Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Clink in the Soup

I put the bowl of soup in the microwave and heard a “clink.” I pulled it back out and shook it. “Clink, clink, clink.” “Huh,” I thought, “there must be a pretty big bone in there.”
My mother’s homemade chicken noodle soup is delightful. It’s warm and comforting and tastes like love and childhood. I’m so glad that I learned to make it for my children so that they can grow up with its savory smell and scrumptious taste.
We usually use leftover holiday dinners to make it, which in my family means a duck. My mother strips the meat off of the bones and puts it in the soup, along with lots of spices. Because she uses a whole bird and not prepackaged boneless meat, sometimes a small bone or two may be overlooked. One bone isn’t going to hurt anyone, and makes the soup even more charming. In fact, when I made some of my own a week or so ago, my brother’s response to my offering some to him was, “Will it have bones in it?!”
Making the soup is a long process. The meat has to be cooked (if it wasn’t already), cooled, and pulled off of the bones. Then you have to add the correct spices and the right amount of salt (too much, and “yuck!” too little, and “yuck!”). Finally, you have to add the noodles. My mother used to use some kind of thick (probably organic) noodles that sucked up the soup before you could. Egg noodles will do, but I’m still trying different kinds to find the perfect one to make the soup I remember when I was a kid.
My daughters love it. My one year old gathers up the noodles and shoves them in her mouth, and my three year old enjoys picking up her bowl to sip down the broth. Mission accomplished.
But back to the clinking. I’ve learned from past experience that my rings will turn up if all I do is wait a bit, so the “HA!” that burst forth from me when I fished my silver ring out of the bottom of my bowl of soup was both triumphant and amused. I hadn’t connected its misplacement to the soup, but I’m glad I finished off the leftovers myself instead of tossing them out!
Next time I make soup, I will wear gloves.

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