Thursday, December 24, 2009




What do you do on Christmas Eve? Go to Church - celebrate the reason for the season.

Maybe after Church you have family over - eat dinner or have delicious cakes and cookies for dessert.

My family goes to Queens, NY for a true Italian Christmas Eve with the 7 fishes. There are shrimp, bakalou, lobster, crab, white fishes, made in every delectable way, after which there is complete chaos opening gifts.

Me? I would prefer to stay at home and watch the movie - It's a Wonderful Life. I have watched this movie every year since I can remember. It is a movie about a guy who decides that perhaps the world would have been better off if he had never existed. Clarence, an angel, comes to show him what his world would be like without him and it seems that everyone is so much worse off without his help. He returns to his life and is eternally grateful for his family and friends and for Clarence, who finally receives his "wings" for helping this guy realize he wants to live. Every time an angel gets his wings - a bell rings.

It is just a wonderful, sappy, happy story and just gets to me every single year. Spending Christmas Eve, with Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and the Lord. Can it get any better? Yes, it probably could - spending it with my family and the Lord - but right now this is the way it is and I am grateful.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Last Wednesday, Jenifer, my 37 year old daughter woke up with a very high fever and sicker than she has ever been. All of a sudden, I was back to being mommy and taking care of my sick child, along with her two children, my grandsons. I made phone calls to the doctor, he prescribed an antibiotic over the phone. With all of the sickness going around, even the doctors don't want the patients coming into the office. Back in my day, as a child, the doctors used to make HOUSE CALLS. I remember our family doctor coming into the house carrying his little black doctor bag. His visits almost always brought on that dreaded shot of penicillin and a prescription. I used to have to take my capsules with applesauce.

Jenifer became the child again, needing her mommy. I made chicken soup as well as MY mother sending chicken soup. All of a sudden, what were Jenifer's chores, became mine. Had you asked me before this if I thought I was capable of all of this, I would have said no but through the grace of God, I had the strength.

Jenifer is on the mend now but not 100% so I am continuing to take care of her. I think that this is a turning point in our relationship even if she doesn't know it yet. You see, all this time, she figured she was so grown up that she didn't need mommy for nurturing, but guess what - she surely does. As long as our moms are here with us, we always need her to take our temperature and make us chicken soup in bed.
About 3 lbs of chicken on the bone cut up with skin on.
6 large carrots
2 leeks
some pieces of turnip
some dill
a couple of pieces of celery
6 to 10 red potatos (if desired) small potatoes cut in half
salt & pepper
Cut the carrots and celery in chunks
the leeks,turnips and dill can be bought at the store in a package called soup greens or bought separately.
put the chicken -carrots-soup greens in pot and cover with water until there is about a couple inches over the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until the chicken is falling off the bones.
You might have to skim the top of the water and also try to get as many bones out after the chicken has cooked. The bones give the soup a good flavor. Do not put the potatos in yet because the best thing to do is after the soup is done - put the whole pot in fridge overnight and take off the "fat" from the top in the morning. The fat rises and forms like a crust and comes off easily.
About an hour before serving put the cut up potatos in the soup and cook them until tender.
Remember to taste the soup before adding too much salt or any other flavors you desire. I happen to love my chicken soup bland and therapeutic but my step dad likes a little kick so he adds other things.
Serve and enjoy.