Friday, April 01, 2011

Found Treasure

Note: Susan's brain is still oozing out of her ears but the good news is that it is March 31 and the renovations going on in the home she supervises are almost done. I'm hoping she's back next week for Fridays with Susan. I miss her and I know you do too, but you only have one brain and I don't want to push any more of hers out under the pressure of writing a blog post. :)

By Belinda

Cell group is about a lot of things and one of them is food; gathering around a table with friends who are like family  and having an old fashioned family dinner every week.

I love creating the meal--nothing fancy--simple, tasty and plain, comfort food.

Tonight 14 people sat around our two tables (and Susan arrived after everyone else had left, so that made 15) and somehow the 1.2kg of chicken that went into the yummy butter chicken, fed us all, well padded out by fragrant basmati rice, lots of cauliflower, peas and beans and crusty sliced Italian bread with butter.

For dessert I made something I love but haven't made for a long time--pineapple carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

I was clearing away the dishes  while waiting for Susan to arrive. She had called from 10 minutes down the highway to say she was on her way and was there any food left.

I pondered the carrot cake. It had been very nice, and the recipe was close to the one I used to use, but I thought it wasn't quite the same, so I left the dishes and went to my cookbook bookshelf and looked first in the old, red, loose leaf binder. The recipe wasn't there. I had a feeling it was upstairs in a file folder of favourite recipes that were meant for a cookbook that hasn't happened yet, but just in case it wasn't, I checked an old photo album that I used years ago to stick recipes in that I had cut out of magazines or newspapers, along with a few handwritten ones.

As I turned the pages of recipes collected some 30 years ago, I caught my breath at familiar handwriting--Mum's. Now Mum never really loved cooking. It was something that had to be done to feed the family and she did make meals lovingly for us--just not because she loved it. So I was surprised to find Mum's handwriting in the book. I began to read and "her voice," a voice I haven't heard for almost  8 years, since she had a stroke, spoke to me from the page. I can't tell you what a gift it was to" hear her."

Here "she" is (it's a leek and potato soup recipe:)

"2 LITRE OF STOCK, you boil 8 potatoes in that until they're done. Rub the potatoes through a sieve. Then, or while the potatoes are boiling, you prepare 2 large leeks, 2 large onions, 2 large carrots, 2 sticks of celery, all cut up small and washed. Let it drip out well and slightly  fry all the vegetables in a lump of butter or margarine. It shrinks quite a bit of course, as it should. Then add the lot to the potato broth and add some savoury stuff. I throw some broth cubes in it and a bit of season all salt (from Canada) over the frying vegetables. It all adds to the flavour. It ends up to be about 3 litres of soup. Very filling as well I think. I promised I'd write it down, so there you are. Mind you, I think a bit of bacon in the frying veg wouldn't go amiss either, or ham."

What a lovely surprise it was to find this. I have never made it yet, but you can be sure that it will be on the menu soon. Found treasure!

3 comments:

Dave Hingsburger said...

A blog as lovely as warm soup on a cold day. We are going to make this recipe (minus the meat of course) this weekend. There is something wonderfully spiritual about cooking for others. The idea of providing nourisment is an intimacy misunderstood in days of canned and pre prepared food. It was wonderful, too, to hear your mothers voice enter into the recipe itself. She was talking directly to you. Again, a lovely post.

Belinda said...

Dave--you making my mum's soup! Oh, that is wonderful. You will beat me to it. Yes, there is something innately spiritual about preparing a meal and eating it together.

Marilyn Yocum said...

Double treasure - the recipe and hearing her voice. Wonderful! I must give this recipe a try and soon.