Every family has its arguments. Some may quibble over which side of the bed on which to sleep or which direction the toilet paper comes off the roll. Some might get set off by what game to play or movie to watch. But in our house, the thing that is sure to make voices rage and tempers fly is soup.
And it’s mostly my fault.
I come from a long line of soup eaters and anyone who knows me knows I love soup more than I probably should. Chicken soup when someone has a cold, Christmas soup, soups for every season. For me, soup is not only special and momentous, but realistically a vat of hot, delicious liquid with a bunch of stuff in in that has given its flavor to the tasty liquid I love to scoop out, spoon by spoon, until the urge overtakes and I can’t take it anymore so I put down my spoon and lift my bowl and drink the rest of it all up.
My family tends to disagree. While my ideal soup is stuff in broth, their ideal soup is just a bowl of stuff, lightly moistened by a liquid. If given the choice, they would choose a fork instead of a spoon, stab and shovel out all the pieces and parts, and leave the leftover broth in a sad puddle next to the sink on the counter waiting to be washed because as much as I love them and soup, I’m not going to drink their leftover brothy backwash.
The same scene unfolds nearly every time I make a pot. The aroma fills the house, the feet come pitter-pattering over to the kitchen. Bowls are grabbed. Ladles are dipped. Broth is strained. And into the bowls goes a pile of all of the ingredients I spent time chopping into little bits.
This is when the yelling begins, the same yelling that is done every time unless it’s a chowder, but that’s its own story.
"People, this is soup. This is not stew, this is not stoup, this not to be eaten on a plate. You can look it up in the dictionary and you will find that soup is a liquid dish where meat or vegetables are boiled in water to make it taste good. This is not something to eat with a fork and so help me, if by the time I get myself a bowl there is nothing left but broth I’ll never make soup again. Or stew. Or stoup. And if you get a cold you’ll have to get your chicken noodle from a can." (And then I add another "From a can!!!" for extra dramatic effect.
Cruel and harsh punishment that I’ll never follow through with, but will still threaten at the end of every session on my soupbox, spoon raised.