Coffee Soup

There’s nothing like a big, steaming bowl of coffee soup to get your morning started off right. The recipe is very simple. All you need is a big, wide cup (or bowl) of coffee and some saltine crackers. Crumble the crackers in the soup, and wa-la…… Okay, I admit, by the time I was eating coffee soup, my Grandma Casey had greatly improved on this Great Depression recipe. We added cream and sugar, lots of each, and then crumbled up the crackers, and sometimes even ate additional oleo-glazed crackers as a side dish. This was not the only Depression era comfort food that my grandma kept in her meal plan, but it was the only one she convinced me to try. When Grandma got older and needed help with many things, including remembering what she was trying to say, I would go through the whole list of her favorites, so I could figure out what to make her for lunch. “Coffee soup, Grandma?” “No.” “Milk toast with sugar?” “Not that either.” “Mayonnaise toast?” And so it went, until Grandma would get frustrated with her stroke-related memory loss, and she would blurt out, “Oh, SHIT!” To which I would reply, “Sorry, Grandma, we used that up yesterday – how ’bout I make you a nice bowl of coffee soup?”

I did share our secret family recipe for coffee soup with my best friend, Linda Kay. She came to enjoy it immensely. Linda figured out how to use the coffee percolator, so that we would have fresh ingredients for our soup, when we were hanging out at her house. Sometimes, when I spent the night with her, Linda would sneak the coffee pot out to the garage while her mom and dad were heading off to bed, so she could surreptitiously brew us up some caffeine soup broth to keep us up all night. I’m quite certain that Linda occasionally had coffee soup for lunch on those rare days when we were off on separate adventures. As far as I know, however, Linda Kay and I were the only kids in our neighborhood who went through the coffee soup phase. That, and the fact that we both had horses, made us practically inseparable.

I know what you must be wondering by now, though, “How can a blog be named after this strange cuisine?!” Because the whole concept of coffee soup is what life is all about, and consequently, what my blog is all about. All of my posts will…sort-of…(if you squint) relate to what coffee soup means to me, i.e. – making-do with what you’ve got, using ingenuity and humor to come up with creative ways to muddle through the tight spots in life without falling into despair, or drowning in bitterness. Use what you have, and MAKE A CHOICE to enjoy it. Pretend like you don’t know any better, and just go with it! Laugh, love, care for the people around you, smile at everyone you meet, count your blessings, eat some coffee soup (okay, well, maybe you should skip that part), but, at any rate, enjoy the moment. It will NEVER come again.

Life is not easy, difficulties come, dreams don’t always come true, we lose (in one way or another) the people we love most – honestly, we face constant challenges in our daily lives – some small, and some enormously overwhelming. But, life is a gift from God, and it is good and beautiful, and your life is a big, unique adventure just for you. Meet with me often, and I’ll try to bring a smile to your face (hopefully, sometimes even a big, belly laugh!), and a longing to your heart – to live deeply, simply, and joyfully, in the midst of this beautiful, but often crazy, world.

Until next time, may you recognize the gifts that come your way. And make jokes about the other stuff….