Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup and Phil’s Salad

As Clark went through the Safeway circular on Tuesday when it arrived in the mail he circled items that he wanted me to buy today when I went shopping. One circled item was a whole chicken, 69 cents a pound, locally grown, limit three. He thought it was a turkey (and indeed it did look like one) which required a repeated explanation each time he talked about buying a turkey. It has been many years since I’ve bought a whole chicken. I am spoiled on six-lb. bags of individually frozen chicken breasts at Sam’s Club. Today, however, I wanted to buy a whole chicken, slow cook it all day and have homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner along with homemade bread. Clark and I went to Safeway. No more whole chickens. We settled for chicken thighs at $1.18 a pound. Into the pot they went as soon as we arrived home for a slow simmer all afternoon. I put the ingredients for bread into the bread maker and pushed start. A half hour before dinner I fished out the thighs, let them cool a little and then took off the skin and deboned them and then put the meat and vegetables in the broth. It was a deliciously perfect meal for a cool fall day and a huge hit, second helpings attesting to that, with the entire family. I made enough for three meals, one eaten tonight and two to put in the freezer.

Sunday afternoon we met with four other families for our monthly dinner group. We were assigned to contribute fruit or a fruit salad. Stretching the definition somewhat we decided to take Phil’s favorite salad. On Saturday I sent him to the store, with his sister who drove, to get the ingredients. He found the items, bought them with his money and then came home to make the salad. I don’t know the name of the salad (it is more like a dessert) but in our family it is called Phil’s salad. We noticed for years that he loved this salad which usually just appeared on Thanksgiving and Christmas. After everyone would take a helping he would take the salad off the table, no seconds for anyone, and put it in the fridge so that he could enjoy it by himself the next day. A couple of years ago he started making it himself with my supervision. To Cool Whip you add pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, Maraschino cherries, miniature marshmallows and nuts. It was a hit with our dinner group. Phil even got to take some home to eat later.

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