Dad At Head Of Kitchen Table

Growing up, Friday night meant chicken soup.

My father would be sitting at the head of the table. My older brother would be at the opposite end. And I would be sitting in the middle. We’d put a small bench chair in between me and my brother. That’s where my mom would sit when she wasn’t running from the stove to the table serving us.

I don’t remember ever helping. Maybe a few times a year, me and my brother would dry a couple of dishes. Not very proud of that. Guess that’s why mom always said that Yom Kippur was her favorite day of the year: no food to prepare.

What I’d give for one more shabbat meal with my mom and dad. My father saying kiddush. Him running a knife over the challah that my mom would have bought at the bakery down the street. The bread would have been well-done just like my father wanted it.

Two loaves of Challah

And after kiddush, came the chicken soup.

Back then, I didn’t want any of that yucky stuff in my soup. No carrots. No onions. And definitely, no greens. Mom would sometimes have to pick a few bits of parsley that had somehow snuck its way into my bowl. Just clear broth with white rice. Maybe a small piece of carrot.

I’d add some salt as soon as my mom would put the bowl in front of me. Dad would say, “Taste the soup first.” But I knew my mom’s cooking, and I liked salt.

Anyway, making chicken soup has to be one of the easiest recipes in the world. Get some chicken with bones. Put them in a pot with water, carrots, onions, and parsley. Add some salt and black pepper. Simmer for a couple of hours. And you got chicken soup.

Throw in lots of love and caring, and you’ll have my mom’s soup.

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