Essays

Beautiful Soup and Other Adventures

Beautiful Soup  and Other AdventuresBeautiful Soup  and Other Adventures

`Beautiful Soup, so rich and green, Waiting in a hot tureen! Who for such dainties would not stoop? Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,

Beautiful, beautiful Soup! `Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish, Game, or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup? Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup? Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Beau–ootiful Soo–oop! Soo–oop of the e–e–evening, Beautiful, beauti–FUL SOUP!’

You know, I believe the Mock Tortoise From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol had the right idea about soup. I love soup. I’m making soup right now. It’s simmering on my stove. That’s a picture of it up there. It’s chicken soup, it’s not quite green like in the song, but there is quite a bit of parsley in there; there are also bay leaves in it.

Beautiful Soup  and Other AdventuresToday I decided to make soup. It’s been cool for the past couple of days where I live and you already know I’ve been kind of stressed out. I woke up this morning determined to get something done. My heaters are on in my house, because it’s cool outside. I still had laundry to do, a post to write, and other odds and ends to take care of. I wanted soup. I used my giant cutting board to chop up my ingredients. Isn’t it beautiful? Don’t mind the aqua-ish walls. I took the wall-paper off of my walls and that’s what was underneath. The cutting board is gigantic and I love it. I was easily able to chop four onions, seven stalks of celery, or so, and an entire pound of carrots on this cutting board and I still had room left over. Actually, I just did the rough chopping and de-skinning on the board and used my Kitchenaid food processor for the rest. The cutting board was just great though, besides the onions.

I love onions, ok? I like to eat onions. A good soup is not complete without onions. So I chopped up four onions for my soup, but the thing is, over the past couple of years, I have gotten extremely sensitive to onions, not the taste or the looks of them, but their self-defense mechanism. Onions, as you know, secrete some chemicals when you start cutting into them and those chemicals waft up and get into your eyes causing you to cry. Well, as I said, something in me has changed over the past couple of years and I really can’t tolerate chopping onions very well. I’ve had to resort to rinsing them off as soon as I cut them just to lessen some of the effects. Even so, even with my safety measures, I still end up a mess when I’m chopping onions. Before I started rinsing my onions, before and after chopping them, I had a very difficult time in the kitchen. My eyes watered, I cried, my nose ran, my eyes burned, I had to drench myself with cold water to rinse out my eyes. It’s just awful. I used to look as if I had gotten into some kind of awful fight after chopping onions.

Because I strive to educate, let me tell you how to take care of your wood cutting board. My cutting board is not finished in any manner. There is no stain on it or special coatings. It’s just wood. My uncle made it for me as I said. You don’t want to put a bunch of chemicals on  a wood cutting board because you’re using it to chop up your food, which is going to go into your body. So you don’t use wood stain or polyurethane. What you do to keep your board intact, because wood will crack over time if not treated properly, is oil it. Take some oil, my uncles generally recommend food safe mineral oil, but you could use olive oil, vegetable oil, or whatever oil you had, just as long as it’s oil you can ingest. Rub your oil into your cutting board on all sides and reapply every few months. Your giant cutting board will last forever if you do this.

Beautiful Soup  and Other AdventuresWhile my soup was simmering and cooking, I got to work on some other things. I started re-reading a book I have not yet reviewed for One-elevenbooks, Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith, and I charged up my Kindle 3G to help alleviate some of the lack of Kindle suffering I’m going to be doing for another couple of days.

I can honestly say my Kindle keyboard, as they’re now called, has been a trooper. I’ve dropped it. I’ve traveled with it on multiple occasions. The battery dies, but I plug it in and it resurrects itself like some kind of weird Frankenstein. I’ve thought about getting rid of it over the past couple of years as I do now mostly use my Kindle Fire HDX and before that I had an Android tablet, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. I’m glad I didn’t. It’s like a cockroach, it just keeps going. You can’t kill it. It’s like that Toyota Hilux that the good fellows of Top Gear could never kill.

Beautiful Soup  and Other AdventuresI was reading in my art studio. It’s not finished yet. I will give you guys pictures and explain some of the things in my art studio when it’s finished. I have a nice reading spot in there. I have a double-papasan chair; yes, it’s from Pier1. I can curl up on the papasan chair and read. That’s what I did while my husband was working on some stuff outside. Pepper the dog is hanging out on the lawn today as well. I went out to visit her. I got off-track, but my point is that this is good reading weather. Just curl up in your chair with a blanket or throw, with a space heater nearby, and you have great conditions for reading. The soup simmering on the stove smells really good while you’re working on reading your book. It’s all very nice.

Take your cold-front and curl up with a good book, but maybe leave out the onion chopping.



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