Saturday, October 02, 2010

The soup chronicles

I talk a lot about my resemblance to Mafalda, which in my mind is mostly the hair. But there is one thing we don't have in common: I love soup. Due to the fact that I live in Miami, soup is not something I eat often. Let's just say that with this heat, even gazpacho is awful.

For the past 12 days I've been doing the clean detox program. Blame Gwyneth or Demi or who you will but after trying it, I feel great. I can't really explain it and I certainly won't recommend it to everyone but living caffeine-dairy-soy-gluten-sugar-caffeine-alcohol-preservative free has done wonders for me.

In it's two liquid meals a day goodness, it's made me crave soup.

...and not any soup, but my grandmother's "sancocho".

Let's back up a little. I'm a vegetarian. I'm not particularly fond of Dominican food. Furthermore, I tend to throw hissy fits at the thought of particular vegetables -ie. plantains (or is that even a vegetable?)

Anyway, all I've been thinking about is that soup. The soup my mother made with 5 different kinds of meat (who knew there were 5!) and that my grandma spent tons of time sifting through a colander to ensure that I would only have the broth. The soup my great-grandma used to make with animals from her farm.

My mother is turning 51 today. And this didn't come into being a material fact to this story until way after she agreed to modify the recipe so that it would have only chicken (for flavor) and I would have my grandmother's soup.

We are modern. We are hardcore. We BBM. And my mom patiently texted and modified my grandmother's recipe so that I would have a great soup to eat. In return, I skinned and removed fat from a chicken (ewwww) for the sole purpose of meeting her half way. Of meeting out tradition half way. As much as I'm a creature of habit, I couldn't concede to the whole 5 meats bit. But I could deal with one.

And yet it got to be too late. I skinned and seasoned and it got too late to spend the next 3 hours making a soup and that's when it hit me: as the clock struck midnight it was mom's birthday.

My chicken is marinading in the fridge until tomorrow when I can give it 3 hours of attention; but today my mother turns 51. And as she was turning 51, rather than celebrating in the way I would (okay not in the way I would but at the very least champagne in hand) she was there passing down our family's history to me who only wanted a soup.

And it makes you think. It's made me think.

I wished her happy birthday and she thanked me for giving her the opportunity to share her soup with me. What was originally just for me, became a family history lesson. Yet, it was part of the family history that had been changed just once. For me. For the one who wouldn't eat meat.

It is my mother's birthday but it is also a point when we caught our family evolving. I am the first down the line who has refused to have the 5 meats. But my mom was so proud. She said she knew one day I'd call to our ancestors.

I did. But I only wanted soup.

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