In 1969, while a nanny, I took a night extension class at Bainbridge Island High School with the late Bob McAllister who was to become a local icon teaching, writing and bringing play production to a superb level. Surprisingly, it changed my culinary life but had nothing to do with food. The class was World Literature.
At the end of the quarter, he tasked each of us to bring a food dish from another culture for a potluck. I brought something Middle Eastern, probably hummus and tabouli, very ordinary to me but before the hummus explosion. Somebody brought a gorgeous borscht and I learned how to make it, but the dish somebody else brought that made the biggest impression and has joined my repertoire ever since is chicken soup with matzo balls.
I make it especially when I get a cold, when those dense non-doughy dumplings just slide down the throat. Guess I was lucky this year since my cold and the Jewish holiday of Passover occurred right around the same time, so I was able to procure some fresh matzo meal at the first store I went to. Later on, it’s not so easy to find.
It’s simple to make, stirring together an egg, a bit each of oil, broth and salt with the matzo meal. There’s a recipe on the package. I don’t roll it into one inch balls per instructions, however, long ago discovering that the melon scooper does the trick, making them a bit smaller and thus boiling in the soup for a shorter time.
And now a beautiful floral scene shot last week before the virus hit me.