When you are sick, sick enough to feel awful but still feeling ok to eat, what is it that you turn to? A box of twinkies and a can of pop? Or course not! You want something good, something that will make you feel better, and most of the time that means grabbing for some water and chicken noodle soup.
I’ve been sick over the last couple days and I’ve been craving a good chicken noodle soup. However, more often than not when we are sick and wanting that soup we end up grabbing a can instead of homemade. In the Little House on the Prairie we read about when Ma, Pa, and the girls were sick with malaria.
“Laura did not exactly go to sleep, but she didn’t really wake up for a long, long time. Strange things seemed to keep happening in a haze. She would see Pa crouching by the fire in the middle of the night, then suddenly sunshine hurt her eyes and Ma fed her broth from a spoon.”
“I want a drink of water, please,” Laura said. The fat woman brought it at once. The good, cold water made Laura feel better. She looked at Mary asleep beside her; she looked at Pa and Ma asleep in the big bed. Jack lay half asleep on the floor. Laura looked again at the fat woman and asked, “Who are you?” “I’m Mrs. Scott,” the woman said, smiling, “There now, you feel better don’t you?” “Yes, thank you,” Laura said, politely. The fat woman brought her a cup of hot prairie chicken broth. “Drink it all up, like a good child,” she said. Laura drank every drop of the good broth.” ~ Little House on the Prairie p.186, 190-191
So what’s up with this broth? Why do we crave it and why have we been craving it for so long?
“Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.” ~ Broth is Beautiful
So how do we made this miracle food? It’s pretty simple. Put the bones, fat, and some meat in a pot with water. Add vegetables to taste if you want. Make sure the water that you add to the mixture is cold so it can slow heat. Add some vinegar. Heat the broth slowly and let it sit at a slow simmer for a while. After a while you will want to skim the top from the stuff that rises up. A fish broth should simmer 2 hours, other meat should be left all day, beef should be simmered overnight.(you probably want to use a crockpot for that)
After the broth has been simmered you will want to stain it and remove any bones, or meat prticles still in it. It will store for days in the refridgerator or you can put it in bags or containers in the freezer to save for later.
You can use bone broth the same as you would use any other kind of broth or store boughten broth. We like to put it with chicken and noodles in the crockpot to make soup. I like to make extra chicken noodle soup and freeze it in individual servings so I have it for a quick meal when I need it. The kind of bone broth also makes an excellent soup base, and it’s very tasty when you cook pasta in it that you are going to use for another dish. It gives some amazing flavor to an otherwise flavorless pasta!
Make sure you check out the entire Living Like Little House series!