Monday, July 24, 2017

23 July 2017

You say tomato; I say festival! I had a wonderful time serving as a judge for the 9th Annual Tomato Sandwich Festival on Saturday at the Canton Farmers Market. I have been honored to judge past competitions, but this year's crowd was quite impressive. Hats off to Roy Taylor for conceiving this wonderful idea and for managing it for the past nine years. Roy's passion for Canton, and all things sustainable, is indicative of Canton's character and charm, and we all benefit from his engagement.

We didn't have any green tomatoes in the competition on Saturday, but if we did, they stood a good chance of being fried naturally. Saturday was, by far, the hottest day of Summer this year, and everyone was commenting on the extreme heat. After the Farmers Market, we ran a few errands and decided it was too hot to do anything other than swimming in the cement pond at One Britt. Even the pool was the warmest it has been all year, but the water was refreshing, and a couple of friends found their way over to chill – as best they could. Unfortunately, I was suffering from a lot of sinus issues and had to go inside later in the afternoon. Summer colds and sinus infections are the worst, but binge watching TV in your PJs with the AC turned down low enough to make the windows sweat sure puts things in perspective.

We don't have much time to watch TV these days, so we began a marathon on Friday night with the new Netflix series, "Friends From College." Anyone who has a close group of college friends, or even a small tribe of best friends, can relate to this comedic drama. It is akin to a modern day soap opera, but the characters are interestingly neurotic. We completed the first season tonight and look forward to the next one. During my convalescing on Saturday night and Sunday, I discovered another Netflix series called, The Ranch. It took me a couple of episodes to get into it, but it is engaging and very funny. While the opening sequence shows scenes from Ouray, ColoradoThe Ranch is actually filmed on a sound stage in front of a live audience in Burbank, California. The first time I heard the audience laugh, I was a bit confused until I realized it was being filmed live. I find this throwback method very interesting, and it just makes the show more intriguing. The series stars Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger and Sam Elliott. Of course, you can never go wrong with Sam Elliot, and he does not disappoint as a crotchety old rancher. I highly recommend The Ranch and look forward to finishing the first three seasons.

My sinus woes continued on Sunday, and I didn't feel like doing anything but sleeping or laying around. I decided to take control of the situation by cooking some old-fashioned chicken soup for Sunday Supper. Yes, it was brutally hot outside, but I needed chicken soup to heal. I threw on some clothes and a ball cap, then headed out to get the supplies. I love rosemary, so I used some from the herb garden to make Rosemary Chicken Noodle Soup. I used the leftover herbs to make some Rosemary Parmesan Cream Biscuits. Let me tell you, if the chicken soup didn't make me feel better, those biscuits made me forget everything else. They were divine and paired perfectly with the soup. Jeff harvested a few tomatoes and the world's tiniest beets from our raised garden, and I made a simple vinaigrette for a salad. The beets were small, but the flavor was highly concentrated and delicious. Earlier in the day, Jeff had also found the last Farmers Market peaches from Pearson Farms in the refrigerator and decided to bake a peach pie. It turned out great, and we enjoyed it, "hotted up," with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 
I think the chicken soup helped my allergies, but I am hoping for some rain this week to clean the Summer air. In the interim, I turned in on Sunday night with visions of tomatoes still dancing in my head.

The Menu:

- Rosemary Chicken Noodle Soup 

- Micro Beet, Spinach and Tomato Salad

- Rosemary Parmesan Cream Biscuits

- Homemade Georgia Peach Pie

The Recipe – Rosemary Chicken Noodle Soup


4-6 Chicken Thighs or 2-3 Breasts

1 Bay Leaf

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium white onion, peeled dice one half

3 medium carrots, one halved for stock and two peeled and sliced

3 stalks celery, one halved for stock and two sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups homemade chicken stock or good-quality from store

3-4 stalks fresh rosemary

6 ounces wide egg noodles

2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken used for stock

salt and pepper to taste


Place chicken, halves of carrot, celery and onion into a stock pot. Cover with 8 cups of water, add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is done.

When stock is done, remove chicken, bay leaf and vegetables, then pour stock through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids. Skim any fat from the top of the stock and set aside. Once chicken has dried, remove skin and bones, then shred chicken into small pieces and reserve.

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and celery and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the carrots are slightly softened. Add garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the reserved chicken stock, or packaged stock, and stir until combined. Gently stir the rosemary into the soup, and continue cooking until it reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Once the broth is done, remove the rosemary then add the egg noodles and chicken, stirring to combine. Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes or until the egg noodles are al dente. Add more chicken stock if desired. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

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