Having a bowl

28 05 2012

My friend Alice’s homemade Chinese Beef Ball Soup

HOMEMADE food never fails to evoke vivid memories of me as a kid, perched on a stool, crouching over a pot, getting a facial in the process but undoubtedly learning the rudiments of culinary arts.  While it will be too much to ask for perfection with homemade food – how can you call something homemade and expect it to be perfect? – the really good ones are capable of making grown-up men weep with gratitude, or when needed, capable of mopping up tears.

Last week, a really good friend I’ve made at work, Alice, shared with me her very own Chinese Beef Ball Soup.

“Did you make this yourself?”

“Yes, I did!”

My enquiry was not a lame attempt at a conversation.  It was a real question.  From the moment I motioned to make my way towards her, she beaming with the bowl in her hands, thoughts started to take form in my head.  “How come someone as busy as she is still has the time to make soup from scratch?”  I just couldn’t fathom how.  And then just as easily the answer revealed itself to me.  She is a mother.  And don’t all mothers have the time to make food for their families?  I should know.  Watching my own mother got me started to learn how to cook.

The first thing that struck me about Alice’s soup is that even in a smallish portion, it couldn’t be denied that it’s a hearty meatball soup.  I got a generous helping of four meatballs in my bowl.  The Chinese provenance was pronounced in the presence of halved fresh red dates the red berries which up to now I really don’t know the name of.  Haha!  There were vermicelli noodles thrown in for good measure, along with a beaten egg (or eggs), and blades of chives.

Visually, it came across just like any other Chinese soup I have had.  But when I took my first sip, I have to say, I was taken aback with surprise.  I knew it would taste good.  But not that good.  I’m chalking it up as one real pleasant surprise.  It had a robust flavor that crept with loads of yumminess.  I couldn’t even detect the hint of salt, just perfectly married flavors.  It was not served piping hot, but it sure packed warmth that enveloped my heart with thoughts of home and yes, that feeling of being taken care of.

I was having a ball having that bowl.

The best compliment I could pay Alice’s Chinese beef ball soup is that it made the grown-up man in me weep with gratitude and it mopped up my tears (I was having a not so good day!).  And most of all, I want a copy of the recipe!

This soup was chockful with all the good things for the body and for the soul.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

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