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Magic Potion

We believe in magic around my house. In fact, we start out every day with a little dose of it.

Magic beans ground course, brewed in a French press for five minutes and served with a dash of cream is my morning not-bite-your-head-off potion.

But I have a much better potion to share with you today.

Since December 22nd, I have been suffering from any number of sinus-related afflictions. Sinus infections, ear infections, sore throats, coughs, you name it, I have been suffering from it for near on a month now. I have tried many remedies. (And yes, I have been to the doctor–jolly all that did me.) Once my ears healed, my throat hurt, then my sinuses hurt again, and back and forth. I have never, ever been sick this long. And I know many of you out there are suffering similar (though I hope shorter) ailments. So I give you my recipe for what we call, the last real acceptable magic potion.

Chicken Soup.

There is just something so healing about chicken soup. I don’t know what it is. The gross infusion of vegetable? The garlic? The onions? The chicken itself? I suspect it is all of them added together in a hot, salty broth that does it.

Magic Potion Soup


1/4 cup salted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
4-5 medium potatoes, chopped
8 cups water
2 chicken breasts, baked
1/2 cup rice
2 tsp. basil pesto
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


Bake chicken at 350 degrees until cooked through (about 45 minutes to an hour)

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in dutch oven.

Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery to melted butter, stirring well after each ingredient.

The massive amounts of onion and garlic are great for colds and sinusitis, plus they help set up a really good broth.

Cook in butter for about 5-7 minutes, or until onions begin to soften.

Add 8 cups water and stir well.
Add potatoes, basil pesto, rice, salt and pepper.
Stir well.

Bring to boil, stirring occasionally.

Once soup is at a good rolling boil, reduce to medium low heat and cover, stirring occasionally.

When chicken is cooked through, remove from oven. Very carefully tip any grease from bottom of baking dish into soup and allow chicken to cool for ten minutes.

Once chicken is cool, chop coarsely and add to soup. Stir well.

Allow soup to simmer for at least 30 minutes after chicken is added.

Serve, enjoy, and heal.

This isn’t a pretty soup. It’s not pureed or blended or smooth. It’s hot, garlicy and chunky. It looks like it could have come out of Widow Arden’s cauldron, you know, the one she also uses to boil her witches brew, in the log cabin she lives in along the edge of the Enchanted Forest. But it tastes good. (Brock ate half the pot in one night, and it’s enough to serve eight people easily.)

I am off to have my second dose. I feel SOOOOO close to being well, but I am just not quite there yet. I am hoping tonight’s dinner tips the odds in my favor.

And drink your carrot-ginger juice!

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Super Secret Christmas Projects, part one

Since I was writing about it all month, I thought I would share what I made my family and friends for Christmas.

A simple 2×2 rib scarf for my brother to use while riding his moped around Wichita in his school (Wichita State University) colors. I did a Fibonacci sequence for the stripes to mix up the colors progression a little bit. Knit out of Patons yarn, the black factory dyed, the yellow hand dyed, held double. Very quick and squishy and warm.

I promised this hat to my step-mother in some distant month, April or May, and finally started finished it this past month. It’s out of an old yarn I had left over from knitting her a scarf, so it should match. I think it’s a Patons yarn as well. I lost the ball band, but from the feel of it, there is definitely acrylic in this yarn, so it’s obviously from the very early days of knitting. It knit up nice, and the hat looks great. These are wonderful colors for my step-mom, and the hat fits! (Of course, I didn’t bring my camera on Christmas, too many other things to remember, so I don’t have any pictures of folks wearing their new knitted goods.) This is the pattern I used. I like it, but I found the child size really fit an adult’s head. Bear that in mind if you want to make one for yourself.

I also knit my dad a hat, a plain almost black beanie, out of Cascade 220 superwash. I finished it right before I wrapped gifts, so I didn’t get any photographs, but I expect you to be able to use your imagination. I improvised the pattern, and didn’t use quite one whole ball of yarn.

In addition to the scarf, my brother was the happy recipient of a pair of hand knit socks out of my very favorite sock yarn, Protoceratops. It’s 100% superwash merino, a 3-ply yarn that doesn’t seem to even need nylon to keep it strong, because I have had socks knit out of this that I have worn hard for over a year with no signs of wear. I thought it would serve my brother well on the moped and in his under-heated college boy house.

(Something you may not know about me: I used to ride a moped, and I sympathize with moped riders during the Kansas winter. It’s cold!)

And just for fun, a kiddo pic.

Athrun, “working on his novel” the day before Christmas. Such concentration. He couldn’t possibly be playing a video game.

I have just been reminded that I have doctor’s orders to take it easy. I’ve had a nasty cold for about the last week. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and found out part of the reason why my face felt like it was eating itself was that I have an ear infection. I know, what kind of adult gets an ear infection? On the upside, I now have medicine, and feel more like I just have a normal cold instead of a face-eating one. I am going back to the sofa to alternate between knitting my newest sweater and reading Death Comes to Pemberley. At least now you know why the writing is so disjointed in this post.

How was your holiday?