The Local Table: Friends for soup


By Bradley Robertson

I am not one to choose favorites, but in the genre of seasons, Fall is at the top. I love all the vibrant colors and all the warm food! Fall is the perfect time of year to hang out in the kitchen and serve up something hearty and tasty!
It’s also the perfect season for fellowship with friends and gathering around the table.
We often want to get together for dinner out or wine with the gals, but what about the sweet, southern intimacy of our own home?
We are in a busier place and time than just 10 and 20 years ago. We place more activities on our plate and we do more running around than ever before. So when then, do we decide to stop and celebrate each other?
Laura McKay and Jenny Galimore met more than 10 years ago while teaching together at a local pre-school. Laura recalls that one of the first things that sparked their friendship was food.
“We spent our day with 2-year-olds, but somehow we usually ended up talking about the next meal we were cooking.”
Jenny agrees, “soon after we started teaching together, we would start talking about what we were making for dinner that night. Laura started sharing some of her recipes with me, and I quickly found out I had hit the jackpot with this friend who was an amazing cook!”
One of the first recipes Laura shared was vegetable soup. Both women, having small children at the time and busy husbands, found this dish to be a winner among everyone.
Jenny says, “from the moment I got this recipe from Laura and made it, I knew it was going to be on our dinner rotation. I love it, because it makes a huge pot which can be shared or frozen for another meal. It also sneaks in lots of veggies that my children might not eat otherwise. An added bonus is that it can be made in the crock pot.” 
The idea of recipe sharing is becoming a lost art. With the creation of Pinterest and easy to find Google searches, women actually writing and sharing a recipe is forgotten.
I was given my grandmothers’ recipe box years after her passing. Whenever I open it and see her writing, and the years of wear on her cards, I’m taken back to her kitchen, ages ago, and can almost see her labor of love over her food.
And how often do we actually cook together with our friends? Laughing, dicing and sharing all of life. I’m almost jealous of the ladies from long ago, I’m certain every joy and tear was shared in a kitchen and over food, coffee or tea.
“Cooking with a friend just makes it even better,” says Laura. “It also feels like working together to accomplish something and the end result, a tasty meal, gets to be enjoyed together. I think women cook less in general because everyone is so busy, but I think we are missing out on a lot of fellowship. Taking the time to slow down and share a meal together, from start to finish, allows for more time to really enjoy each other’s company.”
Jenny says, “I feel like we have so many distractions these days that keep us from being able to get together and cook or share a home cooked meal. Recipes and food are something we all love and enjoy! Sitting around a table with family and friends that you love and having conversations while eating make cooking and preparing those recipes all worthwhile. As your children get older, lots of conversations happen around the dinner table. The same is true for friends, we learn a lot about one another through dinner table conversations.”
What a unique gift as well, when a recipe has been handed through many women. Laura recalls this recipe was originally passed to her from her mom. Her mom got it from her best friend who got it from her mother-in-law. Laura says it makes it even sweeter knowing a recipe has been passed through many women who don’t even know each other. 
What special people would you gather around your table this season? Perhaps it’s a good time to think out of our busy norm and prepare something simple and warm with dear friends.
Find your favorite soup recipe and invite over dear friends, perhaps someone you miss.
Chop and stir, laugh or cry and enjoy time to celebrate each other in this beautiful life we lead.
Bradley Robertson is a local mother, wife and creative. She’s an Auburn University graduate, loves good food and getting outside with her family. Bradley enjoys feature writing, as well as southern culture and lifestyle writing.


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