Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cheese Platitudes

Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, Carrot and Celery and Ranch Dip
Dinner: Spaghetti Burgers, Pasta Salad and Salad

Word to the wise, don’t piss off the chef. If you’re drunk and feel the need to write a treatise on how there’s too much cheese in the fridge on the whiteboard outside the kitchen, don’t. Just don’t. Unless you really want to piss off the chef and she then decides to no longer serve cheese. You might find yourself being chased down by your fraternity brothers with pitchforks when they find out there will be no more bacon (or chicken) mac and cheese. Yes, that’s right, on coming into work today I found a drunken message on the whiteboard outlining why one brother thought there was an excessive amount of cheese in the fridge. Really? Of all the possible culprits… you choose cheese? Of course, I was just a little miffed about the whole thing. I especially liked the notes after each platitude saying “CHEF DO NOT ERASE”. They put little boxes around them to make sure they were noticed. The best part, though, was that in each bulleted point they made sure to point out the expiration date of the cheese and whether or not it was processed. They even underlined the fact that the mozzarella I buy is “highly processed”. Ok… at least none of the cheese was expired. They might have room to complain if there was a fridge full of expired cheese that didn’t get used. But complaining that there were several pounds of cheese in the fridge and that some of it was “highly processed”? I thought I was cooking for a fraternity, not some sorority with recovering processed cheese addicts. Why is there so much cheese (and cheese product) in the fridge? Because that’s how much the guys eat. I didn’t erase the sign; I brought the steward down to see the board. He seemed a little flabbergasted. Seriously? Cheese? He apologized and promised to thoroughly shame the culprit. I kind of wish I knew who it was so I could throw Cheez Whiz at him. I bet he would cry.

I had another surprise today on coming into work. All of the chicken noodle soup I made yesterday was gone. Food being gone is not necessarily news around here, but you have to understand, I made a substantial amount of chicken noodle soup. And, it wasn’t just any kind of chicken noodle soup, homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade broth. I spent all day boiling chicken and vegetables, then picking the chicken thighs and cutting up new vegetables etc etc and ended up with around 28 quarts worth of chicken soup. In case you’re wondering, that’s around 7 gallons of soup. It wasn’t even very soupy as it was chock full of chicken and noodles (and corn and carrots). When I talked to the steward he said that everyone loved the chicken soup, and that they thought it was magic because they kept going back for more and… finding more. It was like magic soup. I tried the soup, and it was pretty magical. Homemade chicken soup takes some time to make, but it blows that mushy canned stuff right out of the water. In fact, my homemade chicken noodle soup is the reason my husband eats soup today (not to brag or anything…). Of course, there are always some dissenters in the group. Apparently the guy who wrote the cheese platitudes didn’t like the soup. How much more natural and unprocessed can you get than homemade chicken noodle soup?

Kristen’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves a whole lot of people, a small army or 23 really hungry frat boys

1 ½ gallon water
1 ½ gallon chicken broth
18 lbs chicken thighs
1 tbs Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
3 tbs Old Bay Seasoning
6 Bay Leaves
1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs ground sage
1 tbs celery seed
16 medium carrots
1 bunch of celery
3 large onions
3 lbs of corn
3 lbs egg noodles

Put the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with chicken broth and water. Stir in Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, Old Bay Seasoning, bay leaves, ground sage, black pepper and celery seed. Cut 5 carrots, celery (celery leaves and all) and 1 onion into large chunks and put in the pot. Bring the broth to a boil and then cover and simmer for 1 hour. Using tongs, remove chicken from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain the vegetables out of the broth, and then skim the grease off the top of the broth. (Note: You can make the broth a day ahead and put it in the fridge at this point. The grease will harden over night and you can skim the hardened grease off the top easily). While the chicken is still warm, remove the skin. If you’re having trouble getting the skin off the chicken, warm it up in the microwave for a minute. Pick all of the chicken off the bones and shred it. Chop the remaining carrots and onions into bite-sized pieces.

After you have skimmed the grease from the broth, put it back on the stove. Bring the broth to a boil and add the noodles, carrots and onions. Cook the noodles for the time indicated in the directions. Add in the shredded chicken and frozen corn. You may need to add a few extra quarts of water at this point and adjust the seasonings. Simmer for 10-15. Serve with warm bread.


  1. I agree.. it most definitely is magical! Yuuummmm! :D And how in the world could anyone say there is too much cheese? I didn't know such a thing existed!

  2. I didn't think it was possible either, esp coming from a frat boy... I guess he just needed something to whine about and decided to raid the fridge.