Thursday, July 18, 2013


Some families bond over Sunday dinners of “pasta and sauce,” often called “macaroni and gravy” by my Italian friends. Other families bond over “dad’s famous barbeque chicken” and for some families, it’s not the food that brings them together as much as the booze. My family bonds over my mother’s homemade matzo ball soup. It could be 112 degrees in August or 20 below in February; we could be celebrating Memorial Day in sundresses or Hanukah in wool sweaters, but when my clan gets together, someone always asks my mom (also known as “Nana” to my nieces and nephews) if she is making her famous matzo balls. Well, “ask” might not be accurate since we refuse to take “no” for an answer. 

While our love for the matzo ball is unanimous, if you observed us eating my mom’s matzo ball soup, it might make for an interesting case study in familial differences. For instance, my mother eats the matzo balls with a very shallow bowl of soup while the rest of us want the soup practically overflowing onto the table; my sister insists on a large portion of noodles in her bowl ,even if it’s Passover and we’re stuck with “Kosher for Passover” noodles, while the rest of us skip the noodles on Passover because…well, because “Kosher for Passover” noodles are gross; my niece refuses to eat the chicken even before that one time we all got sick the next day and speculated that perhaps the chicken wasn’t cooked enough; my nephew sprinkles too much salt in his soup since my mother cooks with very little salt due to her youngest daughter’s (that would be me) doctor-imposed sodium limitation; And my story? Well, I like the big onion.
What is the “big onion” you ask? The story of the big onion goes like this:
My mother adds many fresh vegetables to her soup including carrots, celery and onion. One night many, many years ago when my sister’s kids were little, my mother was especially frazzled and rather than cut the onion up before pouring us all soup like she usually did, she dropped the entire onion in my bowl. After all her hard work in the kitchen, I was not going to comment. Well, when Sarah and Joey (my niece and nephew) spotted the entire large round onion popping out of my soup bowl, they started giggling. When I paid them no mind and proceeded to eat the entire onion with my soup, their giggles turned into hysterics. Ever since then (and my niece and nephew are now 17 and 16 respectively), “Aunt Meri” always gets an entire onion dropped in her bowl of soup. And if my mother forgets this family tradition, Sarah and Joey remind her.
Now that I’ve shared the story of the big onion and that one time my mother poisoned us with uncooked chicken, I am going to share my mother’s delicious homemade matzo ball recipe. (I will assume that you know how to make chicken soup):
4 eggs
½ cup seltzer
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup of oil
1 and ¼ cup matzo meal

Beat eggs and add seltzer, matzo meal, salt and oil.
Refrigerate for at least two hours. 
Make into desired sized balls and drop into boiling water. Cover the pot.
Cook for ½  hour. 
Pour into soup.

A born and bred New Yorker, MEREDITH SCHORR discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to, and was famous among her friends for writing witty birthday cards. After dabbling in children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing “real chick lit for real chicks.” When Meredith is not hard at work on her current work in progress, she spends her days as a trademark paralegal at a law firm in New York City. Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner. She also loves to read and is always on the lookout for her new favorite author. 

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  1. Sounds delicious -- and I love the story about your family's tradition. Great post!

  2. It does sound great! Loved the story!

  3. Yep, heat wave or not, I would love of your mom's soup right now (and Meredith, you can have the onion!)

  4. I'll pass on the onion too. I have never had matzo ball soup and my mother makes it a lot.

  5. The onion is actually so delicious because it soaks up all of the flavor of the soup and because it's boiled, you don't get that sour onion taste. Yum! Glad you enjoyed the post and, Tracie, thanks so much for having me on your blog :)

  6. I'm not an onion fan either - but that story is too funny! Gotta love a family tradition!

  7. Great post, Meredith! And now I've got a craving for matzo ball soup. It's been aaaages since I've enjoyed a bowlful. :-)

  8. Love this post! What a funny story! :) Even though we're in the middle of a heat wave in my neck of the woods right now, I would love a bowl of that soup. It looks delicious!!