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Almost Borsch

Soup for the sick

By Lana V LynxPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read
My almost borch with a dollop of sour creem and nan bread

"Mom, I'm so sick! It's been over three weeks now and I can't shake off this nasty cough!"

"Oh, honey, I wish I could be there for you. Remember how worried you were about my lingering cough in December and January?"

I do remember. Hearing mom cough then was breaking my heart and I urged her to go to the doctor but she refused. As many people of the older generation, she is very skeptical of doctors and hospitals. Especially when she goes there and in every visit they tell her, "But what did you expect? You are getting older, it's normal for ageing to be sick." She never went to the doctors and managed to cure herself from that nasty lingering cough.

"Did you go to the doctor?" Mom asked, almost mockingly.

"With my busy teaching schedule, are you kidding me?"

"Aren't you afraid of giving this to kids?"

"Half of them are sick themselves, I'm pretty sure they gave it to me. I'm not running a fever or having headaches, and I am trying to manage the cough with hot chest pads and warm tea as you taught me."

"You need to make yourself some chicken soup."

"I wish I had the strength for that."

"I wish I could be there for you." We are separated by a small pond called the Atlantic Ocean and many more hundreds of miles by land.

"But don't you have the borsch base in your freezer?" Mom continues. "That's like half your soup done."

"Let me check," I go to the freezer. "Indeed I do, and more than that, I have some frozen chicken bone broth from some time ago."

"Get them out and defrost them. What else do you have for the soup? Pasta?"

"I'm tired of pasta, don't want it for now." I say as I take the broth and soup base out of the freezer and put the broth into the microwave to defrost.

"Lentils then? Even better, more filling."

"Yes, I have some red lentils."

"Excellent, they don't even need to be soaked as they are so small and thin you can just put them into the boiling broth and they'll cook fast."

"I know, mom. Oh, look, I've found a head of cabbage!"

"Excellent! You can make borsch now."

"I have no potatoes at home and don't want to go to the store. Too tired."

"You amaze me, honey. Someone who grew up on potatoes and could eat them in any shape and form for breakfast, lunch and dinner has no potatoes at home?"

"Maybe that's exactly why," I mumble for mom not to hear. I did consume tons of potatoes as a child but when I moved to America - not so much. I eat French fries once a year at the most and only put potatoes into soups and salads. But right now I have none.

While we were talking, the bone broth defrosted enough for me to be able to put it into a pan. I also have chicken breasts leftover from a rotisserie chicken so I pull them into smaller pieces while talking with mom.

"So, mom, can I still put the cabbage in if I don't have the potatoes?"

"Sure, why not? It will be ALMOST borsch."

"Should I even add the lentils then?"

"Have you ever tried lentils and cabbage together before?" Mom asks.

"No, not that I remember of."

"Well, then why not to make an experiment, it will be interesting."

I add about half a cup of lentils and the soup base to my broth and chicken breast meat. While starting to chop the cabbage, I ask Mom about my sister and niece who is also my goddaughter. They all seem to be doing alright, Mom says. We exchange news of other relatives and friends.

When the lentils are almost done, I put in the cabbage.

"Just 3-4 minutes," Mom instructs, "otherwise it will be too soft. Just like for borsch."

I of course know all this. But it's still good to hear this type of instruction and validation from mom. Finally, my almost borsch is done. I pour some of the steaming hot goodness into my favorite soup bowl and sit down to eat. Mom on the other side of my screen can see how much I enjoy the healing hot nourishment flowing through my body. Just what I needed. And mom was almost there.

Thank god, universe and whatever other higher powers exist for moms. And for Skype.

Thank you for reading! If you are interested, the step-by-step recipe of my family's borsch and lentil soup is here:

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About the Creator

Lana V Lynx

Avid reader and occasional writer of satire and short fiction. For my own sanity and security, I write under a pen name. My books: Moscow Calling - 2017 and President & Psychiatrist

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (8)

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  • Angie the Archivist 📚🪶29 days ago

    What a wonderful read! "Half of them are sick themselves, I'm pretty sure they gave it to me.’ A familiar cry! My Mum used to make borsch & also beetroot soup… so yummy.

  • Kelsey Clareyabout a month ago

    This is so sweet! Mom's and Grandmothers are great for that sort of thing. I know I miss all of mine a lot when I'm sick.

  • What a touching story of caring and connection that shows the value of family ties and the consoling influence of loved ones, even when they are far away!

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    I talk to my mum most days via Skype, just like I am in the room with her. This was a lovely tale of family, Lana.

  • Kodah2 months ago

    Aww , thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Lana❤️ ❤️Sending you lots of love❤️

  • Awww, so happy to know that your mom kept you company from you making the soup right down to when you was eating it. Hope you feel better soon. Sending you lots of love and hugs ❤️

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    I so love this part, "Did you go to the doctor?" Mom asked, almost mockingly." She sounds so cute! It is a huge blessing to have Skype to enjoy your mom.

  • This is a beautiful story of Family and how Technology can keep us together! It's refreshing in a world negativity! Thank you, Lana!

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