I discovered something about myself the other day, and although itís not a traumatic discovery, itís always sort of strange when you only just now find out something about yourself after years and years, you know?
What I discovered is that I canít be left alone with soup. This isnít any sort of American Pie story, so get your mind out of the gutter.
But like this: I made soup for my princess the other dayópotato soup, to be exact. I had no idea how to do it, so I checked out a few recipes on the internet, and thenóbecause none of them could really agree on what to put in thereóI just kind of ignored everything. Broth, I got that. Potatoes, natch. Some spices, a little milk, whatís the big deal. So Iím cookiní away, cutting up potatoes and onion and tossing in basil and oregano and all kinds of other things that you always see people throwing into soup on TV.
And I realize that I have no idea how this soup is supposed to taste. I have never eaten potato soup in my life.
Iíll be honest with youóIím a pretty good cook. Because I love food, man. I can practically measure my life in pounds, by recipe. Like this: ďOh, yeah, I remember when I learned to make potato saladóI weighed 178. Three days later, I learned how to make meat loaf, and by then I was 186.Ē Lasagna, 202. My life doesnít go by years. ďOh, yeah, I remember when Susie had her second kidóI had just learned how to make that chicken with mushroom sauce that you like so much, and I only weighed 250 back then.Ē
ďWas that in 2001?Ē
ďBeats me. I had to buy new pants that year, though, so it might have been. Do these look four years old?Ē
ďThey look like you filled them up with gravel and then drug them over sandpaper?Ē
ďYeah, thatís from me sitting. I think these might only be eight months old.Ē
ďThatís right! Susieís kid is only eight months old!Ē
ďGlad I could help.Ē
Anyways, so Iím sitting there with this soup, and although I think it tastes pretty good, I donít have any idea if this is how itís supposed to taste. So I let it simmer, I cover it, and I go on to do some other things. That lasts for about two minutes, then Iím back at the pot. I add carrots.
Because Iím pretty sure itís supposed to have carrots. Bugs Bunny always put carrots in his potato soup, right? Iíll just add the carrots, and then Iíll let it simmer. My princess, when she gets home, she can taste it and tell me what it needs.
I scrub the kitchen counter, I take out the trash. I wash my hands, I edit my playlist. And then Iím back at the soup. This time, itís broccoli. I donít even like broccoli. It was in the freezer, though, and it was one of the few things that I hadnít thrown in already. It was either broccoli or Fruity Pebbles, and no matter how I try to rationalize it, Iíve never seen Fruity Pebbles in potato soup.
The broccoliís in, the soupís simmering, Iím done. It just needs to simmer, sheíll be home any minute now.
She gets home an hour later (a faculty meeting, as it turns outóand she went, can you believe it? Instead of rushing right home to taste my soup, she went to a faculty meeting!).
Iíve got cream cheese in the soup, some red bell peppers, some of that little bitty corn that they put in Chinese food sometimes, a little mint, a drop of mustard, eight tomato seeds, and two ground up coffee beans*.
She tastes it and says that itís wonderful, which is sort of cool and sort of too bad. Because Iíll never be left alone with the same amount of the same ingredients again, which means that Iíll never be able to make this soup for her again.
At least I didnít make her throw up, though, right?
*I canít really remember what all I threw into the soup, so in order to keep our sacred bond of honesty intact, Iím adding this disclaimeróeverything about this soup may be a lie. (And by ďour,Ē I mean yours and mineóI really feel that we have something special, and I donít want to ruin it over a story about soup)