Even though autumn officially started more than a week ago, and we even had some cooler temps and rain to suggest summer had moved south for the winter, the weather pulled a Brett Favre and came out of retirement. It was good timing because we had the house painted last week and all we needed were three good days.
We got them.
Sunshine = new paint on the house = happy me.
But all good things must come to and end--or, at least, September and warm temps had to come to an end--and so it seems the clouds and rain and crisp mornings are here to stay.
Since I'm a summer loving girl, I can't say that I'm excited for fall but since it does happen to arrive every.single.year. at about the same time I should just get over it and enjoy what we got. Especially since what we got today was the return of Soup Night. Every first Monday of the month from now until June, everyone on the Family Farm will meet up in my kitchen to catch up and eat soup.
(Photo from last year, but soup in pots pretty much looks the same no matter when it was taken. And I still have that green and black pot-holder!)
It was a perfect day for soup--my only plan was to clean the house and make soup, allowing me to leisurely chop up vegetables. And the outside temperature was just cool enough to make us believe that maybe we needed to drink something warm.
I knew what we were making: corn chowder and Stone Soup. Jules decided several weeks ago that we needed to make Stone Soup for Soup Night. She and Jason had gone down to the creek and gathered stones, which we washed and boiled and set aside, ready to be put in the pot.
This morning Jules got the stones, put them in the crock pot, and then with only minor assistance from me, assembled the soup according to the narrative/pictures in this version of Stone Soup. As it turns out, soup is perfectly suited to being made by kids. Spices can be shaken haphazardly, vegetables can be imperfectly cut, and if the parsley gets on the counter or the broth sloshes out of the bowl, it's no big deal. Soup is forgiving.
All morning, the soup cooked in the crock pot, and when my niece came into the house she inhaled deeply and said, "That smells good!"
Eventually 5:30 rolled around, and everyone wandered over to fill our home. We talked about the house being painted, talked about missing Uncle Don, talked about babies being born, and kids at school.
We slurped up corn chowder and stone soup, munched on bread slathered with butter and jam. The countertops filled with apple pie and chocolate cookies, the dining room table filled with empty bowls and crumpled napkins. The kids built forts and wrangled with each other, the rain streaked down the windows.
Last year, Soup Night started with an invitation to come hold newborn Addie and treasure the time we had left with Uncle Don. This year, Soup Night started with stones in a pot, gathered from the creek where we spent our summer days.
The story of Stone Soup is about people coming together, bringing a little of this and a little of that to create something wonderful. The people weren't perfect, but it didn't matter. Haphazard, imperfect, messy people pair perfectly with soup.
That is the beauty of soup nights.