Use What You’re Given

Soup’s On

“Every situation, no matter how challenging, is conspiring
to bring you home to you.” ~Panache Desai

A nasty February blizzard is cooking outside – the wind is blowing so hard that the snow is not falling to the ground so much as blowing south horizontally.  I watch it blow like stink and Thank God for indoor plumbing… Can you imagine having to wade out to an outhouse in this??!

So, what goes best with a blizzard? It’s definitely den time with the family.  And I find myself craving soup. Yes, soup sounds yummy. But I hadn’t really planned on making soup this weekend. I didn’t buy soup fixin’s… what to do? what to do?  Hmmm, maybe I can use what I’ve been given and rustle up some soup anyway. I love a challenge.   🙂

After rummaging through the refrigerator, here’s what went into the soup this morning:

1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach leaves     I live on greens – my nickname around here is Popeye, so I always have spinach or kale or something green in the fridge

1/2 roast chicken, bones removed, skin tossed in to make broth     This is leftover roast chicken from 5 nights ago. I bought it when I didn’t feel like cooking
1/2 lime, juiced     I’ve never put this in soup before, so it’s purely experimental
1 Clove garlic     Required – my hubby LOVES pretty much anything with garlic in it
Salt and Pepper

In an hour I’ll pull out the chicken skin, add water and toss in 1 cup rice, 1 tsp. dried lemongrass and let it simmer a few minutes longer. The smell is already filling the house and making my mouth water!

 Use what you’re given is an idea from a little book, Instructions to the Cook, written by Glassman & Fields. These two Zen practitioners ran charities that provided food and housing for the homeless on a shoestring budget for years. So they know all about creating something special from whatever you’re given. And their little book has inspired me on many occasions to stop, take a deep breath and figure out how to happily use whatever life is giving me in this moment.

“Life always gives us 
exactly the teacher we need 
at every moment. 
This includes every mosquito, 
every misfortune, 
every red light, 
every traffic jam, 
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), 
every illness, every loss, 
every moment of joy or depression, 
every addiction, 
every piece of garbage, 
every breath. 

Every moment is the guru.”

 ~Charlotte Joko Beck
Use what you’re given.
Every moment can be bliss or shit – you choose.

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