CREDOS : Gram’s soup pot — II

If I could come back here as something else, it would be a bird - a big red one,” she’d say. “Why,” I used to ask. “Because birds are beautiful. They fly like God’s angels.” So birds became a part of our routine. As a child, I would accompany Gram feeding pigeons in the park, songbirds in the garden, and seagulls at the shoreline.

Years later, I think I tried to recapture some of Gram’s affinity with nature. One winter to celebrate the solstice, I coaxed my husband to help me in assembling an elaborate bird

feeder outside our kitchen window. For weeks, I’d fill it with “gourmet” birdseed, only to have the wind scatter them. Looking back, I had never seen a bird near the feeder, so I eventually stopped filling it.

But as much as Gram enjoyed her birds, meals were her mainstay — occasions to be planned, savoured and enjoyed. Hot, sit-down breakfasts were mandatory. The preparation of lunch began at 10:30 every morning, with homemade soup simmering, and dinner plans started at 3:30 p.m. with a telephone call to the local butcher to make a delivery. Gram spent a lifetime meeting the most basic needs of her family.

Later that Monday evening as I stopped to pick up yet another take-out meal, my mind travelled back to her kitchen. The old oak kitchen table, with the single pedestal...the endless pots of soups, stews and gravies perpetually simmering on the stove top... the homey tablecloths stained with love. —