Making chicken noodle soup for the kids
The effort versus the ever-fleeting reward.
There's no accounting for taste. When I decided on a life-change earlier in the year, part of my own personal goal for self-development was to have a decent shot at learning how to cook better. Onward I travelled through books and (mostly) YouTube videos, picking up different ideas, seeing what techniques aligned, and then trying to create something edible for my two children.
There was something really enjoyable about making chicken noodle soup from scratch. I remember asking the two kids whether they would enjoy some chicken soup on a cold, wintry evening while Mum was at work - to which the reply was an enthused "Yes!".
Roasting the chook, tearing the white meat apart, then boiling down the remains for stock proved to be strangely satisfying, watching the plain water take on the properties of the other foods and thyme that was chucked into the pot. The aromas that filled the house were odorous clouds of meat and vegetables that welcomed the boys home with a smelly hug.
"What's that?" asked my eldest, a rather boisterous 5-year old who throws himself at the world with the gusto of a tornado, and usually with similar aftermath.
"Chicken soup." I explain, drawing an expression from his face that twisted in what I assume was confusion. Still, he accepted the explanation and busied himself with his after-school tasks that usually involve discarding his uniform to a random location in the house, and going to the cupboard for something to gnaw on.
Everything is cooked, and ultimately served into a bowl with a side of toast, per the photo above.
He sits at the table and frowns, "I thought we were having chicken soup." he states.
"This is chicken soup." I explain, bewildered that he couldn't see the strands of actual chicken in the bowl on the table.
"It's not chicken soup." he asserts, dismounting from his chair like a storm system making landfall and he wanders to the cupboard in the kitchen. He fetches an object from within the shelves and brings it back to me.
To which I now present, in the background of the following photo, the remains of the decimated animal and vegetables used for stock, the pot of actual soup, and in the foreground the soup that was actually enthusiastically wanted.
There's no accounting for taste.