Personal Narrative: Soup Joumou

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Soup Joumou
I woke up to a text message from my mother with precise instructions on where to purchase all the groceries for this year’s Soup Joumou. When I arrived at my local supermarket, I took out my phone to look at the grocery list that my mother sent me, I walked up and down the various aisles, and was at the super market for an exhaustingly long two hours. I collected 2 cloves of garlic, 2 scallions who had already been sliced. I also got dried thyme, one medium sliced shallot, 1 scotch bonnet chili, already stemmed and seeded, I got lime juice, of course I wouldn’t hear the end of it If I forgot the salt and pepper.
Finding the 1 pound of beef chuck was not an easy task, but when I finally did, I made sure I got it cut into half inch pieces like my mother asked. As I continued down the list, I found the olive oil, 8 cups of beef stock, carrots, celery, 4 small leeks, and yellow onions. I was almost done, I rushed and found the last few ingredients, which were, 1 large yucca, gold potato, one medium turnip and one small green cabbage. I left the store feeling happy, accomplished and confident, knowing
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We all gathered and sat around the dinner table. The hot soup sat in the middle of the table steaming hot with its distinct scent that I get to smell every year. While pouring me a bowl of soup my dad reminded me why on New Year’s Day we eat Soup Joumou. “Remember,” he said, “Haiti became a free country on January 1st, 1804, before that, while blacks and slaves worked hard over a hot stove to prepare Soup Joumou for their masters, they were not allowed to drink this soup in Haiti. It was a delicacy, it was reserved for the privileged French slave masters. That’s why when Haiti gained its independence, we decided to give it a new meaning.” That’s why this soup,” he continued holding the bowl of soup up high, “became a symbol of Haitian independence and freedom.” We all smiled at each other and enjoyed the delicious soup Joumou we
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