Friday, December 17, 2010

caldo verde (or, how to bridge the past and the future)

emmi had soup for lunch the other day. it was an ordinary day, and it wasn't the first time she's had soup, but it was significant. the soup she had was caldo verde, a portuguese soup made from collard greens. again, not out of the ordinary, i have been eating it all my life. but this batch was different.

as i've said before, my dad died the same week we found out kathy was pregnant, so she will never ever get to meet her grandfather. he loved cooking, and as kathy can tell you, i've picked up a lot of his mannerisms in the kitchen. as a function of having a wife, three kids, a mother-in-law, and whomever of our friends who happened to be over for dinner that night, he was fond of making huge batches of stuff and freezing them: chili, spaghetti sauce, etc. and caldo verde. a few months ago, i had found a batch in the freezer that he made before he died and had given to me. the night before, we decided to have it for dinner, i knew what it was and what it represented, but it didn't occur to me until the next day when i said i'd give some to emmi for lunch that it really hit me: here she is, eating something made for her by her grandfather. i'm not really too big on the sentimental stuff, but this kinda just felt like a big deal to me. it was something of my dad's that he created that i can share with her. it kinda makes me feel like he is a part of her life, even though he isn't here.

emmi ate it and loved it. and so did i.

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