Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup"

Last night the foundation held firm but the roof swayed in the storm that struck my peaceful home. One child arrived home & began the tornado of an excruciating migraine, another a homework hail of helplessness, and the last one rained hard for a ride home from football at just the wrong moment.  Dinner approached, and my ailing teen would not be running up to the store for canned crushed tomatoes & a loaf of Italian bread. With my own newsletter edits lapping gently at my feet, I moved into "Automatic Mothermode." 

Dinner was not the favorite spaghetti I planned. Instead it was a quickly concocted soup. It turned out sippingly hot and filled my kitchen deliciously with the aroma of fall even though during its creation I was up and down the stairs heavy with worry. And dinner was created in spite of the fact that I was bent over the table answering questions or asking her to reread it to me "one more time..." while I rummaged in the pantry shelves or stared into the refrigerator.  And it happened regardless of a seven minute football pick-up which actually gave me a respite to breathe deeply and lift a quiet prayer for a lightning bolt of pain to be eased.

Through it all, I had the forethought, (or was it concern?), to scribble down ingredients in 'Mothermode Shorthand' as I chopped and tossed vegetables into the bubbling soup pot, {{almost}} without thought. A pinch of this and a little bit of that ended in second helpings for everyone, (though my quick concoctions might not always end so well), and I'm everso thankful for that preoccupied creativity in the midst of that sudden strong gale inside my home.

Early this morning I surveyed my wrecked kitchen and very appropriately named the savory soup, "Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup," while elbow deep in soap suds clearing away the ravages of last night, encouraging some of the blue sky, calm waters, and gentle breeze to come rest again in my home.

 In a skillet, brown together:
1-1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 large vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp Tony Chachere's seasoning salt
dash of pepper

In a soup pot stir and gently simmer:
6-8 cups water
15 oz can Campbell's Tomato soup
15 oz can pumpkin

Add the browned ground beef mixture, (if meat is lean, no need to drain), to the soup pot along with the following:
16 oz frozen Trader Joe's Mixed Corn/Peas/Carrots/Green beans
1-2 cups of elbow macaroni or rotini pasta
1/4 cup of chopped celery leaves
1/2 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 cup grape tomatoes

Simmer with lid on about 15-20 minutes.

Serves 6.  Top each bowl of soup off with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar. Serve with biscuits & honey butter.

PS:  The migraine pain peaked and eventually subsided.  The homework was explained, and done with a sigh of relief from both mother and daughter. My JV receiver was retrieved from high school and no home blew flat due to the pick up process.  And the weekly booster club email was later finished and sent on time.  All the while the gentle sound of David Nevue's piano played in my living room and kept me calm throughout. 

In the midst of the storm it's all about remembering. To breathe in. To breathe out. And occasionally knowing when it's time to knot the rope, hang on tight, make soup, and find a gift in each gale of our journey.


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