Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mom's Penicillin

When I was a child, back in the dark ages of the late 50’s and early 60’s, we had a family physician, Dr. Ciccone. He actually made house calls and carried a black satchel. However, I honestly cannot remember him ever coming to our house.   It would have taken the plague for my mother to call the doctor. But, when she did, Dr. Ciccone knew someone in our house was really sick.  It wouldn't have been just a case of the sniffles or a scraped knee.  There was one “test” Dr. Ciccone gave my mother early on, and that criteria was the golden rule of which every illness was determined. Listen carefully, this is important for all of you young parents out there in Blogland. Dr. Ciccone’s failsafe determination as to whether or not your child is ill:

“Check the soles of her shoes.”


“Are they scuffed?”

“Well, yes, doctor.”

“Then, she’s ok.”

Logic: If the shoes are scuffed, then she’s outside playing, and all is well with the world. Ok. Works for me. I used this rule, more or less, when raising my two sons. Yes, yes, there were the times when they’d heat the thermometer with the blow dryer raising the temperature to miss school.  But, for the most part, when they were home sick, they were sick. Truth be told, I probably made staying home a treat; something to look forward to during the long and dreary days of winter. After all, my mother trained me.  She’d walk up to the A and P and come home with a coloring book and crayons, or the little loom to make potholders (yes, I did), and then, there was the soup. Homemade soup. Chicken and Rice, or the holy grail of soups: Beef Barley. It made being sick, worth it.

Now, I can post recipes for both.  But, honestly, they’re just not the same as mom’s. She put “secrets” in her recipes. I never discovered those secrets….but I think what it amounts to is:  Love.  I have my own version of that love, but it will never replace the uniqueness of my mother's.  So, no matter what I cook….no matter how great it turns out….it’s missing that one secret ingredient that belonged to mom alone.

Eric wasn’t feeling well over the weekend. He’s 28. But I can’t help it. I’m a mom. I’m Italian. I made soup. And, he’s better. I don’t care if he got more sleep than he was getting; it was my soup that made him better. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.