Jan 31
2009

Hello LFM readers! Thank you so much for all of your kind comments! Little Fuji is doing well and I am recovering nicely. However, I’m not quite ready to take back the reins here and so you have the opportunity to hear from a few more of my favorite people in the meantime while I continue recuperating. Today you have the privilege of hearing from my own dear mama. Enjoy!

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Almost exactly 24 years ago I was having MY second baby, just like FujiDaughter. At the time, our little family was living in San Diego, where my husband was going to school. We were poor as church mice but happy with our lives, knowing that our school days would soon be over for good. I went into labor one morning while walking the paths in the San Diego Zoo, and our son was born that evening.
FujiDaughter with her little brother, 24 years ago.

What does this have to do with a FOOD blog? Keep reading.

I returned home from the hospital the day after our baby was born to discover both my husband and FujiDaughter had the flu. It was February, and the weather was unusually cold for San Diego. Our only source of heat was a little space heater in the living room, so I lay on the couch while my husband and FujiDaughter rolled out blankets for beds on the floor in front of the heater. We piled blankets on the baby in his little portable crib, and we all felt sorry for ourselves together.

Then the doorbell rang. It was my friend Paulette who had delivered her FOURTH child a few weeks before, a beautiful little boy born with Down’s Syndrome. She had come to collect my sick daughter and our dirty laundry. She didn’t ask, she just did. In return (and somehow I don’t think it was a fair trade), she left us a pot of steaming chicken soup. Paulette checked on us multiple times over the next few days, returned our laundry and took away another batch, and hung on to our daughter until my husband was well enough to take over. Meanwhile, we survived on her soup, which tasted unbelievably good at a time when nothing else seemed even edible. I fact, I’m convinced that Paulette’s pot of soup worked some medicinal magic and saved us from total ruin.

Paulette and I live more than half a continent apart now, but I often think of her and her selfless sacrifice at a time when I really needed a friend. It could not have been an easy time in her life, but that didn’t stop her from caring for us. A wise man noted, “God does love us, and he does watch over us, but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”

A few weeks ago when I was thinking of FujiDaughter’s impending delivery, I got a sudden craving for Paulette’s Come-to-the-Rescue Chicken Soup. I made up a batch and took half of it to the Fuji household. It’s a pretty basic, simple recipe, but there’s nothing like it when you’re feeling under the weather.

Start by cutting up a whole chicken. I’m convinced that part of the healing power of this soup lies in using the whole chicken rather than just chicken parts. I do take most of the skin off before I cook it, however.

Boil the chicken pieces and a quartered onion in 8-10 cups of water in a large pot until the chicken meat is just cooked. (Don’t overcook, as it will get reheated later on.) Remove the chicken pieces from the broth and discard the onion. While the chicken is cooling, add 1 teaspoon or more of thyme, rosemary, and sage to the water, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Luckily I have a continuous fresh supply of rosemary in my backyard!

Then add 6-8 sliced carrots, 2 stalks sliced celery, 2 chopped onions, and 3-4 chicken bouillon cubes.

While the vegetables and herbs are simmering, debone and shred the chicken, and cook a few cups of wide egg noodles in a separate pot according to the directions on the package. (The advantage of cooking the noodles separately is that you won’t put in too many or too few, and they won’t get super soggy when you reheat the leftover soup.)

When the vegetables are done, add the chicken. Simmer just until the chicken is heated through. To serve, place the cooked noodles in individual bowls and ladle hot soup over them. Keep leftover noodles and soup in separate containers to prevent the noodles from turning to mush.
Please note: Both the tastiness and the healing properties of this soup increase exponentially if you can share half your pot with someone else who needs it at least as much as you do.

COME-TO-THE RESCUE CHICKEN SOUP
1. Boil until done:
1 chicken, cut up
1 onion, quartered
8-10 cups water

2. Take out chicken and onion. Discard the onion and shred the chicken. Add seasonings to the broth and simmer for 1-2 minutes:
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. sage
Salt and pepper to taste

3. Add vegetables and simmer until soft but still firm:
6-8 sliced carrots
2 stalks sliced celery
2 chopped onions
3-4 chicken bouillon cubes
4. In a separate pot, cook ½ to 1 package of wide egg noodles.
5. When vegetables are done, add shredded chicken to pot.
6. Place cooked noodles in individual bowls and ladle hot soup over them.
7. Refrigerate noodles and soup separately to prevent noodles from turning to mush.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }



The Food Librarian February 1, 2009 at 7:17 am

Glad to hear you are doing well. I love this post by your mom! What a heartwarming story of friendship and generosity!

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Heliotrope Tree House February 1, 2009 at 8:27 am

What a great story Fuji Mom. We need more friends like that in our world today. I had my daughter four years ago, and found myself utterly alone…mom and dad passed away a long time ago…We live too far away from any relatives, and I hadn’t made any friends in our short five months before daughter was born. So, I can completely appreciate this type of sacrifice on behalf of another. Wow! Great recipe, too. I’ve been looking for some Chicken soup therapy on these cold, icy, days. Hope the family is doing nicely. Blessings to you all.

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Angie February 1, 2009 at 9:47 am

Lovely post, Fuji Mom. Thank you for the recipe. Feel well soon, Fuji Mama!

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Melanie Gray Augustin February 1, 2009 at 6:33 pm

So wonderful to hear from Fujimama’s mama! I love the photo of you with the two kids, Fujimama had that amazing blonde hair back then too.

The chicken soup sounds delicious, and even more so for the story behind it.

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Christine February 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Does fuji baby have a name? I am going to try the soup tomorrow- sounds great for cold weather!

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Draffin Bears February 1, 2009 at 9:20 pm

What a beautiful story and so lovely to read this post from your Mom. Sweet picture of you as a little girl and Mum and brother.

The chicken soup sounds delicous and I will have to make some.

Take care and I hope that you are feeling better and managing to get some rest.

Hugs
Carolyn

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Chi February 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Thanks Fuji mama mama! The soup looks tasty and I’m happy to hear that the whole fuji family is doing well! :)

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Jen February 2, 2009 at 12:34 am

What a great lesson AND recipe!
♥Jen

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Yarni Gras! February 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm

sounds WONDERFUL…..

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Jackie February 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Fun story! I am jealous of all that rosemary! My favorite herb! Cute picture of Fuji Mama!

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LollyChops February 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Oh I love this story Fuji Mom! What a blessing your friend was to you!

The recipe looks good too!!!

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Misha February 3, 2009 at 7:50 pm

How sweet for your mom to post! I love the first picture of you and her in the hospital holding your baby brother… I love chicken noodle soup and am always excited to try a new recipe!

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Joie de vivre February 3, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Fuji Mama, You have a very cute family. Big Fuji Mama (Fuji Grandma?) is as cute as you!

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Goldie February 4, 2009 at 12:14 am

Sounds delish! Will have to try it.

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april February 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Congrats on the new bambino! She’s a muchkin.

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