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A Recipe for Traditions

A Recipe for Traditions
Kelley Hitomi

I am one who loves family traditions. My favorite tradition was the day after Thanksgiving. After breakfast, we (me, my two older sisters, younger brother, mom, and dad) would all pile into my parents’ station wagon. Uh oh. I guess I’m dating myself because I don’t think they make station wagons anymore. Anyway, our destination was up the beautiful mountains to the Christmas tree farm. Once the car doors opened, I could smell the fresh pine needles. It smelled soooo good. We would then all look for a tall bushy Christmas tree. Sometimes it would take over an hour to agree upon one tree. Once we found it, we each got a turn sawing the tree trunk. My dad would then tie it up on the roof of the wagon. Once we got home, we all changed out of our cold wet clothes, sat near the fireplace, and had a delicious cup of hot chocolate. So you're probably wondering what this has to do with school. As a teacher, my favorite tradition is share soup. A tradition that I started well over 25 years ago in San Diego, California.

The week before Thanksgiving, I would read three versions of Stone Soup to the kinders. We would discuss the characters, similarities, differences, conflicts, and resolutions of the story. The children were quite surprised how the people who lived in the village kept to themselves. They couldn’t comprehend not speaking, working, or playing with their friends at school. They kept saying, “Why don’t they work together?” As I read on, they realized the main characters of the stories were teaching them the value of sharing. Contributing and making something together is more valuable than keeping to yourself. Soon after I read the story, I asked the kinders what they would like to contribute to our “share soup.” Soon after the recipe, side dishes, and other contributions were finished, we made the soup on Tuesday. Early in the morning, the children added the ingredients to the crock pot and it slowly cooked throughout the morning.

Each time the children walked into the classroom they would say, “What is that smell? It smells so good.” After Music, kinders helped serve the food, sat down, said grace, and ate together. Many expressed that the soup tasted delicious. We had a few friends ask for seconds and one who asked for thirds. He said, “This is the best soup I ever tasted.” It wasn’t the ingredients, it was the sharing and working together to create such a wonderful feast. I wonder what next year’s recipe will be.

Share Soup Recipe
2 boxes of chicken broth
2 cups cooked diced chicken
1/4 cup diced onions
1 cup broccoli
2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 cup diced/sliced carrots
1 cup uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Sprinkle of furikake
Dash of salt and pepper

Side Dishes
2 cups cooked rice
8 snack packs of nori
10 hard boiled eggs
Clementines
Strawberries
Sliced apples
Bananas
Dinner rolls/bread
Onigiri
Mac and cheese

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