Friday, September 22, 2017

Easy Chicken Soup in the Kitchen

Before we get to anything else, I'm not here to judge you.

A reader e-mailed and said she enjoyed the politics and economics but she was tired of being judged.

She said when Friday got here (it's here), she'd be going through the drive through getting the $20 fill up at KFC.


I'm not judging anyone.

I raised 8 kids and worked outside the home at the same time.

There are short cuts I've taken that I won't even admit to.

As for fried chicken, we used to get it every other Sunday after Church.  The other Sunday?

Tacos at Taco Bell.

We never got pizza on Sunday.

Because we had it on Saturday.

We'd usually order it but sometimes I'd make it at home -- I liked the home better because I like thin crust and I could get it as thin as I want and because I could choose the toppings.

(When did some of them decide, for instance, to drop anchovies?)

If we ordered it, we might watch a movie or something.  If we made it, the kids helped by choosing their toppings, we'd watch Facts of Life and Gimmie' a Break on NBC and then, after they were off, it would usually be movies every Saturday.

If you e-mailed that you fed yourself and your child this or that, I would assume you were doing the best you could -- that's what parenting is.  It's not perfection.

None of my kids will ever tell you I'm perfect.

I'm so far from perfect.

But I gave it as much as I could and tried.

And that's what parenting is.

We need to apologize for our mistakes, sure, but we need to be aware that everyone makes mistakes -- our parents did, we did, our children will.

I talk about food here because I started this website during the awful economy -- that never improved.

And recipes can often help you serve food that cost less.

To me, the two were tied together, the bad economy and finding ways to economize.

That's why I try to cover food at least once a week.

Let's do an easy chicken soup recipe for this week.

First off, you don't have to buy a whole chicken.  See what's on sale?  Chicken legs?  Great, they're much easier to get the skin off.

In a stock pot, put 6 to 8 chicken legs (or four leg quarters) in and cover with water.  Bring the chicken to a slow boil.  Cover and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove lid and move chicken to a cold burner on the stove.

Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove chicken from the stock pot -- use tongs, your just taking the chicken pieces out, not draining the liquid.  Place in a colander and remove skin.  You're going to dispose of skin.  After skin is removed, shred chicken and return shredded chicken to the stock pot.


You can chop up the vegetables or you can buy frozen or in can.

I usually go with frozen -- corn for example, a bag of frozen corn kernels.

I like to slice bell peppers but if I'm in a hurry I'll buy a packet of sliced bell peppers and onions (in the frozen section).

I usually use fresh mushrooms but sometimes will go with canned (especially during the winter when I'm pulling a soup together at the last minute).


I like 'em.  But be aware that they do absorb the chicken broth.

Chicken broth?

That's the liquid in the stock pot.

I like to add some garlic cloves to it.  If you like garlic, three are great.  You can chop them or just let them cook without being chopped (or minced).

They're for flavor so if no one likes to eat them, leave them whole and you can remove them when soup is done -- like you do bay leaves in some recipes.

If you are using potatoes, peel them if you want to.  But most of the time, I get diced potatoes in frozen bags or else use cans (of diced potatoes).

So after you add the chicken shreds to the chicken broth in the stock pot, you can add the vegetables you want.

I don't usually use a lot of spices -- dry spices -- in chicken soup.  I will add pepper.  Otherwise, it's usually two dashes of soy sauce (low sodium, if you prefer) and six to eight dashes of hot sauce.  Those three are spices enough for me.  But if you prefer something else, feel free to add.

So what ever vegetables you're putting in, put those in and then cover the stock pot again and simmer for 30 to 40 more minutes.

This is a really easy recipe.

I want to note Andre Damon's review of Hillary Clinton's latest book, "Clinton’s book is a manifesto for the growing drive by major corporations, working with the intelligence agencies and governments, to censor free speech on the Internet."   Check out the entire review.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:

Friday, September 22, 2017.

In three days, the KRG and Kirkuk are scheduled to hold a referendum on whether or not they should remain a part of the Baghdad-based government.

As the vote looms, panic ensues among those opposed to the vote.

