Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ben's Chicken Soup and JJ's Waffles

Hello on the 22nd day of the Vegan Month of Food! I'm so excited that today is the autumnal equinox; fall has officially begun! Today is also exciting because it begins my Parks and Recreation theme week!

For those of you who haven't seen the show, it's about the local government of the fictional Pawnee, Indiana, with a focus on the staff of the parks and recreation department. It's filmed in the mockumentary style of The Office; the characters are aware of the cameras and have one-on-one "interviews" with them to elaborate on what occurs in the main action. The fifth season ended with Leslie Knope (previously the deputy director of the parks and recreation department) being threatened with a recall of her current position as a city councilor. (Parks and Recreation starts its sixth season this Thursday.)

Ben's Chicken Soup and JJ's Waffles

In "Flu Season," the second episode of the third season, a bunch of people in Pawnee (including April, Leslie, and Chris) come down with the flu. Ann, a nurse, is caring for them at the hospital, but Leslie successfully escapes in order to do her presentation to local business owners for the upcoming harvest festival. She's brought back to the hospital afterwards to recover, and Ben stops by with his family's traditional chicken soup, as well as waffles from JJ's Diner. Leslie being Leslie, she's only interested in the waffles.

Ben: (appears in doorway of Leslie's hospital room)
Leslie: Oh, hey!
Ben: Hey there. I got you some waffles here, courtesy of JJ's Diner, and chicken soup, courtesy of me.
Leslie: I'll take the waffles, thank you... (takes the waffle container)
Ben: (awkwardly holds out the soup container, then sets it down on the night stand)
Ben: (heading out) Oh, uh, left the chicken soup there just in case, it's an old family recipe, it's not a big deal but...
Leslie: Thank you for that.
Ben: OK. (leaves room)
Leslie: (takes bite of waffle)

For the soup:
--2 cups vegan chicken broth
--1/2 cup rotini
--1/4 cup carrots and celery, cut
--bit of turmeric (less than 1/4 tsp), some pepper, and a pinch of ginger
--1/2 Boca chik'n patty, cooked and cut up into smaller pieces

Bring the broth to a boil, add rotini, lower heat a bit, add carrots and celery after about 15 minutes, then the spices, and finally, the pieces of "chicken." Turn heat to low and cover for a bit, then serve.

For the waffles:
--1 can coconut milk, set in fridge overnight
--3 T confectioner's sugar
--raspberries (or other fruit of your choice)

Prepare the whipped cream according to the directions here on the How-to: Whipped Coconut Cream from Coconut Milk. Heat up the waffles, add raspberries, and serve with the whipped cream on the side; dollop on as needed.

The waffles were really good, and it was fun to make my own whipped cream, which turned out delicious (it wasn't as light and fluffy as I'd hoped, but that was likely because I didn't have a hand beater, just a whisk). In true Leslie fashion, I left the soup alone (I put it in the fridge and had it later for dinner with some crackers).

Bonus quote from the episode (video clip here):

Andy: Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the thing up here, and it says you could have network connectivity problems.

Mystery was very interested in this meal; Zach had to hold her back so I could eat without her trying to get into my food.

Peace. :)

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