Cooler weather means many things. It means it’s time to break out some of the warm-weather clothes like sweatshirts and jackets, and, for me, long shorts. I love the sights and sounds of fall. the hues and contrasts of foliage, the smells, and the lower sunlight and earlier dusk.
I break out a jazz cd and set to work cutting up the meat, carrots, onions, and potatoes.
I cook the meat first. Once I have it cooked and some water and seasonings added, the whole house begins to feel warm, and a wonderful aroma fills the air. My daughter almost always mentions how good it smells soon after it starts cooking.
And it brings about a peace and calm to me. I’m never in a hurry: sunlight spills into the kitchen from the window over the sink, my jazz is playing in the background (this week it was Keith Jarrett and the Koln Concert) and my son is often enjoying the cool autumn outside as he rides his scooter or just enjoys being a kid.
Inside I work at a leisurely pace. Once I have all the ingredients in the soup, I wash up the dishes that I can and enjoy the sound and smells of it all. I taste the soup from time to time, just to make sure it has a good flavor (wink, wink). And it almost always does.
Then it’s time to eat. The soup always has a warm, healthy taste and feel to it. After eating it, I always feel better.
The whole experience has a feel of home to me. I guess because I enjoyed it so much when I was growing up. My dad would often make soup on a cold day, and when I got older, he would get me to help. I liked the soup then, too, but not as much as now.
This past week, my son asked if he could help. I let him peel the vegetables and put in all the ingredients. I couldn’t help but smile as he sampled bite after bite just to make sure everything was just right.
Making soup is a simple experience. Not one that you can buy online or experience at a big venue.
But it’s the simple experiences that make up our lives. And create the memories that we hand down to our kids in the hope that they’ll enjoy it as much as we do.