The Old Fleece Jacket

The Old Fleece Jacket

On chilly mornings, I would slip into an old gray fleece jacket before making my coffee and puttering around in the kitchen.  The jacket is too big for me, but its warmth envelopes me, cozy and reassuring.

My husband wore this jacket as he did his chores around the house.  It’s a reminder to me of the man who truly loved his wife as Christ loved the church, & gave himself sacrificially to me & our children.

As I open my bible, and have my quiet devotional time, I’m also reminded that God’s word is a lot like that old gray jacket.  I feel God’s love envelope me through those pages.  I gain a calmness, a confidence & security that God sees me in my circumstances.  I am reassured that He loves me just as I am, but that He doesn’t want me to stay that way.  He has begun a work in me that hasn’t yet been completed.

Greg’s physical work here on Earth is done, but the legacy he left behind speaks volumes.  I used to tell folks he could give “husband lessons.”  :-) Judging from the cards & emails we received after his death, apparently many others confirmed that he made a difference in their life, too.

I hung onto that gray fleece jacket for about 2 years.  As the deep grief began to lift, I realized that I didn’t need to hang onto his THINGS as reminders of who he was.  I was able let it go.

I’m sharing today a recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup.  I made this countless times in my 32 years with my husband.  It’s as warm and comforting to me as that old gray sweatshirt, and sure to hit the spot on these chilly days ahead.

Confectionately Yours.

Sue

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

4 T. butter
1/2 c all purpose flour
2 c. half & half cream
3 c chicken broth 
1/2-3/4 c Parmesan cheese (add to taste)
1-2 T. chicken soup base (find in the soup section of grocery store)
2 tsp dried parsley
2-3 c chicken, cooked & cut in chunks

12-16 oz fettucini noodles, cooked according to package directions

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.  Drain, cut in bite size pieces, & set aside.

In a large saucepan melt the margarine.  Using a whisk, add the flour.  Whisk in the Half & Half slowly, stirring well to make a smooth sauce.  Cook on medium heat until thickened. Stir in 2 of the 3 cups of chicken broth.   Add the cheese & soup base, starting with the smaller measures.  Simmer & stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.  Taste & add more cheese or soup base, if needed.

Add the cooked noodles & chicken.  If soup is too thick, add the remaining chicken broth to get the consistency you desire.  Season to taste with pepper. Stir in parsley.  Yield: 3 quarts soup

Note:  This recipe was developed from my Fettuccine Alfredo recipe.  I had leftover casserole that didn’t reheat well in the microwave on its own.  I added chicken broth & additional noodles to the dish & this delicious soup was the result.

I often simmer a whole chicken or boneless skinless breasts in broth to get the cooked meat the recipe calls for.  I strain the broth & use it for the soup.

Chicken soup broth is a staple in my kitchen.  The best foundation for flavorful soup is the broth.  Sometimes even purchased broth is concentrated enough.  Since soup base is salty, I wait to add additional seasoning until just before serving.