My mother and I have an interesting, albeit practical, approach to Christmas gifts. We tell each other what we are getting for each other. Not every gift, but most of them. "I'll get you that for Christmas," she'll say. Or, when I stay overnight at her house after a late-night work event, she'll show me an outfit, a piece of jewelry, a coat and say, "This is one of your Christmas presents."
I don't know why we do this - my grandmother Betty did this, too, and if her family had had any money to buy anything, I guess they would have done similarly. It doesn't hold quite the same sentimental appeal with non-blood relatives, I've learned, as I've taken this approach on occasion with The Dean, and suffice it to say, this tell-all Christmas drives him bat-blank.
So it won't come as a surprise to my mother, regular B&B Chronicles reader that she is, that I bought her The New England Soup Factory Cookbook for Christmas.
Because, after all, she suggested such in an email the other week. Ask and ye shall receive and all that.
Betty and I were paging through this book last night, as we lay in bed reading. (She has been sick all weekend, and has taken to sleeping in the master bedroom with me, banishing The Dean to the guest room.) This book. Oh my God. If you love soups as I do, this cookbook is culinary nirvana. Beautifully illustrated crocks of soup. Garnishes galore. The Soup Factory is apparently a real place, in Brookline and Newton, MA ... and you faithful Massachussetts readers of this blog (you know who you are; I usually do not) are among the luckiest souls on the East Coast.
I am buying myself this book for Christmas. And, in the spirit of Buying Books for the Holidays, consider this a recommendation for those cookbook and soup-lovers on your list.
I'm thinking of adding a soup ladle and perhaps some ingredients to this to make my mother's Christmas gift complete. But, shhh ... just don't tell her, OK?