Recently, I was watching the Dallas Cowboy/Minnesota Vikings game on television and a memory popped into my head from the 1970’s. It was Thanksgiving Day, I believe 1976? It was an unusual Thanksgiving that year, as I was not involved with a huge family gathering like I had been in the past. This Thanksgiving was held at my wife’s Grandma Eva’s house and it was just the three of us celebrating together that day. Why did the football game remind me of this, because if I recall correctly, those were the two teams playing each other that afternoon on television.
My late wife’s Grandma Eva had quite the personality, if she liked you, you could do no wrong in her eyes. My late wife was her oldest grandchild and to be quite frank, from what I could always see, one of her favorites. I can’t remember the circumstances surrounding Thanksgiving plans that year, but I remember Eva canceling her plans, to have Bonnie and I come eat dinner with her. This was a huge change from just two years earlier before my wife and I had married; when we spent Thanksgiving at Grandma Eva’s house with probably more than 20 people in attendance. Eva was a wonderful cook and many of my late wife’s great recipes came directly from her.
Although Eva passed away many years ago, I still have many memories of her. She loved to eat bobwhite quail and crappie. Many times when I would be west of Welch quail hunting, I would stop by her house and drop her off a couple of birds, as she loved to prepare fried quail, fried potatoes, with biscuits and gravy. Her granddaughter prepared this same meal for me many times over the years. Needless to say, my fondest memories of Eva were her cooking and I ate many meals she prepared during the few short years I knew her. Even today, when I prepare one of my late wife’s recipes, more times than not, it traces back to her Grandma Eva who influenced her cooking skills as much as anyone.
Although Eva made many outstanding dishes that I was able to eat at her home, anytime I eat an old time Chicken type dinner, I think of her. I remember going there for dinner once and she had made fried chicken, chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes with homemade chicken gravy, and since I was probably was too full to eat desert that day, she may have made a chicken pot pie????? Lol…..But she was such a great cook! So when I decide to prepare a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup, I can’t help but think about Eva’s old time homemade chicken recipes. My late wife would make this occasionally, but when Soup Starter came along in the late 70’s, she would sometimes slip that in on us….So today, I’m sharing my chicken noodle soup recipe, that is NOT my late wife’s or Eva’s recipe, but their influence to my cooking makes me think of both of them when I prepare this.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Pieces (Breasts or thighs work best)
2 carrots sliced (or shredded carrot if that is what you have)
2 stalks celery, sliced
½ white onion chopped (I also like to use some chopped green onion as well)
Chicken bouillon to taste for the broth
10 cups water
½ package of Amish noodles
Spices to taste:
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 bay leaves
Add the water and chicken pieces to a large pot. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and start with 2 to three cubes of chicken bouillon cubes as well. Add the spices to the pot, starting light as you can adjust the flavors later. Bring pot to a boil and turn down to simmer to allow the chicken to cook through.
When chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot to cool slightly. Continue simmering your broth. Now is the time to taste the broth and add more of the spices and bouillon to get the flavor you want.
Chop the chicken and add back to the pot, bring to boil, and add the noodles. Continue cooking on medium heat until the noodles are done. Ready to serve.