Let’s time travel a bit, and go to Mr. Ho’s Chinese Restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, during the 1980’s. My girlfriend Melanie Jane (now wife) and I had only one extravagance–eating at Mr. Ho’s every week. We went so often that the waiters began to recognize us. Here’s one exchange.
Waiter: You two brother sister?
For the record, I had black hair and green eyes, and Melanie Jane is a classic German-American, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Not much resemblance.
Me: I hope not.
Side note: I once wrote for a magazine who had an editor who was something of an expletive. He had a little 3×5 card with one sentence on it, that he would carry around, and he would ask people what was wrong with it. The sentence, that is.
Me: Why do you carry a file card around with you, that has one sentence on it?
Editor: To see if people can tell that it’s missing an antecedent.
Me: In Alabama, we’ve been known to marry our antecedents.
Any who, back to Mr. Ho’s. After my “I hope not” answer, the waiter said the following:
Waiter: Hahahahahahaha. All you people look alike to me, anyway.
That joker did not get a tip that day.
Mr. Ho’s is long gone, but I can still make some Chinese-German-Southern light soup for a hot Summer’s night.
Poultry Stock (Chicken, Turkey, or Duck)
Oyster Mushrooms, Rehydrated and Chopped
Oyster Mushroom Water
Fine German Egg Pasta (the brand we use is Riesa)
1/2 Vidalia Onion, chopped and sauteed
One Egg, beaten
Soy Sauce (a few drops)
Salt and Pepper
The stock is the main ingredient. I actually strained the mushroom water through a paper towel this time, a la Marcella Hazan, and all of Italy. The Oyster mushrooms were a freebie from our dried mushroom vendor, after MJ ordered a cartload of Morels for me last Christmas. They are excellent in the soup.
Let the mushrooms simmer while the onion is cooked in olive oil. After those two join each other in holy matrimony, drizzle in the egg while whipping the soup with a fork: hence the name, Egg Drop. Serve with egg rolls if you got them, toast or crackers if you don’t. And try to not marry one of your antecedents.