Have you ever thought about how you have made the friends and relationships in your life? I have.
As I was making a pot of crab soup last night I started thinking about the people I have met throughout my life and how they have made footprints in my life. For instance, the soup recipe I was making was given to me by some folks in Maryland.
Cecil and Michelle I met about two years ago. My parent’s had decided that they were going to sell our family farm and purchase another one closer to Springfield, Mo. As soon as they put the farm up for sale, people were visiting from all over the county to look over the farm. There were people from California, Florida, Colorado, New York…I was amazed by the response.
But while all this was happening my parents were having their doubts about their choice to sell. I was unhappy about the decision from the get go. The family farm meant the world to me. Every childhood memory I had steamed from those hills, trees, creeks, barns, cattle, the swimming hole, dirt roads, fences and the “love tree.”
The “love tree” you ask? This is a very special place on my parent’s farm. My niece named this tree. The love tree is on the largest hilltop on my parent’s farm. It overlooks the entire farm, stock and barns. On this very special hilltop my husband proposed to me in 2002. We engraved our initials in this tree, and that is why my niece calls it the “love tree.”
Every memory of mine is wrapped into our family farm. So, when a couple from Maryland came for a visit (Cecil and Michelle) and decided to make an offer on my parents farm that matched my father’s asking price…..I became very worried!
This was the first buyer that asked the full asking price. Would my parent’s sell? Would I loose my Ozark hills? Would I never see our love tree again? Would I never be able to take my kids to the farm?
I met Cecil and Michelle and they were a wonderful couple. They had decied to move form Maryland to the Ozarks to escape the big city life and move their family to the country. They always wanted to have a farm and timber and they loved my parent’s farm.
For about four months the couple made frequent visits to our farm, as they were trying to sell their business in Maryland. During that time my parents and the couple became very good friends.
Then one day my father called me and asked me, “Lane how would you feel is we didn’t sell the farm?” Although my father new the answer to this question I gave him an answer. “That would be the best news in the world.”
So it was. My parents after many months of “to sell or not to sell” had decided to remain on our Ozark farm. But the friends they had made: Cecil and Michelle did purchase a farm about 20 minutes from my parents and the couple remains close family friends of ours.
It’s experiences like this that bring all different type of people into our lives. Mt friends stem from Charolais cattle breeders, former FFA’ers, college friends, overseas experiences, co-workers, local Mid-Mo friends, a summer softball team my husband and I play on, many ag-related groups I serve on….all these experiences shape the relationships we acquire and the people we are. I am thankful to have met so many wonderful people throughout my life like Cecil and Michelle.
Here is the crab soup recipe that Michelle passed on to my mother and me. It is way too easy to be as good as it is!
Cream of Crab Soup
(This makes a Very large batch. I usually cut it in half, unless I’m serving it for a party.)
6 cans of cream of celery soup
2 quarts half and half
1 stick of butter
1 lb. of crabmeat (if using canned crab meat 4-5 (6 oz) cans) A bag of steamed broccoli florets
1 ½ tsps. of Old Bay seasonings (found in the spice area in your local grocery store)
2 T. garlic powder
3T. dry mustard powder
Put everything except the crabmeat and broccoli into a large pot. Bring ingredients to a slow simmer for 25 minutes. Be sure to stir quite often. Meanwhile, steam your broccoli florets and when steamed chop coarsely.
After the soup mixture has simmered for 25 minutes, place crabmeat and broccoli in pot and simmer till the mixture is thick enough for your own taste. Garnish with any white cheese and oyster crackers.
* After I add the crabmeat and broccoli I usually only simmer the soup for another 10 minutes and then remove it from the heat.