Out of the past. red-braised beef noodle soup.
When I was growing up, we often went to Green Village restaurant in the International District for red-braised beef noodle soup. (Red-braised refers to the use of soy sauce in the cooking). After the original restaurant burned down, two new ones emerged from the ashes, a regular restaurant with cozy wood booths and live seafood, and a more casual fast-food-type joint that offered takeout and a selection of cold dishes packed in clear plastic boxes.
I found beef shank at the supermarket, grabbed bundles of spinach and scallions. Came home and immediately set to work, bringing the beef stock I had taken from the freezer a few days ago to a rolling bowl, adding soy sauce and a few stars of anise pods. J. comes over to pick up his cupcakes and lingers over a few glasses of wine and Tagore. The broth is intense, lightly fragranced with anise and heavy with beef. A few more hours pass, and the meat begins to slide from its knob of bone; time to bring some water to a boil and toss in a handful of thick wheat noodles.
It is not quite what I remember, and at the same time it is better.