I found myself chopping garlic for my soup today.  Realizing the thoughts that are going through my mind, I think to my nephews and if they were here now.

Would they have the wherewithal to notice my rhythm and that I’m at peace?  Soup is something you have to master in life.

Would they see me break the clove with my fingers and peel off the paper skin effortlessly without a sliver of the paper stabbing me under my fingernail?  Would they see me slide my knife through all three cloves at once and instantly have a small hill of diced garlic hiding behind my blade?

I scoop them up with my knife and push them off into the pot on top of the onions and other vegetables.  Will they see this is not a chore for me, that I could stand there for hours, days, and persuade the tubers and roots to do my bidding?  Will they see my knife dance on the cutting board like a stiff yet agile ballerina?

This I hope they will recognize one day, in themselves.

A song comes to me and I let it play through my mind as I stare out the window and watch the wind.





23 thoughts on “ZenSoup

  1. Your words always paint such evocative pictures, thank you. My grandson is learning to chop vegetables. He works in a kitchen and has progressed to learning knife skills. I hope he can make his knife dance.

  2. After the hammer I think the blade is the second human invention. It has stayed with us since the beginning and should be respected. People over look these things too often, without the blade we would still be smashing coconuts and clamshells on a beach somewhere.

  3. Amazing to read and then, later, when I was in a quiet spot and had the time to thoroughly enjoy, I reread it with the song in the background. Don’t you just love the simple days and times? Your nephews will get it, if they don’t already. My daughters do, and at a fairly young age, and for that I am glad.

  4. I’m fairly sure they have a ways to go yet (the boys). I think the key is not to look for it, you will see it when it’s there. Good to know your girls have the right mindset, it makes sense that they would. College is a great place to gain a mastery of soup aswell. 😉

  5. 11 and 8 I believe. I have a hard time keeping track of those things still. And not very, I only see them a couple few times a year. They are two completely different people too, you’d actually think one of them was my own child if you compared pictures of me when I was his age.

  6. Very appropriate title. I did appreciate this.
    A few times I have lost focus while chopping and ended up with a badly sliced thumb. More careful these days.

  7. All of my dear friends are trained chefs with degrees in the culinary arts, it’s not my profession but I have always had to keep up with the pack. I guess you could say I’m a scratch chef, like those people who play golf just for fun but could rank on the pro circuit. Sometimes we have competitions amongst ourselves a throwdown or cook-off shall we say. I’ve seen a few of them give themselves some pretty nasty cuts over the years.

  8. Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver are self taught chefs and I have heard of a Charlie Trotter from Chicago, as well. . I have Jamie’s cook book and love their food. I’m not too sure about Hestons snail ice cream. I bet you could stand tall alongside any of your friends.

  9. I could do it with my eyes closed. When I worked in restaurants in the front of the house, I would always come in early and help prep the salad station or whatever needed to be done. Thanks for coming by and reading. 🙂

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