Truth. I hate to cook. When I was a little girl I learned, if you never learn how to do it, you’ll never have to do it. So I very quickly learned how to learn how not to cook. When we came back from the Philippines  I knew how to cook grilled cheese sandwiches not built to set the world on fire.

Then I found, living in suburbia USA, if I wanted to eat and feed my family, I had to learn how to cook. Keep it simple, stupid, was my motto, a can of this, a sprinkle of that, toss in some beans or noodles, give each kid a bowl and a spoon, a dab of lettuce and tomato with a some bottled  dressing, a glass of milk, a cookie and everybody feasted. Lunch? Everybody but me ate at work or school. Breakfast? A bowl, a box of cereal, milk and a spoon and it was on your way, kiddies. Down the ramp and into the sea of life.

Then, I discovered Adelle Davis, my savior. Her LET’S GET WELL got me on the path. LET’S COOK IT RIGHT became my bible and  I discovered  soup. I love to make soup. So much fun. So creative. Soup, soup, beautiful soup. Not too hot for breakfast but a huge hot nourishing bowl of soup in a bowl with a spoon and a cracker was heaven on earth for dinner. At least in my kitchen.

Which I don’t have any more. You heard me. I have a refrigerator, a hot plate, a microwave and a pot or two. Some china, crystal and silver, which look pretty on shelves and when you open a drawer but otherwise do little towards earning their keep.

I used to love making Portuguese beans soup. During summers when the kids were  in college and they trooped home with half the faculty and student body  to the Kauai house on the bay, a boat, and a barn full of horses, I would make an enormous pot of Portuguese bean soup, set out some bowls and spoons and crackers which everybody ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But now it’s chicken soup. For me. Consecrated. Slaving over a hot gourmet counter I buy  chicken already baked. Fake dressing, none of these birds are stuffed, and about twice a month, today’s the day, when I’ve munched a baked chicken  down to bare bones,  I make consecrated chicken soup.

Take a pot of water, toss in some bones and salt and vinegar. Don’t forget the vinegar, it brings out the calcium in the bones if you remember to break the bones. Boil for a reasonable amount of time, I don’t like being chained to a clock, let it cool, pick the meat off the bones and pour the stock in the freezer in little one-bowl size containers. Now comes the magic.

Slice, chop or mangle onions, tomatoes, carrots, whatever, saute in olive oil, dump in the stock, stick in the micro, find a spoon and a cracker and  eat. Bon appetite.


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