Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Baby You and Me Got a Groovy Kind of Love

Mash Up of Chicken and Noodles and Homemade Soup.  This was reminiscent of this incredible homemade Chicken and Noodles from my Catholic youth at Holy Spirit School in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  There were these nuns that undoubtedly loved to cook real food and we were served in individual dining rooms complete with built in hutches and real plates and silverware.  All comfort food made with love.  
Sometimes you don't know what to make so you just start making something.  I bought the fresh vegetables for a nice homemade chicken soup, so I began by the hearty stock. 

After cutting up and adding all the vegetables, I thought to make Chicken and Noodles instead, featuring more vegetables, which turned out to be fantastic.  This allowed me to simmer the chicken pieces until they fell off the bone and for everything to marry and combine and impart flavors into the rich broth before deboning.  

Every bite pulled me back into those sunlit dining rooms from the past.  Standing in line, sliding my tray down the line, and the large friendly nun with the masculine hands asking me if I want 'more' and that look in her smiling eyes.  She knew by my excited reaction that I was one who truly appreciated all of her culinary offerings.  I thought they were surely made from heaven.  My mother never made these American dishes at home, even though she was the best cook I knew but they were similar in they were filled with loving notes.  The cook and I shared something and in my tween mind, she was a perfectly happy chubby, red cheeked lover of God who served Him by making the best food for school children.  But I couldn't help but wonder at points if that smile carried another kind of affection for my youthful beauty and spirit.  The real story is that I had a mutual love for her that was unique to me at that tender age.  I admired this older woman, who I considered sacred, yet her kind gentle smile sparked an appreciation for her in a way I was unfamiliar with at the time.  It was a discovery that you could have loving affection for strangers that didn't involve wanting to stick your tongue down their throat.  Either way, it remains a beautiful memory of innocent love.  

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