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Monday, September 27, 2010

Entry # 3

The final losing entry.

Dear Reader,
When I’m feeling stressed or drained I head to the kitchen. There’s something about cooking that relaxes and soothes me. I turn on some music and my senses take over allowing my mind to wander at will. Memories come rushing back and I’m transported to another time. I don’t have to be cooking anything complicated to get the benefit of the calming effects it has on me. When I’m doing something as simple as opening a can of tomato soup and stirring it in a saucepan it takes me back to simpler times.

Every Sunday when I was a child my family went to church. Dad dropped off my three brothers and I for Sunday school, Mom went a little bit later in time for choir practice. As each of us grew old enough we joined her in the choir. After the service we visited with friends at the coffee hour before going home for lunch. In cold weather lunch was always soup, bread, and crackers. My favorite was tomato soup made with half milk and half water. It was a deep pink color and creamy without being heavy. My oldest brother crumbled up so many crackers in his that it was pink mush which he ate with such enjoyment that I can still picture the contentment on his face. I preferred to crumble a few crackers at a time so that I could eat them before they were too soggy. Alternately I’d dip buttered soft white bread into the soup, letting a corner soak just until it was ready to fall off and then quickly bite it off. How delicious I remember that being!

Today I am more likely to make a home made soup. I enjoy the chopping of vegetables, sautéing, measuring and stirring involved in the process. One of my favorites is potato soup. It was a recipe I learned from a friend in high school and has become a cold weather staple in my house. It combines the best of two worlds; cutting, chopping and simmering, and the convenience of canned soup. For stress relief it can’t be beat. Even when I’m tired it’s a recipe I can manage whether I’m feeding 2 or more. I’ve even made it to treat the school staff who work with my daughter. Made the night before and then dropped off along with my crock pot in the morning along with finger sandwiches and crackers it is always appreciated.

It is not a surprise that all my adult life I have worked in kitchens. First I worked at a doughnut shop and currently I work at a school. You’d think that once I get home I wouldn’t want to cook, but that’s not the case. I find it an enjoyable way to end the day and clear my mind of the day’s events.

Potato Soup
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon butter
1 can chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Sautee garlic and onion in the butter until onion is tender. Add the potatoes, chicken broth and enough water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer just until potatoes are tender. In a bowl, combine cream of chicken soup and milk stirring with a wire whisk until smooth, add to pot and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

1 comment:

Kathi said...

I agree! There is something deep down basically satisfying about cooking even the simplest meal. With all the things we can't control in the world, we can still bring things together in the kitchen and get a sense of accomplishment with our results! Sounds delicious! I'll have to try your Potato Soup!