Soup Story

I made soup tonight.  I used one can of soup.  Plus all the vegetables in my crisper drawers about to go bad, diced small.  Plus all the tomato glop that surrounded the canned tomatoes I used a few weeks ago. (I freeze the liquid left over for just such an occasion as this.)  Plus some salt and pepper, some “better than bouillon”, and three handfuls of barley.  It came out great.

My soup reminded me of one of my favorite stories about my mother-in-law (love) Cat.  We all called her Cat, or else Grandma Cat.  She was a wonder.  A real, three dimensional human being who maintained her sense of fun through troubles and hard times.  She was a generous person as well.  She spent her time between her retirement and death helping her various family.  Cat lived a sort of nomadic existence, visiting whoever needed her help the most at the time.

She was often at my brother-in-law’s home.   They had six children and two working parents.  When each child was born, Cat would stay awhile.  Her grandchildren loved her but she would be there long enough to start to be more parental and they would start to rebel.  She fought the towels on the floor fight and the pick up your room when I say so fight.  And she would cook, sometimes stuff they loved, and sometimes stuff that was good for them.

Cat didn’t easily let food go to waste, and- like I did today- she would round up the fridge leftovers and odds and ends and make soup.  Her disrespectful grandson coined the phrase, “Grandma made soup out of our garbage.”

It became my favorite story from her funeral, and I am proud to follow in her frugal footsteps.

pot-of-steaming-soup

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Soup Story

  1. I made soup today too — nearly the same method, also learned from my mother-in-law. My own mother wouldn’t have dreamed of “clean out the fridge” soup. I love your description of your soup-making process. I have also tangled with a few grandchildren about picking up:).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree – what a wonderful tribute to your mother-in-law. She reminds me a lot of my own mother, who also never lets anything go to waste if she can help it. She is the expert of looking in the fridge at a motley crew of leftover this and that and turning it into a loving, homecooked meal. What a wonderful way to keep your mother-in-law’s memory and spirit alive.

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  3. I don’t have grandchildren, but when my sons were young, during some of our more cash poor stretches, they and my late-husband always marveled at how I could make a plentiful delicious magic soup or stew when “there’s not enough of anything to eat”. I used similar methods and none, including the hubby, were the wiser. Things got better financially and I taught my sons to cook, but somehow magic soup was not one of the lessons. Thus it was amusing a few of years back when my now adult son, who lives on his own, figured out the “magic” when he was low on funds, but too big on pride, to come to mama. He did call me on it after the fact.

    “What – you just threw everything that wouldn’t kill us in a pot, added bouillon, beans and prayed?”

    “Yup”

    Like

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