Relearning how to do a task you’ve been doing mindlessly for 35 years is a challenge, and this was not one I particularly wanted to tackle. Like my mother before me, I have always taken a certain amount of pride in how quickly I can throw a meal together. I thought Kraft Dinner was a food group and frozen pizza made perfectly acceptable Friday night fare. (Just so you understand the learning curve here.)
But, determined to do my part for my wellness journey, I am learning to shop for and prepare food I’d barely heard of before. On Friday evening, I single-handedly cleaned Sobeys out of Kale (which I previously thought God created solely for decorating our salad bars) and Leeks (which don’t actually leak. Who knew?)
On Saturday, I set out to create something called “Black Forest Cream of Mushroom Soup.” I’ve made plenty of homemade soups before, but never like this.
First of all, you need to know that when it says “Preparation Time: 40 minutes,” it really means three hours. I guess they forgot to include the time it takes to juice five pounds of carrots to form the stock, the hours of chopping vegetables, the necessity of going online to watch a video about how to clean and cut a leek, the need for a clean t-shirt partway through, and the kitchen cleanup afterwards.
Secondly, when it says “Serves five” it really means “serves five adult elephants.” You’ll need a big pot.
Have you ever cleaned, sliced, and sautéed two pounds of fresh mushrooms at once? This soup also includes bushels of fresh spinach, carrots, onions, corn, celery, leeks, garlic, almond milk, canned beans, and assorted fresh herbs. For the next couple of hours, I cranked up the music and juiced, peeled, chopped, and blended like a madwoman. I was Iron Chef! Julia Child! That little rat from Ratatouille.
Everything was going swimmingly, too. Until the big, shall we say, eruption.
The instructions said to take raw cashews and puree them with almond milk. Then fill the rest of the blender with some of the hot soup mixture, puree it all together, and add it back into the soup pot. With my left hand on the blender’s lid, I hit the button with my right. My right hand, that is, not the right button. The wrong button, actually.
The high-powered force pushed the lid off, spewing the mixture onto the counter, the floor, the upholstered dining chair on the other side of the counter, the wall, the microwave, and me.
Did I mention it was hot?
It’s a good thing the puree smelled yummy, because my kitchen looked like an air sickness bag had exploded while the plane executed a loopty-loop.
And yes, I said a bad word.
But they tell us nothing bad ever happens to a writer – it’s all material. Lucky you.
By this time I had so much invested in that soup, I’d have eaten it even if it tasted like dirt. It didn’t. Even my grandsons finished their bowls at supper that night. I froze several future meals and I learned you really can teach an old cook new tricks.
But I think I’ll rename the recipe. Volcanic Veggie Vexation has a nice ring to it.