Best chicken soup ever; depletion; replenishment.

When the rhythm of life continues to bring some sadness and illness to those around me, I knew a salve was needed, and prepared to make a s-load of chicken soup. I have two huge pots, one was Mum’s and one of mine, and on Friday they were filled to the brim with ox bones, chicken frames, boiler chicken, onions, giblets, carrots, parsnip and celery. Simmering away all afternoon, defatted as I go, the house was taken over by strong smells and hard work. Over the years I have developed a system, I prepare the meat and the veggies the day before, cook the day after and then put it all in heaps of plastic containers which are then refrigerated. Once cooled, they are ready for a final de-fatting and freezing.
While I cooked, I watched Collingwood and Essendon for the ANZAC game at the G and secretly urged the Pies forward. I enjoy either watching DVD’s or footy while I have these long cooking expeditions and hour by hour the soup turned into wonderful, curative, yummy sustenance for me and mine. On the kitchen table, my artwork got worked on between the stirring and skimming, and that is also developing along nicely.
Matt Zurbo’s article on depression last week inspired so much feedback on this site, and some unsettledness in me. I have changed the way I think about depression over the last few years thanks to Rina, and it’s helped me a lot. Through the Chinese medicine way of thinking, I now think of depletion and replenishment. Instead of thinking I am depressed, I think, I am depleted and it changes the way I attend to myself. I slow down and nourish myself, either with good food, a natter with friends, art, or exercise. Diversion is good, if I am really depleted, I can watch a good series on TV and take time out from demands. I slow right down and allow a different energy to emerge, the sadness to sit awhile and then it passes. The way I treat myself has become so much kinder and I do feel replenished once I re-emerge into the world. Before the cooking, I had had a wonderful Chinese massage and then a rest, and presto, the hard work of cooking felt a breeze. I now treat this time like I would treat the battery running down, it just needs more energy to solve the problem. Kind and thoughtful energy. I am eternally grateful to Rina.
Come the afternoon, Rina and Denise had joined me for the St.Kilda vs Brisbane game in Wellington, New Zealand to be watched on Foxtel. The soup was now cooling off, half put away, and there were other forms of replenishment to be had. But it seemed my Saints boys were still depleted from the tough game last week. It was an odd and very ordinary game, with none of the flair and excitement we so enjoyed against the Bombers. The whole team looked off, and to Brisbane’s credit, they looked switched on. Their appetite was obvious from the first bounce, and they took the game as was their due. We drank chicken soup and ate the Sushi Rina had bought, watching the game and smiling in the few good moments that were presented. We were together, enjoying the afternoon of taste if not the vision and the game before us. There seemed less at the game from last year and I am toying with the idea of going to Wellington next year, all being well on all fronts.
Rina and Denise helped me clean up and put away the food, and with help, the cleaning was quicker and easier than usual. The “many hands” philosophy. Then they headed off.
Saturday night I completed my replenishment. I went to visit my boy Luke, my 3 ½ year old fake grandson, and spent the evening with Ross, Danielle and Luke, laughing so much at this wonderful, funny little person. He is such a bloke. A miniature one but a bloke through and through. Rough play, a sense of humour to die for, so cuddly and affectionate, a perfect combination and just what the doctor ordered for his nanna. A night with these three loving souls was the human version of chicken soup. Unbelievably delicious and life giving.
I needed it. I was woken this morning by Mum who I had to take to the hospital again, so a day was again taken over by hard work rather than attending the Doggies game of footy with my sister. I shared a footy conversation with an orderly and two nurses while wheeling my mum up to her ward, and we talked about Armitage and the terrible story of his being sewn up and sent back onto the field with grains from the Ethiad Stadium soil still in his wound. A letter to my beloved club is in order. Please don’t send the young men back with a quick patch up job. It’s a health and safety issue and is just not good enough that our players are not protected and cared for properly.
While waiting for Mums test results, (at the hospital from 7 am to 5.30) I have read, knitted, watched a little of the Hawthorn spanking that Saints supporters and team can expect next week, and written this story and am heading home for a huge bowl of chicken soup.
Long live delicious sustenance and grandchildren and art and footy and meeting others who love to talk about footy.
Postscript: Mum is fine, in is an ongoing issue that seems to be happening more regularly. Thanks to the wonderful care of Cabrini this time!

Yvette Wroby


About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Yvette great article and thought provoking perspective look at life , with a lot of truth in it ! Thank you Yvette ( no one can ever have enough good friends ) Well done

Leave a Comment