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Friday, November 13, 2009

How to make a soup recipe

My mother was a great cook.
She learn the art of cooking – and let me tell you; cooking is an art – from her mother.
And her mother learned it from her mother before her.
And thus the art was refined for thousand of years.

When I came to USA probable the second thing I missed most after her love was her cooking.
(I use to dream about eating her food – no kidding.)
Not that I wasn’t get enough to eat – actually I was gaining weight at an alarming pace, a very common side effect for freshly emigrated people to USA :)
But there was more to her food than calories.

So finally when she came over I could once again enjoy that wonderful food.
Eating – I have to add – in other parts of the world, it is not just a “fueling up” thing.
Eating has a social function. It is a family ritual, a way to communion with friends and forge relationships.
Food is not only fuel for the body it is also fuel for the soul.

So I used to invite friends over for lunch or dinner.
And on one occasion I invited my friend Beth over for lunch.
Of course she was very impressed with the cooking and asked me to ask my mother if she could give her the soup recipe.
I have to mention – my mother did not speak a word of English.

Of course she would, she told me.
“There is nothing special to it. You boil a chicken with the carrots, potatoes and onions…” my mother started to say.
“How many carrots?” asked Beth
“Depends how big is the chicken” my mother replied
“How big should be the chicken?” Beth asked
“Depends how many people you want to feed” came the answer.

So we continued this conversation for a while with the mom and Beth getting more and more frustrated.
You see: Beth wanted to make soup according to a recipe while mom thought that you have to make your recipe according to the soup.
In other words a real cook changes the recipe according to the way the soup tastes.
He or she will add more of this or less of that in order to get the best result – and for that there is no recipe :)

Why am I telling you this story?
I was doing some research for writing a post on “success” and I realize that a recipe for success - like a soup recipe - doesn’t really teach you how be successful.
Successful people do not follow a recipe for success they write the recipe for success.
Do you see what I mean?

8 comments:

Ted Bagley said...

My wife kids me about how I don't follow recipes. I do stay away from baking for that reason, though. :)

Angela Lovell said...

Thank goodness for someone who shares my opinion about food. More than fodder and something that should bring people together - I love to share food with others!
Thanks for a wonderful post.

Chris Stonecipher said...

This was an interesting read with a great message. Thank you for sharing.

This Brazen Teacher said...

I loved reading this.

Even if I don't read your blog for a bit, whenever I come back I'm like "Ah! He wrote this just for me." :-)

The longer I teach, the more I see how educational policies, curricula, standards, research etc... aims to pin point a "recipe" for good teaching/education etc. And there is none.

As always you manage to write the profound in a very accessible way.

Ted Bagley said...

It may look like chicken soup and smell like chicken soup but still might not be chicken soup. If it tastes like chicken soup though, don't be fooled, it's chicken soup.

Buddha of Hollywood said...

@ Ted - Tell her : Cooking is an art and you are an artist :)

@ Angela - Families that eat together stay together :)

@ Chris - My pleasure!
And thank you for your encouraging words!

@ Brazen - Interesting - Preparing food and preparing children...
I swear I never thought of it, but now that you mention it, it makes complete sense :)

@ Ted - Is that chicken Zen or soup Zen?

Nishant said...

I love to share food with others!

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susan said...

Wow, This is a wonderful recipe! Fast and easy to make and full of flavor. I just loved it! You are inspiring!!! I just found your blog, I like it because I was seeking for such type of info.
I hope it benefits all one who land up here.
Thanks for sharing!!
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