This is our friend Jeremy (with our son Gray). Gray loves Jeremy — and so do Matt and I.
We met Jeremy, his wife Lici, and their kids roughly 4 years ago when they moved in next door. I took over a loaf of “Barb Bread” the day they moved in to welcome them to the ‘neighborhood’. I immediately knew they would be great neighbors — and they were. We developed a friendship — and an arrangement. Jeremy watered our garden and fed our dogs when we were gone, and I sent over food. It made us all happy.
On a sad day a few months ago, they moved so that their kids could attend a different school. We totally got it. But an even sadder day came a few weeks ago when Jeremy called Matt to tell him that he has Stage 4 Colon Cancer. We were literally loading the car with our suitcases two weeks ago for a trip to Alaska when the phone rang. I could tell by Matt’s questions and tone that it was cancer but I was shocked when he told me who it was. Just shocked.
To cope, I do what I do best — I cook. When my mom was going through chemo a few years ago, the one thing that settled well and tasted good was Chicken Barley Soup. This is her recipe.
Chicken Barley Soup
- 1 package chicken breasts, cooked and either cut into pieces or shredded
- 2 quarts of chicken stock (I add a bit more as barley tends to puff up and take over – sort of like rice)
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry season
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
Combine all the ingredients and simmer at least one hour.
Yesterday Gray and I delivered a pot of Chicken Barley Soup and a loaf of “Bawb Bread” — as Jeremy and Lici’s son Mack calls it. Jeremy looked great and is handling all of this in typical Jeremy fashion — with a positive attitude and a big, smiling face. We pray for him daily, and I will ask you to do the same. As far as the soup — if he likes it, I will deliver it by the truckload. And if he doesn’t, I’ll still deliver “Bawb Bread”.