Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Remembering Daddy's Soup

A fresh pot of homemade beef barley soup is in on the stove and the kitchen is clean again... finally, a contented sigh and I can sit on the couch with my little guy.  He watches Thomas, and my thoughts drift back to cold and windy days that I would walk home from school with the knowledge that the second I walked in my front door, wafting aromas of daddy's soup would welcome and warm me.  He would make them daily at the restaurant and bring some home for us; tomato vegetable, chicken noodle, turkey with wild rice or beef barley.    He would be napping by the time we got home so we usually scavenged the cupboards for cookies or chips instead.  More often than not, we didn't even touch the soup, but it was there every day, just in case.  And looking back now, I know that was what mattered.  I did eventually reach an age where I appreciated the warmth, health and care behind this simple act and I suppose that's why it's so important to me to make it now.  I suppose, that's why I do a lot of things. 

My husband habitually asks me why I have a vegetable garden, can dozens of salsas, sauces, jams and jellies every year and batch cook meals every week.  It's a lot of work and a lot of mess. Truthfully, I am only a decent cook and a horrible baker, but I do love spending time in both the garden and the kitchen.  I love working with my hands and anticipating the fruits of my labour.  I love all the different aromas and the contentment in knowing the meal I provide required a bit of sacrifice for the people I care about.  But probably, most of all, I love the nostalgic feeling of daddy's kitchen.  It's always there in the background, mixed in with the repetitions and the sights and smells of home.  And then there's the knowledge, that we had this in common. That this is a language of love, passed down from generation to generation.  Even in the busy-ness and high demands of our current culture it is something that is impossible to forget.  I suppose that's what I too am aiming for...

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