Amazing Chicken Soup

woman-cooking.jpg I had a completely fabulous mother.  She was a pretty good cook, except that she was always so busy with her politics, and with being consigliere to her large family, and with talking  to my dad while he was on his second job shift, that she almost never cooked dinner without a phone lodged between her shoulder and her ear.  This resulted in many culinary tragedies, and seasoning mistakes.  Here are two examples.

One day she was making her amazing chicken soup, loaded with carrots, and turnips, and leeks, and dill, not to mention the largest soup chicken she could find.  When it came time to add salt, she grabbed what she thought was the large red box of kosher salt, but it was the similar-sized box of Tide.

potboiling.jpgTrust me. A pinch of Tide in boiling chicken broth, gives you a fabulous I Love Lucy moment.  I've almost never seen anything funnier than soap bubbling out of the pot and onto the kitchen floor.  I saw it before she did, because she was giving a rent-control worker instructions over the phone, and didn't notice til I started laughing and pointing.

Here' another one.  The jello-mold recipe, from McCall's, instructed that you run cold water over the mold to lossen it.  The part about putting a plate under the jello, before you do this, was lost on her, and so the water was run, and the mold went slithering down the drain, bing cherries and all.

We loved her cooking, but we loved her engagement in politics and in our family life more, so all was forgiven.