Over a post-Thanksgiving meal at my Mother-in-Law's house, she told a tale behind the pumpkin pie that she had made. I listened to the story with great interest. Apparently it was her mother's recipe and it took her a mighty long time to extract it from her. She explained that her mother had given her the recipe but of course when she actually attempted to make it herself, it was not like her mother's, something was missing. She tried to glean what the missing ingredients were but was unable to do so.
Eventually, she had to go to watch her mother prepare the pumpkin pie. Only then did she discover that all sorts of ingredients were had been lef out of the recipe she had been given. The number of eggs was incorrect, spices were lacking and a few other details were off. Her mother denied any wrongdoing, simply saying, well of course I use cloves and of course I use...as if it was all understood.
I listened to this tale, realizing how clear it was where the apple had fallen. After having just finished her famous turkey soup, I wondered what it would take to procure the real recipe. The process is too long and drawn out for me to witness every step so I guess it will take years of questioning and experimentation before I ever get it.
This year, she added a few more ingredients from the last time, claiming that it always changes. Indeed some of the vegetables may vary but it is the consistency that remains constant.
Tonight I tried yet again,and yet again I made a wonderful pot of soup but it did not resemble my Mother-in-Law's version. Izzy tried to pinpoint the differences and he said, "In Grandma J.'s soup, the vegetables float to the top." Hmmm.. so do the ones in mine but he is on to something. My soup is a brothier soup and hers is a stewier one. Perhaps the difference is the amount of liquid? Who knows. Stay-tuned until next year when I try yet again.