Monday, August 24, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Soup Day

The soup in question.

Yesterday was soup day. It was cool day and overcast and windy most of the day. It was a good day to have something bubbling gently on the stove.
It occurred to me that making soup is a skill. Cooking in itself is a skill, but within it are whole different skill sets. One might make a great roast or the best cookies ever, but might be thrown by putting together a simple pot of soup.
Ingredients are important, but the most important ingredient is patience. Proper soup takes time. Whatever gets thrown in needs time to adjust to its surroundings and to determine the best way for it to give back to its community.
Patience is itself a skill and it's one I need to hone.
I have patience for making slow food like soup because it imparts a lovely fragrance throughout the house and warms it up in more ways than the physical.
My mom's sister, Myrtle, described it best once: "Soup is good because it goes to all parts of you."
So right, Aunt Myrtle.
Soup is a lesson in patience and perserverance and using what you've got to the best of its abilities. It shows us how even the smallest bit of vegetable or bone still has a little something left to give if only we'd encourage it.
This lesson can be applied throughout life and I am grateful for the reminder. I am also grateful for being able to make a decent pot of soup.


solarity said...

I'm grateful for knowing how to cook. I keep being surprised as I wander around the fitness-blog area of the internet at the number of people who don't seem to know how, or who think cooking is a chore (instead of an instinct) or who think soup needs a recipe.

There's a picture of me at two and a half decorating a birthday cake for my grandfather, that I had helped mix, and turn out onto the cooling racks (my mother did the turning out; I got to slide the spatula around the edge of the pans) and mix and color the icing, before being turned loose on my own with the cake decorating tools. It wasn't the first time I'd done it, either. Cooking is like languages: the earlier you start, the better.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

Mary Anne, that's a wonderful birthday story.
It saddens me that so many of us have gotten away from cooking. It's fun, simple, fulfilling on several levels (at least for me), and you get to know exactly what you're eating.

the Bag Lady said...

I, too, am always surprised at the number of people in the fitness blogging sector who don't seem able (or perhaps, willing) to cook.

Good, nutritious food is not all that difficult to prepare, and your soup looks darned good!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, dfBag Lady. It was pretty damned tasty.
I wonder if maybe society has convenienced its way away of that skill. Perhaps many of us now truly believe we don't have the time.
Too bad. Slow food like soup takes hardly any effort and is fun.

Hilary said...

I enjoy cooking and am pretty good at it - though Frank totally takes over the meat portion of whatever meal we have together. That's usually OK with me because he's also good at that. Baking is another thing though. I don't enjoy doing it and I'd enjoy consuming it all too much, so that works out just fine for me.

I love your soup/community analogy. A true chicken soup for the soul.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hilary, thanks.
It sounds like cooking is something the two of you can share. That makes it even more enjoyable.
Mike is the better baker and takes care of the ethnic baking ( liebkuchen, linzer torte, etc.) though I take care of the regular stuff like pies simply because I have the time.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

Ah-Ha! If the secret ingredient to cooking a good meal is patience, that is where I run amok.

Wonderful post.


Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, df Terrie. Yup, that's the big secret as far as I'm concerned.

carla said...

I need to bookmark this for fall.

merely reading about the soupage has me sweating :)

Leah J. Utas said...

I suppose it won't be soup weather there for a while yet?

The Fifth Sparrow said...

Your soup looks like incredible comfort food.
I love to cook! Unfortunately, I'm not very good... I need to follow recipes for most things.
My man and I make fantastic Indian food. We slow roast the spices and grind them by hand with a mortar and pestle. It takes all day to make a good curry.

My mom never let me in the kitchen, except to do dishes afterward. I've learned it all the hard way, using my poor family as guinea pigs.

They moved out on their own at a young age.

Leah J. Utas said...

The Fifth Sparrow, that curry sounds amazing! How do you roast the spices? What do you use? I've only ever dry fried them, and not for very long.
Soup is a wonderful comfort food. So is stew. I'm looking forward to cooler weather so I can get back to stewing.

The Fifth Sparrow said...

We roast the corriander and cumin; the black pepper and I think something else (anything seedlike basically). Set the oven on low and spead them out onto a cookie sheet. We only do it for a few minutes, maybe 10 at the most. Then, we crush each type individually in the mortar. I also use a garlic plate to grate the garlic rather than mince it. More juice and taste that way.
I used to make the curry but once hubby got involved, he kicked it up 8 notches. men are so competitive!