Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Soup and Substance

The leaves are nearly all blown from my next-neighbour-but-one's giant ash tree.  How did that happen?  I looked up from my notebook and there they were, the bare branches.  Last time I looked they were full of green and red.  A couple of writing buddies came over.  Candles were lit, coffee and fruit tea made, buckwheat crackers (yes) on the table.  But recent events and yesterday's activities (workshopping and choir practice) have sucked the marrow from my bones.  No inner substance, no writing, not even dishwater writing - the kind you pull the plug on when it's done.  I left buddies to their notebooks and mugs of fruit tea and went upstairs to the living room and looked at the sky, which was grey and unforgiving, but still, looking at the sky, and tree tops is something I need to do to replenish substance.  Rooftops are also good.  I have made more soup, sweet potato and lentil this time, some of which will soon be going to mater and co where it will either be eaten or left in the fridge until it has gone past its eat-by and thrown away.  You will be wondering how it is that I had the wherewithal to make soup, in the light of what I have said about substance.  But soup is like that - you can make it, literally, with almost nothing, a few bones, an old carrot, a handful of beans - and you can make it when you feel innerly without substance.  The mater knows this, or used to.  Her own grandmother made soup, she said, by singing into a pot.  Sometimes I don't even sing.  But the pot fills anyway.


Anna MR said...

I love the idea of singing into a pot; it's so pretty. Many moons ago, I was going to write a cookbook (in those days in Britain, it was going to always be a piece of piss to get published once you'd had one book out (at least so the story went), and cookbooks were the ones easiest to get published; hence my plan to start with a cookbook, see). It would have been called "Soup from a Stone" and would have included all the recipes I made up when there was nothing in the house except the odds and ends you always end up with when there's a lot of month left after the money's gone – a couple of celery stalks, the odd onion and withered carrot (yes), leftover mashed potato and the like.

Okay, so I didn't get round to it. And anyway, "Singing into a Pot'" would have been a prettier name.

I made Turkish potato and lentil soup the other day, when I, too, was feeling particularly out of substance. You are quite correct. Soup can be made when other foods are clearly too substance-requiring altogether. As an added bonus, you know, they somehow replenish nonexistent substance.

Y'know, I could just do with sitting down at the kitchen table of Signs Cottage for a bowlful.


Fire Bird said...

yes, oh yes, to soup. My dear L has made two very good batches lately - leek and potato and spicy parsnip. Did she sing? I am not certain

Reading the Signs said...

Brilliant idea for a cookbook - and the time for such things has come round again. Couple of celery stalks a bit of onion, withered carrot etc - soon we will be glad to have even these. I want to know some of those recipes you made up. Post one?

I do those soups too, F B. You can get by without singing if you have plenty of stuff to put into the pot. But when you have next to nothing then you really have to sing.

Gael said...

'Soup from a stone' reminds me of a story about Nail Broth that was on a favourite LP I had when I was little of Wendy Craig reading fables : )

Montag said...

Singing into a pot combines all the magic of our lives.

It is an expression I think I shall be using frequently from now on.

Reading the Signs said...

I'm looking up Nail Broth, Gael (hello!) - it sounds like one I should add to my store.

Montag, in case you didn't see my Potage post (singing into the pot):

Montag said...

That is really good.

It captures my attention, and every time I read it, I am working it to inform around my life. Every time I see it, it is different.

I am quite sincere about it... no need to thank me. There is real gold within it.