Sunday, October 7, 2007

Grandma's comforting apple and plum soup

One of the many things I love about my dear Grandma is her disdain for recipes. In the picture below, you will see a favorite of mine since childhood – Grandma's apple and plum soup. Eaten warm, it's wonderfully comforting on a cold winter day. In the summer, it can be served chilled, and it's just as good.

Recently, I tried asking Grandma for a recipe, but very typically, she just laughed and said, "What, for this simple thing? You just take some apples and plums, peel them, cut, throw into boiling water, cook with a bit of sour cream, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and you've got it!"

I tried doing that – didn't get even a remote resemblance. I tried following Grandma step by step, doing just what she did – still, very, very far from the original; it makes me think there's some magical ingredient up her sleeve, which she adds when I'm not looking.

Or maybe it's just that I learned to cook only a little over a year ago, in our college's spacious and well-equipped kitchen – while Grandma's experience is roughly around 80 years of cooking and baking everywhere, from everything and anything available, feeding and nurturing her family through times of plenty as well as times when there was nothing but potato peels to eat. I'm sure I will never be her equal, but I'm determined to continue learning from her for as long as possible.

And maybe one day, I will be able to develop and share with you a clear and well-written recipe of this wonderful apple and plum soup.


Crystal said...

My grandma is like that too. I finally was able to get some recipes out of her by showing her ones that I was trying and asking her what she'd do different. Otherwise I was hearing things like "Dumplings are easy... you have the yeast..." and then I'd be lost. Proportions are never communicated, everything has to be visual. She even taught me a cake recipe using a coffee cup, not a measuring cup, a coffee cup. I think some of it is like you said, so many years of just doing it, and making things work. I know that's certainly true with my grandmother.
Best wishes getting your version of your grandma's fruit soup. It sounds wonderful but tricky, I'd find it a fun challenge, but I wouldn't know what to compare it to. Still, it sounds delicious.

Mrs. Brigham said...

I have never heard of apple & plum soup. It does seem as if it would taste very good!

My grandmother does not have "recipes" either, and neither did my late great-grandmother, they just always knew how to make something. I hope to one day be that good :o)

mermade said...

What a unique idea for soup -- that looks yummy!

Katy-Anne said...

It annoys me when a woman can't give a recipe for what she cooked. When they throw around stuff like "you just add a little this etc" makes it seem (they might not be but it seems that way) that they are showing off and don't want to share what they do with you at all. They need to realize that when someone makes something for the first time, they need a guide.

Mrs. H said...

I'll ask a stupid question,...

Is it sweet?

My father was taught how to cook by his mother and grandmother, and he taught my mother and me. He never uses recipes. I have to have one... So what I did was I followed his instructions as he told me what to do, and took every ingredient (once he said it was the right amount) and measured it. I was then able to replicate his recipe perfectly. I did this with nearly everything, and it worked every time. ...The catch is, that doing this is, apparently, incredibly irritating to the person who doesn't use a recipe. So it took me years to get them all. But now I have a whole box full of treasures.


kyla said...

that soup looks so yummy!! I love my grandma's Chocolate gravy...If I can every get it right maybe we can swap recipes.

marie said...

Off topic here.

Ginny and I have started a World Peace Prayer initiative and we hope that you would like to join us and other bloggers?

All it entails is to place a prayer for peace on your own blog one day a week. A day of your choice.

Please feel free to visit our blog and find out more:).

Peace to you:)


Anna S said...

Mrs. H - yes, it's somewhat sweet :)

staceyhoff said...

Thanks for your comments on Din's site too. I believe he will be blessed. It is good to know that we are not alone; other people have made it through, so maybe we can,too...right? right :)

I have to try that apple and plum soup~ looks yummy! And right in season,too!!( I love my cooking with in-season ingredients, Lol ;)

Rose said...

When my kids ask why something I made tastes so good, I tell them about the one ingredient that isn't in any written recipe: I put love in it. A few months ago, my son tried his hand at making cookies and they turned out pretty good. When I complimented him on it, he smiled and reminded me that he'd used my recipe. "And I put love in it."

Jordin said...

I've never heard of this soup, either! It looks interesting... I'm only used to eating soup made with veggies--not fruits! Please let us know how to make it--if you ever figure it out. ;)

Jessica said...


That soup sounds good, I would love to try it! I hope that you can share the recipie sometime!

I found your blog from the comments that you left on Katy-Anne's page. I just wanted to come over and say Hi!

I love the pictures at the top of your page!

Wanda's Girl said...


Will try this after my next shopping trip; thanks for the idea, even if you can't provide the specifics just yet!
BTW, did I ever tell you how amazed I am that I find new (and legitimately interesting) content on your blog EVERY day? You're even more reliable than email spam! :)

Anna S said...

Hi there Dana! :)

... I do try to be more pleasant than email spam, though :)

Karen said...

My husband's grandma was exactly the same way. He tells me he'd ask her how long to cook a thing and she say, "Oh, a while." He'd say, "Well, how long, though?" She'd reply, "Well I'd imagine you'd take it out by and by, when it's done." LOL.