Soup for a Year

11/10/2009

Mushroom soup: It’s good!

Filed under: Controversy,David,Dinner,video — David @ 9:33 PM

I had already eaten the soup in question before I had time to make the video, but here is a photo of it’s gray goodness before I ate it. (And yes, I know that using the flash washes out the colors and makes for crappy indoor photography. Why don’t you come over to my house and show me the quick and easy way to turn off the automatic flash on my camera?)

Whole Foods mushroom soup

11/06/2009

Soup for a Year: Dinner 5: Brie Eats Cream of Spinach and Mushroom Soup: It’s Complicated

Filed under: Brie,Dinner,soup,video — Brieanna @ 9:04 PM

Right. Today wasn’t too bad. I had a peach mango V8 for breakfast which was quite good. There were plans for my friend Lyndsey to make me pizza soup for dinner tonight, but she ended up going out of town, and I was left to fend for myself. But I am an island when I want to be, and sometimes when I don’t want to be, like tonight. Yet I persevered and went to Whole Foods after I got out of work early. As I wandered around the Dublin Whole Foods, I was quite pleased to see that there were no samples of cheese in the cheese area. I love cheese, any kind, anywhere, any time, and the presence of no cheese samples was pleasing to me as I would not have been able to partake in the delicious samples. I took this as a sign that the Whole Foods workers want me to win this challenge, and also maybe God. Yes, I’m sure God wants me to win. And so I will bear this burden of eating only soup, and I will emerge victorious, much like the Crusaders, sort of, in the First Crusade. History! With this in mind, I began to eat my soupy dinner.



As usual, I was optimistic about this soup. I like to give anything a chance, try everything once, keep an open mind, that sort of thing. I find my optimism particularly helpful in the soup challenge. I mean, I was labeled “the manic” at lunch today, with Mike being “the depressed” and David being “the unaffected.” However, this cream of spinach and mushroom soup was a bit of a let down.

The thing about this soup is that it had everything, in theory, to be a great soup. Cream! Spinach! Mushrooms! Being soup! Yet, when all was said and done and eaten, I did not really like it. It had a strange flavor to it that I could not place. Now, I am familiar with surprising flavors popping up in things I buy from Whole Foods. Usually it is a bit strange at first, but then I get used to it and like it. Once my friends and I bought Whole Foods Ranch dressing to go with our Two for Tuesday Whole Foods pizza. The Ranch had a rosemary flavor that is not present in the perennial favorite Hidden Valley Ranch, but as I continued to dip my pizza in it, I began to enjoy the taste. This did not happen with this soup. Maybe because I couldn’t isolate the strange flavor it had, but either way, I have had better soup. I still have probably three bowls left of it in the refrigerator, and it says I should enjoy it by December 12, so I’m sure I will finish it. I just won’t be as happy about eating it as I will be about the lobster bisque I love or a good French onion.

Tomorrow: Another Whole Foods soup, Brandied Cream of Mushroom. Fingers crossed this one will be better!

Lynda is quickly becoming my secret weapon

Filed under: David,Dinner,soup — David @ 6:17 PM

After work today, I swung by the Apple store in Easton to pick up my new laptop battery. (If you’re interested in this non-soup part of my life feel free to investigate over at Why Won’t You Grow?!)

As I drove to Easton in the gathering twilight, I started talking myself into a milkshake–you know, something filling to eat while I drove. (And, apparently . . . totally legal!) I thought, “Well, when I stood up at work a little while ago, I did get slightly dizzy for a second. Maybe something that is a filling drink would be a good idea.”

But as I drove, I started talking myself out of it again. I felt fine and the traffic discouraged me from slowing my progress further by swinging into either a McDonalds or a UDF or the very inconvenient Steak & Shake. So, I avoided temptation again.

After I finished my transaction at the Apple store (Thanks, Geniuses . . . if the problem is finally fixed, that is.) I started home and began to think about what I’d have for dinner. Friday night is generally pizza night in our house, which means we heat up a frozen pizza (most often) or order a corporate pie (less often). Then the girls watch some sort of movie or series of Disney Channel shows and Lynda and I relax for a while and switch off from a week of work. Soup, normally, has no place in this end-of-week routine.

But the other nice things about pizza night is that Lynda and I don’t have to worry about cooking. Even if I wasn’t eating pizza, I still could easily heat up the leftover turkey soup from earlier this week or try to finish off the Brunswick stew that I’ve been going through all week. And since I was going to be a bit late getting home, I’d just slip into the night as the kids were finishing pizza and making their movie selection. I’d heat and eat my soup and everything would be (relatively) normal.

When I got home, what was waiting for me on the table, still hot?

