Here is a bittersweet true story guaranteed to make you smile. I did NOT
smile at the time! LOL I made a delicious lentil soup today. It really
was good. As anyone who cooks can tell you, you can make something the
same way many times, and it can be a little different in taste each
Back to the lentil soup. It was good. Pop was reflective while
eating it. A little bit of history helps at this point.
When I first
began making lentil soup, I would sometimes add some ham, bacon,
or the little smoked franks for added flavor and heft. Mom always liked
when I did that, and I usually did everything I could to add different
tastes to get her to eat while she underwent cancer treatments.
Mom died and I became the sole cook in the house, Pop told me not to
make the lentil soup with the smoked franks, he wanted it plain. I
complied with his wishes, and I haven't made the soup with any meat in
it since 2007, the year Mom died.
Today, while eating his soup, Pop
began talking about his 3rd career-after retirement-while working in a
bank where he was entitled to eat in the dining room. He said that he
remembered eating lentil soup there and the chef had made it with the
little smoked franks. He said it was delicious, and asked me if I would
ever consider making it that way. "Not that I want to tell you what to
do, but I think it would be a good idea to try it that way maybe once,
just to see how it would come out."
My spoon stopped in mid-air, just
inches from my mouth. I said, "What did you just say?" He repeated it. I
told him I always used to make it that way and that he didn't like it
and told me not to make it like that ever again. Of course, he denied
it, and asked me sharply where I would ever get an idea like that. "Do
you think you could do it like that, just once?"
I'm no psychologist,
but I studied enough psychology and read enough of it for fun to have an
idea of what the little smoked franks were all about. I think they were
tied to my Mom, and anything I prepared that she liked and was not
around to enjoy was distasteful to him. Now he's moved on enough to want
to try the little smoked franks in the lentil soup. Of course, without a
doubt, I will comply! The very next time. Love you, Pop!