Friday, October 29, 2010

From the Kitchen: Spaetzle, Spilled Tea and a Sore Throat

Maybe I should have written my title in reverse. You see, I have a sore throat today… I’m not feeling so hot. I came down with a mild cold this past weekend, and it has since morphed into something different and little bit worse. Yesterday two of the three kids started to sound like they have swollen lymph nodes too, and the third brought home a paper from school advising me that she “may have been exposed to strep throat.” Oh goody.

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This cold has derailed a bit of my motivation and a lot of my housekeeping efforts, and I’m really disappointed that I cannot now visit a good friend who just had a new baby. We’re the last thing they need, but I was really hoping to be useful and snap a few newborn photos for the family. I don’t tend to get this disappointed about things, but I guess I’ll blame the pregnancy hormones and feeling bad in general. I’ll be more useful if I rest and get better now, and help out when we won’t be sharing anything other than hugs. But I’m allowing myself to feel bummed. It’s normal.

So, instead of cleaning my own house or doing other useful things like folding the laundry, I’m sitting here and “resting”. I have a homemade hot pad for my achy back, a cup of Lady Grey tea from another dear friend (thanks Erin!) and I’m feeling pretty peaceful. And then I drip warm tea on my one pair of comfy lounge pants. Nice…

The real point of this post isn’t a pity party… it’s spaetzle. It can also be written “spätzle” if we want to get technical about it. It’s a German egg noodle that I first encountered last year after a sledding party with some friends and our collective offspring. After getting chilled to the core outside, we went in and my friend’s mother (a truly excellent cook) had prepared some mouth-watering chicken noodle soup. My prior experience with chicken noodle soup involved big soggy egg noodles. And if you had leftovers, the soggy egg noodles absorbed any extra broth so, the next day, you had a glutinous chicken gum to eat. Not my favorite. But Sally’s soup was made with spaetzle instead of the traditional “wide egg noodles” I had always used, and I could tell this is what my soup needed. After discovering that it was probably available in any given grocery store (I bet you’d be surprised to know it can be found in the noodle aisle), I now use spaetzle when I make chicken noodle soup.

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My soup is really nothing to brag about (seriously… it’s basic, but not really my specialty), so I’m not going to give a specific recipe. But I am going to strongly suggest that you try spaetzle for your next batch of chicken noodle soup, and see if it isn’t 1000 times better because of it. I’m now going to move my sorry self to the couch before I spill more beverages near the computer. I’m signing off and wishing you a warm, healthful day! If you do something useful today, leave me a comment so I can live vicariously through you :)

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