Monday, February 23, 2009
Vegetable Beef Soup
I just finished putting together a pot of Vegetable Beef Soup for my family for dinner. It is something that I have made over and over again for the past 17 years. It's one of those recipes that everyone in the family loves. It's golden.
After chopping and dicing and browning the ingredients, I mixed everything together and put it in a big silver pot, put the lid on and turned up the heat. As it began boiling, and that familiar smell began escaping in the form of steam, I looked over at the recipe card and had one of those moments that takes you back- way back.
I was a young, blonde haired, scrawny, nine year old girl. I was sitting in the comfortable kitchen in my home in South Salt Lake. With it's dark wood cupboards and linoleum covered floor, it was a place where I loved to be. It was where you could almost always find my mother baking or canning or scrubbing this or that.
At the table with me were my good friends, Shelly, Karen, Sarah, and perhaps one or two other girls from the neighborhood. it was my favorite day of the week. The day that we would all convene in our kitchen for another exciting class on becoming domestic goddesses- otherwise known as 4-H.
It was here that I was first introduced to Vegetable Beef Soup. It was one of those recipes that mother had us learn. It was simple, yet involved a lot of the techniques that she was trying to teach us. Dicing, chopping, peeling, browning, measuring both liquids and dry ingredients.
After cleaning up my mess from making dinner tonight, I realized that much of what I know today- was first introduced to me in my mother's kitchen. As one of the 5 or 6 eager little girls who watched my mother's skilled hand each week, I often dreamed of the day when I would have my own kitchen and would make wonderful dinners for my family.
The recipe card that holds the instructions on how to make this soup, is written in my 9 year old hand. I remember mother telling us to write legibly enough so that when we made it for ourselves, years from that day, that she wouldn't be getting phone calls from us frustrated girls who couldn't read what was written.
I am so glad that I had a mother who loved being a homemaker and wanted to share her love of it with her daughters and their friends. I am quite certain that my early years of cooking for my new family would not have gone as smoothly as they did had it not been for her and her desire to pass on her love of cooking. Even though I don't do it as often as I would like to- I do enjoy baking and cooking treats and meals for my family- if someone would only do the menu planning and grocery shopping for me!