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Food, life, and a little comfort
We all need some every now and then.
You just need a chicken.
Growing up, I always believed our family had a magic cure for anything that ailed you. The secret ingredients included a whole chicken, homemade egg noodles, and fresh parsley. A cold coming on? Stricken with the blahs? We have the answer.
Chicken noodle soup to the rescue.
This week, I yearned for comfort and a cure for the discontent and tragedies plaguing the world. Maybe a bowl of my grandma’s soup would soothe the deep ache for a happier time.
My mind began to wander across the years. I can still feel the breeze blowing through the bedroom in that small farmhouse. The scene sits in my memory like a welcome friend.
The flour sack towel stretched across the bed with rows of noodles drying, soaking in the country air. Moments before, my grandmother had rolled out the mound of flour, eggs, and water. With the precision of a Samurai warrier, her knife flew across the rolled out dough making thin slices.
Homemade noodles cannot compare to the stiff replicas in cellophane bags sitting on metal shelves in the supermarket. They are a fair facsimile, but no substitute for the real thing.
That snippet from a time long gone, reminded me how simple mundane events and a family recipe can shape our lives. To this day, chicken noodle soup eases the sniffles, brightens the hearts of our family, and continues a tradition of belonging and hope.
Just a bowl of soup? No, a life well-loved.
While I’m on the topic, I’m also reminded that life is like a pot of chicken and dumplings.
If you’re looking for good stories and good food, take a peek at Ann Hood’s Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food.
My other favorite comfort food—pancakes, plain or Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes.”
“Whenever something went wrong when I was young - if I had a pimple or if my hair broke - my mom would say, 'Sister mine, I'm going to make you some soup.' And I really thought the soup would make my pimple go away or my hair stronger.”
Find a little wonder and comfort this week, or offer some to someone close or even a stranger.
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