If you haven't guessed by now, I'm old school—a Millennial trapped in a Generation-X body. There's this constant tug-a-war in my mind between conservative and progressive. Fighting the incessant need to unlearn countless childhood ideals, yet there remains a want to hold on to my traditions. So in a 'eat or be eaten' world, I got to thinking about, of all things, soup!
Back in my day, Campbell's Soup bought out a new line of what they called Chunky Soup. These more giant cans of extra-plump ingredients boasted of being so hearty that it can be as filling as having a full course home-cooked meal. The thing is, the mixture is so thick and beefy that although it's a soup typically eaten with a spoon, it's so rich it could also be eaten with a fork. In relationship terminology: Get you a girl that can do both!
Well, you can imagine, my established in the 80's brain was thrown for a loop when folks started figuratively saying "..... out here lookin' like a snack." I tell ya, leave it up to us to equate everything to food. Anyway, is it just me, or hasn't everyone's parents preached 'snacking ruins your appetite?' Golly, now I'm in a pickle! Is the goal to focus on looking like the quick fix to someone's munchies, or should I slave over this hot stove for a longer filling effect? Meaning, should I be more concerned about my social media rating? Or should I hone in on adding capital to corporation 'me?' Believe me, there are worst things than being resourceful (insert sarcastic emoji). After all, soup is everything that satisfies in just one bowl. It's that place where all the food on a plate can touch, and no one thinks it's gross!
Nothing brings people together like food.
Any good islander would tell you, not any ole' body can make soup! Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT throwing everything into a pot and waiting until it boils. It requires 'know-how' and a time-honoured level of finesse. Makes me kinda wonder, are you thrown together and predictable? Is encountering you like having the same meal every day, at the same time, in the same spot, while sitting in your favourite chair? Or are you like a steaming hot breakfast, that most important meal of the day, that sticks to the bones? Maybe you're the kind of person where anything that buck-up goes? Either way, are you happy with you?
Now I must say, everyone doesn't share the same need or appreciation for certain meals. Some folks are breakfast people; others are not. Some people skip lunch but need dinner, while many have been thinking about lunch since breakfast. Then there are people, like me, who'd eat breakfast in the morning and have an affinity for breakfast for dinner. I suppose that confirms the theory, "You're not everyone's cup of tea!" In my opinion, soup is an any-time-of-day kinda meal. A smaller portion makes it right for breakfast. A slightly bigger serving makes it perfect for lunch. However, portions know no bounds with soup for dinner, and that makes it just right. Naturally, I began to wonder, is your personality too much to handle first thing in the morning, where you give of ratched vibes? Are you coming in heavy on the petty and can't let anything go? Is your drama level always on 100, and people would rather text you than have an actual conversation with you? Are you too intense to deal with before bed? If so, then sorry friend, it means you are like a bad case of heartburn. I don't like that look for you. See if you can work on that!
It spreads like butter.
Being an island girl, any cook worth their weight in gold knows that the secret to a good pot of soup is all in the preparation. It's having all the necessary ingredients assembled, so there is a continuous flow when building those flavourful layers. So, are you building flavours (distinctive qualities) and allowing them to simmer over low, slow heat (with time)? Like, is your spiritual convictions concrete, or do you straddle the fence depending on who you're in the company of? Are you working on your triggers, or are you burnt like a meal cooked on high heat (bitter)? Is your communication skills improving, or even after the eleventeenth argument over the same thing, are you still clueless? Mind you, the Bible does advise, no matter how much you get, for the love of God, get understanding! (Proverbs 4:7)
I think you can agree; nothing pairs with a velvety soup like some hot, buttery bread. Watch it now; that butter needs to be room temperature and not hard and cold before spreading. You already know I have to ask, are you easy-going, or are you like that no-name brand margarine that drags pieces of bread with every stroke? Layman's terms: are you the kinda chick that makes a man opt to live on the corner of a rooftop rather than with you? (Proverbs 21:9) Let me put it out there that working on your character should be more about you than trying to land the next Harry Mountbatten-Windsor. Think of it this way; if you never pick up the spoon to eat the soup, no one stays hungry but you! Understand me, easy by no means pushover. It's simply unproblematic, which equals less complicated.
One serving or two.
Bahamians know there need only be a cloud in the sky, and suddenly the whole island is in sync. Everywhere you go, everyone is chiming the same signature phrase: "Boy, I feel like eatin' some soup!" It tells me soup is not just filling; it's comfort food. Growing up, it was the perfect antidote to any sickness. A hearty soup with goodly meat and vegetable content is said to boost your immune system while still managing to have a calming effect. And unlike most other meals, one man-sized serving has the ability to satisfy for much longer. In other words, can you make anything better with your mere presence?
Now here's where it gets tricky. Everyone's soup doesn't taste the same. Us island folk swear by that one person who knows how to do soup right. That person who always hits and never misses. I mean, that individual that knows how to put their foot in it. The consistency of their soup is par excellence every single time. Usually, to know this, you would have had to encounter a lousy bowl at some point. Perhaps someone who forgot to brown the herbs at the beginning of the process. But think of it this way, if you have nothing to compare it to, then everything would be tasty to you, right? But let me just put it out there, once one person knows your soup is trash, trust and believe they will tell everyone about it. It's the reason grammy those would say, "That's why ya can't eat from everyone pot!" The best thing about having a good pot of soup is that as long as the person it is designed to feed is satisfied with its contents, you're golden. Unless you're a professional chef, don't spice your pot to please the masses; customize it for the one palette it's meant to satisfy. Layman's terms: Focus on 'home.' Mind ya business and drink your water. The upside, even if your soup was a mess before, there is always room for redemption.
We've all heard that running joke, that regardless of how mad your girl is at you, ask her this one question, and it's guaranteed to make her smile. "You hungry?" No matter what's going on in our lives, we can still manage to eat for the most part. There is no greater joy than hearing, "Dinner is ready!" Can it be said that there is an immediate delight at the announcement of your arrival? Or at the mention of your name, folks have a desire to leave the room? Look, while we may not live in a time where women are required to walk 10 paces behind men in silence, I (me, NOT you) believe there is an undeniable power in gentleness. Like I always say, you can be considered a piece (meat) or peace (a place of rest), but you can only be both to the right person. "Don't mind the noise in the market; it's the price of the fish that counts," was something I always remember hearing in my childhood. Which simply means, don't worry about what is being said, but focus on what is. At least that's my interpretation.
I know sometimes it seems I'm just like everyone else. Coming off as if I'm pushing the agenda that the only reason any of us should get ourselves all the way together is for the need to land and somebody's son. Listen that couldn't be further from the truth. I promote being a better you because that's what Jesus wants for you and like soup, being healthy, happy and whole is always 'in season.' There is never a time that a bowl of soup isn't welcomed. Just like there's never a time that encountering a pleasant and content individual isn't a needed breath of fresh air. Won't you like when you leave the presence of someone their thoughts of you is that you are "M'm, M'm good?'" Wouldn't you feel fulfilled knowing that your depth of wholeness feeds a person's soul, and it can be said of you, "Compliments to the chef!"
Snacking may take the edge of the craving for a short time, but there's nothing like that bowl that eats like a whole meal! If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and that's your end goal, you'd better learn to chef it up, on and off the court. As the old folks say, "a hungry dog will eat raw corn," but isn't it better to be chosen than be the last resort? Think about it!