My mom’s sacred space is her kitchen where she offers the sacrifice of her heart and hands to those in need and indeed her family. On my last trip to Pennsylvania, Mother made chicken corn soup from a recipe in her head. When I ask her how much of this or that, her quick reply is always, “Just how you think.” I don’t know what to think, so I always try to extract some measurements out of her. Her current “guess” for our favorite harvest soup:

Mother Longenecker’s Chicken Corn Soup

Cook 5-6 pieces of chicken, breasts or thighs. Set aside.

In broth from cooked chicken, add 1 ½ – 2 pints of corn, fresh or frozen.

Dice 4 hard-boiled eggs.

Now, add chicken breasts, chopped up

Season with salt & pepper to taste

Mom's Chicken Corn Soup without Rivels

Mom’s Chicken Corn Soup without Rivels

Rivels: dough-y lumps can be added to soup for more texture

1 beaten egg

Add enough flour to make a moist doughiness of the mixture.

Break into small dumpling-like pieces and add to soup.

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About 2 miles east of Mom’s house near Mt. Joy is Gus’s Restaurant. Gus is Italian, but his eatery is in Lancaster County, so aside from spaghetti, fish dishes, and fancy desserts on the menu, he offers ham loaf and pork and sauerkraut dinners with mashed potatoes for hearty Pennsylvania Dutch appetites.
A heavy meal, this dinner will give us enough fuel to make it to the Philadelphia Airport and then home to Jacksonville. Gus’s food is tasty, but Gus’s is a public place without a hoard of cooking aromas and shared memories from Mom’s Kitchen, her sacred space. In fact, it’s not a fair competition at all.
There’s no contest!
What favorite recipes do you savor during the fall season?
What are your memories of special dishes around the table with friends or family?
Coming next: Old Friends, New Friend: Homecoming @ EMU
Your thoughts welcome! I will always reply.