Erma Bombastic’s Bruja Penicillin

Monday was a full moon, an especially powerful one since it followed on the heels of the autumn equinox. Both aspects were all about conserving energy–letting go of what wouldn’t serve in the long, dark nights to come.

That made so much sense that I didn’t want to waste precious energy talking about it. Actually I didn’t want to talk about anything, which I feel more and more as toxic masculinity holds the country hostage in its hideous, withered talons. People keep saying this is its dying gasp, but if there’s one thing I know about power theory, it’s that those who have power never willingly cede it. Revolution is always necessary for systemic change, and most of us in the second year of 45’s oligarchy are too rundown to be as radical as is required.

To be clear, I don’t just feel this poison in the political realm–I feel it in my personal life, my professional life. My DNA. My pussy. And it’s exhausting. Male entitlement has completely drained me. I feel ill–headachey, dyspeptic, itchy, restless. I check my phone a billion times a day, I toss it across the room a billion and one times more. I’m not hungry, I’m too thirsty. You get the point.

So when I got home last night from a particularly trying day on the front lines of the cockacracy, I eyed that big beautiful moon and my disaster of an apartment (I’ve really let things slide since Beau stopped coming by), and resolved to concoct a special chicken soup. This witch’s brew didn’t heal me all at once, but it infused me with the power and wisdom and charisma of Diana and Sophia and Oshun and Yemaya and both Marys and of course Aretha. Also it tasted pretty good. I woke soothed and energized, ready to rise like a pheonix from this country’s flames.

Here’s the recipe. It is less Jewish than Jew-ish and all about achieving maximum results with minimal effort. Very Erma Bombastic.


-1 container of store-bought organic chicken stock because who has the time to make stock from scratch when you’re fighting the patriarchy?
-The remnants of 1 organic rotisserie chicken because snacking on roasted poultry is a whole lot less problematic than snacking on curds of undigested rage
-minced shallots because B prefers them to onions and I defer to her preferences even when they’re irrelevant. (She’s a vegetarian.)
-1 cup of cooked brown rice. I always have some on hand because something holistic that sticks to your ribs is necessary for fighting the good fight. More prosaically, it’s delicious in the morning with egg, kale, yogurt, and hot sauce.
–1 minced garlic clove because garlic is your first line of defense, dummy. It clears out all that toxic masculinity internalized in your throat and vagina and gut and protects you from psychic and emotional vampires
-chopped organic carrots and celery from the Tompkins Square greenmarket vendor who pretends to be curmudgeonly but actually has those divine masculine vibes (caring, considerate, and capable) that are hard to come by
–chopped parsley because I am still Jewish, for Chrissake (see what I did there?)
-chopped organic cabbage to boost liver function impaired by swallowing bile all day long
To dose the storebought stock with some chutzpah:
-2 tbsp sesame oil
-liberal dollops of soy sauce
-less liberal dollops of rice vinegar
-peppercorns, whole
-salt because women must be salty to survive
-extremely illiberal dose of the very very hot Queen Majesty scotch bonnet & ginger hot sauce because a. it is delightfully piquant b. it is made by a queen, duh, and c. female fire is essential to beautiful resistance

Here’s what you do. Heat a heavy pot, then heat the oil. Dump in the garlic and shallots and cook on a medium-low flame until they’ve shed their white privilege. Throw in the rest of the veg as well as some soy sauce, and keep that mess moving. When everything is cooked down, toss in the brown rice and shredded chicken (I use whatever’s leftover, typically the equivalent of two pieces) and a few shakes of the hot sauce. Now dump in that stock as well as the rice vinegar, more soy sauce, more hot sauce, and a few peppercorns and salt to taste. Cook until your permakitten strolls in to see what the fuss is about. Then inhale a big bowl with lemon seltzer and crumbled crackers (not that you’d ever settle for crumbs). Best consumed while binge-watching Prime Suspect or The Good Wife or Scandal or any other show about women taking all the power while cis-men’s jaws drop to the floor.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy