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Friday, October 16, 2015

NaBloPoMo prompt: What do you wish you knew how to make?



My father, of blessed memory, loved everything about cooking.  He'd watch all the cooking shows on TV, shows like "The Barefoot Contessa".  He had an extensive collection of cookbooks, he loved buying food magazines and reading the recipes.

When he retired in 1989, he signed up for a Chinese cooking class.  He bought a wok and drove to Flushing to buy authentic ingredients.

And then he learned to roll sushi, long before most of us had ever heard of it.  In the last year of his life, as his appetite wained and he grew so thin, we could always manage to get him to eat if we brought him sushi.  We called him "the sushi monster".

But his signature dish ...  soup.  A dish that adorned our table for every Jewish holiday, and frequently "just because".

Real, made-from-scratch chicken soup.    You start with a whole chicken, cut in quarters. Vegetables -- onion, celery, carrots, parsnip.  Herbs.  Kosher salt.  The aroma permeates the entire house as it simmers.

The soup is served with broad noodles, or maybe matzoh balls, and chunks of parsnip and carrot.  My  mom likes to eat the boiled chicken as a separate course, my dad liked it with a little horseradish.  The rest of us tear up the chicken and add it to the soup.

I made chicken soup once, many years ago. But I used the recipe from my mother's family, without my father's refinements.


When my father stopped cooking, he taught my sister Felice to make the soup.  She inherited his talent for cooking.

Maybe I'll watch her the next time she makes the soup.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Oooh, horseradish in chicken soup sounds really good! Funny how you each enjoyed it in different ways.

The only thing of my mom's I've wanted was her recipe box. She was an amazing cook.

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