Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Remedy - Parshat Tazriyah

Hi There! Miss me? Sorry for the hiatus. This week hardly seems like the time to come back, with a portion chock full of bodily maladies, but I've missed it here.

This week we'll read Parshat Tazriyah which appropriately enough for spring, kicks off with babies being born and people getting sick. After a woman given birth she is barred from having relations with her husband for either a week (if she has a boy) or two weeks (if she has a girl) - not sure if any of the women are complaining about this one. And then she is also not allowed to come in contact with the Tabernacle for 33 or 66 says (boy girl difference again here). At the end of this period of time she brings a baby lamb and a small turtle dove for a sacrifice and is reunited with the Tabernacle. Can't decide if I picture here with a baby bjorn on or having left her kids home with a sitter for the ceremony.

There have been a handful of new baby additions to the Boston community that we've been delighted to meet. And in no apparent correlation, a lot of people have been telling me that they're sick just as the new season is upon us.

This is the time of year when I’m so eager for the weather to change from cold, cold to milder spring weather. It’s also the time of year when I’m most likely to catch a cold because I’m dressing for the weather I wish was here instead of what is actually here (there's snow coming this Friday to Boston - geeze). And the only thing to really do when you get a cold at a time like this is to have someone make you a pot of chicken soup that you can continually dip into (when I was sick a few weeks ago, I had to shout directions from the couch to Sam in the kitchen, who had never made chicken soup before).

I also hear, from the new mothers, that chicken soup is prescribed in many parenting books as the best way to rehydrate after childbirth. So I have a chicken soup recipe to share.

My dad is the chicken soup king in our family. He learned from his mom and put his own twist on it – sometimes adding ginger and sometimes adding cilantro. But there is always a lot of dill and a lot of chicken flavor. My dad and I have a sauté vs boil debate when it comes to cooking the vegetables in chicken soup. I think that sautéing all the vegetables - onion, celery, carrots, garlic, with olive oil, salt and pepper - is what gives any soup a deep flavorful base.

Here is my recipe for a small batch - makes four servings - for when you're sick or super thirsty.

And below, some more Passover displays spotted in some local supermarkets - where Kedem grape juice seems to be in high demand - and at Target where they had almost sold out of Passover greeting cards!

Chicken Soup with Ginger

If you want to make a small soup for 4 that’s ready in less than an hour use this recipe – for larger quantities double the amount and the cooking time.

2 Chicken thighs (I'm using grow and behold chickens)
3 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 carrots, washed and diced
2 stalks of celery, washed and diced
1 tbsp of Ginger, peeled and zested
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
½ cup of dill, chopped

Set a large, thick bottomed pot over a medium flame. Place the cut vegetables, garlic and ginger into the pot with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let them sauté and sweat for at least 10 minutes.

After the onions look translucent and slightly browned cover all the vegetables with water and add the chicken thighs. Add more water until the pot is full to two inches from the brim. Boil for 20 minutes, then add the dill and cilantro and boil for ten minutes more. Serve hot.

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