Editor’s note: This is the first part in a series of articles by local writer Margaret O’Malley.

You might be searching through your recipe box this week, either enthusing over or dreading all the goodies you know you should make. In my opinion, whether you like to cook or not, there are only three recipes you need at this time and all year-round. Here is one of three tried-and-true recipes. Everyone needs soup as the cold comes on, so share generously.

Soul-saving soup

8 cups compassion

7 cups mercy

7 cups patience, warmed

½ cup goodness mixed well with ¼ cup encouragement

A dash of hope

A generous pinch of humility

1 cup courage and 1 cup hospitality, stirred well in a hug or a homemade gift, optional

Love to sprinkle on top, for taste

Prayer, perseverance, and forgiveness, mixed, chilled, and served on the top.

Bring compassion and mercy to a boil. Add patience, and combined goodness and encouragement. Stir in courage and hospitality but be careful not to overcook. Slowly sprinkle in hope and humility. Dash on love, and add a good dose of prayer, perseverance and forgiveness. Serve immediately.

The following recipe is a sip of calm peace during any stress you may find yourself in. Remember to make this tea frequently, even if you’re not a tea-drinker.

Happiness tea

Dry contentment, generosity, hope, and cheerfulness outdoors as long as is necessary or near a warm fire. Once thoroughly crisp, crumble them up, open a pouch of charity and drop in each peace. Set a kettle of determination to a gentle, rolling boil, but be sure to watch out. If it starts boiling with frustration, immediately remove it so that it does not burst and burn nearby people with scalding hot anger. Rinse it out and fill with joy and love if it is weeping. Once the grace is warm, pour over the dried tea, and steep forever. Add gratefulness to taste.

Margaret is an aspiring local writer who wants to bring the values of the past into the life of the present. You can reach her for feedback by emailing Megamurph16@hotmail.com.