Tag Archives: chicken soup

Chicken Feet

One of my favourite childhood taste-memories is the feel of chicken feet on my tongue once I was done slurping up my chicken soup on Friday nights. We would feast on pippiks and chicken necks, and sometimes Grandma would throw some chicken feet into the soup. Those who have had them totally understand the appeal of these delicacies.

raw chicken feet, ready for my soup.

Once I moved to Canada it became impossible to find chicken feet, in fact, people went out of their way to show me their utmost displeasure at even mentioning chicken feet and chicken soup in the same breath.

Today I was shopping at Monsey Glatt (an experience on a Thursday afternoon, I can tell you) and while perusing the meat freezers I came face to face with a bunch of chicken feet, packaged and ready to sell. To me. For my soup. This week. In my mind, this was reason #46279 to move to Monsey – they sell chicken feet!! I was so darn excited and couldn’t wait to come home and show the KoD my purchase, after almost 2 decades of living chicken-feet-free. Such deprivation!!

For someone who works in the food industry, his reaction was not as I expected. He was totally disgusterated at the idea of me even thinking to put them in the soup. Plus, the thought of this possibly being a regular occurrence seemed to shake him to his very core. I offered to cook them in a mesh bag-thing inside the soup, so I could take them out as soon as they were cooked. Only I would eat them, I wouldn’t serve them to him or the kids. The dude turned quite a nice shade of green – and totally leeched the joy out of my find. Harumph.

Well, KoD, let me just tell you this. I would look very very carefully under your pillow tonight before you go to sleep – you just might find some interesting items in need of a pedicure.

You know, I could have bought Beef Knees too – but I didn’t know quite what to do with those….

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My Awesome Boys!!

It’s Friday, a day that I traditionally spend in the kitchen, whipping up delicious food for Shabbat – chicken soup and home baked challahs etc. My boys have hungry tummies and very much appreciate my cooking. (It’s all the extra love I put in). Poor KoD doesn’t get to enjoy my Shabbat cooking very often, but soon enough that will change and I will be chasing him out of the kitchen too to stop him from “taste testing” like the boys do.

We like to have our house clean for Shabbat – so that we can welcome the Sabbath Queen in the right spirit. Usually I have laundry going at the same time as I am cooking – and once I am done cooking the kitchen gets scrubbed.

But we have a lovely sized apartment and no cleaning help. So that means that all the boys have to pitch in whenever asked. It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. Growing up we had a chore list, and it rotated. That way there was a fair division of labour. I am not as organized as my mum was, so it’s always a little different. But the boys know better than to complain. Sometimes they will collaborate on chores to get them done quicker.

Squiggy likes to clean the bathrooms. I don’t know why, but I can see he has pride in a job well done. I hate hate hate cleaning the boys’ bathroom. Those of you with sons will understand why. So, that has become his job by default. A funny – today he felt a little lazy and I could see he needed motivation. I told him he’d better use some elbow grease. He looks under the sink – Ima, where’s the elbow grease??

Lenny gets to do the living room / dining room and does a great job too (when he remembers to actually move the furniture and sweep under it). He also loves to go to the store for me to pick up items that have been too heavy for me to carry, or that I forgot.

They are all dab hands at folding laundry and putting it away. The oldest two even know how to work the wash machine. HockeyFan loves to wash the dishes, and this afternoon he organized the refrigerator – apparently he put the yogurts in alphabetical order. He always asks me what else he can do to help.

ChatterBox is only 7 and as such I am not expecting too much. He gets to match up the socks, and organize his toys, and put away his Lego. Taking the recycling down to the garage is his job, and he gets to set up the candlesticks for Friday night. He loves to set the table for the Shabbat meals and does a fantastic job. The kids all take it in turns to help me serve the meal, and to clean up. They fight about whose turn it is to help. “It’s not fair, Ima, he helped you last week. Please can it be my turn?” Sometimes they will insist that I remain seated for the whole meal, so they can serve me.

It’s now 330pm and I am exhausted. There is one more load of laundry to be folded, and then I think I will take a nap. The house is sparkling, the aroma of delicious food is wafting through the apartment, and soon we will be showered and dressed in our Shabbat finery to welcome Shabbat with the lighting of my candles.

I am so blessed – I have the best boychikles in the world.

Shabbat Shalom.

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Chicken soup with matzah balls

I am about to break with tradition and share my recipe. It has been a closely guarded secret for many years, but there is no reason why other people should not be able to enjoy what my kids deem the best chicken soup in the world. I have had ex boyfriends propose marriage just for this soup.

The main ingredient, and I know it sounds silly, is the love and happiness you put in it. I never make my soup when I am sad. I always think about the people I am making it for, and transmit that love and affection to the soup.

 

Ok, so if you know me by now, you know that I don’t really do exact quantities because I cook by “eye”.

 

You need to make the soup in a large enamel pot – it just tastes better, trust me!

 

I generally use 4 large chicken breasts

Optional – chicken necks and pipiks (stomachs)

A whole bunch of celery, sliced

About 8 large carrots, peeled and sliced, or a large bag of baby carrots (less work)

2 parsnips, peeled and sliced

2 large onions – diced or sliced

Salt and Pepper to taste

A decent amount of fresh chopped dill

3 bay leaves

 

Put all the ingredients into the enamel pot, cover with plenty of water. Boil till a rolling boil, and then simmer for a few hours until time to make the matzah balls.

 

Matzah Balls

 

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup cold water

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

Approx one cup of Matzah Meal

 

Mix all the ingredients together till you get a consistency of wet cement. Refrigerate for an hour. Boil up the soup to a rolling boil, form mixture into balls and drop in to soup gently. They will fluff up as they cook. Simmer for at least an hour.

 

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