Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Love, Live and Give Back

I shamelessly stole that title from a Thanksgiving blog on my company’s “Water Cooler.”  I must say, this is not the first title I’ve seen that’s a takeoff on Eat, Pray, Love.  Our “Water Cooler” is usually more work oriented, so this one really caught my eye.  It made the point that “what we do is not who we are — How we live. Who we love. What we give back — that's the good stuff.”

It’s way too easy to lose sight of that sentiment when you’re working long hours and connected to work via phone and email seven days a week.  The lines have definitely blurred through the years.
So, it was nice to read the reminder to take a moment to think about family and friends and those who are no longer with us. The blog made me think of my dad, whose favorite part of Thanksgiving was the turkey soup he made from the turkey leftovers.  To this day, I’m the only one in the family who makes that soup almost every year. 
There never was a written recipe, just what my dad threw in the pot. And, that of course, could change depending on what was on hand.  If there were carrots, it contained carrots. If we had fresh parsley, that went in the pot too.  The constants were the turkey stock, orzo, onion, celery, oregano, garlic, fresh lemon, salt and pepper.  He was known to throw in a stick of butter too, though I often omit that last part.  I’ve just gotten too health conscious to add butter on a regular basis. My addition is often fresh basil if I have some on hand.
A friend, who managed several different Atlanta restaurants in the 80’s, even used Daddy’s recipe for her soup counter one year. My dad was a great cook, messy, but great. He rarely used a recipe and he never encountered a kitchen he couldn’t completely make a mess of.  The results were always worth it, though it always fell to his daughters to clean up before Mother became apoplectic.
My sister is preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I’ve already put in my request for the turkey carcass so I can make my soup Friday.  And, I’ll remember Daddy and smile as I do every year at this time.