Friday, November 12, 2010

The object #22 Soup Tureen

Yesterday I had STASH, our small art quilt group at my house. We meet in the morning and then either we go out somewhere to lunch or the hostess serves lunch. Yesterday I cooked and we had soup, salad and bread. I served my yummy beer cheese soup in my soup tureen. The tureen was a wedding gift from my aunt and uncle. Our anniversary is next week and I have been thinking about gifts we got for our wedding. It has been 40 years (I KNOW! 40? Really?) so these items are now 40 years old and, honestly, there aren't too many of those 40 year old wedding gifts that we still have and use. The only trace of the many sets of olive green and harvest gold towels that we got are a few rags out in the garage. The three fondue pots went to Goodwill long ago, though now that fondue is kind of back, I almost wish I had saved the nicest one. It was red enamel, with a wooden knob.  I still have my stoneware dishes and stainless flatware and a few other things, but most of the wedding gifts are used up—gone.

And then there is the soup tureen. The morning of the wedding my Uncle Bill came by the house with the big white box. I could tell he was kind of proud of what he had chosen for us and wanted us to open it right away. Out came the soup tureen and when I took the lid off there was a giant sized can of Campbell's tomato soup inside. "Hmmm," I thought. "A soup tureen." I kind of liked it. It wasn't on our gift registry. Something like that hadn't even occurred to me. Most of what we needed and wanted were basic, practical items. One could live quite comfortably without a soup tureen it seemed.

Now, 40 years later that soup tureen represents hundreds of meals I have served my family and friends. We love good, hearty soups and stews. It has held chile verde, and beef Stroganoff and clam chowder and and homemade noodles and minestrone and potato soup and even Campbell's tomato. Often we dish up our soup from the pot on the stove, but when things are a little special, I pull out the tureen and there is something I love about seeing it passed around the table and the feel of its extra generous ladle, dishing up something warm and delicious. When we were first married and began inviting our parents or friends over for meals, as poor as we truly were, I always felt I could make a meal feel like a party by using some of the nice dishes and serving pieces our families had given with such love. I silently thank my Uncle Bill every time I use the soup tureen and every time I shop for a gift for someone's wedding I think of the soup tureen and hope I can choose something that perfect.

12 comments:

  1. What a very sweet story and memory. Lizzie

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  2. I have wanted a beer cheese soup recipe for so long! One of the stores in town serves it during Sample the Season evening ...when the business sold the store the "secret" recipe was part of the contract..so they still aren't sharing it...so will you share yours??? BTW I love your work!! Your blog always makes me feel happy and normal!! Mb

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  3. Nancy A.3:13 PM

    I, too, was given a soup tureen for a wedding presents and also though "Hmmm, soup tureen?" I never did use it once before it was passed on somehow, probably in a yard sale. That I didn't use, but I think I could really use a good beer cheese soup recipe!

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  4. I love your soup tureen, and have always felt special when served something warm and delicious from it. ;-)

    My family was the practical ones, nothing is left from our original wedding gifts, I would have loved a soup tureen, or even a gravy boat.

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  5. Will you post the beer cheese soup recipe? That is one of favorites. Had it in Jackson, Wyoming at the hotel on Spirit Dance Road. Never remember the name of the hotel. Never forget the name of the road!

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  6. We still have quite a few things we got as wedding presents 34 years ago, including our matching Dansk stoneware that initially connected us. The various things are pleasant reminders of the givers. My soup tureen, however, was not as attractive as yours and it was donated sometime back.

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  7. I think we need a good soup tureen. Got any ideas about where one can buy such an elegant one as yours? Soup is a standard around here (easy and flexible) and it would be fun to pretend that we were being upscale instead of lazy:-)

    Baby Marco is too too sweet, too.

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  8. Ditto here for the beer cheese soup. The tureen is beautiful. The story takes me back 40 years. It hasn't been that long has it?

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  9. I remember chuckling to myself about that soup tureen when you first unwrapped it--I couldn't imagine anyone needing or wanting something like that! I now have Mom's tureen and love using it. Oh, and I'm glad I have your Beer Cheese soup recipe, we happily enjoy it here, too. But I noticed that it is not in THE COOKBOOK. How could we have made such an omission?!

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  10. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Terry, I love reading your blog. You are a very good writer. How could a story about a soup tureen be so warm and comfy? I don't know, but you did it. You included elements of your family, your feelings, and sharing. Good job, and you made my day a little more warm also. Thank you.

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  11. That is a beautiful tureen. I really like the story that goes with it.
    Is the tureen metal? How does the soup stay hot?

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  12. << It was red enamel, with a wooden knob.

    Bet it was by Dansk with a black iron stand with room for the little Sterno can- I also had three other fondue sets and this was my favorite for years. The first two ugly ones disappeared, then the 'good one' was sold at a yard sale and of course I too wish it back. Thanks for the soup recipe- very much like one I used to make too! But I've only been married for thirty eight years, still working on catching up!

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