Yesterday was the Twelfth Day of Christmas and last night, everyone's favorite Shakespearean festival: Twelfth Night. That makes today the Epiphany, otherwise known as the Feast of the Three Kings.
If the Epiphany happens to fall on the weekend (not the case this year), it can be the perfect occasion for inviting your friends and neighbors over for an end - of - season soup fest -- The Feast of the Three Soups! -- any three you like, e.g., good old Football Chili, New Year's Good Luck Soup (with black-eyed peas for vision & spinach greens for prosperity) and Giblet Soup (a Christmas Eve tradition in Gerry's family).
for CHRISTMAS EVE, NEW YEAR'S EVE,
TWELFTH NIGHT or EPIPHANY
BRING TO BOILING:
about 6 cups of chicken broth (can be canned, bouillon cubes, or home made)
ADD TO BROTH:
2 onions, chopped up
5 carrots, sliced round or diagonal
5 celery stalks with leaves, sliced medium thickness
1 lb. pkg. of chicken livers, cut in bite - sized pieces
1 lb. pkg. of chicken gizzards, cut in bite - sized pieces (I try to cut away the gristle, but it's not always easy & it doesn't really hurt to leave it in)
any other giblets, hearts, or necks that came with the turkey (I randomly use turkey & / or chicken, whatever happens to be in the freezer)
1 teasp. of pepper (I like a lot of pepper; you can use less)
2 teasp. of salt (can be regular, garlic salt, seasoning salt, chicken seasoning mix -- whatever you like)
plus any other spices that you like with chicken (I sometimes use dried basil from our garden, but not always)
IF YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH CHILDREN OR JUST HAVE MORE REGULAR MEAT:
add 6 - 12 chicken drumsticks (and more broth if needed)
LET EVERYTHING COOK
on a low simmer, 1 - 6 hours, depending on your schedule
ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE EATING
add barley or rice (1/2 cup if you want it to float loosely in the broth; 1 cup if you want to thicken up the soup to a stew like consistency).
I think that's about it! It's okay if it turns out a little bit different every time. This year's soup was made with 6 bouillon cubes, 8 cups water, 2 cartons of chicken livers (no gizzards because I couldn't find any at the store that day, and no other giblets or necks because I had used them all up on Christmas Eve), 2 teaspoons of "CVS Chicken & Meat Seasoning" and 1 teaspoon of regular ground black pepper (no other spices), all the usual vegetables (carrots, celery, onions), and one cup of barley.
VERY EASY NEW YEAR SOUP
with BLACK - EYED PEAS ~ for vision
and GREENS ~ for prosperity
1. chop up one onion and fry in the bottom of a soup pan with a little olive oil
2. add 1 can (14 - 16 oz) of pre - seasoned diced tomatoes (the other day I used Hunts Spicy with chili peppers or something like that; I've also used the Hunts Diced with Rosemary & Oregano)
3. add 1 can (14 - 16 oz) of black - eyed peas
4. add 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 Tablespoon of dried oregano
5. add 1/2 lb. of thinly sliced deli ham, chopped into small strips
6. pour in chicken broth for desired consistency, 2 cups approx.
7. last, cut in a 10 oz box of frozen spinach, partially thawed
8. let it simmer for a little while and you're good to go!
In the past, I've made a lengthier version that involved soaking dry beans overnight, slicing up fresh carrots & celery along with the onion, and chopping a larger ham roast into chunks. However, this simpler versions seems to be equally delicious and well - liked; and it really is ready in just a few minutes.
You may also be familiar with the French custom of serving
Here are some recipe posts from last year to get you started on the desserts:
Tiny Mince Pies
Decorated with David Winter Miniature Cottages