I love to cook, at least most days I do. There’s something therapeutic for me about the whole process of preparing, chopping, dicing, seasoning and cooking. The end result comes from serving it to those you love and seeing the expression on their face. Food fills the body and warms the soul.
There’s summer cooking, filled with grilling and summer salads, yet my absolute favorite cooking is when the leaves begin to change colors and the air turns cool. It’s “fall cooking” and I love that first day of turning on the oven and heating up the house with the comfort foods of fall.
It’s also that time of year that I call “soup season.” There’s nothing better than cooking a pot of soup served with warm bread. I love making soup, and I believe that love comes from my grandmother. I can remember many days at her house watching her put her big
cauldron on the stove and fill the counter with every vegetable under the sun! I loved those days of helping her make soup and I’m confident that she taught me everything I know about the process. I’ve been nicknamed the “soup-meister” of my family because no one else makes it like I do, which is just how my grandmother made it.
It took her hours to make soup, and when it was done she’d fill up a million containers of it to give to all of our families. No one was ever left hungry when my grandmother made soup! She made many different types, yet when someone was sick, she went to task of making her “beef barley vegetable” soup, which she said was “good for what ails you!” I’m happy to say that it took me years to get my recipe to taste like hers, and while it’s not exactly the same, it’s close enough.
I once asked her what the key ingredient was in her soup, to which she told me: “It’s the love. Always put love into whatever you make.” And I’ve remembered that ever since.
When my kids were little and I baked cookies they’d tell me how good they were and that they could taste all the love in them. To this day, they still say that.
And now my love says that too; with every cup of tea or bowl of soup he tells me he can taste the love, and isn’t that what cooking is about? It’s filling the bellies of your loved ones with good food, and warming their hearts with how much you love them.
It’s definitely “soup season” at the Jersey shore, especially at my house, where everyone is coming down with colds. My love wants my “chicken and rice” soup, and my daughter’s request is for my “potato leek corn chowder.”As far as my two vegan boys, they want good ‘ol “vegetable soup.” So many soups, yet I always find the time.
I will always find the time to take care of the ones’ I love, and any request for my soups is welcome. Today I’ll be in the kitchen with my own cauldron, just like my grandmothers’, firmly planted on the stove for the day. And in between stirring and simmering, I’ll be writing and making their “sick beds” more comfortable for them. By tonight they will have all “tasted” the love when they ate, and will be “feeling” the love as they lay their head down on clean sheets, warm blankets and fluffed up pillows.
And I’ll end the night with a warm cup of green tea and honey for everyone…including me!
Wishing you love and light,