One of my very close friends is grieving the loss of her mother. Her funeral took place today. I knew this, but in the Halloween madness it was not front and centre for me until I remembered a recipe. Then it all came flooding back.
It all started with Halloween, and the discovery that my jack o'lantern pumpkins were lovely and fresh, with beautiful, thick flesh. I decided they were too good to go to waste, and planned to haul them in before they froze and turn them into something yummy.
The first time I met her, my friend's mom and I got talking about food. I was in my early college years, and just getting warmed up when it came to my food obsession. She had several interesting books and magazines, which I leafed through as we visited. While I was there, I copied several recipes down, by hand, onto folscap. One of them was Harvest Pumpkin Bisque with Nutmeg Thyme Croutons. I have made this soup at least once a year since, from that same piece of folded paper, stuffed into my recipe box. It is one of my favourite soups, and I am grateful to my friend's mom for introducing it to me, every time I taste it.
Fitting, then, that I should suddenly crave it as her nearest loved ones are wishing her a final farewell. As for me, I will make soup.