Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How many times can I ruin the same pot of soup?





The answer is: I don’t know yet but I’m working on an answer. 

It started when I lost my mind and cleaned out the food cabinet. Who does that? I think I have a Jewish friend who does that for Passover but she’s a foodlover who obviously appreciates any reason to handle food. Surely, most people don’t do that. (I’m okay with being the odd one out again if that’s the case.) 

I usually don’t think about cleaning cabinets unless I’m moving but for some reason did so yesterday. And in the process, I noticed I had several containers with only a handful of beans. I also had four opened bags of rice. 

Foodlover friend, you can stop reading now if you started. This is ugly. 

I tossed my handfuls of kidney, great northern, and black-eyed peas in a pot with that half onion and quarter green pepper getting ready to expire in the refrigerator, added some fresh carrots and celery and garlic, and started soup. Since I had the baby (yeah, I’m going to blame everyone but myself, even a three-month-old granddaughter) I was distracted and forgot to tilt the lid. So, the beans got mushy and I hate mushy beans. 

Worse than mushy, though, the soup was bland. Extremely bland, even after I dumped in a bunch of spices. 

I put the soup in the refrigerator and ordered pizza last night. Even though I stopped ordering my
food burned years ago, this one arrived that way. Too burned for my taste is totally unacceptable for most people. But, between the two, the pizza seemed the better choice so I ate some.

Tonight, I decided to try processing the mushy beans. Then I could melt cheese on top and it might be like refried beans. Seemed better than wasting them. 

Maybe there’s a secret? I lost the instructions to the processor years ago, so I won’t know unless someone sees this and tells me. I ended up with mushy bean juice all over the kitchen, even with all nifty plastic blockers in their correct spots on the processor lid. And, in all the crevices on the base because, obviously, the people who design those do-not-immerse bases get some sick pleasure from making sure there are crevices that are impossible to clean with anything wider than a toothpick. 

So, I tasted what was left of the mushy bean soup after it was pureed or processed or whatever people who know what they are doing call it. And, of course, it was still bland. But, I had bought a new essential oil today, and I was going to fix this problem and create something new at the same time. 

When someone takes the time to type ‘maybe not even a whole drop, you might want to dip a toothpick in the oil and then touch it to the soup’ that’s a good clue that the oil might be overwhelming.* I missed that clue. 

The soup was not bland anymore after I added a drop of cinnamon oil. Nor was it good.
No problem! I had pepper jack cheese to add. That would surely mask or at least tame the cinnamon. Seriously, other non-foodies, cinnamon is NOT ANYTHING LIKE RED PEPPER. I knew that. I really did. So why did I do this? Sigh. 

The pepper cheese was in the freezer but fortunately was shredded and I was able to break off a chunk to put on my soup. I might have known the truth about cinnamon but I really had no idea that putting shredded cheese in the freezer would make it smell so bad. I tossed that stuff in the microwave quickly and rushed to wash the stink off my hand. 

Turns out freezing probably doesn’t make cheese smell sour. I think there’s a very good possibility I bought and froze nasty cheese. 

I’m having leftover burned pizza tonight. 

Anybody want bean soup? I don’t deliver.


* To make a long story even longer, this made me remember when my father-in-law brought the teeny tiny green peppers from Bolivia to my parents' house one night. He warned us they were hot and we nodded and smiled, like, yeah, we know about hot peppers. He appealed to my husband, who explained in English that we would all share one of those teeny tiny peppers. Each of us would dip the pepper in in our soup bowl and then pass it on to the next person. They weren't kidding - the soup was hot with even that little dunk of the pepper.



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