Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Disgruntled Cook

MENTAL STATUS: "Excited". Getting my new window treatments today. Woo-hoo! (I'll be sure to post my before and afters)

I think I mentioned that I went to my mom's the other day. We had a nice visit, did a little shopping, a lot of gabbing, etc... Then we came back to her condo around lunchtime. She told me she made some soup I had to try. That was cool with me. I like soup. I was hungry. Plus, she offered to serve it with a nice hunk of fresh bread.

Let me tell you, this soup wasn't good. Uh-uh. No, not merely good. It was awesomely outrageous.

So I asked her, "What kind of soup is this?"

"I don't know. Chicken soup," she answered.

Hmmm. "Ok," I said. "Well, I think I want to make this this week for dinner. How did you make it?"

So she proceeded to tell me. "Well, take chicken thighs and put them in a pot and fill the pot with water."

Check. Pot. Water. Chicken.

"Then," she said, "throw a handful of chopped onion, a carrot--maybe two. And some cabbage. Maybe this much." She held up a small space between her thumb and middle finger for me. "Simmer. That's all."

I looked in my soup. "But there's rice."

"Oh, yeah," she said. "Add the rice with the chicken. And potatoes. And some poultry seasoning."
I looked at my soup again. "Why is it reddish?"
"Oh, yeah," she said again. "I put a few large teaspoons of chopped tomatoes."
I looked at my soup AGAIN. "Are those little noodle shells?"
"Oh, yeah. Add some of those, too."

Ok. I'm a little frustrated now. So I just looked at her for a long moment. "Mom, just give me the recipe."

She smiled proudly. "Oh, there's no recipe. I just this threw stuff together."

Grrr. See, this is where my mom and I differ in cooking techniques. I like to hunt for recipes, then follow them to a tee, only varying if I don't have an ingredient on hand. My mom finds recipes annoying and just hodgepodges through creating a meal. Fortunately, she usually comes out with something awesome with more frequency than not.

Now the problem is that I know for a fact that it will only be through God's divine intervention that I (or even she) will be able to replicate this soup. So I must call her today and squeeze every last bit of brain cell she has so she can remember EXACTLY what she did. And I will write it all down.
Hopefully, I will have success in making it tonight.

What kind of cook are you?


Chicki said...

It must be an "old school" thing! That's the way I cook. I'll use a recipe for new dishes, but mostly I cook by sight and flavor. In my experience it comes out better.

Stephanie said...

My father in law does that, too. He was teased in college for his cooking techniques. They called him Mama Griffilini. We've told him now that he's "Papa" he needs to open up his own restaurant called PAPA Griffilini. He's like gourmet...everyone who eats his food can't get over how good it is.

I, however, am a by the book kinda gal. I'm getting better. I've perfected my chocolate chip cookie recipe, so I guess that's a start. ;oD HA!

Edie said...

I cook by the book too. :) When you get her recipe, I hope you post it. It sounds delicious.

lainey bancroft said...

Mom style. Only I can go ya one worse. Gas likes to cook too, so we've made some awesome soups... he tosses and I toss and neither of us has a clue how much or what exactly went in. :(

But, on a bright note, the next pot is usually great too...if completely different. :)

Virginia Lady said...

I must admit I cook like your mom. I tend to not follow recipes because they always have things listed that I don't have or don't know what they are. :-)

But I follow baking recipes precisely, well, except for the optional items, and maybe I might add more chocolate chips than they called for.

Um, maybe I don't follow recipes. :-)

I understand your frustration though, my grandmother baked this wonderful homemade bread. I've never had anything remotely like it anywhere else. I tried to get the recipe, but she did the same thing. One of her daughters tried in vain to replicate it for years and never could, even though she watched her make it over and over.

Some things are only available from the source. I miss her and her bread. Good luck with your soup!

Lia said...

Umm, a little bit of both. I bake by a recipe. Baking is a science. You can modify a recipe but, you must always have one.

For any other kind of cooking. Anything goes. Only one rule. You can't take salt out, well you can in a way by adding potatoes. Okay, no rules.