Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Secret Ingredient

Upon reading a friend’s blog about his mother’s chicken vegetable soup in the recent past, I was reminded of how some things cannot be duplicated, even if all the components are seemingly identical.

My Grandmother was neat. She couldn’t have been more than 4 and a half feet tall and her entire life and existence revolved around family. She had a perpetual sparkle in her blue eyes, and it was always a hoot to be around her. My Dad is an only child, and while many people are tortured by domineering mothers-in-law, my grandparents welcomed my Mom into their hearts and treated her as a daughter. My entire family was always a place of love and warmth from every direction.

Grandma made great home made beef and noodles. I mean phenomenal. I could eat them till I pop. She taught my Mom how to make them, and she did so often. I could eat those till I pop too. Mom taught me how to make them. When I bother to do so, I could eat them till I pop.

Mom makes them exactly the same as Grandma did. I make them exactly the same as Mom does. Yet Mom's noodles taste slightly different than Grandma's did, and mine taste slightly different than both.

There’s an oft-used cliché of things being made with love. Perhaps the mysterious and untraceable difference between the three versions is indeed the uniqueness of the love of the maker put into each batch. Could such a component really exist and make a detectable difference?

9 comments:

sidetrack said...

You think along the same lines I do--write about small things people miss as they run around chasing after expensive shiny objects made by children for pennies a day in other countries who need to be out playing.

Heh heh. I just ignor the spammers who troll my blog. Too bad they don't have a life.

sidetrack said...

p.s., forgot to say I'll be reading your blog regularly now...

BStrong said...

I've never wanted soup as much as I do now. Love always makes things better.
Enjoyed reading.
Cheers
Brian

Emit-Flesti said...

You really make me happy.
:)

Tirithien said...

Why, this is interesting...

I was just thinking the same thing a few days ago, as to why a can of tomato sauce tastes different down South than it does at home.

Love is an answer. ;-) The other is the old cast skillet Grandma always used. 120 years old, black as the night and heavy as an anchor, it was her mother's. It now is mine. Years of meals cooked with love flavor mine.

Bougie Black Boy said...

jeesh! I'm jealous. I want your family! Please adopt me.

btw, i finished my 100-list.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

I've noticed the same thing. We may use the same recipe, but my mama's tastes different from my grandma's, and mine tastes different yet.

I think it very well could be love that makes the difference in flavor. If I cook a meal for just myself, it will turn out okay. Good enough. But if I cook for friends and family, it's generally much, much better.

Michael said...

I know what you mean. My grandmother makes the best "pickled cabbage" I try to make it but it just doesn't taste the same!

I had an aunt that was about 4 1/2 feet tall as well, but she was a feisty woman.

Lori said...

My Grandma used to make the BEST molasses cookies. I have tried and tried to duplicate it but just never got them "right". I'm thinking she had a secret ingredient that she failed to put on her recipe card!