Before I even knew it was National Noodle Day, I had planned to make a soup today. It’s called the Thai It Up Chicken Soup from author and cook Rebecca Katz. It comes from her cookbook called The Cancer Fighting Cookbook which was a book that was pretty popular in these parts over the last six years. Good recipes with lots of items that help boost your immunity and that are generally good for you. We refer to it simply as ‘The Text’ because for a time, it was the go-to place to find a source for healthy recipes. This soup in particular was always one of Lola’s favorites, so from time to time, I will make it for her. Lola is the world’s biggest soup fan so if I make a soup, it will keep her happy for days.
Finding the cookbook is always the hardest part of making this soup because we have a lot of cookbooks which are organized by color which is aesthetically pleasing. It looks great, but when you are looking for a specific book, you have to recall what color it is before you start searching. Plus some books are organized by their different shade of color which makes finding this cookbook, which is a darker shade of red, particularly difficult. But after some time, I was able to track it down and got to cooking. It’s an easy soup to make, you just have to have all the fresh ingredients. Broth, ginger, shallots, lime, chicken, carrots -all good stuff. The Thai part comes in when you add in the coconut milk and then the rice noodles (I told you it was noodle day). When it’s nice and hot, you serve it with some chopped fresh cilantro on top. It’s fresh and delicious. Now you know what Lola will be having for lunch for the next few days (although we did enjoy some today to celebrate Noodle Day). Nonetheless, it was a quick and easy soup to make and I had it all ready and cleaned up by 11 am.
That’s when the Fire Department came.
When I was cleaning up, I started to smell a slight burning smell. It wasn’t an altogether unpleasant smell, but it was a smell that didn’t belong in our kitchen. I started sniffing around the kitchen like a basset hound trying to find the source and I realized it was coming from our trash under our sink. I pulled out the trash and took it outside but I could still smell burning from under the sink. I pulled out all the clutter that’s underneath our sink (sponges, scrubbies, cleaning products, the usual) and flashed some light in and that’s when I saw the wire that goes to an unused outlet under the sink was smoking and smoldering. Yikes. I stopped, dropped and rolled. Then I regained my composure and I called the Fire Department in a non-emergency call. They were nice. They told me I needed an electrician (which I knew) but they said they would send someone out to take a look. I think they could tell I was worried about the immediate danger. Minutes later the fire truck came, lights on (no siren), and four firemen came in to help. They had all kinds of neat fire gizmos including a handheld camera that told them where things were “hot.” After some time going up and down our basement stairs and looking at all kinds of wires, we figured out which circuit needed to be shut off to cut the power to that cord (this house can get tricky when you are trying to trace a cord or pipe). It was an old wire that went to an outlet that never gets used and some water had been dripping on it from the sink above which probably wore it down a little. Power was off and crisis was averted. Thanks Portsmouth Fire Department!
This incident made me uneasy for the rest of the day. I was minutes away from leaving the house to go on some errands before I smelled the smoke. That could have been bad. When Lola got home, she could tell I was shaken. Eventually I had to go out and mow the lawn just to release some energy. But phew, that could have been bad. Thankfully, we had an electrician friend come by today (Friday) and helped us get rid of the outlet and cord altogether. But that sure put an unexpected twist in Noodle Day (would that be an unexpected rotini?)
For dinner, I started doing some research on good noodle recipes and I was about to go to the store to pick up a few things when Lola said she was hungry. It was only about 5 PM, but it’s very rare that Lola gets hungry this early so I told her I would be happy to heat her up the last of our tacos. This made her happy and full, so I ended up not going to the store. When I was hungry later I peeked in our cupboard and found the perfect dinner for Noodle Day: Ramen Noodles!
I don’t think I have had a bowl of Ramen noodles since I made them in college with a hot pot. Do they even make hot pots anymore? I remember when I was 16 and a stock boy at the now defunct Metcalf’s Drug Store in East Haven, CT, I would see these weird noodles come in by the case and they would be on sale for ridiculous prices (10 for $1 – is that possible?). I had never seen them before. I recall that whenever you opened the case of them, you’d end up slicing open a few bags with your cardboard cutter. This dried white noodle would fall out. I couldn’t believe people ate this stuff. Then I went to college and I understood.
Lola has always been a fan of Ramen (remember, she loves soup). That’s why we had some in our house. It’s rare she would eat them nowadays, but every now and then, she gets a hankering. I remember one time a few years ago she made some Ramen and she cooked them in our Le Creuset saucepan. We tried to imagine how the saucepan would feel about being used for such a mundane food item. In our best French accents we would say, “you soil me with your bourgeois noodles and seasoning packet.” That’s been one of our running jokes in regards to the Le Creuset ever since. You should hear our Tupperware voice.
Ramen is still easy to make. Boil water. Add Ramen. Stir. Remove from heat. Pour in flavor packet. Stir. Serve. It was ready in less than ten minutes. To make myself feel worldly, I ate them with chopsticks. In all honesty, these were fantastic. Really. Maybe it was nostalgia. Maybe it was just exactly what I was craving. Maybe I’m just a sucker for Oriental Flavor. Whatever the reason, I was in heaven. I slurped them up, sauce undoubtedly all over my chin, and then I gulped down the broth at the end. I couldn’t have been more happier with my dinner.
When I envisioned Noodle Day, these are exactly the noodles I had pictured. I felt like I nailed this one. Will Ramen be in our regular dinner rotation now? Maybe, but I doubt it. But, I really suggest you do yourself a favor and enjoy some every now and then because you deserve them. They really are fantastic. They were the perfect celebration to cap off an eventful National Noodle Day and I enjoyed it until the very last slurp.
Next Up: National Frappe Day