Denouncing the move are the foreign ministers of Iraq, Turkey and Iran.  The three elected to meet up in New York.  Tuvan Gumrukcu and Tulay Karadeniz (INDEPENDENT) type:

In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of the three countries voiced concerns that the referendum would endanger the gains Iraq has made against Islamic State, and reiterated their fears over the potential for new conflicts in the region.

How would a vote "endanger the gains Iraq has made against Islamic State"?

They repeat that fear over and over and no one ever asks them to define it.

The KRG and the Baghdad-based government do not get along and have not for years.

Has that prevented them working together in Mosul?

Why would this be any different?

It wouldn't.

But fear and the trash that peddles it always runs wild.

Let's play their game for just a second.  The Baghdad-based government manages to shut down the vote at the last minute, how does that help the struggle against ISIS?

Link to headline article

The pressure has been going on for weeks now.  So far, the KRG has refused to buckle.

Martin Chulov and Paul Johnson (GUARDIAN) quote KRG President Massoud Barzanin stating:

From world war one until now, we are not a part of Iraq.  It's a theocratic, sectarian state.  We have our geography, land and culture.  We have our own language.  We refuse to be subordinates.  The parliament in Baghdad is not a federal parliament.  It's a chauvinistic, sectarian parliament.  Trust is below zero with Baghdad.

And the Baghdad-based government is in violation of the Constitution and has been for years.

There are three days until the vote is scheduled to take place.

During that time, something could happen.

At present, meaningless words have not helped change any minds.

But anything could happen over the weekend and this remains a huge global issue -- as the western media ignores it.

Kurds from around the world watch closely to see what will happen.  As Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) observed in 2008, "Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk."

RUDAW notes:

The referendum will be held as scheduled as no acceptable alternative has been offered, the High Referendum Council announced following a meeting on Thursday.

The High Referendum Council, headed by President Masoud Barzani, met on Thursday. In a statement released after the meeting, the Council reiterated that as time is running out and no alternative has been offered to replace the referendum and guarantee independence, the vote will be held on time.  

The always useless UNAMI bowed yet again before the prime minister of Iraq and issued the following:

The members of the Security Council expressed concern over the potentially destabilizing impact of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.
Council members note that the planned referendum is scheduled to be held while counter-ISIL (Da’esh) operations – in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role – are ongoing, and could detract from efforts to ensure the safe, voluntary return of over three million refugees and internally displaced persons.
Council members expressed their continuing respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Iraq and urged all outstanding issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to be resolved, in accordance with the provisions of the Iraqi constitution, through structured dialogue and compromise supported by the international community. Council members expressed full support for UN efforts to facilitate dialogue between Iraqi stakeholders.

The Kurds will have independence one day.

When that day comes -- this year, whenever -- history is not going to look kindly upon all that stood in the way.

The US government claims to be about self-determination.

But it will have a very hard time explaining all the efforts to prevent the Kurds from independence.

For this segment of the timeline only, it will have a hard time explaining how threats from the Turkish government were ignored.  There will be violence -- thunders the Turkish government.  Sounds like a threat.  The Turkish government has no say in internal, Kurdish matters.

ANADOLU AGENCY notes, "The [Turkish] parliament will hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to debate the extension of Turkish military’s operation in northern Iraq and Syria, according to ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group deputy chairman."

Interesting timing.

YENI SAFAK offers:

The U.S. while releasing statements that it is against the non-binding independence referendum the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) plans to hold on Sept. 25, has deployed 1,700 troops to occupy Kirkuk, Iraq. The specially trained soldiers deployed in Erbil will work against the prevention of the referendum in Kirkuk. There are still 14,000 Peshmerga troops working for KRG President Masoud Barzani and former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Iraq’s oil center, Kirkuk. The United States’ occupation of Kirkuk is interpreted as preparing the region for an independent state which will be declared after the referendum.

Nearly a decade ago, the RAND corporation noted Kirkuk and the need for its status to be decided.  The longer this is postponed, the worse the situation gets.

And the price for the never-ending wars just keeps increasing.

While most working people live paycheck to paycheck, Iraq & Afghanistan wars have cost average US household $100K.

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