Monday, November 29, 2010

The cure of my ancestors.

I mentioned in my last post about my trip to PNG that I came back and caught a cold.  This was an almost immediate thing - I travelled home on Wednesday (alllllll day, leaving at 6.10 am and getting home at 10pm, all in the same time zone), and somewhere in the epic day of travel I started getting a headache.  The next morning I woke up with a sore throat, which soon turned into a sniffly-snuffly nose.  Only, I had to come in to uni on that Thursday and Friday, because I promised my students I would be available before their essays were due, that Friday night.  Would you believe that, despite the frantic emails I received the whole time I was away, not one of them came to my office?

I suspect that my illness may have stemmed from a 6 hour hike up a volcano in the rain, whereby I got completely drenched.  It was probably not helped by 16 hours spent in planes and airports.  Whatever caused it, I felt shitty.  I grew up using the middle class white cure for everything:

And, despite not having eaten Campbell's chicken noodle soup in something like 7 years, and despite being grossed about by it even when I did eat it, that is what I felt like on the worst day of this cold.  So, I came home from uni ridiculously early and set about making some soup which approximated the salty, yellow-ish stuff.

I made stock out of Massel chicken-style stock, some dijon mustard, oil (I remember Campbell's being pretty fatty), a bit of miso, and some turmeric for that bright yellow quality that sticks in my head.  I mixed 1/4 c. of gluten with 1/4 c. of water and broke off tiny chunks to replicate the icky-chewy chicken-ish bits.  I also added some chilli, and whole cloves of garlic, which is by no means authentic to the tinned stuff but sure is good for a cold.  Then I let the whole thing simmer away for about an hour, while I read a magazine.  Then I broke up some noodles from the asian grocery store, so they were about 1inch long, and put those in and let it cook till they were quite soft.  The result was surprisingly delicious.  I don't know how closely it resembles its inspiration, but it sure did make me feel better.

I made a lot, so when Andy came home a few days later and proceeded to catch the cold from me, I was able to heat up some soup and serve with freshly baked corn muffins.  I don't think he had the same memories attached to the tinned condensed soup, but he liked it anyways.


Susan said...

I don't remember actually eating much of the Campbell's stuff when I was sick, but when I get sick I do think about it a bit, so I must have. My favourite sick soup is totally hot and sour now, though. It's my favourite any time soup.

Nice job on remaking it. I think yours with the chili and garlic sounds much better!

Why did it take so long to get home? I imagine you must have had to take a lot of detours, and maybe some long layovers?

Hannah said...

Holy moly, that's some dedication! I'm incredibly impressed. When I was sick recently, it was all I could do to bother myself with microwaving oatmeal. I'm very glad your endeavours helped, though :)

P.S. The no students coming by thing I absolutely believe it! It's funny how their worries diminish sometimes when they themselves have to put in some effort... ;)

Theresa said...

Susan - it was a combination of those things. First, the driver got nervous that we would be late for the plane so I ended up with 90 minutes in the first airport. Then I had nearly 4 hours in Port Moresby airport. The way the flights lined up, I had to go through Brisbane instead of Cairns, so had an extra 2 hours from PNG followed by a 3 hour layover and a 2 hour flight *back* up to Townsville. Very frustrating, when the whole trip could have been over with in about 3 hours!

Hannah - my endeavours mainly involved sitting around while the soup cooked itself on the stove :) That's partially why it was so wonderful.

Mandee said...

You are so good to cook yourself soup while feeling terrible! I didn't eat that as a child but soup is definitely something I crave now whenever I need warming up or feel a bit sick.

And long trips home are the worst, all you want to do is get home and you get stuck waiting, poor you!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

My go-to chicken noodle soup is Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup, but I'm glad to see a homemade version. Sorry about your cold! And, South Park is hilarious! Love the clip.

dreaminitvegan said...

Huh, I so remember having Campbell's chicken noodle soup along with saltines when we were sick. Talk about sodium...yikes!

Sorry about not feeling good I hope you are feeling better.

Susan said...

Ick. That is one frustrating travel plan... especially when you know that it would be so quick if you could get a direct-ish flight!
They really need to invent aportable stargate system already. Imagine just walking through the gate and out the other side, it would be grand!

David J said...

OK I'm no vegan... yes I still eat real chickens.. but this soup sounds like a great alternative to chicken soup.

If I ever catch a cold I'll give it a go.

shawna said...

I ended up finishing my work year getting a horrible cold (a last goodbye gift from the kids I guess). I've been eating this soup for the past 3 days now. It does remind me a lot of having Campbell's when I was sick as a kid (although much more flavourful than Campbell's).
Another good soup to make is Cindy O's Chicken Soup for the Soul from La Dolce Vegan (it's like homemade chicken soup)