Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year -- Greek Lemon Chicken Soup


Get ready for some reflections. Fun, Year Highlights post is next.

More than once, I just wanted 2012 to be over. Not that I was under any sort of delusion that the coming of a new year is the magic cure-all for everything that's wrong with life, but because I was just done with it and needed an excuse to start fresh. I felt like every part of my life had me pushing that mythical boulder of Sisyphus only to have it come rolling back down once I thought I was safe. At times, the stress was so crushing that I had to close off my door and sob uncontrollably until I was able to compose myself.

Not that anything dire was really occurring in my life, just the usual quarter-life-crisis type things. I was single, living at home, nearing age 25, no solid savings, and I felt lonely and unaccomplished and that I would be stuck feeling that way forever. I loved my family, but I felt the overwhelming urge to be on my own. To make it worse, I went through guys like tissues, mostly because they didn't want me after the fun had worn off and disappeared into thin air, as 20-something guys are wont to do. I felt used a hundred times over and began to harden myself to finding even a fun fling of a relationship.

Then, in September, my friend offered me the extra room in her apartment. It wasn't California or New York City, but it was cozy and came complete with built-in friend and adorable dog. I was closer to my theater group and my job, so I moved in within a few weeks.

New roommate is on the right


After yet another failed mini-relationship with a scruffy-haired musician who resembled Ted from How I Met Your Mother but was too stuck in his own little drama to keep me around for long, I decided to give up and get a cat. Now I had something to cuddle with and nurture, a fluffy little former alleycat who took to me immediately with snuggles and cuddles and the loudest purr ever. I was smitten, and jokingly decided this would be the first in my "collection" of cats and my road to being a Cat Lady. Did I mention I'm dramatic when depressed?

Finn!

Despite decrying relationships, I was convinced by a friend a week later to try a different dating site--you can see how long my "I GIVE UP!" lasted, eh? Like my previous experience, I was bombarded with less than savory characters sending anything from "hey." to "sup?/" to "boobz. hawt. wana fuk?" with few worthwhile messages in between. One day I sent out a few messages of my own.

Cory's profile picture on his dating profile when we "met"

His profile was devoid of grammatical errors, and he seemed to actually have something to say. Within an hour he had replied to my simple message (I asked about his tattoos) and soon I was refreshing the page and waiting for his responses while on the other end, he was doing the same thing. We met when he came to see me perform in Rocky Horror and I was struck by how incredibly handsome he was--his profile pictures had been of the cute and goofy variety but it was our conversations that had convinced me to meet him. I was in full Rocky Horror costume and incredibly embarrassed, but we ended up making plans for a proper date the next night. It wasn't long before we were spending every day together, and very soon after we made the big leap into "Facebook Official."

It's still early, but as fast as I'm falling I know he is too. We talk about our future together in days, months, and even years. Even if it's a silly side effect from being in a new relationship it's still fun, and nice to finally be with a guy who doesn't balk at the thought of something more than a "fling." There's a comfort between us that is just wonderful. We can talk for hours just as easily as we can sit in silence and just enjoy each other's company. We're polar opposites and mirror images in a perfect balance.

He's good with animals :)

It's been a year of ups and downs--while it wasn't all bad, and really quite fun at times, I am grateful for the new year and the chance to rid my mind of all of the downs and focus on the positive. I have a family who loves me, I have an incredible set of friends, I have a new little kittycat to snuggle, and a new boyfriend who makes me feel amazing. I am one lucky girl, truly.

Fancy-ish dinner out :)

I'm getting to the food part, really, here goes: Early on in the relationship I came down with some sort of flu. I told Cory we would have to break plans, and assumed he would stay away so as not to get sick. Instead, he showed up at my door with grocery bags full of soup ingredients. I was floored. I had never had a guy bring me soup while sick, nevermind actually MAKING me soup from SCRATCH. When I began to say "you don't have to-" he shushed me and said "lemon chicken soup, it's Greek, and it is the BEST thing for a cold."

I think that was my Moment. I knew this one was a keeper. 2013 is looking up in many ways for me, but having this guy by my side is certainly a major part of it all.

Oh, and he's an excellent cook. I think we're a good match, yeah?

In the snowy hills of Vermont

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
(This recipe from Whole Foods, Cory's recipe from a friend he used to work with)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
1 small carrot, peeled
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup long grain rice
2 eggs
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth, onion, carrot, bay leaf and salt to a simmer. Add chicken breasts, cover and gently simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove chicken breasts, let cool slightly and pull or cut chicken into thin strips. Set aside. Strain soup and return to boil. Add rice and gently simmer for 20 minutes, then add chicken back to soup for another 5 minutes.

Whisk eggs until they are frothy, and whisk in lemon juice. Add a cup of the hot soup to egg-lemon mixture, very slowly, whisking while you pour it in. Add another cup in the same manner. Take soup off the heat and add egg mixture to it. Sprinkle with parsley, season with pepper and serve.

5 comments:

  1. What a lovely post and story - congratulations to you both and all the best in 2013!

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  2. Oh Yay! And yay! I'm so happy for you! And this soup! I've made similar ones before - the eggs make is so creamy and over-the-top delicious. Happy New Year!

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  3. Aw, I'm so thrilled for you. He's adorable. and you deserve a nice guy for once. So yay!

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  4. You guys are so cute. Tyler and I are opposites too. Nearing our 4 year anniversary this month!

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