Anne and I have an event to celebrate that most mothers and daughters do not: our reunion. Anne was placed for adoption three days after her birth in April 1972 and we did not meet again until October 2000.
When we began meeting in the new millennium, cooking was our way of making up for lost time. It was a way for us to connect and share those decades we spent apart. Molly Wizenberg was right: Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.
As we reconnected, Anne and I spent many late nights in the kitchen, cooking and sharing our recipes and techniques. We also shared ourselves. Food is a powerful way to share who you are. And so we naturally migrated to the kitchen time and time again. Food preferences are passed culturally and maybe even biologically. Yes, perhaps even in the womb.
Anne and I have learned much from each other in the last dozen years. We have expanded each other’s culinary horizons. I had never eaten tofu before I reconnected with Anne, who was a vegetarian at the time of our reunion. And not only did I eat tofu, but Anne and I wrote a tofu cookbook. (( Life has its way of surprising us, doesn’t it? )) We don’t always agree about food, but we share the same passion, the same sense of adventure, the same dedication to excellence in our kitchens.
In celebration of our journey and the 12th anniversary of our reunion this month, I made a Mother and Child Reunion soup. Paul Simon was inspired by a similar soup at a Chinese restaurant named “Mother and Child Reunion” – an egg drop soup with chicken.
Happy 12th Anne-iversary, my love! And here’s to a million more!
— posted by Donna
MOTHER AND CHILD REUNION SOUP RECIPE
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
8 cups chicken stock
1 piece ginger, peeled and sliced in half
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 ounces shitake mushrooms, diced
3 green onions, sliced, tops included
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons Mirin
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 large eggs, beaten with a fork
Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer on high in a slow cooker the chicken thighs, chicken stock, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes for about 4 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove thighs and let cool and then shred the meat, discarding skin, bones, etc. Remove garlic and ginger pieces.
Add all ingredients except eggs and salt and pepper and cook for another 2 hours.
Stir soup in a circular fashion and slowly stream in eggs.Serve, garnished with cooked rice and additional green onions, if desired.