Sunday, April 03, 2011

Found Treasure Part 2

Today in England it is Mothering Sunday. My friend Dave Hingsburger sent me this in response to Friday's post, Found Treasure about Mum's Potato Leek Soup recipe. With his kind permission, it seems like the perfect post for today, when I am thanking God for my treasured Mum. with whom I will  be talking this morning.

By Dave

I sat peeling potatoes and glancing down at the recipe. It was deceptively simple and, concerningly lacking in herbs and spices. But I was determined to make it as written. I'd found the recipe on your blog and loved the way it was written. It wasn't one of those impersonal recipes, it was from Mother to Daughter and if you listened carefully you could hear the voice behind the words. I remember when we were in England last and drove through Alvechurch on a whim. We loved seeing the town you'd written about and it was easy to imagine you there. Though we've never met your mother, we'd seen her picture and when we saw the town we knew that she, like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle, fit snugly in her surroundings. Making her soup was a means of us talking about the day in Alvechurch, our friendship with you and allowed me to remember, out loud again, how we first met in the big house where you made home for those who hadn't one.
 
When we lived in Quebec we loved cooking for the church dinners or when it was our turn to do tea after service. I'd make huge cakes for the tea. Our biggest casserole dishes would be pulled out for the dinners. I'd spend hours looking through cookbooks and figuring out how to adapt recipes to our vegetarion lifestyle. We got good at it. The church folk took some time getting used to eating flavourful food that wasn't meat based - but they did get used to it and we never brought any left overs home. There was somethign very spiritual in bustling around a kitchen preparing food for the nourishment of others. There is an intimacy there that is hard to explain to those who don't simply get it. I know you get it. I read of your cell groups and family dinners and I know that you too like to make food that makes welcome.
 
As Joe pureed the soup he gasped as it turned into a wonderful silky consistency - creamy without cream. We tossed in, just like your mother had written, the slightly fried vegetables and then let it all simmer together. We were making, in our home far from your home, another memory. A Belinda memory. A memory of a mother we'd never met but knew we'd love. Recipes shared do that don't they? 
 
We had the soup and loved the simplicity of it. We knew that this was a soup that came out of hard times. This was a soup made of penny potatoes and left over vegetables. This was a soup of necessity that women of our mother's generation made in order to feed our hungry stomachs. It's strange to me, that only years later that I realized that what fed us wasn't the food, but the hand behind the food. Your mother's hand made this soup. Your mother's hand wrote the recipe. Her gifts to you was one that you shared - history, love and cramped words on crinkled paper.

10 comments:

Jan said...

I've been lurking for a while. I like the fact that you love so freely. It seems your friends are really a part of your writing. I admit it is hard for me to understand some of your friendships, like the one you have with Dave, but I'm learning to learn, not judge which is really hard for me. I hope you don't mind what I've said.

Belinda said...

Dear Jan,
Thanks for coming out of "hiding." :) Yes, my friends are treasures in my life and therefore part of my writing--it can be a blessing and a downfall for them! :)

My life and blog are places of welcome for Dave because I am committed to him as my God given friend.

Not judging is something God has been working into my life with all of my friends. I don't pretend to have all of the answers, but God does and I trust him with them. None of us can answer for another and we all have enough in our own lives to bring before God--that's the part I'm responsible for and I fail there often.

I appreciate your honesty. If people who read here see the person behind the stereotype, and maybe see a heart they can find common ground with, then at the end of the day that makes me happy.

Susan said...

It's hard for me to understand some of your friendships too. Like the one with with ME, for instance.

pharmgirlfollies.com said...

anything potato or leek sounds wonderful right now. I am suffering the WORST head cold. Thanks for the wonderful post.

Susan said...

I have to say that the comments today have been troubling me all day and I just have to respond...

I can understand, Jan, why you might be struggling with judging people - I came out of that place myself - and I'm glad you're dealing with it and growing in the right direction. But I'm sorry that you found it necessary to express your feelings in a relatively public forum like this one. If you were referring to me (and maybe you are!) I would be very hurt by your saying that you don't understand why Belinda would/could/should love me.

I have 9 children. I am fat. I am a woman. I am a Christian. I have an attention deficit. I am a lot of things. Go ahead and judge me. Think whatever you like of me. But don't tell others publicly that you are struggling with understanding how they could love me... I think that is horrible.

I'm not Belinda, and you didn't ask me, but I want to be on record saying that I do mind what you said.

All the best with your struggle to work these things through...

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hi all, I wrote to Belinda privately that everything I wrote in response to Jan sounded wrong. It sounded angry and I wasn't, it sounded defensive and I wasn't, it sounded hurt and maybe I was hurt a bit. I've worked my whole life to find myself loveable - discovering that God loved me as a child was the most important moment (and I don't say this lightly) of my childhood. I kept a picture of Jesus in my room, hidden away, and when I felt desperately alone and vulnerable I retreated to that picture. The love of God then, the relationship with Jesus begun then, has led me to a place where I believe that when I pray, God listens. I believe that when I need him, Jesus is near. I infuse my work with prayer. I will not speak to an audience without speaking to God first. Am I loveable ... I know I am loved ... but am I loveable? That's the insecurity I have carried with me my whole life. Jan you aren't alone in wondering why Belinda cares about me ... I wonder too, but privately and quietly and until now, never out loud.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was responding to a story about soup! So that's what I'm going to do. Dave,this was a lovely gift to Belinda. I liked reading it because like you said behind the words I heard your voice speaking lovingly and directly to Belinda. Thanks to you both for sharing this. I'm going to stay ANON because I don't really want to get dragged into the conversation happening here.

Belinda said...

Anonymous, your comment was the perfect ending comment at the end of this good day and made me laugh!

Magnolia said...

What a neat post! Thank you for sharing!

Marilyn Yocum said...

I so enjoyed Dave's words (as always), esp. about spiritual experience of cooking for others. Kindred spirit!