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.