Soup and Love

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Family, Food, Humor
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s a great day to make some soup. The rain, wind and slight breeze dictate this to me from the moment I rise. Something warm and spicy will hit the spot. Must warm the soul. So, next decision…traditional Italian Minestrone, Mexican Southwest Tortilla or Clam Chowder? I say to myself, “Mexican” and go with it. In all honesty, Mexican won’t require a trip to the grocery store, so my spiel about making a choice really wasn’t all that difficult, and made before the words Italian or clam came out of my mouth.

I love cooking for my family. It’s really very entertaining and to some degree requires a bit of acting skill. Once any trace of activity occurs in the kitchen and the burner is hot, one at a time, the family slowly files through the kitchen with their inquisitions and suggestions. It is almost as though someone went through the pains of choreographing their moves. It is just hilarious, because I know in advance who likes what and so-on, so my choice of words, as well as ingredients, are selected with great care. I too am part of this fine production called dinner. My lines spoken well as I play the part of my own sous chef and leading actress.

The first family member strolls in. It’s mama. The kitchen is her domain, so when anyone decides to play her role they better do it well. Mama approaches in a nonchalant manner which is very deceiving. She’s pretty subtle most of the time, but that could be a sign she’s about to take over. So I proceed with caution. In a way she kind of reminds me of Lady Gaga disguised as Sophia Loren. She has a beautiful a luring demeanor but could suddenly break-out with an off-the-wall suggestion. Which she does while remaining in character, “We have some fresh zucchini. Why don’t you throw some in there?” I calmly acknowledge her suggestion, but refute the idea stating how this would certainly take away from the distinctly Mexican flavor of the dish.One thing I decided would warm us on this chilly afternoon. She rolls her almond-shaped eyes and saunters off stage-left, and although she disagrees, I think she enjoys an occasional travesty in her kitchen.

The next performer is my son. He is definitely THE drama-king within the familial generation to which he was born. You may recall I said choose my lines wisely. He is the main reason I do so. We don’t use words like: onions, tomatoes or bell peppers…My god that would certainly bring an abrupt end of the world. This I just don’t understand. How could I have given birth to a child whose culinary repertoire does not include some of the most likely and well-liked ingredients for any Italian household? Was there a mistake at the hospital? Had they slipped me the wrong child? “No” I acknowledge to myself. He looks too much like the family. It’s just a fluke in his DNA. SO…(in a whisper) just between you and I, if any of the foregoing ingredients are called for, it’s not decipherable, and never omni-present, and I didn’t just say that.

On this particular occasion, the last one to enter, right on cue, is my youngest brother. He loves to eat, loves to cook, and is very good at it. There’s only one very small problem today. He doesn’t like soup. And, this is truly an issue because although we might be able to hide onion in any given recipe or distract mama from adding whatever is in the frig…I have not discovered any way to make soup look like anything but, well…SOUP. So, I tell him after a slight slip in my stellar performance that “it’s kinda like spaghetti sauce, except you serve it over tortilla chips instead of pasta.” He laughs and says, “good try.”

The final result of my Academy-Award-worthy meal? Delicious…everyone eats and knows better than to ask any questions. Ciao!

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