Recovery: Poor Hubby has been running himself into the ground. Trying to run a business and then racing and working on his farm all the while overseeing his calving cows and trying to protect them from wild dogs and dingoes. A bad cold was definitely not ordered. But he got one. I felt so sorry watching him go off this morning, heaving and coughing.I crossed my fingers desperately hoping any newborns would be okay; unlike last time. Right then, I decided that I would make a good old fashioned chicken noodle soup. Nothing but goodies in it. Hubby needed lots of goodies and there is nothing better for the soul or a 'cold' than chicken soup. I didn't need to hit the cookbooks for this one. I have been in 'throw-together' mode a bit lately and I have enjoyed feeling 'liberated'. I just hoped that a nutritious soup would help him recover sooner rather than later.
Chicken Noodle Soup
3 skinless lovely legs (drumsticks)
2 chicken necks
1 peeled carrot, cut in half
2 stalks celery, including leaves, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 brown onion, cut in half
2 bay leaves
several whole black peppercorns
2 1/2 litres water
a bunch of continental parsley
4 green shallots
3/4 cup short, thin pasta
Place everything into the pot, except for the pasta and shallots. Put 1/2 the bunch of parsley into the pot; reserve remainder. Bring to boil; reduce to a simmer; cook for up to two hours; no longer.
Take out the chicken; set aside. Strain the liquid through a sieve, catching all the veggies in the strainer. Discard the cooked veggies.
Return the liquid to the pot; bring to boil; add pasta; boil till pasta is cooked through. It should take no more than three or four minutes. Take off heat; put in green shallots and whole leaves from a couple of parsley stalks. Remove all the meat from the chicken legs; shred or dice. Add to the soup. Keep the chicken necks whole and return those to the pot as well. Season with lots of cracked pepper and salt.
Delicious served steaming hot with some crunchy bread.
Discovery: A few nights ago I received an SMS from Mitch. He and Maxi began their bike trip last week from Stuttgart and their destination was to reach Amsterdam. It was very special to hear they were in Dusseldorf.
My mum was born in Dusseldorf, or at least I think she was. She died when I was almost two years old and I know hardly anything about her or her family. I won't go into detail but most of my upbringing has centered around the "Balkan" way. My half being German has played no significant role in my life. That is until my Aussie boy became best friends with a German boy.
Then his curiousity about his German ancestry began. He has a great deal of respect for German people and he thinks they are one of the smartest races on earth. Ah ha, maybe that is why Mitch fancies some German in him. The bottom line is he wants to know and he wants me to find out. I haven't really. It is almost like a scary place for me to go. But my curious boy just won't let it rest.
I leave in less than seven days. Yes, you heard me right. I'm going to Europe. I haven't been since 1981!! The plan is to meet up with Mitch and stay with Maxi and his family for a couple of days. We are being rather spontaneous about things and absolutely do not have things mapped out to a tee. It shall be interesting to say the least.
Our sketchy plan is to head down the Adriatic coast and reach Montenegro. From the coast we shall venture up into the continental part and through the mountainous terrain until we reach the village of 'Potrk', where my father was born back in 1924. My father would have been so proud of Mitch and so happy to learn about his grandson's interest in his European roots. My dad passed away three years ago.
The house is still there and my uncle and his wife are still alive. Mitch expressed a desire to stay with them for two weeks. He wants to experience their isolated part of world and work and live as they do in the mountains. Let's just say I don't think it is a place where many tourists, if any, are ever seen. Once again, it is going to be interesting.
After that we shall do some touristy things and visit the must see places in Montenegro. We have other relatives there so they will help us out and Mitch is looking forward to meeting his "on the other side of the world" relatives with whom he will not be able to communicate. Fortunately I can speak the language, so, phew.
The sketchy plan, then sees us heading to Greece for a short stint and I was hoping to see Crete and spend maybe even a week there. I am really fascinated with that place, so we shall see how it turns out. After that, back to Germany and Mitch will spend one last week with Maxi who should be back at university in Franfurt.
The week before that happens, we were thinking we might go to Dusseldorf and look into finding out about my mother and any of her relations. I have a strange, shaking feeling as I write. It is like going into the unknown and not knowing what I shall discover. And I am slightly scared. You probably think I am being foolish but that is how I feel.
Fear aside, I feel I owe it to my boy who has a clear and interested connection in his family roots. I need to do this. I have avoided it for a long time but now the time has come. I need to find out just exactly who I am.
See you in two months. Bye for now.