Nanny’s Chicken Noodle Soup

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Hi there! I hope you’re all enjoying your summer, despite this week’s super hot temperatures. Between job applications, work, and planning my own wedding, I’ve been keeping busy. I know most people don’t really crave soup during the summer, but I’ve been craving this traditional Williamson family dish ever since finding a recipe similar to it on Pinterest.

My mom’s mom, Nanny (Mabel), was, hands down, the best cook I’ve ever known. No one ever passed through the doors of her home without being offered something to eat, and everything she made was amazing. I remember staying over at the house during the summer, helping my Nan in the kitchen while my sister would be watching TV with our Pop (Ralph) in the living room. In the afternoons, we’d have toasted PB&J’s on Pennsylvania Dutch potato bread, and with whatever we would have for dinner, there was applesauce on the table. Always applesauce. Even though my grandmother was legally blind, she could still whip up delicious meals. This lead to more of a “to taste” and “to feel/texture” method of cooking, which is why I don’t think we’ll ever be able to make her chocolate peanut butter fudge topping correctly: she never wrote it down, so we don’t know the proportions.

After pinning a recipe for chicken noodle soup, one of my older cousins commented that it sounded like the one Nan would make. This is one of those “puts the meat on your bones” recipes, and I strayed from the Pinterest recipe a little bit to make it more authentic to the taste I remember. Enjoy!

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Yes, I *did* realize after I put the soups in the pot that I had forgotten to get a group shot of the ingredients.

Nanny’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Ingredients

1 26 oz. can of condensed cream of chicken soup (or whatever adds up to about 26oz.)
1 10.75 oz. can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (I accidentally threw that can out before I took this…)
3 14.5 oz. cans of chicken broth (or one BIG can)
2 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt (I left this out to cut down on sodium)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 9 oz. bags of Reames egg noodles*

(My mom reminded me that it has to be Reames egg noodles, since that’s the kind that Nanny always used.)

In a large pot, mix the cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, and chicken meat. Season with onion powder, seasoning salt, and garlic powder. Since Nan never really measured the seasonings, I didn’t either. I used the “about right” measurement. Bring to a boil, and stir in the noodles. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

 What are your family’s favorite recipes?

The Easiest, Most Delicious Potato Recipe Ever

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Smells, sounds, tastes, feelings that just send you back to a previous time and place. It’s really amazing if you think about it. I heard a song on the radio last week that I probably hadn’t heard since it was first popular in 2000 — you know, one of those one hit wonder songs that were so bad they were good?  Even though I cringed at the lyrics that I now get at age 24 and went over my head at age 12, I still smiled and chuckled. It made me remember the people and events I spent those formative years with, and those memories, bad song or not, are always worth remembering.

But random memory triggers aren’t the only things that can bring you warm feelings. Consistency does that too.

Every Christmas Day, I go to my Aunt Susie’s (my Grandma’s sister) house for a huge Christmas open house. Situated on the border of a large park system, her house is a dream for a history person like me. It is filled with hidden nooks and crannies, with a double staircase, and a summer kitchen. And every year, like clockwork, she and my Grandma make what they have dubbed “Christmas Potatoes.” Even when my Grandma makes them at other times in the year (for smaller occasions) she still calls them Christmas Potatoes.

Really, they could be called Hungarian Potatoes. Or Paprika Potatoes. Or as they’re called in my own brain, Amazing Potatoes.

They’re probably so good because they are just so simple.

So, I figured I share the recipe with you.

Amazing and Easy Paprika Potatoes

Serves 4 -6 (All depends on how many potatoes are in each can)

Ingredients:

4 cans of Whole White or Whole New Potatoes*

1 stick of margarine (or butter)

1 heaping teaspoon of good Hungarian Paprika**

*The two names are interchangeable — they’re the same thing.

**The paprika is the most important ingredient. While you can make the potatoes with any kind of paprika, the better the  quality, the better the taste.

Instructions:

1. Open and drain the cans of potatoes. Cut any dark spots off the potatoes.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the margarine.

3. Add the paprika to the margarine, stir.

4. Drop the potatoes in the paprika-margarine mixture and coat them thoroughly.

5. Place the potatoes in an oven safe dish. I use a cookie sheet, but any oven safe dish or pan will work. Cover with aluminum foil.

6. Bake the potatoes at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

7. Enjoy!