Gilda Claudine Karasik ponders the similarities between cooking and love poems.
By Gilda Claudine Karasik
Just the other night, I sat across from a poet and tried to figure him out. We talked about writing, both the craft and the urge to do it. For him, writing is a personal endeavor, his intention being primarily to get the words out of his head and onto paper. He is a writer who writes for himself.
This strikes me as mysterious and I ponder the conversation while cooking a few days later. As I peel and chop vegetables, my mind wanders and I begin thinking about my friend, Valerie, who shared her tomato soup recipe with me recently. It occurs to me that sharing recipes and cooking for others is much like writing a poem for a lover or reading a story to a child, the common denominator a desire to impart something earnest and special.
Maybe my perspective is a byproduct of an extroverted personality, as my poet friend (a classic introvert) suggested while we bantered about why we each like to write. Me? I have things to say, stories to tell, recipes to share. I write (and cook) for others because I find happiness in the notion that someone might like my stories, enjoy what I enjoy, experience what I experience, feel what I feel when I read a good piece of writing or eat a delicious piece of pie. Because maybe the need to share, whether through writing or cooking, is as primal as the act of writing for one’s self.
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 4 or 5 large carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 10 Roma tomatoes
- 2 cups tomato sauce*
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot.
- Mince the carrots, celery and onion in a food processor.
- Add to the oil and sweat until the onion is translucent.
- Finely chop the tomatoes (or dice in a food processor).
- Add the tomatoes to the vegetables in the pot and cook down until soft.
- Add the chicken stock and tomato sauce.
- Add spices and simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Once the carrots have cooked through and are soft, use an immersion blender or regular blender to purée some or all of the soup, depending upon your preference for texture.
- Add the cream and return to the pot to simmer for another 15 minutes or so.
Gilda Claudine is a lawyer and freelance writer. She blogs about Mexican food and culture at www.dosgildas.com and about writing at www.dkwritings.wordpress.com. She is currently working on a her first novel.