My Home Smells Like Love
Growing up, our house was That house that smelling like cooking. we were the house that all my friends happened to end up at after school. My parents, being Greek, always had big Sunday family dinners. 20 or 25 for dinner was simply a Sunday.
Once a month or two, Saturday nights were large gatherings of my parents friends... laughter and loud music playing. And so, later, decades later, nothing changed.
Well, except I was the dad, and my two daughters had 20 or 40 friends for a party. or to run in the backyard, or sing into the late night or early morning. Once again, we were THAT HOUSE. Actually, it's the same house I grew up in, only, 30 years later.
As my girls grew, they had parties, too. And the best was Halloween. At first, it was a dozen kids and their parents. It became a tradition that we would serve a few different soups, sometimes three choices on the stove.
But always, a Sausage Tortellini Soup and a Butternut Squash Pear soup. Those two were the big faves. The parents, all hanging out in the kitchen, and helping themselves and other kids, to soups. Little by little, as the kids got older, parents came less and less. but the kids kept coming.
Early in the day, it would start the same way, a couple of pounds (a kilo or so) of Sweet Italian Sausage, no casing, would brown in a pot with Olive Oil.
After browning, I take the sausage out into a bowl, and leave behind a table spoon or two of the cooked fats. Into that, would go the half cup to cup of onion. (might recognize the Green onion and red beard bunching onion from my garden)
After browning the onion and a few sliced garlic cloves, Add in 6 cups or so of beef stock. (abt 1500 ml), and one can of 8oz Tomato Sauce (I used my own tomato from garden sauce)
While the stock is heating, I shred 2 large zuchini, a large cup of carrot, and chop a couple of cups of tomato. (You can used canned diced tomato, or crushed tomato)
A good couple of cups of Carrot, also shredded.
Add in some Oregano, Parsley, and Basil, oh, also add in the sausage and let it all simmer for a few hours.
At this point, the soups would be on my stove, and one by one, my daughters' friends, earlier they were 5 and 6 year olds, and later, teens, would begin arriving. Later, in High School, it was often the only times we would all be casually chatting. The teens, eventually, taking the places of their parents, hanging around my stove, updating me on their lives, and plans. It was a very direct line, that same stove, that eventually, my friends and I, would hang around and chat with my own mom and dad. Same stove, same kitchen, same relationships and drama and teen angst and struggles... separated by decades and not much else.
These days, when we host a party, for my kids... their close friends will come by our kitchen a few hours early, because, they demand to be a part. There's Michelle, on the cutting board. There's Eleanor running the Cuisinart, and others, fetching, opening cans, or simply stirring. Some, sitting and chatting at the kitchen table. Decades and Minutes, its all the same, only the faces change... but not the aroma in my kitchen... not the stove, not the house. Certainly not me, the thread thru the decades...
Somehow, kids seem to think they invented everything, each generation. Sneaking off to kiss a boy or girl in a darkened room of my house. I wonder how long it took before I realized, mom knew. And I wonder, how long it took, until I realized, mom was probably the same with her mom, too. Hearts breaking. Getting in trouble, or arguing with their own parents.
I remember the look on mom's face as she hugged me, crying over a heartbreak at a party. I remember the Halloween party when my oldest daughter's friend was crying about her own lost heart and forever boyfriend. Her sobs in my arms. A tiny barely audible voice saying 'you don't know what it's like.'
I do. I was there... 30 years ago. I was here, same kitchen and stove.
I remember the same aroma... as today's soup I am making. I remember the heartbreak, then. And just last month, when my daughter's friend cried.
The last step, of the soup, is, adding Frozen Cheese tortellini about 15 minutes before serving. Ladle the soup into a bowl, and shave fresh Parmesan and Pecorino Romano. The big soft bowl coozies keeps hands from burning) we hand to the kids, and big warm bowl or soup, that smells like LOVE in my house, are exactly the same. 30 or 40 years ago. Last month. ... and today.
I believe this with my heart.
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Bluefin Studios is a photographer, specializing in wildlife, nature, landscapes, waterfalls and Lighthouses!
To the animals and birds around me
to put more plants in than I take out
And be a good steward for the world around me!