Archive for December, 2007

Simple and Unfussy

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Our world is like a quilt, its people the fabric, all formed together by common threads-food, family, culture and traditions. I like to try out new recipes that involve not alot of time for prepartation and that can taste differently through new ingredients used. In today’s fast-paced world it can become challenging for the working moms to find time to enjoy a simple homemade recipe. It is my heart’s desire to make healthy foods for my family. The following recipe is one that can warm your appetite during these cold winter days. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I have.

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Makes 12-14 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
One 6-to 7-pound chicken
2 quarts Chicken Broth or canned low-sodium broth
1 quart cold water, or as needed
4 sprigs of fresh parsley
3 sprigs of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups egg noodles

Chop fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. If there are any pads of yellow fat in the tail area, do not remove them. Add the chicken to the pot and pour in the broth. Add enough cold water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Add the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf.

Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is very tender, about 2 hours.

Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the parsley and thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Let stand 5 minutes and degrease the soup, reserving the fat if you are making matzo balls.

Discard the chicken skin and bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Add the noodles and cook until done, about 10 minutes. Stir the meat back into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Seeking an understanding

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
– John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I am always trying to be on the look out for short, simple stories that I can learn from and then in turn share with my family. I hope that this gift of a story can bring an abudance of meaning in our lives as we live through our tests and decisions that only Allah is the best of planners for what we go through day in and day out. Because of such sacrifices made by the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), I find that remembering these kinds of events can be a source of comfort whenever we too are faced with difficulties regarding our practices and beliefs.

 A Gift After Hardship

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) dispatched towards the sea-shore an expedition of three hundred men, under the command of Abu Ubaidah (ra) in 8 A.H. He gave them a bag full of dates for their rations. They had been hardly out for fifteen days when they ran short of rations. In order to provide the contingent with food, Qais (ra) began buying three camels daily from his own men, to feed the Mujahideen, with a promise to pay on return to Madinah. The Amir seeing that the slaugther of camels would deprive the party of their only means of transport, prohibited him to do so. He collected the dates that had been left with each person and stored them in a bag. He would issue one date to each man as his daily ration. When Jabir (ra) later on narrated this story to the people, one of his audience inquired:“How did you manage to live upon one date only for the whole day?” He replied: “We longed even for that one date, when the whole stock was exhausted. We were on the verge of starvation. We moistened the dry tree-leaves with water and ate them.”When they reached this stage, Allah had mercy on them for He always brings ease after every hardship, provided it is endured patiently. A big fish known as “Ambar” was thrown out of the sea for them. The fish was so big that they lived on it for eighteen days altogether. They also filled their satchels with the remaining portion, which lasted them right up to Madinah. When the episode was narrated to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he said: “The fish was a provision arranged for you by Allah.”

Source: From the book “Stories of the Sahabah” by Shaikh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalvi.