I live in a place that is cold, dark and wet in the winter, something that can only be assuaged by good friends, more chocolate and soup. I am thinking about making split pea soup this very minute but instead, I was doing some blog reading catch up on Nerd’s Eye View – a Seattle blogger – and saw her post on a Seattle Soup Swap.
Waaah. I missed it. No matter that day I had just returned from 20 hours of international travel and was asleep by the time they started, but just the idea is delicious. It is such a community indicator. When people ask about the most important part of facilitating a F2F event, i say “the communal meals.” Even better if they are home made, pot luck, or if in a restaurant, family style. Where the sound level is quiet enough to hear each other converse, but not so quite you feel embarassed to guffaw out loud. Or worse, laugh with your mouth full of food.
While there is SO much we can do together online, I have yet to find the thing that creates the experience of a shared meal. I have been in online chats where each of us, at our distributed location, eats and writes about what we are eating. But it is a different experience. The hosting act of providing a tenderly cooked meal, or even sharing your store bought cookie, is a uniquely human, embodied experience. It ain’t the same online.
There is one ritual of the soup swaps that I find entrancing. Knox Gardner writes about it from the recent Seattle Swap:
It takes quite a while for the “Telling of the Soup” to get around the room when there are twenty-two soups, but it’s worth it. Without the Telling, it’s an empty power grab. With the telling, the humaneness of sharing food together shines right through. It’s essential.
Here is another soup swap post worth reading.
Want to set up your own Soup Swap? You can find all the how-to’s at Soup Swap
Photo from Nerds Eye View on Flickr