Just a funny little update about the soup. Parts of getting to the finished product are actually quite disgusting. Instructions say at the end of the simmering time to take out the chicken, remove the meat, and throw away the bones. They also say to remove the feet and discard them. What they DON'T say is that after it has simmered for so long, the parts of the chicken have pretty much fallen apart. There's really no stripping the meat off of the bones because it's mostly already fallen off. Most of the chicken feet are no longer recognizable as feet. They've transformed into strange little blobs that you guess must be what's left of them. Last time (I didn't have any organs this time), the neck completely disintegrated and I ended up eating it because it was impossible to separate it from everything else. And of course, as I've already mentioned, bits of the organs were also left behind.
Chickens have a lot of little bones, little joints, and little chunks of cartilage. When you're dealing with a big pot of soup where everything has fallen apart and there are also a lot of chopped veggies, it's nearly impossible to get all of those interesting tidbits out. You learn this by repeatedly realizing, when you're enjoying a bowl of soup, that "oops, I have something really weird in my mouth again; better get that out".
When I was recently talking to a colleague at work about some of this, she was making faces and saying "I don't know; I don't know if I could do that". I proclaimed emphatically that if you are sick enough, you will do things you would NOT ordinarily do.
Without a doubt, even though I'm not all better, I'm quite a bit better. How do I REALLY know this? Because when I finished up my soup this evening, I couldn't bear the thought of having any more of those weird things in my mouth, even though so far it's been nothing short of a miracle. Since it cooked for so long, I have no doubt nearly all of the nutrition was pulled out of the chicken and vegetables, so I ended up straining it to just leave me with stock. Sure, I won't have the bulk, but I'm eating enough other things now that I'm not worried about that. My stock looks like liquid gold, and I very much look forward to enjoying it tomorrow with a piece of bread. And nothing else - no surprises!
And that colleague? Well, she has dealt with IBS issues in the past, borrowed the book I've been using as a guide, and is going to buy it for herself. We'll see what she ends up doing with that soup.