Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Making soup is good for my soul . . .

WHAT I'VE LEARNED IN 57 YEARS AS A MAN, part 4:


My parents divorced when I was 7 years old and I went to live with my father.  He soon remarried a wonderful lady who had two children -- a son who is 2 days different in age than I am (he's older!) and a daughter who was 3 months younger than my sister.  (Both sisters are 5 years older than us boys......go figure!)  We were definitely part of a new culture in America -- the dysfunctional family!
My stepmother ran a beauty shop in Conroe, my father worked in a machine shop in Houston.  So, they bought a brand new house about mid-way between the two off of I-45 and West Mount Houston Road in a subdivision called "Hidden Valley."  The six of us lived in a 3-2-2 that had just under 1200 square feet.  (Imagine that today!)

My stepmother (whom I love to this day, as she is the last living semblance of a parent) was off on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.  But I learned to cook somewhat from my father, who really did most of the cooking.

My father's family immigrated here from Italy and, like most Italians in those days, were in the grocery business where he learned to never waste food.  That was the beginning of my propensity to make soup.

You see, Thursdays were my stepmother's late nights at the beauty shop . . . she didn't get home until 9 or 10 pm after lacquering all those blue-haired Texas women's tops all day and into the evening. These were the worst nights of all at home.

My father routinely took every bite of leftovers -- no matter the scrap -- put it all into a pot, and boiled it.  And just like a box of choc-lits, (a Forrest Gump-ism), you never knew what you were gonna git.

Mine has no clams or mussels
And so, I flew with this concept in my later life . . . and take great pride in turning all my leftovers into TASTY soup.  You see, the "good-for-my-soul" part is my ability to make this pot of leftovers highly desirable!  Usually, I take them to the office and the entire pot is gone by day's end, every time.  (Of course, what food-stuff ISN'T gone in an office?)  I remember the first broker I ever worked for in 1975 who could scrape green mold off of anything in the refrigerator and eat it cold. Yuck!

Nonetheless, I am known for bringing tasty soups to the office.  Now you know -- it's all Joe Ferreri Leftover Stew.......thanks, dad . . . I knew there had to be something I gained from you, other than Italian cuss words!

Today, however, agents/staff at RE/MAX Top Realty can anticipate "fresh" soup -- made without a single leftover.  "Italian Cioppino" today, or "Italian Seafood Soup," chock full of octopus, squid, shrimp, and a variety of other chopped bits from the sea.  My soul is nourished . . . .