Over the Summer, I had a fabulous weekend away with 2 of my “R&R Ladies” (Retail and restaurant) in Christchurch. What started out as a 2-day weekend away to see a favourite comedian, morphed into 5 days, 2 shows, a cricket match and lunches and dinners with friends, with a wee bit of shopping thrown in for good measure… It was dubbed the “Hot Date Weekend”
My Hot Date #2 in Christchurch was with Nigella. It was a last-minute booking – I found out via Social Media that we were going to be in town at the same time, and voila! A ticket was obtained, posh clothes packed and off I trotted…
They say you should never meet your heroes in real life, in case they disappoint.
But I was certainly not disappointed! Nigella is one of the people whose relishing of words, and the power of food, has certainly inspired this Blog. I wasn’t there to see her cook, or to taste her food. It was a relaxed “conversation”; the first half she talked with one of my favourite NZ authors (a bonus to the date weekend), and the second half was fielding spontaneous questions from the audience. It was fabulous. It confirmed for me how “normal” she is. Warm, natural, and self-deprecating. You get the distinct feeling she is one of those people who find themselves “Accidentally Famous”. Bemused by the world’s interest in her and her life.
Then post show, there was a meet and greet book signing… AS you can expect of a world famous author, it was beautifully managed, but her generosity meant, my “15 minutes of fame” – well at least 3 minutes, did not feel rushed, or that I was one in a (very) long line of people… And it just confirmed what I thought I knew of her, smart, sassy, fun and generous… ! But her answers, and the obvious thought she gave to the weight of her words, made me appreciate her generosity of spirit even more. She is aware of the power her celebrity gives her words, and she measures them well… She confirmed that she does her own social media, and so the couple of answers she’s given to my tweets or Instagram extended my “15 minutes of fame”… It is a strange, and modern phenomenon that we like to feel we’ve “met” our heroes…
It was certainly something off my bucket list! (and in case you are wondering, she is simply drop dead gorgeous in real life… 😉).
So, I thought I would share a recipe that I think she would approve of……
There is no greater Cooking Alchemy than Chicken Soup.. Every culture has popped a chook in a pot and made magic. Jewish Chicken soup is a well-known cure-all; An Asian Pho is a must do and my personal favourite from my Childhood was my mum’s chicken soup and Kluski (egg dumplings, hand dropped into boiling broth)… There is a magic of boiling a chicken with some basic vegetables and voila! A bowl of deliciousness ready to eat as is, or add to, to make a meal or two.
I always have frozen single portions of homemade chicken stock in the freezer – ready to soothe sick kids, send to friends who are post op, and not very hungry or mostly, to make this when I’m struggling after a few hard days…
I shared my method for homemade chicken stock here..https://chrissiestable.com/2018/04/27/bowls-of-welcoming-winter-warmth/
Serenity Soup is basically an Asian Pho, but you can alter the ingredients to fit what’s in your freezer or pantry…
1C Chicken Stock
1t grated ginger
2 – 3 mushrooms finely sliced
1 pack Udon Noodles
1 serving Asian Greens I normally have Pak Choy, but any greens will do
6-8 frozen prawns/cooked chicken (optional)
Any other vege you have to hand, finely sliced or diced..
Bring the stock to the boil and the ginger and the mushrooms, cook for 2 mins. Then I layer in the noodles, the prawns and the greens on top. Add the lid and cook 2-3 mins until the greens wilt. If you’re not using prawns, you can substitute cooked shredded chicken – or go meatless.
You can add finely sliced carrot, some corn, edamame beans, snow peas, even broccoli or cauliflower… the choices are endless.
Serve in a large bowl, and top with some sliced chilli or chilli flakes. Be warned its very hot and everything will continue cooking while you’re eating it.
Guaranteed to cure all feelings of bleugh and pep you up.
And if you get the chance to meet one of your heroes, go for it. It will give you memories for a lifetime..