Home is where the heart is


Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist



It’s been said, and often repeated, that home is where you go when you have no other place to go and they have to take you in. Of course, that applies mostly to the vast majority of us whose happy memories of home and family outweigh the bad.

It also assumes that you’ve been a decent enough human being that the home folks can stand having you around.

There is a measure of comfort to be found in the familiar — be it your childhood home, a certain neighborhood, your family, the food mom used to make, old or new friends or a well followed routine.

Actually, the pull of home and the familiar doesn’t apply only to people: after all, every year the buzzards come back to Hinckley. I never really thought about people being like the Hinckley buzzard flock, but there are definite similarities. (And never mind any references to old buzzards.)

Monarch butterflies winter in southern Mexico, then fly by the hundreds of thousands back to the U.S. when our weather warms. Come to think of it, people migrate by the tens of thousands to winter in Florida. We call them snow birds.

Salmon swim thousands of miles, some of those miles upstream, to spawn in the waters where they were hatched. Similarly, lots of people leave home when they graduate from high school or college, only to return with spouses and children decades later.

In cooler weather, I always have some homemade soup in a pot or premade and frozen. This is one I started making after I had it the first time at the wedding dinner of my next door neighbor’s son. Let’s hear it for the familiar Italian wedding soup.

ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

For the soup

2 quarts chicken stock

2 cups cheese tortellini

1/2 pound cooked, chopped chicken breast

2 bay leaves

1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach

For the meatballs

1 pound lean ground chuck

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon basil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons butter

Combine meatball ingredients. Roll into small marble sized balls. Saute in butter until brown. Remove and drain.

Combine all soup ingredients except spinach and meatballs. Simmer at least one hour. Add spinach and meatballs and cook an additional one half hour.

Serve with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the top.

Serves eight.

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Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at lindaconwayeriksson@gmail.com.