HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts

Monday, September 30, 2013

Remembering Margaret Mathews with a bowl of Split Pea Soup and a smile.



        I just left Montreal, where I was born and where my family had roots going back three generations before we all left at the height of the Separatist movement.  This 'revolution' scared the bejesus out of the Anglos in the province and my family were hardly alone in abandoning the province of Quebec.  Montreal is a completely different place now and a wonderful one. My visit, I have to say, was tinged with a kind of regret; the city is such a model of multi-culturalism and stands in such stark contrast to the lunatic fringe that's operating in today's USA. But today is a cause for celebration and I am reprising a post I wrote a couple of years ago.  It celebrates an event that I hope you will celebrate with a Martini later today.  And if there are Martinis in heaven, glasses are being lifted there too. 
      My mother, Margaret Somerville Stewart Mathews was born on this day in 1911.  That would make this her 102nd birthday.  She would have loved to have been here for it, especially if there were any kind of party involved. She was a true extrovert.  She loved to laugh, dress beautifully, enjoy a cocktail or three, travel far and wide, keep up with a circle of friends that literally dated from first grade at the Trafalgar School for Girls.  She was full of fun, told wonderful stories, volunteered for every possible charitable, civic and club activity, took what life gave her and had an uncanny ability to believe that whatever she had was the best. She loved life and would have gone on living indefinitely had cancer not taken her from us at 88 years of age.  About the only thing she truly did not like about life was cooking.
My nephew, Michael, Mom and my son, Alex at her 85th Birthday
        Now this is not to say she didn’t enjoy eating.  She and my father had epicurean appetites and spent a great deal of time at better restaurants everywhere.  Since we lived in Montreal growing up, there were plenty of opportunities to indulge their mutual passion for fine food and endless martinis.  But for Mother, somehow the joys of the table never translated into the Joy of Cooking.  So you can imagine her delight when frozen food was introduced and much of her kitchen labor was reduced to slipping boiling bags into hot water or firing up the oven and feeding us all TV dinners at every opportunity. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not My Mother's Vichyssoise


         Cold Soup is ideal to have on hand in summer heat.  You can make this soup up, store it in the fridge and then take it out and finish it off for any occasion.  When houseguests first arrive, they’re inevitably exhausted from their trip and a bit peck-ish.  It’s nice to greet them with a glass this rich, creamy soup and perhaps a tomato sandwich made with farm stand tomatoes on thin-sliced white bread.  This simple welcome will bide them over until dinner.  You can make up a glorious gazpacho, truly fresh tomato soup or you can put a little French accent on the proceedings with this recipe for Vichyssoise, a completely American invention.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

French Onion Soup, the ultimate slow food that can’t be rushed.




Over the holidays, when we were snowbound and had plenty of time to make lunch, I jumped at the opportunity to make French Onion Soup—or at least, some poor misguided soul’s idea of onion soup.   The recipe, clipped from a magazine I’ve since tossed, claimed you could enjoy France’s gift to soup tureens everywhere in 30 minutes.  Tasting nothing like any version of onion soup, foreign or domestic, that I’ve ever had, this flour-y insipid brew was a huge disappointment and a waste of time.  Some things should never be rushed.  French Onion Soup is one of them.