Step one: make bone broth
(Two days to two+ months prior)
Make fried chicken/bbq chicken/chicken roast. Save bones in fridge — make mental note not to feed broth to gluten-free friends if using fried chicken. Invent plausible explanation for denial of broth to gluten-free friends. Resolve not serve broth to outsiders. Pray to remember this resolve.
Save onion, celery, other veg ends in fridge or freezer, over course of week — make mental note not to let friends look in freezer and/or invent plausible cover story for storage of, essentially, trash.
Wake up feeling not quite as busy as usual. Toss bones and veggie scraps into pot, add extra celery; cover with water. Look into pot. Make mental note to not look into pot next time.
Take older child to school. Come home, nurse baby, watch Battlestar Galactica. Wonder if the Chief could get any sexier. Remember stove never got turned on. Watch next episode with sleeping baby in lap. Turn on stove.
Look at garlic, look at baby in sling: toss garlic cloves in whole, with skin. Try not to think about it.
Add more spices.
Hear broth boiling over, curse, swear baby to secrecy on both counts.
Get up, turn stove down.
Add more spices.
(Shift laundry, empty dishwasher.)
Sit down. Decide no, the Chief could not get any sexier.
Make mental note to look up Chief/Lee slash. Never let anyone know this thought.
Look at broth — curse, remove grey celery, add more water.
Taste broth, gag. Add salt. Taste broth. Glare at broth.
Bake chicken for dinner.
Add extra bones after dinner.
Debate leaving broth on stove overnight. Remember house’s lack of fire extinguisher. Turn broth off, put in fridge before bed.
Dream of Chief/Lee.
Put pot back on stove in morning.
Add water throughout day as needed.
Admire deep red color of broth, then remember onion skins. Shrug.
Get bored waiting, turn stove off.
Scour kitchen for jars; spend half hour matching jars and lids. End up with two jars without lids, ten lids without jars. Glare at cabinets.
Strain broth into jars, 3/4 full. Put in fridge.
(Optional: empty ice cube trays, put broth in trays, freeze. Transfer to plastic bag when frozen.)
Next day: loosen lids, transfer to freezer. Pray for sturdy glass and no breakages.
Following day: check jars, give thanks, tighten lids. Do not make joke about overscrewed jarheads. Remember dream. Do not smirk.
Step two: Decide to make soup
Watch in dismay as entire house comes down with another cold, two days after FINALLY starting to feel better from the last. Do not go grocery shopping, because COLD OF DOOM.
Look in fridge, cry.
Look in freezer, whimper.
Pull out frozen thigh meat, last two tiny jars of broth.
Take box of tissues and bottle of water to bed.
Step three: Make soup
Engage partner in game of chicken and/or woe-is-me contest over who feels worse.
Pull out pot from cabinet. Wash pot, grumbling.
Set pot on stove to heat/dry.
Chop chicken into bite-ish sized pieces.
Remember empty pot on stove, curse.
Add dollop coconut oil.
Realize water had not entirely evaporated; place lid on pot to avoid oil explosions.
Give thanks for high burning point of coconut oil.
Toss chicken in pot as chopped.
Tell older child he may not taste the raw chicken.
Curse keeping him cooped up at home instead of sending to school.
Resolve to pretend not to notice next time he is sick.
Make mental note to investigate chloroform purchase.
Give child kiss; tell him to wash hands before coming back to help.
Stir chicken — turn up heat.
Wash knife and cutting board;
yell at tell child not to add any further spices.
Chop onion; add; stir.
Add more spices while child is not looking.
Pull last four, previously-rejected carrots and remainder of celery stalk from fridge. Scrub carrots carrots. Bend celery; shrug, rinse. Chop all.
Add carrots, stir.
Let child add more spices.
Add cup of water, scrape bottom of pot. Pretend “browning” the chicken was on purpose.
Add celery, stir.
Go to fridge to pull out broth. Attempt to pour broth in. Realize broth is still frozen. Curse.
Yell at Tell child yes, that IS a bad word.
Spend ten minutes pouring boiling broth from pot into jars and out again to melt broth.
Wait until remaining frozen chunks of broth melt in pot.
Bring to boil.
Squish last half of garlic bulb; put in jar, hand jar to child to shake.
Teach child meaning of word “vigorous”. Listen to him say “I’m being VIGOROUS” ten thousand times to background of garlic shaking. Make mental note to buy another pair of noise canceling headphones.
Finish peeling garlic, mince finely.
Look at garlic; think that’s a lot of garlic. Remind self to think of it as chemical warfare against cold germs. Contemplate chopping more garlic. Remember noise. Decide against.
Add noodles to boiling soup.
Forget to add peas.
Add garlic. Repress urge to cackle evilly at imminent cold virus death. Resolve to check temperature after dinner.
Boil until noodles are done.
Leave clean up for partner.
Brag about cooking skills on social media.
Collapse into bed.