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Nourishing, Filling and Super-Delicious Chicken soup

* 500g (x4) Chicken Thigh fillets (no bone) 
* 1L Chicken Stock / Consume 
* 1 large Onion diced 
* 2 Carrots chopped finely
* 1-2 sticks of Celery chopped finely
* Handful of finely chopped Broccoli
* Handful of small chopped green beans
* Handful of shredded spinach
* Handful of shredded pak choy
* Handful of shredded chard
* handful of shredded kale
* 4-5 large cloves of garlic crushed
* 2 teaspoons of crushed / grated ginger
* Handful of fresh Parsley 



1. Fry onions on low heat with 1 heaped tablespoon of butter / olive oil until clear. 

2. Add Garlic and Ginger and continue to fry on low heat until aromatic (1 minute or so) 

3. Add carrot and celery. Continue to fry on low heat for a few minutes until the carrot begins to get soft. 

4. Add Chicken thighs. Fry until chicken turns white all over (a few minutes on low - medium heat). 

5. Add Broccoli, Green beans and the pak choy stalks. Fry for 5 mins (approx)

6. Add stock + 1L of water (to taste - depending on how much broth you like - I like a moderate amount). 

7. Season to taste (salt + pepper) 

8. Bring to boil and reduce heat to a slow - moderate simmer. 

9. Simmer for 20 minutes. 

10. Add green leafy veggies (spinach, kale, chard, pak choy leaves). Simmer for another 5 minutes. 

11. Add a generous handful of fresh parsley. Simmer for 2 mins. 

12. Serve and enjoy!! 

Currency

It was the night after everything had fallen into nothing. Eaten by the black, thrashing of the sea. Where the waves churned and tossed about inside my depths like the rotary tumble of a laundry drum, curdling it all into butter.

If you can imagine a towering spire of matchsticks, built up into the sky like a beacon on a lonely shore. A symbol of hope and safekeeping. An anchor point on the horizon as you navigate the squalls and swirling mists. Until one gloomy, humid day – the kind where tears weep from all over your skin and not just your eyes – A strange travelling merchant with eyes as dead as driftwood arrives to admire the castle. But before you’ve had a single moment to catch your breath, or return his unsettling grin, he has gracefully plucked up a single matchstick and has left on his way.

And you of course, are left to watch as the tower comes crashing down like the ocean exploding over the edge of the world.

It was a night where I could not find comfort in all the usual things. Music grated over my skin, the television was full of muffled, disjointed voices and the cat’s purr became a chainsaw roaring on the couch beside me. The walls began to bear down and all of a sudden I found myself unable to breath.

I escaped into the sticky, humid air of November and allowed my feet to conduct a symphony along the pavement. It was more peaceful for a time. Until the metronome of my footsteps was no longer enough to drive away the crashing waves that tumbled me over and over until I didn’t know which way was back up to breathe. I don’t know how far I walked, but when I finally looked up the moon was high and I no longer recognised the long shadows that loomed at me from the sinister suburban yards.

In that moment I was truly afraid. The kind of creeping, sinking, crawling afraid that swallows you whole from out of the blue and completely defies logic. The kind that makes you believe, even for a moment that there is something terrifying lurking under the bed. I immediately fished out my phone and scrolled through the contacts for an unwitting saviour. But even then, I hesitated. I was not the kind of person who easily asked for help you see.  My father was a large and forceful man who was exceptionally good at managing other people’s money. In the rare and unusual moments that he actually acknowledged my existence, he used to say things like “money makes the world go round” and “a fair exchange leaves both pockets brimming.” Unfortunately, he was not so skilled with people and applied his amble knowledge of currency to all aspects of his life, including his relationships.

And sometimes, although I resented it, I found myself unconsciously doing the same. After every interaction I found myself imagining the two of us fingering a leather pouch full of coins and worrying whether I had somehow short-changed my friend. So I guess it was no great surprise then, that I found the idea of unburdening myself on another near impossible. In the depths of my unconscious mind, I saw myself plucking away their entire pouch of coins and leaving them feeling cheated and empty, having received nothing in return.

As I stood there alone on the pavement with terror pumping through every limb the whispers from my past closed my phone and pushed it back down into my pocket. Two golden orbs of brilliant yellow light grew before me, splitting the sinister darkness apart. I watched them mesmerised, as they grew larger and larger, brighter and brighter. I imagined them enveloping me up into happy oblivion. Without thinking I felt my legs begin to move, my feet no longer conducting a soothing symphony but erupting into a tumultuous finale.

It was a touch, cool and firm that caused that final, dramatic cymbal crash to retreat back into the looming blackness of the night. A gasp of warm air erupted into my lungs and brought the world back with the dizzying force of an avalanche.

When I looked at the hand on my arm, I found it to be weathered and splattered with spots like the hull of an old fishing trawler. Eventually my confused gaze met her eyes. Even in the dim street light I could see they were the deepest ocean green. Her hair was damp and hung about her wrinkled face like curtains of pale seaweed, slicked in foam.

“I’ve made enough tea for two” were the first and only words that cut through the swirling chaos since everything had crumbled into the abyss. It wasn’t an invitation or a suggestion. It was a lifebuoy tossed from a vessel passing silently in the night.

She took my hand and led me inside. The house was dark and cool, like the inside of a cave. An audience of frozen faces ushered us down her narrow hallways and into the dining room. She had a collection of seashells on the wall that gave me an odd sense of relief.

I sat as she poured the tea in silence. She didn’t ask whether I wanted milk or sugar, but served it to me straight. A strange concoction of flavours sprung to life on my tongue and immediately the advancing tide began to recede.

She watched me with a deep, reticent kindness as I clung to the lifebuoy that was slowly being reeled in. Then suddenly I began to talk.  I told her everything. Not just of the day before, but for many years before that as well. I blurted it all out and watched helplessly as I began emptying her pouch of coins with every heart-wrenching word I choked out.

When I finally finished, I was no longer dry-eyed but neither was I marooned on a lonely shore. But regardless, I began to feel the rising panic of guilt.

“I have nothing to offer you in return for your kindness.” I said suddenly into the dim room filled with seashells and the smell of tea.

She smiled sadly and touched my hand.

“Child. My kindness is not for sale.” She said gently. “By allowing me to offer my ear to your tale, and opening your heart to accepting my tea, you have given me the pleasure of knowing I did not stand by as a little fish floundered on the sand. There was a time when I was that little fish, and there will be a time when you encounter one yourself. It fills me with gladness to have assisted another.. So you see, I am far from empty-handed.”

Her eyes were bright and full of the kind of truth that clings to your lips like salt. Somewhere, in the murky depths of my mind, I felt that my little leather pouch was suddenly much lighter. Curious, I dipped my fingers in and found there were no coins left..


Only a single shell, through which I could hear the faintest echo of the sea.  

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