This morning was chilly when I woke up. Our boys had already left their room so I turned on our furnace and let them huddle beside the warm register. When I opened the door to their room I just sighed deeply and blinked slowly. They have developed a new strategy of making me go out of my mind. I have no idea when they concocted this diabolical scheme of theirs but it seems to be working. Let's say it looked like they were in a giant snowglobe that had toys, clothes, and diapers instead of lovely white snowflakes...and someone shook it up really hard. I would get to it later, I decided.
So, I proceeded to make oatmeal for breakfast and thought that today would be a good soup day. As I stirred up the oatmeal I wondered if our little girl would be eating any. She's been sick for the past four days with a fever and upset tummy. I called the girls down for breakfast and my intuition was correct. Having one less eater in the morning meant that I had leftover oatmeal. Reheated porridge sounds hardly appetizing so I thought it'd be a good idea to make bread with it.
Before I started on making the bread the idea of salty clear broth over gently yielding noodles wrapped my thoughts in warmth and comfort. That's when I decided to make homemade chicken noodle soup. I pulled out my family cookbook, the one with my grandma's heritage recipes. I took poultry scraps out of the freezer, placed them in our biggest pot and poured water over to almost full. My teaball that I use for the bouquet garni was missing its bottom half so I managed to put the ginger, star anise, cloves, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a coffee filter and secured it with a twist tie.
Then I made the bread. I know this recipe by heart but it's a little tricky using leftover oatmeal like this. I have to reduce the liquid by whatever amount of cooked oatmeal I have on hand. The boys watched as I mixed in the flour until I had a dough that was soft yet manageable. They love to "help" by pretending to dust flour onto the table as I knead the dough until it's just right. I don't mind their little flour-laden fingers too much.
This conjured up my inner Proverbs 31 woman-meets-Betty Crocker and I felt quite good about my productive morning. So, when all was done, the dough rising and the soup stock cooking, I sat down and started to watch the latest Saturday Night Live skit of the Obama - McCain debate. I was a few minutes into it when I thought I'd fetch my tea. When I walked into the kitchen I was stopped abruptly in my tracks like an Arctic blast of icy wind. What I saw made me want to laugh, cry, and start a rousing chorus of "Dashing through the snow..." all at once. I didn't laugh, though, or cry. I don't recall saying a word as I walked into our office, retrieved our camera, and snapped this photo. Not exactly lovely white snowflakes but my snowglobe certainly got shook up really good, this morning: