Matzoh ball soup, or what I am taking from my first marriage into my next:

Perhaps I have mentioned that I’m marring Sam Redburn Reid this upcoming Tuesday? In preparation for the world’s smallest wedding ceremony I got my brows and, ahem, lip waxed today (which brings me to a quick digression. I once walked into a waxing salon and told the man behind the counter that I needed to get my mustache waxed, to which he replied, “your lip, sweetheart. Say your lip.”) Tonight I’m having dinner with one of my closest friends in Atlanta—which I guess counts as a bachelorette party, if by bachelorette party you mean eat pizza and drink some good red wine. Tomorrow I’ll go to the Grant Park farmers market and buy some strawberries to make ice cream for the wedding cake and some flowers to have in the house during the ceremony. I also need to write some words to Sam to share with him during the ceremony. Those I will not share here, but I will say that I am deeply, deeply in love with this man. So in love that when he and I first started dating I could not get the lyrics to Joni Mitchell’s song All I Want out of my head, particularly these lines: “I want to knit you a sweater. I want to write you a love letter. I want to make you feel better. I want to make you feel free.”

with Sam in Highlands

Sam and me


Despite the fact that Sam and I have the most egalitarian relationship I’ve ever been a part of (I feel partnered), I have all of these retro yearnings with him. Or maybe I should say sweet, old-fashioned yearnings. I do want to knit him a sweater! I also really wanted to take his last name and was planning to do so until my pragmatic / lazy side got the best of me and I realized that legally changing my name while publishing under Susan Rebecca White would be a massive and confusing pain in the ass. I’ll have moments when we are hanging out when I just think to myself, “God, do I love this man.”  He is kind and true, solid in his sense of self, super capable, goofy and funny. And children and animals love him–which is about the world’s best indicator of someone’s benevolent nature.

Lucy, Ben, Sam & me

We are only playing parents in this pic. Those are not our children. Kind of like the actor on TV who plays a doctor.

Sam with Peanut

Sam with our cat Peanut.


Enough about Sam, because what I’ve already written will probably embarrass him to death. Or rather enough about Sam’s nature and onto his cold!  (Heh. Sorry, babe.) He’s got one and I hope it will be gone by Tuesday. My solution to a cold? Homemade chicken soup with matzoh balls. This is definitely a trick I’m carrying over from my first marriage. My ex-husband is Jewish and with him I learned to cook all sorts of awesome Ashkenazi foods. I’ve read medical studies that say that chicken soup really does help get rid of a cold. There’s some curative effect from the chicken bones. I also load my broth with vegetables. I put in about 10 carrots, 10 celery stalks, two onions, parsley, and whatever else I have in the bin. I cook the stock–with the bones of a whole chicken–for about four hours, then strain it. The essence of the vegetables remains. Served with matzoh balls (I make mine with duck fat!), a squeeze of lemon and some parsley, it is healing.

veggies for stock

prepped veggies waiting to be stewed

Though really, whether or not Sam has a cold on our wedding day is not critical.  What’s critical are the vows we are making to each other.

11 Responses to Matzoh ball soup, or what I am taking from my first marriage into my next:

  1. Chelsea Meeks Kaplan May 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    Mazel Tov! Love you!

    • Susan May 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

      Thanks, Chelsea!

  2. Jan May 19, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    Love this . Congrats. Hope all goes well with your “small” wedding. Happy future!

  3. Jan May 19, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Best wishes to you . Hope all goes well for your ” small” wedding.

    • Susan May 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      Thanks, lady! It’s low stress for sure, but still feels very BIG.

  4. liz lapidus May 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I love to add a cinnamon stick and a lemon to the pot while the stock cooks down.You get the warmth and the freshness – enjoy!!

    • Susan May 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      Great idea! Will try next time.

  5. Karen Spears Zacharias May 21, 2013 at 9:34 am #


    Thirty-five years down the road and I feel all of these things and more for the man who is my partner. I wish you gratitude and laughter to last a lifetime.

    • Susan May 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      That is lovely, Karen. I hope we are as blessed.

  6. Meredith Cole May 21, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Congratulations Susan! I hope you and Sam have a beautiful wedding–and, of course, an even more wonderful marriage! He sounds terrific.

    • Susan May 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      Thank you so much! He is!!