Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jewish Penicillin

1. If you are sick and making your own chicken soup, stock is not cheating.

2. Chicken soup is best reheated on the stove. By your mother. Who somehow manages to make it full of love as well as nutrients.

3. But if she were here, you wouldn't have made it yourself, so using the microwave is not cheating.

4. The tribe cannot disown you for eschewing matzah balls.
They will threaten.
They will use words like shandah.
They will tell you how much you've hurt them--and this is, by the way, not the time to mention your inability to eat gefilte fish.
You must respond by being a dog: Dogs don't do guilt trips.

5. No matter how old and practiced you become at the art of chicken soup, you will never, even in full health, make it as good as your mother, your aunt, your grandmother, and those of anyone else in their generation.

If any of these women suggest that yours is as good or better, watch out; this is likely a ploy to make you the soup-maker for the next soup-involved holiday (which, incidentally, is coming up Friday).
Demur.

6. When you sit down to eat the chicken soup you just remembered you made last night because you are ill and in need of it, try to keep in mind that you just took it off the stove, and only your mothers "fooing" will get it to the right temperature.
Resign yourself to mouth-burns and a sudden, instantaneous, inex-physics-plicably switch to too cold!

As your mother would say if she were here; "you'll live."

Of course, if your mother were here, none of this would be necessary. She will have made chicken soup from scratch, imbued it with her love, managed to serve it boiling off the stove at exactly the right temperature, and even know how to make you lie down and eat it at the same time.

Sucks to be you.