Chicken soup, in my family, has been more than just a delicious remedy for the sniffles. All of my life, it has been present not only at every illness, but also at every holiday and many family gatherings. The soup cooks for three hours, and I grew up with that smell teasing my senses until my tummy would rumble, and I couldn’t help but sneak “just a little taste” dipping my spoon into the pot and burning my tongue in my haste.
When I was older and moved out of my parent’s house and my childhood home, I immediately asked my mother for the recipe. Really, it was my grandmother’s recipe, and I’m sure my mother felt the same way about that magical broth just as I had all of my life. For several years, every time I made it, I would call her from some grocery store in the middle of the produce aisle, “Now what goes into it again?” She’d walk me through it step by step, and then several hours later there would be a follow-up phone call. “So? How was it?” The answer was always the same, “Amazing!”
I have made that soup for so many people when they have needed it, because there is nothing like home-made chicken soup, and I have finally mastered the skill. I don’t have to call my mother anymore for the instruction, and my own family is so appreciative when a big steamy bowl is placed before them…matzah balls and all.
My song of the day is one that I learned when I worked at a Jewish summer camp in Malibu, CA. The camp, JCA Shalom or The Shalom Institute, has a beloved song leader, and one of his hit songs with the campers is “Chicken Soup.” Robbo is like an icon in that foresty spot high above some of the greatest beaches in our country. He’s been at the camp for years, and when he sings this one, the kids all sing along with thoughts of their own family’s recipe in their head.
I couldn’t find the song on Youtube, but click HERE to go to Robbo’s Myspace radio page. I love his line that “Bubbe said it was a gift from G-d.” He continues to sing about how the soup is made out of love, its main ingredient. Robbo is right. Love really could be the answer. Perhaps that’s why it is so amazingly good. I know for a fact that every bowl of home-made chicken soup that I’ve ever eaten has been a bowl full of love and that is why it is the greatest penicillin.