Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Is soup a lifestyle? It certainly is the recovering-from-pneumonia lifestyle. Lucky for me, I like soup; it's not the worst way to live.

Soup was also the lifestyle during the U.S. Great Depression of the 1930's. My mother and father told us many stories about growing up during that time, how precious every cent was, how they wasted nothing, bought nothing they didn't need. Sound like a Suze Orman speech? Oh yeah.

My mother lived through the Dust Bowl as well as the Depression. She grew up in eastern Colorado, a truly God-forsaken place. Taken from her mother because of her "indecent lifestyle" (my grandmother was a crazy flapper), my mother was raised by her grandparents who were bible-thumping Baptists. It could not have been easy, but my mother never complained about it. It just wasn't her style.

I've been thinking a lot about the Great Depression of late because of the financial crisis our country is in the midst of. Living the soup lifestyle as I am right now, for whatever reasons I'm compelled to do so, makes me wonder if sometimes I don't take the shamanic dance of alignment too far. Sheesh.


Barbara said...

Fortunately soup does not have to be Campbells-out-of-a-can. Almost every day my lunch consists of ravioli in chicken broth that also contains shallots, ginger, shitake mushrooms, fresh dill, and whatever else I might forage in the refrigerator. I love soup! A diet of soup doesn't sound half bad.

Reya Mellicker said...

It's also a pretty good weight loss plan. Who knew?

I think the Great Depression was also a very fine weight loss plan. Yikes.

Barbara said...

Yes, your full belly doesn't know the difference between carbs, fat, and water. Of course, I always treat myself to a square of dark chocolate for dessert, figuring I am deserving of a few more calories, but since you gave up chocolate, maybe a banana for dessert? :)

Soon I fear every aspect of our lives will be on a diet of sorts. Maybe it was time for us to realize we lived in an unreal bubble and shed some of the luxuries we always took for granted.

Steve said...

I like the soup lifestyle, personally -- though I need to move away from Progresso and toward homemade! (Progresso=too much sodium, too expensive)

tut-tut said...

I hope you're feeling better and rested, Reya.

As for soup: a weekly staple here. Soothing, nourishing, cheap. If you have a flame-tamer on which to let the pot simmer, you are hands-off, too.

lacochran said...

Soup rocks!

I hope it does the trick and gets you well... like now!

Washington Cube said...

I make most of my soups from a cookbook called Skinny Soups, written by two women who live in this area (and it's in paperback)...they have a whole "skinny (read healthy) section of books. I just made their minestrone and got eight meals out of it.

lettuce said...

soup is great, i love soup

i've made some great fridge soups in my time...

(ie. whats in the fridge)

goatman said...

Nice shot into the sun; those're hard to do.
Soup and the depression remind me of those cartoons where the guy is boiling a shoe in the pot, and eating the strings first like spaghetti. mmmmmm
I have yet to see any reaction on the blogs I visit, save yours, about the current financial conditions. Hasn't affected anyone yet I guess; still waiting for whats gonna happen??
I like your blog.

edward said...

please get plenty of rest! pneumonia is very very very serious! hope you have a nurse and not too bad fevers and chills and sputum and stuff. Nothing to mess around with please rest!

I hate the doctor but i still go. sigh, i need shots soon and my neutering--i wonder what that is...

Reya Mellicker said...

Dennis understands how important the doctor is.

My doctor is fabulous. She even called me today to check on me. Who does things like that? She is very good and I am recovering, slow but sure, with lots and lots and lots of soup.

I made coffeecake with pears today, too. But I rested. Promise.

Washington Cube said...

So while you're resting, give us your coffeecake recipe.

Merle Sneed said...

I had soup for luch just today. Yummy!

Miranda said...

Ah I love soup. Reminds me of my grandfather. Every evening we'd walk over to his house for dinner. Every evening, soup. And sometimes, if we were lucky, bread and jam for pudding! I love those memories. And I'd still prefer to just have soup for dinner.

Hope you're feeling strong again soon - but don't try to get up too quickly now!

Val said...

i love soup for dinner! dont do it often enough - thanks for reminding me.
Did a cabbage soup diet once... it was ok on the first day, but i never made it to the finish.... eugh.
chicken soup is the best for healing isnt it?
keep on getting stronger Reya - we need you :-)

Reya Mellicker said...

Cube - The coffeecake recipe is straight out of The Joy of Cooking - the sour cream coffeecake. I used yogurt instead of sour cream, and tossed a couple of cups of peeled, sliced pears on top of the batter, underneath the streusal. I gotta say, the coffeecake rocks.

Barbara Martin said...

When the weather turns colder, as it has the last couple of days, I begin making chunky homemade soup. It satisfies, along with a piece of crusty bread or roll. For an alternate meal I make a small vegetable salad with lettuce, celery and carrots. If you have an apple, orange or what have you, then you'll be healthier than you were before and thinner.

Then once a week have your treat: a "slice" of cheesecake, pie, coffeecake, etc. A square of chocolate is good for you, just not the whole bar.

My mother lived through the Depression, too, and she did say her family were the lucky ones because of living on a farm. They always had something to eat.

If you have windowboxes, try growing tomatoes, beans, peas; or if more fortunate, a yard, then you could consider growing potatoes. Before you gasp in horror, when I was growing up with three older brothers, growing like weeds, my parents put in a garden of vegetables behind our new house. We were the only ones in the neighbourhood that did that; and we shared the chores of hoeing the plants.

In the summer, we went for vacation to the Okanogan in the interior of British Columbia where the fruit growers are. Guess what we brought back in the trunk? Two bushel baskets of fruit which ended up being canned (my lucky assistant job).

Doing these things helped us to get through expenses, enabling us to go on vacation every summer. Sometimes to interesting places like the "Going To The Sun" highway in Glacier National Park, by car and camping.

Hope I haven't bored you to tears.

Reya Mellicker said...

You haven't Barbara. My mother loved gardening, and was pretty good at growing vegetables, too.

Today I was thinking about Wendell Berry, a great farmer and thinker.

I love Glacier National Park!! Wow. One of the most beautiful places I've ever visited.