Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saving the world over soup….

This winter, southeast Ohio experienced some frigid temps. I am from New England and have seen my share of cold and ice and snow so I feel like I have the right to complain. I have done my time in the cold. But complaining doesn’t get me anywhere. Then all you do is whine. No one likes a whiner. So, I took a completely different approach….a grateful approach and instead, embraced the beauty of all of the snow. I even started running in the cold my dog Nana. I surprised myself actually. Could it be that I actually like winter? I wouldn’t go that far. I found though that if I dress really warm and greet people like I am actually happy that it is colder than my body can handle, it is not so bad. I have also started cooking hearty soups. It is all psychological but you know…it’s working. Especially the cooking and then there’s the sharing of the soup bounty.

Ask anyone I know…who has eaten my soup…I make great soup! I would put my soup up against anyone’s. I always make sure my attitude is in check when I cook for anyone. I wouldn’t want a sour attitude to get in to anyone’s belly. So, once I know I am in a good place I pull down my largest pot to make a soup that would serve a village. For the most part, I don’t follow a recipe. My soups are in my heart and they just happen. Sometimes I see my self cooking and my hands are just cutting and pouring and adding and sipping and then….it’s soup. I eat a bowl then I pack it up and bring it to the Ranch to share with everyone. I always reserve a small container for my Mom because I want her to know that I was paying attention to her and my grandmother when they were cooking.

From December to early March, there are no sessions at the Ranch so our Chef Chris isn’t feeding us. Lunches are usually missed. Not this winter though. Every week since the first of January I have provided soup. Brett, my assistant, has made the bread; John has made some specialty of his and Kelly too. We all sit down and enjoy the food, the season and the conversation. The conversation is the real key to this story. Between the 6 of us, John, Treva, Kelly, Aly, Brett and myself, we have found all of the answers to all of the world’s problems. We have balanced the budget by hiring local accountants, we have found a way to start the healing and rebuilding in Haiti, we have found answers thru sensitivity training for the prejudice in this country and have found the secret to feeding the hungry and just about every problem that exists today. It just amazes me how easy some of it is. The question always comes down to…Why? or What were they thinking? If soup is how we found the answers, I encourage all of you to start cooking. Remember, start with a grateful heart and you too can fix what needs fixing in this world. Then, share your bounty with your co-workers. It will bring you together to do good in ways you never imagined. To close...it was my corn chowder that stopped the prejudice, my roasted root vegetable soup that balanced the budget, my yellow split pea soup that figured out a way to bring practical education on drug use in the elementary schools to the teachers, my tomato bisque that stopped the hunger in this world and my creamy fennel soup that inspired us all to take a look at how we should treat each other. Bon app├ętit!