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Monday, December 27, 2010

Cooking the Stone Soup

We cooked the stone soup some time in August, 2010.  Why did I bring it up now?  Because I've always wanted to talk about it but somehow the internet connection back then was bad. 

I did this in conjunction with the Merdeka celebrations.  This is a very good story about working together for the benefit of all.  In this story, the villagers were wary of strangers and selfish.  They kept to themselves and never shared anything.  They did not mingle, led lonely lives and did not care about each other.  Along came three monks, asking for some food.  All the villagers closed  their doors on them.  One of the monk took a big pot of water, boiled it and put some stones into the pot.  A curious girl asked him what this was all about.  The monk explained that he was cooking stone soup, but it would taste better if someone could add some vegetables in it.  The girl brought a cabbage.  Slowly, one by one the villagers contributed something to the pot of boiling water - carrots, corns, chicken, potatoes, celery, onions, etc.  The soup was delicious because everyone contributed something to make it better, tastier.  The villagers shared the soup and understood the meaning of sharing and working as a team.  They led happier lives from that day onwards.

I wanted to use the story to illustrate the importance of respecting each other and to work as a team.  We are a country rich in cultural diversity and we should embrace the differences positively.  The children may not understand the importance yet. It is rather unfortunate that Little Beans is predominantly Chinese but we will continue to put this message across.

Having said this, we had a great time preparing and cooking the stone soup (minus the stones, of course!)  It was the first time some of them were cutting, smelling and tasting celery and onions and they didn't really appreciate the smell.  Ha! Ha!  We had a big pot of soup that everyone shared.

The ingredients for the soup - waiting to be cut!

Cutting the celery

The celery has a strong smell!

Be careful, don't cut the hands!

Ahh.... the carrots are hard!

Onions - the smell is too strong for my liking!

Easy does it!

Our bubbling pot of "stone soup"!   Delicious!

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