Our house in Carbon was a busy place when I was growing up.
My parents always had adult friends stopping by for a visit in the evening.
My sister and I ran with a pack of young neighborhood kids that always found their way to our house to play midnight Frisbee, kickball or have a rousing game of SMACK. (A local favorite, the game was a rather rowdy version of tag. The object was to keep running to avoid being smacked on an uncovered part of your arm or leg as hard as the "IT" could. If a person whimpered out and said "OW", they became the IT.)
My brother, a self-proclaimed "cool" teenager, always brought home four or five guys to play cards or hang out in his bedroom listening to Pink Floyd.
Although we all had our own circle of friends and activities to do, eating brought us together.
There were times when our budget was tight or hungry guests showed up unexpectedly, but there was one thing that my parents believed: "No matter how much you have, you share it with others."
If we didn't have enough to share, you just didn't eat in front of anyone!
So, there were times when some creative cooking took place at our house.
One particular easy favorite that everyone liked, but didn't cost a lot to feed a bunch of hungry people, was Biscuit Soup.
There was always some kind of cream or tomato soup in the cupboard and cans of biscuits, green onions and cheese in the refrigerator.
The trick was to choose a type of soup for the base that everyone liked.
Our favorite was golden cream of mushroom soup, but any kind will work.
Usually it took four cans of soup, and five cans of water brought to a rolling boil in a large pot to feed our crew.
A couple of handfuls of finely chopped green onions would get thrown in to add color, but I liked purple onions the best.
While the adults were getting the liquid part of the soup ready, the kids sat down with clean hands and tore the biscuit dough into tiny dime-sized pieces. It was always a competition to see who could get the most pieces from their biscuit.
We liked a lot of "dumplings" in our soup, so it would take four or five cans of biscuits.
Only the adults got to put the dough in the pot, so if you were asked to help make the soup it was a right-of-passage that you could rub in "the faces of the other children."
It seemed like forever to wait for it to cook, but it really only took about five to 10 minutes. (Don't cook it too long or you're eating mush!)
Served in those black and white spotted enamel covered metal coffee cups with a sprinkle of cheese on top, we thought we were really downtown!
Now, some 30 years later, I make Biscuit Soup for my kids every so often, but it's changed a little to suit our tastes.
My son likes mushrooms.
My daughter likes garlic.
I like green onions and peppers.
So we actually sauté fresh sliced mushrooms, garlic, peppers and green onions in butter before they are added into the soup. (You can even chop up some cooked chicken and throw it in there if you like.)
We still throw the cheese on top, but now we also add those crunchy fried onions and some bacon bits if they're in the pantry. Talk about comfort food!
And it's still a competition to see who can make the smallest dumplings!