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Fave Memory: My Dad – an excellent cook – did most of the cooking in our house, and this was a favourite hearty lunch or dinner with some nice crusty bread and cheese. He rarely followed a recipe, though – just went by instinct and experience. We lost him earlier this year and I still can't believe I can't just call him up and confirm the ingredients or instructions – so this is to the best of our recollection. He loved everything to do with the sea and I can't think of another dish that reminds me more of my Dad.
This soup was my favorite during childhood and I have sweet memories about pulling the letters to the rim of my plate and making up words and phrases... It was also a fun way to say something nice to my mom and thank her for the delicious soup.
When I was home sick as a kid, I usually spent the day at my grandparents. I have fond memories of my grandma serving Campbell’s tomato soup, and grilled cheese—Velveta and white bread of course😝—and The Price Is Right (Bob Barker thank you) on tv mid-morning. Tomato soup and grilled cheese remains one of my favorite comfort foods, but I prefer homemade soup and gourmet cheese and bread these days!
Fave Memory : One of my favorite memories of food as a kid was spending Saturday afternoons around the kitchen table with my mom, my sisters and my brother making wontons. There is some skill to wrapping wontons perfectly the way my mom did and we all attempted but it we never quite matched it. What we loved was being creative with the wrapping - making egg roll shaped wontons, special delivery envelope wontons and anything else we could think of. The best part was when my mom would take a batch and make wonton soup as we finished up wrapping. I still gather around the kitchen table with my sisters to wrap wontons with my nieces and nephews wrapping wontons in creative ways.
Fave Memory - This recipe always makes me think of my grandmother. Her soup was one of my favorites when I was growing up. After we moved to the States from Finland I missed her cooking and asked her to write down some recipes for me. As a vegetarian, I haven't made this soup in years, but now it might just be fun to try it with temped instead. This is a traditional meat and potatoes soup from Finland.
As I drew this, I was a little taken aback by the emotions that came over me. My grandma was, simply put, an amazing person. She was also a really great cook! It always amazed me how she could put perfectly assembled meals together in, what seemed like, such an effortless way. She made carrot soup for me a bunch of times when I lived with her in high school. No matter how tough of a day I had, I’d walk in and the smells whirled around me like a hug and reminded me that I was “home”. It was so delicious and I loved that she made it just for me. She gave me her recipe but, sadly, I can’t find it anywhere - I really hope one day I stumble upon it. Anyway, I found out later that she actually didn’t even like cooking at all, it always makes me laugh because I was certainly fooled. I also always imagine that if she could do something she didn’t even like doing with such grace and perfection, just think what she could’ve done with something she was truly passionate about. When I think of her now, I remember how much she loved my art, even when I made ridiculously awful drawings in high school, you’d never know it by her reaction. She’d tell me, “don’t forget to sign it, I want proof that I knew how talented you were before everyone else did.” I always knew she was incredible, but I didn’t always realize that having that kind of support and encouragement for your passion was as special and, sadly, as rare it can sometimes be. I’m so lucky to have had her in my life.
Fave Memory (actually two)!
1. When I was little, our Italian grandparents came to visit for a week every August. Each time, Nonnie brought a HUGE tin filled with biscotti and pizzelles. Because this annual treat was just so special, we all individually snuck into the tin to steal "just one". And yet we were collectively surprised when the HUGE tin was empty after only a couple of days!
2. As a youngster, dad was served soup with every meal. We regularly make the cappalletti at holidays, but the pasta fagioli somehow fell by the wayside. My sister painstakingly recreated all of the nuances of Nonnie's recipe. I rarely saw strong emotion from my dad, but he was simply overcome when he tasted my sister's soup, exclaiming that he never thought he'd taste that flavor again. Good work, Sister!