We've read this story a lot over the years, though not so much lately. We even have it on CD with Pete Seeger retelling the story and singing. For those who don't know the story, it's about a stranger who convinces wary villagers to add ingredients to a pot of boiling water with a large stone in it. Each time a character adds something to the pot, the refrain is the same:
Stone Soup is what you need/When you have some friends to feed
It's a classic fable about cooperation amidst scarcity. By the end of the story, the villagers and the strangers all enjoy a hearty soup. I never knew how much he got out of it until he suggested that we make Tuesday our Stone Soup day.
So this Tuesday, on our first Stone Soup day, we were having split pea and ham soup. As we put it together in the crockpot, I tried to convince him that the ham bone was our stone. It does rhyme with bone, after all.
No deal. Our soup apparently had to have an actual stone in it, according to Danny.
He ran off to get a stone from the backyard. We chose a smooth rock from our "river bed" that has some Appalachian river rocks in it that we picked up on a trip to Boone last fall. I cleaned it up, soaking it in boiling water with some dish soap for a bit and scrubbing it for a little longer.
Then we put it in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients. Really. (Obviously, we are not germaphobic in this household.)
It simmered all day amidst the potatoes, peas, carrots and ham bone. Later on in the afternoon, he and his buddy next door picked some sage and asked to drop it in the soup.
As we ate dinner that evening, Danny insisted on having the stone in his soup for a while.
"Look, mom, I'm buttering the stone," he said as he smeared pea soup on it with his spoon.
I know. We're weird. But at least now I have something to plug into the menu once a week.
And the soup stone is still in the kitchen, ready for next week.