Soup and a Box of Tissues

If soup isn't hot enough to make a grown man wince, it's undrinkable.
- Grey Livingston

When I was growing up, my father was the soup maker in our family. His soups were hearty, starchy, but above all, spicy concoctions. He said on a number of occasions that a soups quality can be judged by the need for a box of Kleenex tissues. The kitchen table would have a our bowls of soup, heaps of buttered white bread, curry powder, the ever present box of tissues and we would be tucking in, all sniffles and rosy cheeks. With my parents and my brothers the table was always full of laughter. In those days my idea of heaven was dunking thick wodges of bread into hot soup, buttery slicks forming on the surface and the way all those flavours came together in my mouth.

Perhaps the reason we all laughed so much during those meals can be explained by the researchers who claim that one of the most powerful ways to release endorphins is to eat spicy foods. Maybe it’s just that my parents made that time of breaking bread with family an enjoyment, a time of fun and sharing (and a bit of nose blowing). Since I have grown up and my parents have passed on, those times have been polished up and tagged the good old days. And they were—to be enjoyed with a box of tissues.