S is for Family

S is for family.

Yes you read that right, but let me explain.

Ever since I can remember, we had vegetable soup on Saturdays with pie.

{My favorie pie on Saturdays was cherry…but I didn’t eat the actual cherries…and I got fussed at}

And it was always at straight up noon when the bird sang.

If you knew my great-grandmother, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Literally, as far back as I can remember, we went to Grandma Sallye’s house on the corner of Jackson St. every Saturday at noon to have fully loaded veggie soup with sharp cheddar cheese slices, peanut butter, saltines, and pie.

You may not actually eat/like the veggies in it like cabbage, okra, green beans, onions, tomatoes, etc.. {like me}

But by gosh you had better attempt to.

{And you had better eat the crust on your toast or sandwiches too and the crust on your pie}

So sometimes I got around them with the ladle when I was big enough to serve up my own bowl.

{BUT}

The whole family. It was normal for my brother & I to actually see our great aunts & uncles, tons of cousins, and our grandparents and our great-grandmothers other than holidays because we had soup on Saturdays when the bird sang.

The bird is a big deal obviously.

Grandma Sallye loved birds.

She had a bird clock that sang every hour over the doorway into the kitchen from the den.

And “The Soup” recipe is based off of that clock.

Each hour was a different bird, and that depicts when it’s time to put in different ingredients and when the soup is finished cooking.

Also, the recipe calls for starting soup at 6am. It’s a big deal and a process to get “The Soup” just right like Grandma Sallye.

Something that was also a big deal was her piano.

Grandma Sallye had the most beautiful Steinway grand piano in her dining room that was so very fortunate enough to be allowed to play on.

She started all the grandkids on the piano at very young ages, and then the great-grands.

She was amazing. She had everything memorized practically. She also had all of the classic sheet music and books that I am now also very fortunate to have some of them in my posession to display.

I also had the priviledge to be able to play out of those books & be taught by her how to play pieces correctly.

So as I got older, I was the “lunch time entertainment” where she would listen from the kitchen and I’d be told on several occassions to stop rushing through a piece or to simply slow down.

I was only allowed to play after I’d cleaned my bowl of soup and while everyone was eating pie.

Pie always went with soup {like apparently some people think cinnamon rolls go with chili}. Homemade pie. Homemade crust.

It was all in the details we all remember about soup & pie.

That’s sacred to our family.

Now on the flip side, my Gege makes veggie soup.

Now for the coincidence.

Gege and Grandma Sallye have the same birthday.

My Gege also made veggie soup for me as a child {and as an adult}.

Her soup was different than Grandma Sallye’s, but hers I preferred with a roll of Ritz crackers.

She even wrote that on the recipe.

I can distinctly remember as a child the vintage Pyrex dish she always used to put the frozen soup block in, with a little water over it, to heat up my soup.

It would take a couple minutes, and then she’d lay it out with a dish towel underneath, a roll of crackers, and a glass of water in one of the Disney cups that Burger King used to sell.

{She has them–notice present tense–still to this day and Piper uses them}

It was the go-to meal when she’d keep me when I was sick or if she made a batch, she always made sure she saved me some until I was married and knew how to make it on my own.

Now veggie soup is the go-to for me and Piper for everything.

We have no special occassion for it except eating it together.

I mix the full mix of veggies {minus the cabbage} from Grandma Sallye’s recipe with the bay leaves from Gege’s recipe for a happy medium that we enjoy with our Ritz & Saltine crackers.

So ‘S’ is for family because ‘S’ is for soup, and soup is what brought us and still brings us all together.

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