Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Night Soup

After a few crazy weeks, I am so very happy to spend a Friday night in with Pioneer Woman’s Tortilla Soup and a Christmas movie marathon. Whoever said Netflix and chill means something other than sitting, eating, and watching TV is crazy because its literal interpretation is about the best thing going. And, I also love a good soup during the winter months. And this tortilla soup is just about the best tortilla soup I have ever had.

I love to cook, but, I am not a baker, even though I like baking. I can make a decent carrot cake or chocolate cake, but baking isn't really my thing. I only learned to follow the well-written rules even though I was never, ever good at math and chemistry and physics. I don't fancy these particular subjects, not just because I am a natural blond who loves her skinny jeans and boots, but because I can’t even handle their exactness. My mom, the ever-feminist lover and daughter supporter, expressed her irritation with my I suck at math sentiment. And then, a few days later, I asked her a simple math question and she said, “Wow, you aren’t really good at math are you?”. 

No, I am not good at math. I am not even embarrassed about it. I am me. It’s not that I don’t like structure and rules. Even cooking has a few necessities like, a good knife helps more than you can imagine, a really good dutch oven saves time, a fantastic stainless steel pan will heal the world, and it's best not to add the garlic until the last minute because it burns and tastes like bark on a tree. But, I must admit, like cooking, I prefer subjects and people and the human condition that allow for the almost bad bell peppers who end up making the soup even better in the end and the too much onion that, secretly, makes the soup its best. Oh, and if you cook the veggies a little too long...they are even better. Julia Child once said, about cooking, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

Like Julia Child, perfection and exact chemistry are not my goals. Even though I greatly admire the chemists and the exact people. They are impressive, that's for sure. They heal us, find cures to heal our diseases, and they suture our wounds. However, making stuff out of the rotten, the discarded, and the forgotten - this is my goal. Like tonight, as we were so far into, A Family Stone, I paused from cooking, wooden spoon in hand, and stopped to watch my favorite part of the movie. That part when the Luke Wilson character says, "You have a freak flag. You just don't fly it."

And just as I teared up when Luke's cute face said this cute line, I realized I forgot to add the tomato paste to the soup...I didn’t need to stress. I just added it. I let the soup cook just that much longer and, while the soup simmered, I watched the tearful, yet heart-filled end of my favorite holiday movie. 

Allow the passing of time or don't. Get rid of most of the rules, except the ones you need. Adhere to your own version of creativity. Teach yourself. And enjoy the end result. We all matter...even the bakers and mathematicians..because they teach us the rules we choose to follow or choose not to follow. We need the rule makers and the non-rule makers. We need all of us. We need the calm and the exciting. We need each other because, together, we make the world go round. Just like soup - all of its ingredients are necessary and the time on the stove, while the soup simmers and marinates, is crucial to it becoming its very best version of itself.

And, by the way, I broke three of these darling glass bowls because I insisted on carrying them myself. And, oh well. Crate and Barrel is open all night long on line. Broken bowls are swept away in favor of a good night in, with a good soup, and favorite movies. That's just me. Perfection is not necessary for this Friday night. And, as my favorite four year old boy says, "The cute lady really makes a good lunch." ...or dinner. (Jack's assessment of Pioneer Woman on Food Network.)

1 comment:

  1. Love, love Ree and her recipes. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!


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