Tuesday, November 09, 2004


I made something tonight.

I put a couple of frozen chicken breasts into a pot and filled it about a third of the way with water. I chopped broccoli, celery, onion, and potatoes, adding them to the water bit by bit. I vigorously shook parsley and bay leaves into the bubbling mix. A few hearty dashes of salt and pepper, a half-cup or so of milk, and a quick stream of marsala cooking wine, just because I was curious what it would do. I let it simmer together for a while, then threw in a couple of handfuls of stir fry noodles.

Oh, it was good. We both ate a bowlful before sitting back with groaning bellies. There's a big container of it left over, too, which will make a fine little lunch to reheat tomorrow.

We've been so lax at cooking for ourselves lately. After being so good at alternating nights and cooking for each other, we got out of the habit over the summer, especially during the frenzied weeks before the wedding. Then there was that stretch where we mostly existed on ramen noodles for the last week or two of each month to make the dollars last without resorting to the credit card. And as hot as it was here this summer, neither of us really wanted to heat up the house to cook anyway.

When we once again gained two incomes this fall, it became so easy to continue our laziness and eat out. Or order pizza. Very shortsighted of us, we agreed, and pledged to be more responsible. Then we lost the special events coordinator at work just a month and a half before our one huge special event, and I ended up working 60+ hours a week to help out. That was also not good for our cooking schedule. Lots of Taco del Mar, those weeks.

Now autumn is cooling into winter, and the warmth of the oven is welcome in our apartment. I stir my cobbled-together chicken soup and glow with pride. (Pride and the heat of the stovetop, I suppose.) My husband has been sick, and we are both hungry, but I--I have created soup. And it is good.

Of course, some people might say soupmakers must create ex nihilo, so they will deny that I really had anything to do with the appearance of the soup on our table. I am, instead, a temptation to doubt in the divine providence of the soup--a lie of Satan leading witless souls to stray from the true origins of the soup.

Still, the soup was very good.