#88, Make Split Pea Soup
I made split pea soup today. It was cold and rainy and I thought I’d better make it while the weather still makes eating it a rational act. A few days ago when it was 94 degrees, I thought perhaps I’d waited too long.
I used a simple Ina Garten recipe and I fried up a pound of bacon for garnish. I like croutons with split pea soup, but I had my hands full with a huge vat of chili mac and a sheet pan of brownies I was making for the kids, so I didn’t get that far.
I also started making turkey burgers for my oldest son who doesn’t like chili mac. I texted him to let him know the burgers were ready. He walked into the kitchen and looked at me and said, “I feel like you’ve been cooking for two days.” And then he gave me a small fleeting smile and left again. I love this kid so much. Sometimes I feel like he is the only one who really sees me.
Penny De Los Santos, the photographer I took a workshop from last week, told us a story about an assignment she once had for Saveur. She was hired to shoot a woman in east Los Angeles who makes goat barbacoa in a pit in her backyard. The process takes days and Penny documented every part of it, from slaughter to table. Penny said that when the shoot was over and it was time to leave, the woman who had been reticent at first, hugged her tight as if she didn’t want to let her go. It occurred to Penny that the woman who’d been making this goat alone in her yard for years, had never been celebrated. Penny was moved when she realized that the woman was just grateful to be noticed, happy to have someone interested in her skill, interested in her life.
We all need to be noticed, even if what we’re doing isn’t that interesting– especially when what we’re doing isn’t that interesting. We need to know that we matter.
My friend Susan lives in Texas so we don’t see each other very often. When my kids were small and we would talk on the phone, she would always ask what their favorite toys were. I loved her interest in them. If Ethan preferred trucks, or Tess cooed over dresses, or Joseph was obsessed with dinosaurs, learning about their favorite toys told her who they were that day. From morning to night, the kids were everything my life was about in those days, and Susan knew that. Asking the questions meant that we all mattered. Our narrow days were interesting to her because she loved us. I adored her for that.
Today was not my most interesting day. I went to the market. I made basic food, and washed dishes, and made more food and washed more dishes. People scooped food onto plates and disappeared to their corners to eat it.
We all have days like this. Days where we are going through the motions. We’re tired, or not feeling well, or just have chores to do. Today was a day like that for me.
But love made me visible. It made me matter. It made my day.
265 days to go!