DEAR MISS MANNERS: My mother-in-law isn’t originally from this country, and loves to make chicken soup for me. She is a dear, sweet woman, and I do not want to offend her in any way. However, there is the matter of the ingredients.
There is the chicken meat, of course; some celery, just a few tomatoes and lots of noodles that she makes herself. But, to her, it isn’t quite chicken soup without the chicken’s feet.
I can get past the gizzard and the heart, since they settle to the bottom of the bowl. But at least one of the feet always ends up in my bowl, and, in case you did not know this, they float.
Again, I can still eat the soup. It is always delicious. However, I spend half my time trying to push the foot back to the bottom of the bowl, and the silly thing is right back up on the top by the time I get even one spoonful to my mouth. Any thoughts?
GENTLE READER: Learn to perfect slipping them out of your soup and into a handkerchief unnoticed. This may mean that you end up with a pocketful of chicken feet. But if you find them inedible, Miss Manners hopes that it will still be better than a mouthful.