(The stained recipe page)
I’m making soup. I love making soup. I love how it tastes, how it smells and I even like looking at it. It’s potato soup (it’s always potato soup) well, there’s also thyme in it but the main ingredient is potato. I’ve been making it for about fifteen years. Well, no, I mean, I’ve been repeating the soup making procedure for the past fifteen years, not, it’s taking fifteen years to make some soup. But… also, I mean it’s taken fifteen years to make this soup.
(One of my second-hand French tea towels – beautiful shadows! Into the soup too!)
When my little boy was in primary school sometimes I would make the potato soup early, just before driving down to collect him. When he got into the car he would know that I had made it. How? He’d smell it on my clothes!! Now I know this might not please everyone but I loved it. You see, he loved the soup and he was happy when I smelled of soup because he’d soon be having soup! And I loved that I could do something so simple and have that impact.
(Snow from 2010 – into the soup too! It started snowing in my sister’s town in Canada today – oops)
So that and everything else I’ve experienced in those fifteen years goes into the soup I’m making today. Even though I use the same (stained) recipe book (I can never keep a recipe in my head…) and stick to the same basic recipe, the soup is filled with much more than the list of ingredients. It’s filled with the stories, the lessons, the happy days, the sad days, the angry days, the embarrassing days that I’ve experienced, because all those things are part of me now and they’re here as I make the soup. They’re in my arms as I dice the onions. They’re in my hand, full of thyme – bigger and nicer because now I grow it. There in my choice of real butter, for a time it was olive oil, before that it was coconut oil. They’re in my back as I wonder about the weight of the saucepan, because a few years ago I longed to feel what my grandmother must have felt using a giant saucepan on a solid fuel cooker to make soup for her six children.
(Love, love, love stitches, especially if they’re HUGE – into the soup too!)
The soup we’re going to have today for dinner owes its magnificence to the complete picture of the person who makes it, warts and all. Mairead.