“skin hanging from a chicken soup bone.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 9, 2019
5 minutes
Tuesdays With Morrie
Mitch Albom

I make chicken soup with the bones of the seasons before
Frozen in Ziploc bag
Stacked with
forgotten bananas
pumpkin seeds
pine nuts
containers of squash soup

I make soup for the parents of new babies
and bodies that are tired and grieving
Bodies that are growing
Bodies that are strong
I make soup for my own lonely heart
and the lonely hearts peppered here and away

There’s been a lot of soup this winter
and pretending that candles are wood stoves
There’s been a lot

“Help yourself to some food” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Saturday November 17, 2018
5 minutes
From a text

I make food for you because it’s all I can do. I make fish, broccoli, mashed sweet potato. I add extra butter because you need the calories. Mom isn’t sure if you’ll be able to eat it, if you’ll like it, but it’s all I can do so I do it, and I don’t mind if you don’t like it, or can’t stomach it. Tomorrow I’ll roast a chicken and make stew, finely dicing carrots, onions, celery, potato, zucchini. No garlic. Only salt and pepper and love. I make food for you because it’s all I can do, but it’s better. It’s better being able to do this simple thing, this vital simple thing now that I’m here.

“your desired starting point” by Sasha at Mitzi’s

Thursday June 21, 2018
12:21pm at Mitzi’s
5 minutes

I’m decent at starting. A blank page – let the fingers dance and trust that they know the steps. A pot of vegetable soup – onions, carrots, celery, chopped fine, cooked until soft in olive oil and spices. Add stock, add salt, add a wish, and it will be good. A choice – feel it in the bones, or don’t, it will let me know when it’s moved to my stomach. It always let’s me know what’s best. A story – the people within it whose beating hearts are always the point. It’s that simple.

“A good traveller has no fixed plans” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 17, 2017
5 minutes
Tao Te Ching
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

I’m going to bring you a jar of soup for every day I’ve left you limping
Sunday will be tortilla with black beans and chipotle
I’ll pick off the coriander leaves and let you dollop the cream
Monday will be red lentil with lemon and rosemary
I’ll give you extra of that one because it’s my favourite
Tuesday’s soup will be white bean and pesto
so aromatic that you’ll smell it from the other side of the world
Wednesday will be roasted butternut squash with cumin and cinnamon
I’ll leave out the chilli pepper because you’re sensitive to spice
Thursday will be chicken and barley
Friday potato leek
Saturday roasted cauliflower with parmesan croutons
made from freshly baked bread
I’ll leave each jar on your doorstep so you won’t have to see me
You’ll taste how much I love you in each bite

“For real people” by Julia on the 9

Wednesday November 22, 2017
5 minutes
from a storefront

They can come to your window and watch you live if you leave the light on. They can smell the cookies you’re baking for “Fair-Bear”. They know where you got the nickname for her in the first place.

They can learn the family recipe for your mother’s famous onion soup. They can see the receipt from Whole Foods even though you tried to hide it. They can count how many onion skins you’ve let curl to the floor.

They can steal your moments if you let them win. They can steal your kindness if you forget where you’ve tethered it. They can make you wish you bought the black-out blinds. They can watch you live if you keep living for them.

“Clear eyes” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday February 18, 2017
5 minutes
Friday Night Lights

“What would you like for dinner?” He said.
“Pasta?” She said.
“I thought we were getting off wheat?” He said.
“Pizza?” She said.
He smiled.
She kept her eyes on her books, sure that if she moved them that she’d lose what she’d learned.
“Salad?” He said.
“Sure.” She said.
She was unenthused though.
“Soup?” He said.
“Yes! Soup!” She said.
It was still cold out and she needed the nourishing warmth of something hot and filling.
“Lentil?” He said.
“Sure.” She said.
He watched her, so focused, and he thought about the first time he met her. He thought about her clear eyes.
“So rare,” he’d told his mother. “So rare to see such clear eyes.”

“If you catch some salmon in October” by Sasha on the 99 going East

Tuesday March 3, 2015
5 minutes
Ramon Esquivel

If you catch some salmon, I’ll grill it up real good… I’m also a really good baker. I make excellent Christmas cookies and cookies with cashews and… Why do I feel like I’m trying to impress you? I’m not trying to impress you. I’m just… Food is something I know. I am good with food. I’m not so good with people. I’m better with cracking an egg. I’m better with cutting up an onion or a carrot or…

Look – if you’d like to come over, I will make you a really delicious soup. Oh… I’m not hitting on you. I don’t even like women. I barely like men, I just… If I was going to make you a soup, I’d make you a coconut Thai curry with tofu and lemongrass. You look like one of those people – who can handle a little bit of spice but doesn’t want anything that’s going to smack you on the chin.

You can tell a lot about someone by the kind of soup they eat.

“Share with a friend!” by Sasha on the bus home

Wednesday November 26, 2014
5 minutes
from a thank you card

When my mother makes soup she chops up everything in the fridge – even the rejected broccoli florets in the crisper corner – and she lets it simmer and she adds salt and pepper only at the very end.

“Two eggs and one piece of whole grain toast has been my breakfast for forty six years… Why would I change that now?”

When my mother goes grocery shopping she organizes her grocery list by type. “Fruit”, “Meat”, “Dairy”, “Treats”.

“Snacking causes obesity.”

When my mother makes salad dressing, she chops up garlic very finely. She refuses to use a garlic press. “Lazy,” she calls them.

“Take this banana bread and share it with a friend! I don’t want it!”
“Well then why did you make it?”
“I wanted one or two pieces, not the whole loaf! If it sits on the counter, I just eat it!”

When my mother orders tea in a restaurant she says, “Bag out, please.”

“smooth even the toughest” by Sasha on her bed

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
5 minutes
the back of the Aveda foot lotion

I see a familiar face across the street. I knock on the window, hoping you’ll see me but you keep walking. You must be listening to music. You must be on the phone. I see that you’re wearing burgundy pants and I silently congratulate you, because that was probably a big deal. I think about texting you, about e-mailing you, about sending you a tweet. I sit on my hands. I call my best friend, Molly. “I just saw him.” Molly is making soup. I can tell she’s holding the phone between her shoulder and her cheek because buttons keep getting pushed. “Oh no. What did you do? Did you sleep together? You slept together.” The sound of the soup bubbling. I imagine how foggy her glasses must be.

“Lily and Gigi” by Sasha at Nova Era Bakery

Monday May 27, 2013
11:15am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
names dipped from a class list

Let’s each bring a vegetable, a few vegetables, and let’s make soup. It can simmer on the stove the whole time we talk, and then, when we pause, when we’re hungry, there will be something delicious waiting. Gigi, you bring something starchy. I’ll bring onions and carrots and celery. The trifecta of the best soups. When you get here we’ll touch noses. We don’t even have to say, “Hi! Long time no see!” or anything. We’ll touch noses and we’ll go into the living room. I might need to draw while we talk because sometimes eye contact overwhelms me. Often eye contact overwhelms me. I’ll draw while you talk and while I talk you can do anything you want, anything that makes you comfortable. Bethany likes to be scratched behind her ears, if you’re at a loss for what exactly to do with your hands when I’m speaking.