You are probably all bored by now with my waxing on about how my daughter is my favorite person on the planet, but she is. When you share so many interests in common it’s hard to not have a blast together, and our visits always fly by so quickly. The visit was no exception, and it began with a bang!

Hugging my favorite person on the planet

Hugging my favorite person on the planet

My attorney (and friend) Anna Graves and her incorrigibly amusing husband, Hugh treated us to a spectacular evening of at the Hollywood Bowl – complete with a divine three-course dinner served right at our box seats. The event was a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock and the virtuoso composers he worked with.

An Evening of Hitchcock at the Bowl

An Evening of Hitchcock at the Bowl

North by Northwest leading lady Eva Maria Saint charmed us all as she narrated with intriguing behind the scenes insights, while scenes from the classic films  flashed upon the screen, and the orchestra (conducted by David Newman – the son of one of Hitchcock’s favorite composers) regaled us.

Driving to Palm Springs

Driving to Palm Springs

Next stop, Palm Springs for a spot of business, property hunting (I’ve been thinking about moving there), and glorious relaxation in the 106° F weather – which oddly did not stifle my enthusiasm in the slightest, although Tatjana found it a bit overwhelming the first day.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs

A day by the pool, a spot of shopping, and a nice cool movie seemed to acclimate her quickly! We also squeezed in a fly-by visit to drop off a house-warming gift for my longtime friend Wendy Frazier before heading home.

Marilyn Monroe's final resting place

Playing tourist and paying respects to Marilyn Monroe

Once back in Los Angeles, we managed to hit the nail salon for mother-daughter mani/pedi’s, take-in a couple more movies, and  pay our respects to Marilyn Monroe before Grandma and Grandpa arrived and off we went to a BAFTA LA screening of My Old Lady with Maggie Smith.

Art at MOCA

Art at MOCA

It goes without saying, that when my mother and Tatjana get together (both artists) – it’s time to see some art, so off we toddled to MOCA,  lunch at Lemonade, and of course shopping in one of the best gift shops on the West Coast. I must admit, both mom and Tatjana were uncharacteristically restrained.

Tatjana shopping

Tatjana shopping

They made up for it shopping all day (while I worked) the next day. Tatjana bought a really cool pair of spectacles by Project Runway‘s Mondo Guerra amongst other goodies.  That evening we decided to try the 42 ounce Porterhouse at Chi Spacca which came so rare it was practically still mooing, but we did have a delightful evening together.

Mom and Dad came for a visit

Mom and Dad came for a visit

We played a card game called Spite & Malice well into the wee hours with Tatjana thrashing us as she has done since she was seven years old! It was hard to say goodbye to my my parents, so we commiserated by attending two more movies, and hob-nobbing over dinners with old friends.

Dinner at Chi Spacca

Dinner at Chi Spacca

And then, in what seemed like a blink, it was time for Tatjana to return to London – however she caught a terrible head cold. So, that sensation of someone standing on my chest as I say goodbye to her has been joyously postponed.

Watching mum on TV

Watching mum on TV

Instead I brought her a dinner of chicken noodle soup in bed while we watched the finale of MasterChef  (with yours truly as a guest judge) together. Is it wrong for a mother to be so happy her daughter is too unwell to fly?

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s more than an old wives tale that chicken soup is natures penicillin, there are actually studies that show it can have a medicinal effect on the common cold and the flu (which is good knews with the particularly bad flu season we’re experiencing this year).

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1.25 hours

Ingredients

Chicken Soup

  • 3 pound whole chicken cleaned
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 large leek sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into quarters.
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 1 head garlic top 1/4 removed
  • 3 sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups egg noodles cooked according to package instructions
  • cheesecloth for bouquet garnis, optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley chopped, optional

Directions

Chicken Soup

  1. Place the cleaned chicken in a Dutch oven or large saucepan, surrounded by all of the vegetables, bouillon cubes, and fill pan with water to the top of the chicken. Place, covered over medium-high heat to bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, remove lid and let simmer for 1-1/2 hours depending on the size of the chicken.
  2. I usually just throw the herbs in with it, and remove the stems when cooked, but you can also cut some cheesecloth and tie it around the herbs for a more pristine looking soup and easier removal. Add to the simmering soup as soon as possible.
  3. When the leg and thigh separate easily from the body you know the chicken is cooked. Carefully remove it to a plate and cool enough to handle. Remove the skin, then the meat from the bones and either cut or pull into bite size pieces.
  4. While the chicken is cooling, remove all the vegetables, reserving the carrots and celery back into the soup. Add the chicken and cooked noodles. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Serve hot with a sandwich or salad on the side.

Heat To Eat

Vent lid of container and heat in microwave for 5 minutes on full power, stirring midway to distribute heat evenly; or heat in a large saucepan over medium heat, bringing to boil, about 10 minutes.

Variations

Play around with the herbs you use in your bouquet garni - I know my friend Wendy prefers dill in hers.

Notes

For a proper Jewish soup, omit the noodles and add matzah balls instead. If you have a terribly upset stomach with the flu, try getting just the broth down on it's own to ease back into nourishing your body.

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  • September 16, 2014
    2:16 pm

    Wow… what a tremendous time you both had! You really know how to do mom and daughter time! I never noticed before but there are some similarities in looks between Tatjana and Marilyn Monroe. I can also imagine how that temperature would play havoc with someone used to English weather… my Mother in law is the same way.

  • September 17, 2014
    3:36 pm

    Sounds like you’re both having a wonderful time. Although it’s sad Tatjana isn’t feeling well right now, I’m sure she feels better having Mum take care of her and cooking a special soup. It’s so nice to see you making wonderful memories with all your family!

  • September 17, 2014
    6:19 pm

    I took her to see my doctor today, and I think he’s got her on the road to recovery now. I have to admit, it does feel good to slow down and just enjoy some quiet time together.