Sharing Recipes

soup

Cooking. Baking. Making. Eating. Sharing.

I love all of that.

Measuring. Pouring. Washing. Peeling. Chopping.

Spoons – both wooden and metal.

Glass bowls; big to small.

Metal pans; rectangular, square, round.

Pots and Lids.

Hots and Colds.

All of it.

Recipes from books, magazines, the Internet, handwritten from friends and family.

Sharing favorites.

I’ve talked to a lot of cooks and bakers during my 61 years on this Earth and have complimented many dishes; some of which were shared by their kitchen creatives. Others said, “Sorry, I don’t share.” One said, “Yes, I’ll share, but you are the only person outside the family who will ever get this and you must promise never to share it.” I took the recipe, used it often and never shared it. I felt a little guilty about not sharing because it was such a great recipe, but a promise is a promise.
Soup.

Lately I’ve made a lot of soup and have had a good friend bring me soup when I wasn’t feeling well. The Food Network taught me a great way to make soup so the vegetables aren’t soggy, squishy and gross. I shared that with my sister who now makes soup with the method I told her about. She also uses Better Than Bouillon which I swear by as making your broth rich and flavorful. I shared with her because I love her and want to enrich her life as a cook and baker, skills we both love.
I’ve talked to other cooks and bakers about sharing recipes. A few have told me that they share, but leave out a step or a ‘secret’ ingredient. Food meant to be shared and enjoyed by community should have all the pieces to the puzzle. It makes all the cooks involved look good.

Last night as I lay in bed with Bossman’s snores gently blowing past my ear, I had my late night talk with God and thanked him for certain stuff in my day and asked him to do his thing by watching over special friends and family members. I was having a nice conversation with him when I realized I had started sharing my soup recipe and methods with Him. I was telling God how to make vegetable soup. I was very exact so He’d get it right. The size of the potatoes, carrots, onion, green beans. The oil/butter combination. The temperature of the pot. When to add the veggies, the stock, the Better Than Boullion and can of white beans. How He should cook the digitali separately and add it at the end. I saw every chop, every bit go into the pot. I smelled the wonderful aroma of the vegetables and spices in the oil and butter and I knew He was listening to every thought and direction. I was sharing my everyday joy of life with God so he could share it with others. He knows a lot of people, so I was pretty happy to think He might share this recipe, too.

This morning when I opened my eyes, I remembered sharing the recipe with God. Then I thought, “You’re losing your mind. Last night you told God how to make vegetable soup.”

I confessed my crazy sharing to Bossman, who just smiled. Then I ‘got it’.

Five years ago, when we first started attending church after a 40-plus year absence, our Pastor told me, “Susie, someday I want you to be able to have a relationship with God and just plop down on the couch and have a conversation with Him.”

I had looked at him like he was nuts.

Now, I can’t wait to let him know who I shared my soup recipe with.

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If You’re Happy and You Know it…

What makes you “happy”?

With all the “Happy New Year” wishes for a better 2014, peace and harmony, losing the holiday pounds, abundant blessings and health being presented to us, I’ve been thinking about what makes us tick in the happiness department.

For me, I felt extreme happiness last night when I took the dog out back for his last leg-lift around 11 o’clock. I was in my p.j.’s, bathrobe and slippers and when I walked out on the stoop, Billy hurried down the four steps to the patio to pee on the lattice work under the screened-in porch. He slipped around the corner and my eyes went right to the sky where the stars shone like the white Christmas lights on my tree. Elvis could have been painted on the black velvet sky that made those stars just pop. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped as I tried to look at each glimmering star and planet.

Billy finished his business and pounced up the steps to go in and get his reward. We walked into the living room where Bossman was watching the news in his Archie Bunker chair.

“Hon! You’ve got to come out and see this amazing sky. The stars are the brightest I’ve ever seen them.”

“Naw, that’s okay. I’ll pass.”

“But, it’s so beautiful….”

“Toots, I’m watching the weather.”

I’m sure my mouth went into a slight pout and I returned to the sky alone. I wasn’t as happy as I’d been two minutes before, but the awe soon returned and joy filled my spirit again. Bossman was happy in his chair watching the weather. I was happy thinking of how this amazing universe had been created and wondered “Why?”

I did some research on what makes people happy the next morning.

Forgiveness makes us feel happy. Doing the forgiving as well as being forgiven. I didn’t need to forgive Bossman and I didn’t need to be forgiven when I disturbed his television watching, but I have forgiven others and a weight has been lifted from my soul.

Gratitude is also part of being a happy person. I was certainly grateful for the amazing sky and how it made me feel.

I’m sharing some of my thoughts with you by writing, which is a talent I’ve been given. I might not be the best writer, but I realize I’m happy when I’m writing and I hope that makes others happy, too.

I read that optimistic people who are satisfied with life and not self-absorbed are happiest. Put those rose-colored glasses on once in a while.

Short blog posts also make people happy, so I’m going to end here and extend wishes for everyone to see through the eyes of a child more often. Be in awe of nature and the amazing gifts we’ve been given in just the trees, sky, birds, sun, snowflakes and the air we breathe.

And wonder. Never stop wondering.