Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, October 29, 2010


My mom makes a soup that we call Chicken Stew.  Kirk used to try to push my buttons by explaining the physical differences between soup and stew and pointing out that this is clearly a soup.

He {mostly} stopped when I explained to him the significance of our stew.

My grandmother, Kirma Nelson, passed away in 1977, having fought an eleven-year battle with cancer.  Since I wasn't born until 1981, I obviously never got the chance to meet her.  Since I was a little girl, I always answered the question, "Who is the person you'd most like to meet," with the simple answer, "My mom's mom." 

A couple of years ago, I got the chance to put together a book of her life which included stories and memories written by her children.  I learned that apparently her genes were strong, and she passed them directly to my mom, who - hopefully - passed at least some of them to me.

I know I "inherited" her skills at the piano.  Okay, I practiced a lot, too, but we have that in common.  Grandma Kirma was a concert pianist.

She had high expectations for my mother, who set high expectations for me, and now I'm definately that way, too.  My aunt said of her,

"Mom was firm, with high expectations for herself, her family, students, and others.  This could at times cause a little stress.  When then expectations weren't met, she would try to find ways to motivate others to reach higher.  Many times those around her would rise to the occasion, and what a grand sight that would be.  But a few times I remember her being sad that she was not able to get others to the level she had imagined it could be.  In music, this would disappoint her, bus she would just try again.  When I let her down, she would be forgiving and give me another chance."

She was also a school teacher and a music teacher, occupations both my mom and I have pursued.

But despite those connections, sometimes it's hard to feel like we have her here with us.  For those times, there is chicken stew.

For this year's ward Halloween party, I signed up to bring soup.  Adam begged me to bring chicken noodle, which fit in perfectly with my plans to try - for only the second time ever - my hand at the chicken stew.

It's nothing fancy - no secret ingredients or hush-hush directions.  Just a whole chicken boiled down and shredded with the water used to start the broth.  Insert carrots and homemade noodles, season it up a bit, and that's all there is to it.  I think that's what I love so much.  No fancy (read: gross) stuff to worry about picking around.

Thanks to some help from my hubby, the noodles turned out beautiful!  I guess his 6'3" frame gets excellent leverage on the rolling pin while my measly 5'3" sometimes feels like I can barely reach the counter.

Tonight, we'll share our chicken stew, and I'll know that at least a little bit of Grandma Kirma lives on in me.

If you're interested, here's the book I made a few years ago.


Sarah said...

Ah, I'm glad it turned out. How sweet that "a little of" your G'ma is a part of you! I'm sure she'd be proud.