Warning: This post may be subject to wandering off-topic. (No, I am not sipping really good red wine, or really cheap white wine either.)
I think I just made the best Vegetable Beef Soup ever. Ever have one of those why don’t I make this more often days? Yes, I’m sure you do.
As much as I like to write about food and cook, I tend to eat a lot of the same food.
Funny how life has its way of keeping us walking that straight line, tits tucked in, and no panty lines please. Of course now that I am in my 50s, I am always in a bra since I don’t want to add any more girth to my midriff area which is where my DD’s would be if I went braless. Okay. See there? I just went sideways.
That’s how I feel about cooking sometimes. I coast along, eating my oats and yogurt for breakfast, turkey and tuna for lunch, an occasional PayDay or Snickers for a midafternoon snack and the standard, salad and protein dinner, and then Wham! I make Linguine with Clams one night and Vegetable Beef Soup the next afternoon. Not that these dishes are spectacular or represent something out of a momofuku kitchen. Far, far from it. What they represent is that they are so simple and remind me of my desire to stop the sameness, the vanilla-coated everydayness, the ordinary.
Several years ago when I had the restaurant, where as you might imagine I could eat whatever I wanted, and I am not proud of this, but, every day I ate tuna salad on a toasted sesame bagel with a thick slab of tomato and a smattering of pickled jalapenos. For a year. Yes. Sad, but true. Ask anybody that worked for me. In fact looking back, I was a mayo Nazi when I asked my kitchen staff to make the tuna salad. “Very little mayo” I’d shout from the front of the restaurant through the pass-through window. Yep. Every day. And I had to have fresh tuna salad. No day-old tuna salad for me. How irritating my twenty-something self was! This neurotic, control-freak kind of attitude is the exact thing that makes people (who wake at 4 a.m. to work in a hot kitchen to sling hash and eggs and bacon and grits, for minimum wage mind you), want to spit in your food.
Now, to be clear, I never did that in my restaurant or anywhere else. And I pray nobody on my staff did that either. I’m going with the ignorance is bliss theory on that one. And if someone did spit in my tuna? Well, all I can say is, I survived it!
Recipe developer and food writers don’t always make glamorous, picture perfect meals. I have plenty of recipe-fail kind of days. Some days when the Bosc pears are ripe to the touch ready to bake in a flakey tart, the weather is foul and the light nonexistent. Other days, the best intentions to create a new recipe with a fresh, expensive ingredient go out the door as fast as my terrier runs after a squirrel or deer.
So beyond all this pithy bs about eating habits and food writing, and lets not forget how boring my life must be that vegetable beef soup warrants a 700-plus word blog post. So what exactly makes the best Vegetable Beef Soup ever?
Leftover brisket for starters. Beef that had simmered low and slow for hours in a tomato, onion and beer broth, then marinated in the refrigerator and reheated in a large stockpot on a cold November afternoon. Soup that forced me away from my desk for an hour or so to chop fresh vegetables. Away from thinking about how to make my protagonist in THORNTON PARK, divulge backstory without coming across as a pompous ass, or doing an info dump and creating a compelling character you want to love and root for. Away from my research, to-do lists and emails to suppliers, organizations and agents of change for my next cookbook, EATING GROUPER.
Of course I made Vegetable Beef Soup in the past. But it seems like a long time ago, like when I wore a C cup.What are you cooking lately?