Friday, August 7, 2009

chicken noodle soup

Raise your hand if you're thinking of Jack Canfield now. Good. I thought so.

I almost always bless my food. Say Grace. If in a group of likemindeds, then out loud. Otherwise silently and yet with intended honest gratitude.

I have never in my life made chicken noodle soup from scratch. And when I said grace, I felt the presence of my parents and my little brother and sent a soup blessing to them. This is as close to "triggered" as ever I've been with food. Sometimes a twinge here and there but rarely something that would run deep and threaten a minor upheaval.

I made chicken noodle soup and it is really GOOD.

One of my friend housemates has a cold, so yesterday amidst my continuing landing process, I felt inspired to make some. Off to the local Whole Foods/Harry's Market I scurried, gathering up 97% of all that was necessary. As a nod to my childhood, I asked the nice man behind the meat counter with the New York accent if he would cut up that nearly organic chicken... please? He would. He did.

When I was a little kid, we went to Arnold the Butcher's in Ocean Park (a part of Venice, California) where we bought meat and chicken. Mom would ask for bones for the dogs and got them. "The marrow is good for them," she'd say. What irony now. Then we went two doors down to the Jewish Bakery to get all of those luscious sugary delights that colluded with too much childhood Tetracycline and made my teeth a personal horror and dentist's delight (ka-CHING). This was in the late 1950's and early 1960's. There was no candlestick maker that I recall.....

I shared in my Alanon meeting last night that it took me many many years to deal with an often painful and dysfunctional childhood, from uncovering and discovering to wailing in righteous indignation to lately feeling soft as dough with sadness and compassion for these people who did their absolute best, no matter how imperfect that turned out to be. I spent many years regaling all who would listen of the wretchedness I endured. Heads would nod with sympathetic exhales. And yet what of all the good they did, from the piano lessons that began when I was six to the soup I was fed? I never ever went hungry. They probably, almost assuredly did when they were children. I came along and I was fed, as was my little brother David the short time he was alive.

I didn't think that making chicken soup would lean into my heart like this.

I can thank them now, long after their lives have transitioned over. I can thank God for feeding me His mercies and ask for presence and gratitude, more than I had as a confused young child. Perhaps He can show me how to make more than enough to share.


  1. Diane

    I was reading with a smile and a nod, and a few memories of my own, until that last two paragraphs...and then, as often happens when reading your writing, something deeper is touched....suddenly...your chicken soup was leaning into my heart as well. Diane, perhaps with your keypad, He has already showed you one way to make more than enough to share...I certainly got fed!!!

  2. Oh, and Mazel Tov...on your chicken soup from scratch...mmmmm... such a treat, you should always have what to eat!!!...when I was a kid, we had a dog who learned to run down the road to the Kosher Butcher on her own; she'd come back tail waggin' and carrying a treasure.

  3. That was a loyal dog who returned to share the treasure rather than dashing off with it or burying it in the ground.... and I smile that you were fed!