My mother taught me how to make chicken soup, kinda. I don’t remember her specifically showing me how to make chicken soup, but because of the other recipes she’s shared with me, I’m sure it went something like this… Put some chicken in a pot of water, (usually the left over stuff, after you’ve taken the breast, thighs and wings off, which leaves the legs, and carcass) cut up some carrots, onions, celery, add some salt, and if it still needs something a bullion cube or two, then cook it till it’s done. I’m sure this is fine if you’ve been making chicken soup for 40 years, but for someone like me, the measurement “some” isn’t very helpful. Over the years, I’ve made some good chicken soup and some really bad chicken soup (meaning it’s tastes like warm water). I finally gave up on it and found those freeze dried soups in the cardboard cup that you add boiling water to, is easier to make and tastes better.
But this afternoon, for the first time since I’ve known Jon, he’s the kind of sick that makes you sleep all day and makes it hard to eat or drink and makes your whole body ache being cold one minute and hot the next. The kind of sick that has kept Jon from even thinking about blogging or taking a photo.
I gave him lots of tea, but I knew he needed chicken soup. And not the kind that you buy in the store, it had to be homemade, by me. So I thought about everything my mother taught me about making chicken soup and took the vagueness of her directions to heart. I found an onion a $10 freerange, organic frozen chicken breast, and some spinach at the Co-Op. I threw all of it and some carrots and kale that we had in the fridge in a big pot of water. I added salt and let it cook. After about an hour or so it still didn’t taste like anything, so I tossed in some more salt then opened the spice drawer. A little of this and a lot of that, ( I have no idea what I threw in the pot) and let it cook some more. At about 7 o’clock Jon opened his eyes for the first time in hours. “Would you like some chicken soup?” I asked him. He ate it slowly and at one point said it tasted like his Grandmother’s soup. When it comes to most things, I prefer not to be compared to Jon’s grandmother, but when it comes to chicken soup and it’s ability to make Jon feel better…. Well, I take it as the greatest compliment.
And I guess I really have to thank my mother too, for leaving her recipe so open to interpretation. There’s more than one way to make chicken soup. Now lets see if my chicken soup can work it’s magic. We’ll all know Jon’s better when he’s at his computer blogging and posting his latest photo.