This morning there was an inexplicable loud bang from the kitchen. Chuck eventually discovered the source of the ruckus. A grouse, presumably the same one that's been lurking under our apple tree many afternoons for the past couple of weeks, had got into its wee brain that it ought to fly right into our house very fast. I suppose it mistook the window reflection for sky.
Boy are grouse stupid birds. We quite often startle one on our driveway upon returning home in the late afternoon. When you startle a grouse it just sort of stands there, and then very slowly starts to walk some direction or other, usually taking the longest route possible to get out of the way of the vehicle. Then, a minute or so later, when it has finally walked off the driveway and is well out of harm's way, it will suddenly launch into flight and in a noisy flurry of wings takes off into the woods, as it should have done from the start.
Well, this particularly brainless grouse broke its neck when it hit our house. There it was, dead but quite stunningly beautiful, right on our doorstep. We discussed eating it. Someone had expressed curiosity not too long ago about what game birds taste like. Fiona was all for eating it, though she suggested we cook it first, and not eat the feathers. She also volunteered that "if we don't eat it, daddy will." That's true of most of the stuff that's served up to the kids as meals around here, but I really didn't think it would be true of a rapidly stiffening feathery carcass on the doorstep.
We opted not to eat it. Heck, most of us are vegetarians, so it really wasn't remotely likely that we'd actually pluck and dress the poor thing. Instead, for lunch we had our newly favourite soup.
Ramen Noodle Soup with Virtue and Kick
2 packages of instant Ramen noodles
4 cups of water
2 tsp. of "Better than Bouillon" vegetable soup stock concentrate, or two veggie bouillon cubes
1 tsp. Thai red curry paste
juice of half a small lime
2 tsp. vegetarian Thai-style fish sauce ("phish sauce"?)
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed (yeah, lots!)
medium-sized handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup of any diced veggies on hand (carrot is our fave)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
Open the ramen noodle packages and discard the flavour packets. What is that stuff? I'm not sure, but I think it's nasty, particularly if it's the only ingredient in the soup other than the noodles. Toss 'em, and good riddance.
Sauté garlic in sesame oil in small saucepan. Add water, bouillon, curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice and water. Bring to boil. Add ramen noodles and veggies, cook until just tender, then toss in cilantro.
This takes about 5-8 minutes to prepare, and only dirties one pot, a garlic press, a carrot peeler and a chef's knife. Funny that my kids are incredibly picky eaters, but love this soup.