The Singing Soup Bowl

Foodie Friday

Mar 18, 2011 by

Friday nights were for Grandma. The world agreed that Ida Marder was The Best, if not one of the best, cooks in the neighborhood .. which, as a little girl, was my world.

Walking into Grandma’s house on Shabbat we were first greeted with the yeasty smell of freshly baked challah.  Is there nothing as wonderful as out of the oven homemade bread in any culture? Although the traditional, braided bread was the star of the pre show (yes, looking back it certainly was at least a three act play!) , sitting beside it was a small loaf baked just for my sister Susan and me.

The first act .. er course .. always began with the sweetest chicken soup. Pieces of orange carrots and luchen/noodles floated in our  bowls. A perfect way to begin a meal that was comforting and familiar but at the same time always special.

Some childhood memories are more vivid than others. I remember a time when I was feeling miserable from a bad cold or the flu. I must have been about five. All I wanted was Grandma’s chicken soup. So of course, Grandma made some up special .. because that’s just what Grandma’s do. Dad brought it home in a big glass jar. Mom served it to me in bed a tray.

Here it was Grandma’s chicken soup to make me feel better. I dipped my spoon into the bowl for that first long awaited taste. Something was missing. It didn’t taste the same. I tasted it again. It was fine. Nothing was wrong. Perhaps it was my cold that had dulled my taste buds mom said. I didn’t know . What I did know was it was a huge disappointment.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized what was missing. The Singing Bowl. Grandma’s dishes had ridges on the inside of the plates. When Susan and I ate soup we would run our spoons over the ridges and the bowls would “sing.”  Food memories go beyond the taste or smells or even the circumstance. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a bowl that soup is severed in that stays with us our whole lives long.

About the Author

Toby Bloomberg Has Written 30 Articles For Us!

Toby is Founder/President of Atlanta-based strategy and social media consultancy, Bloomberg Marketing/Diva Marketing and acknowledged by Forbes as one of the country’s most foremost bloggers. She is a widely recognized for her expertise in combining social media with traditional marketing values (strategy, customer insights, segmentation, etc.) while maintaining the authenticity of digital conversations. Toby recently wrote the first business book based on (40) Twitter interviews with marketing pros. Social Media Marketing GPS has been downloaded over 10,000 times by people all the world.
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  1. What a great memory – Grandma’s chicken soup has always been the best thing for a cold! And how special to have a Singing Bowl to serve it in! That really speaks to my artistic soul! I hope you got the recipe…..and perhaps found some Singing Bowls of your own! – SerenaK

  2. polli

    What a great memory! My Grandmother a set of Blue Willow, whenever I see that it’s an immediate trip back in time.

  3. @Meems – if we can bring your mom’s glasses and Grandma’s bowls together we could have a duet of dinner music!

    @Yvonne – yes, smells do have the ability to transport us in time and often to places we might have forgotten

    @Sybil – what a fun way to remember drinking hot cocoa; if you find it take a pix and send it to us!

  4. What a wonderful memory, Toby! There’s nothing as comforting as chicken soup and homemade challah – especially when they’re made with love. Some of my favorite childhood food memories also include the dishes and glasses they were served in. I fondly recall a brown milkglass mug (with cowboys on it) that was used whenever we had hot chocolate … I believe it came from the local dairy. And I still look for it at flea markets and in antique stores.

  5. Ah, the sweet memories of youth and how our ‘nose’ brings back the true treasure of it all. To this day, certain smells fill my nose and mouth with longing for a particular day in my youth. We guard those memories, I think, in special places of our memory. And they only come out, to gently remind us that life was, and is, a wonderful place to be when the right odor drifts up to our nostrils, lingering like a welcomed moment on a special afternoon.

  6. Meems Ellenberg

    What a sweet article! My mother had singing water glasses that we only used on Thanksgiving!


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