Sunny Days are Here Again
Ximena surprised us with a bit of a cold a couple of weekends ago. Some Vicks VapoRub (or Vaporύ, according to my grandma), one froggy humidifier, and lots of ErgoBaby snuggles later – the clouds cleared up, and our skies were back to a bright, sunny blue again.
It’s funny, during a particularly rough Saturday night, I remember putting it out into the universe to please-pretty-please let me be the one with the cold. Low and behold, just as the Sunday morning sun was beginning to peak in through our window – I sneezed a consecutive ten times.
Motherhood has been such an extraordinary experience for me. Some people would call that transaction above a coincidence, or a direct exchange of bacteria sprung onto us by our mere proximity to one another. Of course, there is also evidence that breastmilk is responsive to the needs of one’s baby – however I am convinced that there is something more going on. There is something so life-affirming, and magical, and delicious about the bond that I share with this child – that I am convinced that the universe was working to whisk away her sick, and share it with me. In any case, I gladly shared the burden.
One of the things that got us over the hump is my mom’s caldo de pollo. Caldo de pollo is something that I had a love-hate relationship with growing up. You know that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where Toula takes out her moussaka? That was me – only with caldo de pollo. That bi-cultural struggle is way too real as a kid.
Ironically, there is nothing more comforting as a piping hot bowl of caldo as an adult battling a cold. The recipe index I am building on this site is more for my own reference than anything else, but should you be reading this amidst a cloud of tissue papers strewn all over your bed, with mocos running down your face (ya nasty...), you should check this recipe out. See below if you’d like to try out this super simple soup (‘sup alliteration!).
Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Soup), Serves 4
1 chicken breast, bone-in, with skin
5 cups water
1 small onion, cut in half
4 garlic cloves
3 zucchinis, chopped
1 cup baby carrots
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1 tbsp salt
- In a large soup pot bring water, chicken, onion and garlic to a simmer.
- Carefully remove any foam from the top. Gently toss in carrots and zucchini. Reduce heat, slow simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add salt. Simmer additional 6 minutes.
- Toss in potatoes. Taste a bit of the stock, allowing it to cool slightly; if it is too salty to taste, you may want to toss in an additional potato, as potatoes absorb excess salt. Simmer final 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Using tongs, carefully shred pieces of chicken. Ladle vegetable, broth, and shredded chicken into bowl. Optional: loudly play and sing along to Shakira's Pies Descalzos album while serving. Enjoy!