My Soup Pot Has a Story (in Three Parts)

I invited three people over for dinner. My voice teacher and mentor, Linda, the founder of Transformational Voice®. Her partner, Frans, builder of pipe organs and sound healer. Richard, Transformational Voice® accompanist, musicianship teacher and pianist extraordinaire. One of Linda’s students is a professional opera singer. Another is Grammy-nominated. Richard once played piano at the White House, when Bill Clinton claimed the Oval Office. Frans continues a rich tradition of pipe organ building, as practiced for centuries in his country of origin: the Netherlands.

Yes, quite an illustrious gathering at our dinner party that evening! I didn’t really think about it until the next day, because we were just enjoying each other’s company and the meal. I love these people, and we loved the food.

The soup pot I used for that dinner has a story, too. I claimed it from my wasbund (was-husband), as we were divorcing in 2006. Jeff had never really used the big ol’ stock pot, and he gave me permission to take it.

Part 1: During our marriage, I once used this pot as a cleansing and healing element, creating a “green fire” in it. I don’t recall the book that gave me this tip, but the basics are: 1) Line the pot with foil 2) Fill it with two cups Epsom salt 3) Add enough rubbing alcohol so the salt is fully covered.

Make sure there is a protective plate under the pot (preferably in the middle of a large floor) and keep it away from anything which might catch fire.

Ask your higher guidance to cleanse away anything that is negative or holding you back. You can write these things down on a piece of paper and put them into the mix. Then, light the fire.

It’s helpful to drum or vocalize while the fire is burning out – about 10-15 minutes.

This is a wonderful energy-clearing exercise.

Part 2: After my divorce, while living at Neff Park Lane, I made a big batch of turkey soup with leftover turkey from a holiday dinner. I was in a hurry and on my cell phone at the same time, grabbed the pot to stir, and the whole thing crashed to the floor, dousing me with hot soup, leaving a dent in the pot.

That was quite a mess to clean up. I wasn’t burned, threw my drenched pants away, salvaged about a third of the soup, and kept the dented pot.

Part 3: I invited Linda, Frans, and Richard for dinner. The menu was fresh green salads, beef burgundy with al dente noodles, and toasted parmesan bread. Our guests brought delicious filled cream puffs for dessert.

The beef burgundy turned out beautifully, and the meal was devoured. The company and conversation were as good, maybe better, than the meal. The beef burgundy was cooked in the dented pot.

Our voices have stories, too. Perhaps in some places we need cleansing, to understand where we might be dented, or to embrace our deliciousness.

Here’s the Beef Burgundy Recipe: (Photo by Dana Fontaine:

Beef Burgundy:

-6 oz. bacon, cut in pieces

-3 lb. lean stewing meat, cut in cubes

-1 sliced carrot (I use more)

-I sliced small onion

-1 tsp. salt

-1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter (I don’t like mushrooms, so leave them out)

-1/4 tsp pepper

-2 TBSP flour

-3 C burgundy/pinot noir wine

-2-3 C beef broth

-1 TBSP tomato paste

-2 cloves mashed garlic

Sauté bacon in oil and remove to large baking pan. Sauté beef chunks, brown all sides and add to dish. Sauté carrot and onion, add to dish. Sprinkle in flour and toss ingredients to coat. Bake at 450 for 4 minutes. Stir and bake 4 minutes more. Remove from oven and add wine, beef broth, tomato paste, garlic and seasoning. Bring to a simmer on the stove. If you like mushrooms, add them here. Cover, return to oven and bake at 325 for 3-4 hours.

Serve over al dente egg noodles (my choice) or wild rice.

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In only a few lessons with Laura, my voice quality improved tremendously, both for singing and speaking. I’m noticing more resonance, clarity, and range. Laura has a great ear, and her teaching and coaching style feels safe, friendly and professional. She is supportive and stretches me. Her acting, singing, and speaking backgrounds blend beautifully to support presence and confidence in her students, as well. I’m excited to continue studying with her, and highly recommend her if you want to improve your voice. -Cricket W.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)