MAMA’S MAKING SOUP TODAY

MAMA’S MAKING SOUP TODAY

At breakfast mama tells us all

She’s making soup today,

And we all know just what that means,

We’d better stay out of her way.

 

‘Cause when my mama’s making soup

She makes a great big pot.

And some of it gets canned in jars

Because there’s such a lot.

 

From the garden come the carrots,

String beans and tomatoes,

From the cellar, pa brings out

A bushel of potatoes.

 

From the hen house mama takes

A hen that isn’t laying,

And as she wrings the chicken’s neck

She tells it to start praying.

 

From her herb garden by the door,

She takes parsley and some onions,

Checking stems so carefully,

She only wants the young ones.

 

She tells me to fetch water from

The well, and fill the pot,

And I ask Pa to help me out,

Because it weighs a lot.

 

Mama puts her apron on, and

Sharpens up her butcher knife,

When mama gets that soup look on,

You’d best run for your own life.

 

She’s peeling carrots, chopping beans,

And crushing up tomatoes,

And all the while she’s peeling and

Chopping up potatoes;

 

She throws the peelings out the door

And all the hens come running,

And gather round to hunt and peck

Where the cats are sunning.

 

Pa goes to fetch the mason jars

Stored down in the cellar,

And brings them up for me to wash,

‘Cause I’m such a cordial fellow.

 

Before long, Mama’s kettle boils

With vegetables and chicken,

And anyone who crosses ma

Is sure to get a licking.

 

The canning jars go into a pot

And mama cooks them, too,

And when the soup has cooked enough,

There’s plenty more to do.

 

Pa and I help mama fill

The jars up to the top,

And get the canner boiling

‘Til the water’s really hot.

 

When the jars have boiled enough

And are lined up on the table,

We all have a bite of soup,

And some bread, if we are able.

 

Into the pantry jars will line

The shelves from left to right

And I’ll be thinking of that soup

Long into the night.

 

–Sandra Lee Smith (FROM MY “AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD” SERIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 responses to “MAMA’S MAKING SOUP TODAY

  1. Loved this poem. No one in my family ever made soup! I know my mother mentioned that her mother made soup so don’t know why Mom didn’t – other than my father probably wouldn’t eat it. He wouldn’t eat anything he called “mixed together” like a casserole. Everything in separate little piles – like a little kid! Of course I did the same when young, and ate one thing at a time. Always saved the best thing for last – got the stuff I didn’t like out of the way! Now I do enjoying making soup, and eating it, too!
    Marge N.

  2. HI Marge–thanks for your comments. I grew up in a household where soup was regularly cooked for dinner. We’d have the soup broth–by itself, maybe with some noodles – then the cooked potatoes and carrots and marrow bones from the soup pot were served separately. My father and brothers loved to eat the marrow on crackers. Somewhere when I was researching American presidents, I read about one having soup exactly this same way. I made soup regularly when my kids were growing up–short ribs were very cheap and I would make a huge pot of vegetable beef soup, my mother in law’s recipe–when Jim & I were on a borderline poverty level, I would go to a supermarker and get all the veggies I could find, the limp ones and marked down–and get quite a lot for a few dollars. I think the meat was a dollar or two. We’d eat that soup all week long. (which may explain why Kelly refuses to have any kind of soup for dinner). He doesnt like to eat spaghetti either, says its because we ate it all the time when he was a kid growing up. Well, it was cheap and it was filling. Oh, and my son Steve always had to have his dinner in separate little piles–nothing could touch anything else. thanks for bringing back some memories!

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