Monday, October 6, 2014

Chicken Soup

Let's talk about chicken soup.

My grandmother made a chicken soup of the Eastern European variety. First, you boiled a chicken until it was dry as bones, then pull it when it cools. (This happened. Trust me. My grandmother was talented.) Then, you simmer up the chicken stock with carrots and celery. (This is peasant food.) You then boil some egg noodles. When you want to serve it, you combine all the ingredients together: soup, carrots, celery, pulled chicken and noodles. The result was grandma's chicken soup, and except for the chicken, I loved it.

One of our recent favorite restaurants is the Woodside Deli up in Rockville. The place is never crowded on a Friday or Saturday night, the menu is very relaxed and just a little bit Jewish. On the menu is mish-mosh soup. I had never heard of this type of soup before, but my wife must have, because she ordered it one visit. It arrived looking like grandma's chicken soup, except for the big matzah ball in the middle. Even more amazingly, it tasted like grandma's chicken soup. Same taste. Same texture. Same everything, except that chicken was moist. I was in love.

I'm not much for comfort food, but this taste, this was comfort food.

My grandmother would cook a huge pot of this stuff. I'm talking gallons at a time simmering on the stove. She would cook it for holidays, I suppose, and dish the stuff out. I had to see it sometime, right? But I don't remember very well when she dished it out. I figure it must have been Thanksgiving or something.

With the cooler weather finally rolling in, and with the leaves finally turning, I found myself hankering for a bowl of chicken soup this weekend. I was a happy clam with that bowl, and my wife was happy too because I shared with her. It must be love, folks. It must be love. Even my daughter joined in, but she only likes the brother. The secret is is that I like the broth best too.