This What-are-you-reading-Wednesday post was written by Kristen Fuhs Wells, communications director at the Indiana Humanities Council.
Today, I’m reading a recipe as I prepare minestrone soup. But not just any minestrone soup, my grandma’s minestrone soup. The soup I despised as a youngster, when anything green made me shudder. The soup my mom wrote out on a recipe card for me when I moved away to college. The soup that gives me the strongest memory of my grandma, who passed away two years ago.
As I’m chopping celery and measuring spices, I’m thinking of her. She’s right next to me, dressed in an apron, hair perfectly coiffed.
And it makes me start to wonder: What will my (future) kids call this soup? Great-grandma’s minestrone soup, after the woman they’ll never meet? Nana’s minestrone soup (after my mom)? Who will they remember when they prepare this meal?
She’s pulling out summer sausage and extra sharp cheddar cheese from the refrigerator. Saltines from the pantry. They’ll go on a small plate, in a circular pattern, and I’ll take them out to the coffee table for Grandpa and me to nibble on while we wait.
In a family full of non-foodies, that’s my strongest food memory. The smell of oregano and basil, cabbage and celery, permeates the kitchen. Minestrone can take a million different forms, but there’s only one way for me, and that’s Grandma’s.