There is a certain Mr. Wayne Douglas Beers (that’s where the "W. D." comes from) who is pretty wonderfully remarkable. If you have any doubts, just ask my family (and even my extended family). They adore the old boy. And rightly so. And I’d like to think that I aspire to someday attain a similar popularity with the Beers clan. We try. Seriously, we both have wonderful, loving families, and we’re thankful everyday for them.

Wayne and Aunt Vera

Family photo-op @ Miss Em's graduation weekend

Mr. Beers and I are amused by something that both our families tend to do. It’s a little difficult to explain, but I’ll try. On a given day Mr. Beers’s cell phone might ring. It will be his mother, or a brother, or perhaps a sister-in-law. Pleasantries will be exchanged, and then they eventually get down to the business of: "Wayne, is Michael there? I need to ask him something." Invariably, the question or issue at hand will be something that Mr. Beers could have easily answered or solved or offered advice about, but he’s (just) Wayne. The other day at the deli it was my phone that rang. It was my beautiful mother calling from Bedford, Texas. We talked a bit about family news, the weather, whatever - and then Liz sweetly said, "Is Wayne around? Could I talk to Wayne?" I took my cell phone to Mr. Beers who was then on the phone with Mrs. Bobo for a good little while. Later he told me that she had been craving tortilla soup, and had called to ask him how to make it.

Two days later I got a text message from my dear sister Sheila. She had enjoyed the tortilla soup that Mom had made. She had enjoyed it so much that she now required the recipe. I smiled, went into the kitchen at the deli, got down the soup cookbook, and got busy texting her the recipe. Later that day, I remarked to Mr. Beers that I had texted my sister the entire recipe. "Didn’t you just give my mom that recipe the other day?" I asked. "No, I just kinda told her how to make it. She knows how to cook." So I imagine the version she got went something like this:

First, in a skillet, saute some chopped yellow onions, some crushed garlic, some cumino and some chopped green onions. In your soup pot, combine some Rotel tomatoes, some canned crushed tomatoes, some diced cooked chicken, and a good amount of chicken broth. When the onion mixture is sauteed enough, so that the yellow onions have become clear and/or soft, throw that mixture into the soup pot with the other stuff. Bring the whole mess just to a boil, and then throw in some fresh chopped cilantro. Serve hot, garnished with tortilla chips and shredded cheese on top.

There’s no real point to the story. I just thought I’d kinda tell you how to make the soup. Or better yet, come by and see us at the deli. That way we can visit, and you won’t have to make your own soup.


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