Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Jarvis & Peanut Soup
There is no real need for soup making anymore, because people of Nickelsville enjoy cooking themselves + HAVE a kitchen; it's more like a social nowadays - I get to visit with friends and find out what's new; and if we spend time making food it's just a good old fashioned way of spending time in a friendly manner. True, we are trying to make fairly healthy food, as lots of stuff donated is mostly cans and food boxes - not always healthy...
But being able to exchange hugs with Richard (he and I know each other 2.5 years now), getting to know Jarvis, catching up with Jeremy and Andrea, seeing adorable 4 y.o. LeAnn and finding out what's new in life of her family (they are waiting for housing news next week; mom is still planning on next post office exam - I found that out from dad, who was on the guard duty) or simply bumping into ever-happy, always-cooking Mike or his wife Tracy who looks you in the eye with the most concerned smile, or seeing people walking the dogs out - well, soup is just a nice diversion from it all.
Many people keep commenting that they appreciate soups being vegetarian. It wasn't always like this: when Nickelsville was on the church parking lot I often went out of my way to add meat or sausage, for animal protein and fat would make staying outside through the cold nights easier. Without much planning soups became meatless as soon as Nickelsville moved to the fire station; it crossed my mind a few times that perhaps meat could be added, but won't bother - apparently lots of people crave vegetarian meals. Also noticed that the soups end up less spicy/hot nowadays - another change from the days when spicy/hot was desired to raise the body heat.
Jarvis and I cooked West African Peanut soup - seems a favorite of Nickelsville, so it kinda became a Monday Soup, while Thursday is turning out into the 'review of the week soup' - whatever we find needing processing into soup. Jarvis was curious what makes it West African, and pointed out that West Africa grows peanuts and sweet potatoes - which we used; he also wondered if it could be enhanced with meat or fish - probably so: chicken from the start or shrimp on the end.
Carolyn showed up in the kitchen about the time Jarvis needed a break and the change of hands was amazingly seamless: one minute Jarvis chops the veg and we chat about an interesting book he read (I still need to get the tittle), I turn away for a moment to stir the soup only to find Carolyn where Jarvis left, we now talk about her years studying literature at NYU - all without stopping the process of soup making. Looks like Nickelsville community figured out a way of communicating and functioning way more efficient than many other groups in of our society...
While Carolyn and I are trying the soup for final seasoning somebody stops by the sink and complains: 'who made all that mess here, without washing?'... Sorry, it was me, and I'll clean it up shortly, I said, but Jarvis and Mike showed up instantly: don't worry, we will take care of this. What a kitchen to be in!:)