the only two soups my dad likes and his favorite of those two - partly because it's so thick and filling.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tied Down

“They tie you down,” a woman said,
Whose cheeks should have been flaming red
With shame to speak of children so.
“When babies come you cannot go
In search of pleasure with your friends,
And all your happy wandering ends.
The things you like you cannot do,
For babies make a slave of you.”

I looked at her and said, “’Tis true
That children make a slave of you,
And tie you down with many a knot,
But have you never thought to what
It is of happiness and pride
That little babies have you tied?
Do you not miss the greater joys
That come with little girls and boys?

They tie you down to laughter rare,
To hours of smiles and hours of care,
To nights of watching and to fears;
Sometimes they tie you down to tears
And then repay you with a smile,
And make your trouble all worth while.
They tie you fast to chubby feet
And cheeks of pink and kisses sweet.

They fasten you with cords of love
To God divine, who reigns above.
They tie you, whereso’er you roam,
Unto the little place called home;
And over sea or railroad track
They tug at you to bring you back.
The happiest people in the town
Are those the babies have tied down.

Oh, go your selfish way and free
But hampered I would rather be,
Yes rather than wear a kingly crown
I would be, what you term, tied down;
Tied down to dancing eyes and charms,
Held fast by chubby, dimpled arms,
The fettered slave of girl and boy,
And win from them earth’s finest joy.”
~ Edgar A. Guest

Would you like to know any even bigger reason why
being "tied down to your kids" matters and can be enjoyable?
Read these beautiful words from Miss Shannon's blog :

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Day at my House

(Note: This is from several months ago, so it's not exactly right; but it's close enough.)

6:15 - I wake up and begin my morning preparations.

6:45 - Finally ready, I sit down on my bed for some time with the Lord.

7:05 - I find Caleb reading a book about the doctrines of grace, and we discuss Limited Atonement for a few minutes. He is inclined to believe it based on that book, until I show him a couple of verses from Dr. Wicks’s Theology class. Then, of course, his brilliant mind comes up with a few more reasons why it can’t be true to the extent the book says.

7:15 - We fix some year-old cream of wheat that Mom found and doesn’t want wasted. After tasting it, we decide that it’s all right with honey, but not my breakfast of choice, to say the least. Maybe it would be better with something else?

7:25 - We walk down to the church and practice some hymns so we can learn new ones and Caleb can strengthen his voice for song leading. However, his voice is very tired today, so we don’t sing a lot. Instead, he reads a chapter - Romans 1 - and I pick two key verses for memorization. Then we exercise in the Fellowship Hall because I need to get in shape!

8:00 - As we leave the church, Mom is coming down to take out the garbage. We chat briefly with her, then continue to the house and wake Jedidiah up.

8:15 - Older books sometimes discuss the tendency of homemakers to divide their tasks among the days of the week. I have often wondered how to implement such a concept, but recently have found it to be quite natural. Some days just lend themselves to cooking, others to a long day in the gardens, some to piles of laundry while listening to preaching tapes, and yet others to big cleaning and organizing projects.
This is a day for cooking and cleaning, so I begin with a two-year-old cake mix Mom found. Once it is in the oven I sit down at the kitchen table to write a letter to my best friend way down in Georgia. Caleb is playing chess online and talking to some friends on Faithfreaks, while Jedidiah is having breakfast and getting ready for the day. My letter finished, I walk it down past the church and across the street to the mailbox, then return home and call the library to renew some books that are due today. One is a catechism book for children, the other is a George MacDonald nonfiction. Do I recommend it? I’m not sure yet. Ask me later. J While the cake finishes baking and the leftover icing thaws, I mix some banana muffins and put them in the oven.

10:40 - Caleb leaves for work, while Jedidiah works on some of his chores for the day - hosing down the garbage cans, cleaning the back porch, defining some words, and so forth. I finish the muffins, then ice the cake with purple trim and flowers, green leaves, and pink letters that spell “Good Morning.” I know, kind of random, but it was all I could think to write.
At some point I also checked on my garden and helped Jedidiah change the water in his fish tank, but I’m not sure exactly when that was. . . .

12:00 - Jedidiah and I eat hot dogs, cheetos, carrots, celery, and applesauce for lunch (with water to drink, of course). When we’re through, Jedidiah goes back to his chores and I wave goodbye before heading down to the mailbox. Will there be something interesting today? No, just some bills and junk mail and the Madison County Advertiser.
Mom needs my help cleaning and organizing the library and Dad’s office at church. I put away some flannel graph figures, place all the Vacation Bible School song sheets and transparencies back in the appropriate binder, and stack some papers more neatly on Dad’s desk. His desk lamp is quite feminine with elaborate carving, delicate fringes, and a beautiful picture; so I carry it to the flower room to be put with the other decorations. Mom hands me a more businesslike black lamp with little cubbyholes in the bottom for pencils and paper and other office stuff. Ah, much better! There is much more to be done, with the mundane details of which I will not bore you.

2:45 - Mom leaves to pick Caleb up from work and take him to the dentist. Jedidiah’s chore list is winding down. I go up to the house and get on the Internet for about an hour and a half.

3:00 - I tear open a package of thawed dark chicken and set them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350o, then melt some butter and pour it over the chicken so the meat will be moist and tender. Actually, I melted too much butter; half a stick would have been sufficient.

4:00 - I start some green beans on the stovetop and turn the oven off, covering the chicken with aluminum foil so it will stay warm.

4:20 - Now it is time to prepare the brown rice. I’m not sure yet of the best ingredients to add for taste, so today I add oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, marjoram, and chives.

4:30 - Dad is home! Jedidiah and I greet him, then set the table for supper. Half an hour later, Mom and Caleb get back from the dentist’s office. We greet them and listen as Caleb tells us about his teeth. I put the hot food on the table along with bread, butter, and fresh vegetables. We sit down and eat, discussing different happenings of the day, then finish off with the cake.

5:40 - We clear the table and get ready for Wednesday night church.

6:00 - Jedidiah washes the dishes, Caleb picks out the songs for tonight, and I practice some hymn arrangements at the church. My little piano student doesn’t show up, but Caleb and I practice the songs. Some of them are a little high, so I find them in a different hymnal.

6:45 - People begin arriving.

6:55 - I play the prelude, and the people start coming into the sanctuary and sitting down, continuing their conversations from before. Some of the men pray in Dad’s office.

7:00 - The service begins. The song service goes well, and the people interact freely and joyfully during the prayer requests / praise reports time. Dad has been teaching through Romans, and tonight’s passage is Romans 15:14-27. He expounds on Paul’s graciousness and humility (key qualities when communicating truth) as well as Paul’s faithfulness and vision.
Even after Paul had “fully preached the Gospel of Christ” in a 1400-mile area, compared to the United States’ width of 2000 miles, on foot - even after this, Paul still has a vision for more. Now he wants to go to Spain. Need constitutes call. Am I meeting needs? Is my life making any difference? Do I have a vision? Or am I just sitting around and lazing my way into heaven?

8:00 - The service is over. After everyone leaves, Caleb and Jedidiah and I each eat a bowl of oats and honey. Caleb gets online for a little while, and I sit down to write this.

9:00 - We meet in the living room where Dad leads the family in “Isn’t the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful?” followed by a prayer. Jedidiah hugs each of us goodnight.

9:30 - Caleb and I say good-night to Dad, Mom, and each other before going to our separate rooms for some reading time. I am reading The Robber, a work of Biblical fiction which I found in our church library and decided to see what it was like. (Don’t waste your time on it; it’s heretical.)

11:15 - Too late, I pull the switch on the light, leaving the fan on to cool me through the night, and slip into bed.