Good Morning Friends,
Life has a funny way of re-arranging your plans when you least expect it. I had my weekend all mapped out as we inch ever closer to holiday break, when all of a sudden there was a power outage. Actually, I’m painting too glamorous a picture here. Let me be more accurate. It was 4:30 in the morning. In my all-electric house, I woke up to a beeping noise in my ear as I lifted my bleary-eyed face from the pillow. “What the heck is that?” I asked my husband, doing the half-swat to wake him up too. I got a grumble and a gruff as he climbed out of his hammock.
Our power was out. The heater was beeping to let us know that it was dying.
I went from a peaceful snooze-land to holy **** it’s about to cold in here– FAST! Cue me scrambling around gathering up our winter coats and extra blankets from the closet. After turning my little family into walking Michelin men, we sat back and did…. nothing. You see, my family is a very “plugged in” kind of family. My husband and I love to video game. My daughter has drawing apps. on her tablet. We love snuggling up to watch Netflix together. Even our cat, Cosmos, is entertained by the flickering flames on the TV projection. You get the idea.
So a power outage meant I had a family of grumpy, cold, tired, sniffly people on my hands.
It began with my daughter. “I’m BORED!” she announced an hour later. The house was getting cold. “Let’s take a walk!” I suggested. “I don’t wanna walk!” she huffed and stared at me from the couch.
My husband was doing his own stare into the Narnia computer screen as if willing the black screen to magically turn to normal again. I almost laughed.
“Okay!” I announced, “Everyone get in the car, we’re going to the store”. I had to do my grocery shop anyway, but we were in dire need of a “hug in a bowl”…..
Growing up, whenever I would get sick my parents would pour Campbell’s Chicken Soup into a Tupperware bowl and shove it down my throat. Back then I thought there was something magical in that red and white can that was a cure-all. When I met my husband, he introduced me to arroz caldo (or “chicken rice porridge”) as it is called in the Philippines. It’s called congee in China and jook in South Korea. But I digress.
Everyone has that one dish that you make to bust the sniffles away. That one dish that makes you swoon, smile, and savor every bite. A pot bursting with flavor, warmth, and holistic foods designed to boost your immune system. For me, matzo ball soup does just that. When I was 12, my dad re-married a Jewish woman and while she didn’t cook… her family did. Kugel, latkes, gefilte fish, and matzo ball soup flew into my life and turned my taste buds upside down. But it was that humble chicken and matzo ball soup that I savored most of all. It’s simple. It’s warm. And it’s deeply comforting.
These days I add some extra garlic and ginger into my soup to make it more flavorful to our preferred palate. But the premise is still the same: it’s warm chicken soup.
So, as we thawed in the car on the way to the store I reminded my family to count our blessings. Yes, the power was out and the house was cold, but we had a car of warmth and a trunk full of groceries. Yes, sometimes life does re-arrange your plans. But we also learn to roll with them. Sure, we miss being plugged in to all of our devices and having “things to do”. But it’s also nice to just go outside and enjoy the cold, winter air. So let’s give thanks and enjoy where we are in this moment.
The power came back on a few hours later. An hour after that a pot of bubbling matzo ball soup was made. With warm tummies and happy smiles my family turned into bed, and I gave thanks again for the little blessings in life.
I hope this post made you smile. Have a wonderful Monday, my friends.