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Friday, 13 March 2015

Matzo Ball Soup

By Trudi Kappel

When my mother’s health was failing, she moved to a retirement facility close to my home. The move gave us more time together and made it easier for me to help her. We both knew she was running out of days.

Whenever she expressed a desire for something, I did my best to get it for her. Often I was successful; sometimes not. The “farmer cheese” she remembered from her childhood in New York City, was not to be found in North Carolina. Trust me!

One day she asked for matzo ball soup. Uh oh! This dish of tender matzo balls floating in chicken soup has been the litmus test of cooking skill for Jewish brides for generations.

The matzo balls must be light and fluffy and thoroughly cooked. When not done skillfully, the soup tastes greasy from too much chicken fat and the matzo balls have the taste and consistency of lead.

Mom was a master of the art. I had never tried this challenge and was not about to.

I telephoned the only Jewish-style deli in the area to inquire if matzo ball soup was on their menu. Hallelujah it was! I bundled Mom into the car and we set off. My fingers were crossed - would this commercial soup be up to her standard?

It was delicious! The fragrant golden soup with the feather light matzo balls was as wonderful as Mom’s own.

She called the waitress to our table. “Please convey my appreciation to your cook,” she said. “I have made matzo ball soup many times and this is excellent!”

The waitress smiled. “I will do that. He will be pleased to hear the compliment.” Then she added, “You know, he’s from Nigeria!”

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Wonderful story. The matzo balls in our family always had a slightly chewy texture. The first time I tasted a "feather light" one, it didn't seem real.
Maybe that's the reason we always needed an extra bit of soup because it always ran out before the matzo balls were finished.

Maybe the cook had a Jewish mother or grandmother on the kitchen! It could be....in any case, glad to hear your Mom got her soup just the way she wNted it. Nothing makes us happier than a taste of home.

Trudi,I loved the story and laughed out loud at the conclusion. It was funny and unexpected and yet--in today's world--it makes prefect sense.

A neat story! I love your style.

Wonderfully told story.
Thanks for sharing.

Wonderful ending! I hadn't expected it. Funny how things like that just happen. Thank you for relating it to us.

Wonderful! Not at all like the experience I had ordering a Chicken Caesar in Zimbabwe. Well, it was on the menu, for Pete's sakes.

The wonders of our multicultural environments - long may they continue to thrive.

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