Tag Archives: fresh herbs

Hydroponics! How I spent my low census day!

I saw an indoor herb farm on here the other night and thought to myself, Ooooh holy hell! I need to get on amazon, and buy that RIGHT friggin NOW!  As I search amazon for the best price, the hydro kit that I keep forgetting about shined a little brighter in its corner of the plant room. Sure, every few months I take it out, dig through it, and question what I should put in it. We have a TON of succulents, But they are in a sense the worlds most virile plants. Sometimes when I’m trimming them I stick the leaves in the dirt, and a few weeks later after I have forgotten about them as well, I find them rooted, and beginning to spring up fresh leaves. How ever, being that I am on a fresh herb kick, and that my mothers house was brimming with fresh growth, I decided to pick a few clones and plop them in my kit. After about 10 daunting minutes it was all set up, PH tested, plant food added and spirting water.

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Olaf even stopped by to check out the sprouts. He managed to abscond with a few of them before I was able to get them into the little pots. 

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Now I’m not saying I cant grow herbs on my own, I’ve just had a crappy track record thus far. My little baby pots have begun to sprout, at least some tiny tiny parsley, and some oregano. Still no sign of my basil, and the thyme only has a few meager sprouts. Only time will tell. A watched planter never sprouts!! 

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Chicken noodle soup with spice

The temperatures have finally hit frigid here in the northwest. Its been downright sultry until now. Time for soups! As a kid I despised soup. I would plug my nose, quietly spoon it into my napkin, rub it on the underside of the table, and of course, sit there bitterly complaining until I fell asleep at the table, all in the name of not having to eat it. Now that I’m a bit older, I don’t hate it. Its almost to the point where I like it.

Sometimes when cooking we all need a perverted little voice that whispers creepily in our ear “shhhhhhhhhh… just go with it.” That’s about what happened with this chicken soup. It turned me into a spice-o-file.  I’ve taken a keen interest in whole spices and fresh herbs lately. The flavors are completely unique from their dried and ground up brethren. I like to think of soups as a savory tea with chunks in it. All you are really doing in steeping flavors into a broth to make cozy food magic.  Recently I’ve noticed nutmeg in a lot of recipes, in no particular amount, never mentioned again in the recipe, and not really stating what form it should be used in (thanks for that). I’m not going to leave you hanging that way today. I use the whole seed.  I plop it in there with a few of its whole spice friends, to let their spice BO permeate throughout my soup.  Life hack: If you have a tea strainer, put your spices in there. That way they are easily removed from you soup.

Fun pre recipe fact

Nutmeg is not only a delicious spice, but its also a terrible hallucinogenic that will make you violently ill if taken in high quantities. Feel free to Google it and read the experiences of several morons who thought that it sounded like a good idea at the time.

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6 cups chicken broth

1 cup white wine

4 chicken breasts cut up in your favorite chicken soup style

2 cups sliced mushrooms

4 sticks of chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 chopped potato (I hate potatoes, put as many as you want in there)

1 parsnip chopped

1 onion chopped and sauteed

6 whole cloves of garlic

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1 tbsp fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh oregano (chopped/bruised)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup of your favorite small noodles

Salt

Pepper

In your tea strainer

1 nutmeg seed

2 black cardamom seeds

1/2 tsp fresh cumin

1 bay leaf

2 star anise seeds

Add in your chicken broth, wine and lemon juice, and bring it to a light simmer. Drop your tea strainer in, and add everything else except the noodles. Let this gently simmer for about 45 minutes, remove the tea strainer, and then add in you noodles. Let the soup continue to simmer away until the noodles have cooked all the way, and then eat it.

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