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Cooking up a connection

The soup that’s bubbling away in my heavy-bottomed pot is the color of oversteeped tea, with a surface skin of fat that looks like a layer of melted caramel. I made the stock myself from the leftovers of a holiday feast: turkey, pork, and duck bones; carrots and celery from the crudité tray; an onion that didn’t make it into the stuffing; a sprinkle of Herbs de Provence — all tossed together in a crockpot for 10 or 12 hours.

I’m not usually that resourceful in the kitchen. It’s just that I happened to glance at the well-picked turkey carcass after dinner and it reminded me of my mother Carolyn’s chicken noodle soup, which she calls “Jewish penicillin” even though she’s a gentile. That soup has helped me through a lot of sore throats, countless bouts of the flu, an episode of mononucleosis, and even a few breakups.

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