WISDOM NUGGET: BLEEDING-HEART? KINDNESS DOESN'T REQUIRE YOU TO FORGO WITH PRAGMATISM.
RECIPE: PREPARING FOR HOMEMADE BROTH
Not often bamboozled, I consider myself a commonsensical optimist. I’m no sap but I do believe in genuine goodness.
Naming my business, for goodness sake foods, was strategic. How food imparts goodness—the illustrations prove innumerable. Cuisine can be nutritious and satiate the soul. Growing or preparing tasty provisions ignites a visceral joy, but foodstuff aside, I also believe in the overarching benevolence of mankind.
I know there is much unrest and turbulence in the world but I’m betting on good and I’m stacking the odds in my favor by putting as much kindness out into the world as I can.
“Finish your chicken soup,” my mother would insist, tapping the bowl with her index finger, still smudgy orange from carrot chopping.
“But it’s just a little broth,” I would retort, in a small but confident voice.
“No, Baby, that’s where all the goodness is,” she would remind me, “Even if you can’t see it, it’s there.”
The word itself, is in my day-to-day vernacular solely because of my mother’s staunch insistence that goodness was in the unseen details of her homemade chicken noodle soup broth. I have given this word so much thought over the years.
IMPOSTORS AMONG HOMELESS? - CLICK TO THE RIGHT
You may look across the community, large and small, and think the broth is cloudy, convoluted—but the goodness is there. You can bring those details—those background flavors—forward by adding your own bit of societal seasoning—a dash of kindness, a smidgen of empathy.
Compliment a stranger, sincerely thank someone for bagging your groceries—just smile at someone, for goodness sake. Smiles are free; toss them around like confetti.
Do not, however, stop your car in the middle of a rotary to “let someone in”. Drivers of greater-Boston know this leads to ineffective traffic flow and, well…screaming. This kindness is best left to folks in the mid-west.
Bleeding-heart, chump, fool, dupe? No, indeed. Practicing kindheartedness does not require you to forgo with all pragmatism.
Hedge your bets.
Someone asking for money at an intersection? Give them your refreshing iced coffee, an extra snack you have in the car or just a single dollar. Are there a lot of “what-ifs” about the backstory or intentions? Sure there are, but you can bet on good without signing over your paycheck.
I know there are imposters out there but for the cost of a granola bar, I am unconditionally inclined to roll the dice in hopes I connect with someone who’s in desperate need of simple human consideration. Chicken soup is good for all that ails you and there is no soup without broth. And there is no community without goodness.
Prepare for an Autumn Batch of Broth
Building broth is easy, it just takes a few ingredients. It may be too hot to feel inspired to make homemade broth. For now, let’s save some veggie scraps and I’ll share the how-to when it’s “soup weather” as opposed to 90 degree “soupy” weather.
Keep a Ziploc bag in the freezer. Over the course of a month or more, add to it chicken bones and various vegetable bits, the ends from the carrots, celery and such. Herbs that look a little withered or tired can be tossed in as well. Rotisserie chicken carcass? Jackpot, toss it in.
One full bag works well for a crock pot of broth once fall arrives. I will delve into the recipe when the air is crisp and you have a full freezer bag.
Cooking questions? Let me be a helpful resource, email me.
* with gratitude to The Winchester Star for publishing this column on 8/11/16
chef mel has been creating food experiences for over 20 years. she embraces an "aspiring homesteader" lifestyle & grows over 40 types of edibles when she's not teaching classes & hosting farm dinners. she adores simplicity, new food & edible flowers. her writing reminds us there's wisdom & humor among the seeds, stalks & sauce pots. we're not perfect & that's okay - keep it genuine & journey on!