When I was a little girl, my dad "invented" something that has been around forever, I'm sure. But never the less, he would bust out a ten gallon bucket, fill it with water from our pump, and hand us a stick. "Make some soup," were his simple instructions.
Eventually this soup became known as "recipe soup." Kali and I would scrounge around our backyard, tearing off leaves and grass, a pinch of basil from the garden, and the petals from one yellow coneflower. We knew which plants were off limit, and typically Dad didn't want us tearing into the flowers, but for Recipe Soup we were usually allowed a few of their color petals.
Those colors were our favorites, swirling in the murky water of our creation. As we got older we named things as we tossed them in, "Parsley! Pepper! Chili powder!" as the Maple leaves, dandelions, and clover dropped in.
Often the soup would get left to fester in the Missouri July sun, and the smell would nearly bowl us over the next time we stepped outside to play. And even though we "forgot" to dump out the bucket when we were done, Dad still let us return to one of our favorite games.
And though Dad was the one who got us the initial bucket and stick and showed us how to forage, as we sprinkled our "seasonings" in and whisked them around with a fallen stick from the Oak tree, we were imitating our mom. As we dumped in handfuls of acorns and declared them chicken for our chicken noodle soup, we became her, our deft hands transforming into ones we had watched so closely in the kitchen.
And today I busted out a ten gallon bucket from my own garage. I filled it with water. And I helped Blythe find a stick.
And then I watched her make Recipe Soup from my childhood.
She pulled off white flowers from one of our bushes, declaring them cheese as she tossed them in to her concoction.
I snapped a picture and sent it to my sister and one of our childhood friends who made many a pot of Recipe Soup with us with these simple words: "Recipe Soup-- the next generation!" I knew that one picture would take them back to those days we spent stirring and spicing, and I knew they would think of it as fondly as I did.
I foresee many pots of Recipe Soup in our future.
And I hold many pots of Recipe Soup in my past.