Chicken Soup


Finding it difficult to post a follow-up, after my last posting. Everything just seems so inappropriate when there is so much sorrow being felt by friends right now.

Losing a child so unexpectedly continues to consume all my thoughts, about what is and isn’t important to me and how i am with my girls and I’ve become quite introspective as a result.

I’ve turned all my attention to home and doing all the things that i never have the time for. I don’t want life to be over and i look back and think “could’a, would’a, should’a….”

I’m not only talking about grand gestures. I’m talking about the things i just seem to put off, namely I’ve always wanted to make my own Chicken Soup. The embodiment of food for the soul.

The irony of the same titled books ‘Chicken Soup for the soul’ is not lost on me. I’ve never read them but i know they are short inspirational & motivational stories. I didn’t actually make this connection until after I had laboured over stove.

I started making my Soup yesterday afternoon once we had our Sunday Roast Chicken lunch. I put the chicken carcass in my slow cooker with some shallots, leeks, carrots covering with water & seasoning. I let it bubble away for a good 10-12 hours. The house smelt all homely, especially when i got up in the night resettling & checking on the girls. It was wafting up the stairs in a warm & comforting wave.

This morning I sieved all the bits out and were left with my stock, which i added to some sautéed shallots, leeks, mushrooms and shredded chicken. It smelt utterly divine as i let it continue to bubble away.

Once it had cooked a bit longer I whizzed it up so it was a smooth consistency ready for serving.

At dinner time I ladled it into Belle’s princess bowl and made some buttered toast for her to dip in it.

I served myself some aswell and sat down with her to eat it at the table, with Jools my 5 month old bouncing away in her baby bjorn chair watching us.

Exactly ‘0’ spoonfuls passed Belles lips. She turned her nose up at it and pushed it away. No matter how surruptiously i tried to cajole her into trying some (mmm…mummys eating it; cue big smiles & yum yum sounds, aeroplanes, deal making and finally threatening to give it to Jools)  she wouldn’t abide.

She ate only the toast.

My efforts had been for nothing and yet, as the success of a meal is usually determined by how much my daughter eats, it didn’t feel like a waste. I enjoyed it and Peter will (hopefully) marvel at his wife’s new-found domesticity as he eats it for lunch tomorrow and I will have made something I always wanted to get around to doing.

More importantly it was made with love and thought and care and one day my darling daughter might look back and understand that’s all that really matters.


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