Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Recipe with a Story


A recipe is a simple thing. You buy the ingredients, you put them together and you serve it. Done. But sometimes there's more to it. Sometimes a recipe is more than just simply cooking something. Sometimes there's a story that goes along with it. My chicken tortilla soup recipe has a story.

When my youngest son was in college, I began making chicken tortilla soup and he absolutely fell in love with  it. Every time he was home for the weekend, I had to make a batch. He would eat bowl after bowl until it was gone and if there was any left he would take it back to school with him.

Then he went across the country to law school. His visits home weren't as often as when he was in college only two hours away. His first winter in Virginia was hard on him -- a desert kid getting used to cloudy days, cold and snow. He was also studying for his first law school finals and understandably stressed.

I wanted to send him a "care package" and knew the thing he would love receiving most would be some chicken tortilla soup. But how could I get it clear across the country and have it still be fit to eat? My husband said to call FedEx and see if it was possible. And that was the beginning of the most expensive soup ever made!

I made up a double batch of the soup, poured it into a large glass jar (one of the canning kinds with the clamp-down lid and rubber seal), and put the jar in the freezer overnight. The next afternoon I took it out of the freezer and packed it into a small Styrofoam cooler with ice packs all around it. (Unfortunately, dry ice is prohibited by FedEx.) Then I put the cooler into a cardboard box filled with foam peanuts, sealed it up and drove it to the FedEx station where drivers made their last pick-up before heading to the airport. It was 6:30 at night and the soup arrived on my son's doorstep (2,275 miles away) at 9:00 the next morning with the center still frozen. Of course, he poured it into a pan and had some for breakfast!  He says it was the one thing that got him through his first law school finals, not only the warming soup on a cold winter day but knowing how much love went into making it and getting it to him.

Do you have a recipe that has a story attached to it?  I would love to hear it. If you have a blog, why not post about it and join our linky party?  Click  on the "Add Your Link" button below and you will be able to paste in the URL of your image from Flickr or your blog or any photo hosting site. Visit the other photos in the party and feel free to leave comments.

Just wanted to let you know that July's "water" theme will extend through August 3 so you still have a chance to post a shot in our Flickr pool to be considered for an IN FOCUS selection.  And I want to thank all of you who have posted your wonderful "water" shots so far this month.  I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one.




Linky party will stay active through Friday, August 3rd.

18 comments:

Carol said...

Ok, busted! I can bring home the bacon. .....but I am not good at frying it up in a pan. I am a terrible cook, and this story makes me feel like a bad mother because my son goes to college close by and I don' t bring him food.When I was married, my husband was a gourmet cook and did all of our cooking. So, I will look in awe at all your recipes and maybe I'll even try some but I have nothing to contribute;(

Maybe I'll take a picture of food! Incidentally. This soup looks terrific! I do like to eat....

heyjudephotography said...

Well, I'm a good cook, but this story has to do with a store-bought delivery. My husband was in Iraq with the Army National Guard for 15 months. He loves Lorna Doone cookies. So in one of the "care packages" the kids and I sent him, we included some Lorna Doones. He was happy to get them, had a few, wrapped them up, and went on his day. Later that night he came back to his trailor to find ants all of over them. He just stepped outside, brushed them off, and finished eating them! Eww, sorry, I know. But he said he wasn't going to let the ants have those cookies! And along those same lines - when my Dad was stationed in Korea after the Korean War my Mom sent a care package that included a hard boiled Easter egg (?!) When he received it, he peeled it and ate it! Soooo, your photo of your soup looks absolutely delicious, and I'd lovvvve the recipe, but I am glad to hear that your special delivery was delivered still frozen and fresh and enjoyed by your son!

Kim Stevens said...

Oh Terri, I love this little recipie story...so heart warming! I, or I should say we, make homemade egg noodles each Thanksgiving. It's a family tradition that's been around for a loooong time. My husband makes the dough, I roll it up and cut them, and the kids then unroll them and lay them out to dry. It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving with out them.

By the way, I'm coming over for some of that soup - looks amazing!! ; )

Dotti said...

Such a sweet story, Terri! The soup looks yummy! I'm a hot and cold cook. When I'm in the mood, I can whip up some good stuff; if I'm not, it can be pretty mediocre. I tend to cook more in winter than in summer. Sooo ... I'll put on my thinking cap, check my archives and see if I can conjure up a post to link in the linky party. BTW ... I hope others will join the fun ... LET'S PARTY!!!

xo
:-D

Viv (modifica) said...

Terri that looks fantastic my mouth is watering and what a lovely story we will do anything for our kids won't we.....

susan said...

now that's devotion! you have such a great heart terri. so looking forward to catching up with you at oasis! oh...and btw...any chance of you sharing this delicious soup recipe? my family would adore this! ~ xo's, susan

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

this brought tears to my eyes what a great story.

When my kids were little I took a cooking class and one of the recipes I knew my kids would love was the 7 cheese macaroni. I grated and cooked and they helped. They appreciated my efforts! Then after dinner, my younger son said, " this was so good! But next time could you cook the good Macaroni and Cheese?" He meant the Kraft version with the powder cheese!! :)

Not likely I have some food photos. BUT I will check :)
Hugs

Deanna said...

I giggled at the "brushed the ants off and finished eating"...heh, if you love um, eat um.

Deanna said...

This made me LOL...too funny, just like kids!!

Deanna said...

What a great story, I laughed when I read "the most expensive soup ever made"...how very thoughtful of you and your son will have this memory forever!! Love for you to share that recipe!!

Linda said...

You story is so sweet! The things we do for our kids! I know how hard it is to know they feel bad so far away! You're such a good mom! And your soup looks yummy! I included a link to my chicken tortilla soup. (I love a linky party!) I make it frequently during the winter. My family requests it quite often! This recipe came from Whole Foods via a very good friend at least 15 years ago.

xo,
Linda

terriporter said...

Okay, ladies, I'm working on a post on my own blog which will include the recipe for the chicken tortilla soup. Click on my photo on the right and it will take you to my blog. Thanks, everybody for your wonderful stories!

Carol said...

That's why I never got into cooking - as a single Mom, I got that comment alot whenever I tried "something fancy!" If it were up to my kids, I wouldn't even be allowed to put beans in chili!!!! Thiss made me laugh!

Carol said...

This was fun, Terri. And all the pics of your beautiful boys look like they are just filled up with this kind of love! I salute you, Mom <3

Robyn Greenhouse said...

What a sweet Mom you are! I'll have to remember this when my kids go off to college!

kelly said...

such a great story! and what a delicious looking soup!!

i've gotten into the habit of sending care packages to my girl in college. nothing big (or as amazing as soup!) but just little reminders that her momma loves her. in the beginning she said her suitemates were a little jealous so i started sending them stuff too. it makes me so happy.

leigh said...

I just love this story! Truly shows a momma's love for her son :) That soup looks amazingly delicious!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Just beautiful. Let's get together and share some soup soon!
♥ KerriAnne

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