This latest letter was contributed by Father Bill Haymaker. Father Bill is from East Sussex and he does wonderful work supporting the victims of child trafficking in Eastern Europe. Take some time out to check out his work at www.ProjectNewLife.org.
Bill’s letter was sent to The Glorious Foods Company, a well known manufacturer of soups that are rather more expensive than your average soup. It seems that his carton of New York Chicken Noodle Soup not only failed to deliver oodles of noodles but also failed to constitute any real threat to the UK chicken population….
Message: 26 Jan, 2013
To the Glorious Foods Company
Re: Glorious “New York Chicken Noodle Soup”
Code: 14FEB (F6) 09:36
I doubt under general conditions that I would bother writing you, but because I feel so utterly lousy right this moment, I know my senses are heightened. So, in advance, I apologise unreservedly for my crankiness and horrible attitude. But when I’m in intense pain, I take it out on my keyboard….and keys are flying off the board today.
Following an event with my dentist that could only be visualised by Quentin Tarantino, I was in utter agony and desperate to get home and load myself up with copious quantities of drugs (mostly legal).
Heading home, I was eager to find something to ease the searing pain in my mouth, calm my stomach and salve my brain. My first inclination was to get some chicken broth and egg noodles and make a calming ‘Jewish Penicillin” (in the New York tradition), soup.
At my local Sainsbury’s, I happened across what I thought was manna from Heaven, a panacea in the midst of my agony, a rejoinder of pity from Yahweh, or the BVM herself! There it was – illuminated- as if it were drawing me to it, a container of ‘New York Chicken Noodle Soup.’
There could have been nothing better to sooth the savage beast within me to help nurture my suffering… Every Jewish Mother’s answer to everything under the sun – from pimples, to Mrs Broskowizc’s unmarried daughter, to a broken leg, to sitting Shiva! And it was the prescription for anyone suffering from the death of a cold to a failed relationship – Chicken Noodle Soup.
I needn’t look any further. I grabbed the container, already imagining being at home, tucked into my bed with the covers pulled up, some pathetically droll show on BBC2 – Crustaceans Through History, and my bed tray containing my golden chicken broth, my warm noodles which I could just get by gumming on the other side of my mouth, and rich, torn strands of white and dark meat chicken.
You can’t imagine my utter shock when I finally got the vice grips to tear off the errant sealing seal and discovered the contents: no rich golden broth, no soothing noodles – just “Two.Point.Five” percent of barely noticeable thin strands of nothing, presented as ‘noodles’ that I could taste., and most surprising of all – NO chicken- not a scintilla! Sadly, in this recipe, all the chicken you could possibly use will never turn this abomination into ‘New York’ chicken noodle soup!
New Yorker’s are the epitome of ‘read the label.’ I challenge you to show me a ‘New Yorker’ who would pass this stuff off as ‘New York Chicken Noodle.’ Due to the diversity of New York, there are cultural mores which are simply a given and a New Yorker’s chicken soup is one of them. New York Chicken Soup is sacrosanct! It conjures up images of your auntie Edna in her kitchen, so large that she has never left the kitchen in 20 years – her life is cooking! And she lives over a pot of chicken stock that’s on the hob 24/7! And some of my Jewish friends have told me that to have ‘New York’ chicken noodle soup is to become an instant convert! The noodles quickly manifest into matzo balls, but everything else is the same.
I do have an idea for you, however: purchase a weekend return ticket to New York. Go to ANY deli in Manhattan, go to Dallas Barbeque on E 72nd, go to the Plaza Hotel, go to the Marriott at Times Square, go to Sylvia’s in Harlem on Lenox – Go to the New York Diner – just go anywhere and let a New Yorker show you what ‘New York Chicken Noodle’ soup is! Please! Soon!
To add insult to injury – this stuff tastes atrocious! Why leave us (The English) with the misconception that not only is New York Chicken Noodle Soup ghastly, but the recipe itself is hideous as well!
Shame on you! Shame on you!
Perhaps you can enrol in your own competition for a weekend trip to New York, to see what Chicken Noodle Soup tastes like… you don’t even need to go in to Manhattan! Stay at Kennedy Airport and go to the local supermarket and buy a tin of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. At least, at least, they have the recipe right! Or from the airport Marriott you can have a hearty bowl of ‘New York’ chicken noodle soup delivered to you via Room Service. And finally, forget the airline ticket (was I getting you excited?), just go to the Marriott on the Bath Road at Heathrow and ask for a bowl of Chicken Noodle soup. It’s available 24/7 from Room Service, or in their restaurant ‘Allie’s American Grille.’
Now, it’s time for my next morphine tablet. Just no flippin soup!
If you’d like to see a photo of Chicken Noodle Soup à la New York, I’d be pleased to share some with you. I think I’ve taken photos of the past three Chicken Noodle Soups for the AllRecipes.com website.
I’m British and even I, a typical British male who knows sod-all about cooking, know how to make chicken noodle soup! Shame on you!
I’ve just discovered my dog even hates it! The Venerable Mr Piddles has refused to touch it. Considering some of the things he’s been guilty of eating in the past, this makes a rather strong statement!
I’ve left it to him to send his own comments. He’s far more balanced than I am at the moment as he has had no dental surgery!
In summary, slapping a label on this tripe and calling it ‘New York Chicken Noodle Soup’ is about as effectual as slapping a label that says ‘Prime Minister’ on Gordon Brown.
Father Bill Haymaker+
Just an addendum to this glorious day of wasting time complaining about soup – twice now I’ve attempted to post my epistle to your ‘Happy Face’ collection of options. Right about this moment I’m wishing you had a punched in face option. It simply refuses to go beyond the ‘submit’ button. With a degree of trepidation I suspect it has to do with the length of my epistle. Unfortunately, as you’ve failed to tell customers that your contact box refuses to allow any messages over a thousand characters, or possibly messages that contain disparaging comments about soup you portray to be from New York! Mr Piddles suggested to me that it may have to do with the suggestions I had as to what you could do with this soup, but as I say, he’s far more balanced today.
So I had the pleasure of speaking (twice) to a voice male (not to be confused with mail), who transferred me to a voice mail named ‘Dave,’ Provided Dave can get this little miracle of modern technology to work, I’ll spare him from suffering having to speak with me today about our little contretemps – it’s probably in his best interest anyway.
For your own joy, I respectfully submit (one of countless) url’s for ‘New York’ Chicken Noodle Soup, as well as a photo of my own made-at-home ‘English Chicken Noodle Soup. They look suspiciously similar because they are! They’re New York Chicken Noodle soups!
Glorious Foods replied very promptly. It seems that Father Bill’s preferences were not in line with the Glorious Foods New York Chicken Noodle Soup flavour profile but no matter, Bill’s concerns were being “communicated to the highest level” within the company. So that’s OK then.
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