This:

pizza soup

Do you know what this is? It’s PIZZA Soup, as interpreted by the amazing Lynda. She created it by:

1. taking two pieces of pizza and removing all of the toppings and cheese

2. cooking the toppings in a pot with a can of diced tomatoes that were already flavored with oregano, basil, and garlic

3. dashing the top of the finished soup with parmesan cheese and

4. garnishing the soup with cut up pieces of the original pizza crust that baked  in the oven to a crouton-like consistency.

It was a pretty good interpretation of pizza in soup form that did not resort to blenderizing anything. I certainly don’t think anyone can accuse me of cheating here because Lynda went to the trouble of creating a soup base with the (pizza appropriate) flavored tomatoes.

The best thing about it all was that I had no idea she was planning on it. It was  a complete and utter surprise and I really think it is cool how Lynda has been supporting me in this entire affair. You’re the best Lynda!

11/05/2009

Avoiding the snacks are HARD!!

Filed under: David,Dinner,Lunch — David @ 8:54 PM

clam chowder

(Today’s lunch was clam chowder. And it was very good.)

Not snacking is one of the harder things about this whole S365 business. I look back now on how dismissively easy I thought this might be and internally scoff at myself. How could I think it was easy? How can I restrict myself to only soup and not potato chips, not crackers and cheese, not ice cream, cake, and cookies? Why was I such a fool?

Well, those who know me know that being foolish is something that I excel at. So, why should this be any different? But I really felt foolish (and hungry) when I came home this afternoon with the kids and was immediately assaulted with the smell of something rich and beefy cooking in the crockpot. I knew that Lynda had bought a roast over the weekend, so I assumed that a succulent pot roast was nearing its cook time.

I was simultaneously happy and sad all at once. I was happy that I didn’t have to figure out what to make for dinner–something that always looms large for the person who leaves work early to pick up the kids from school. But with that significant task out of the way, I could play with the kids, straighten up, check email, etc. And then . . . I was sad because I knew that pot roast was not an approved food according to the Soup Council. Soup . . . of course. Chili and stew had been approved (hurray!), but pot roast was definitely not acceptable. Immediately I tried to tell myself that I could just heat up some of my leftover turkey soup or have another serving of the Brunswick Stew that I was previously thawed. But I knew nothing would be as good as that pot roast.

Courage, I told myself! It’s only the fourth day! Don’t be so sad so soon. And I distracted myself by doing other stuff. But soon the kids wanted an afternoon snack and they asked for their enormous bag of Halloween candy. CANDY! I can’t eat candy either. No chocolate, no Reeses cups, no Baby Ruths, no Mr. Goodbars, no Snickers Fun Size. Nothing.

sigh

I’ll have chocolate milk later, I said to myself. It’s okay. I’ll find something else to do while they eat.

Soon, playing with the kids occupied my time and I realized that I’d forgotten about it all. And then Lynda called to tell me to put some rolls in the oven to go along with the beef stew. She was on her way home . . . wait! What?

Beef stew?! That isn’t a roast?

Sure enough, when I opened the lid to the crock pot, I found a beef stew with onions and carrots bubbling away.

Hurray! Lynda saves the day AGAIN! And it was happily eaten by everyone . . . including me . . . and it was so very, very good.

Now, how to stop thinking about all that Halloween candy later tonight?

11/04/2009

Soup for a Year: Dinner 3: Brie Eats Loaded Baked Potato Soup: It’s Complicated

Filed under: Brie,Dinner,video — Brieanna @ 7:29 PM

Wow, this competition? Endeavor? Challenge? Whatever it is, this is the third day of it. I am getting tired of soup. It’s like when you’re trying to quit smoking and suddenly people smoking cigarettes are everywhere. Now obviously there is food of the non-soup variety everywhere, the trick is to not notice it or, barring that, somehow to push the thought of it out of your head.

Usually I’m pretty good at not thinking about things or people that I don’t want to. However, as far as thinking about things that I want, I have zero ability to not only not stop thinking about whatever I want, I have almost zero ability to keep myself from buying it. That goes for anything from a new dress to a Hound Dog’s Backyard Dog pizza with Smoking Joe’s crust and a side of ranch dressing and hot sauce. DO YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE? I want pizza! I know, you’re shocked. But here is something to actually shock you. I did not give in and order the delicious pizza that I wanted. Instead, I ate loaded backed potato soup from Potbelly’s.

It was distracting to have someone else in the room when I was making this video, and maybe you could tell that I wasn’t nearly as put together as I usually am. So I will type to you what I thought of the soup. Here is the problem: If you are calling your soup LOADED baked potato, you include cheese. That is just what you do, no debate. Potbelly does not! They charged me an extra 50 cents for a bit of melted American cheese. Also, in a loaded baked potato soup, you should have something other than simply chunks of potato and some bacon. Not even that much bacon! Ugh. When all I am eating is your soup, please make it better, or at least more honest about what it is. This soup is that movie that you see previews for and you think is going to be really funny but then it’s a teenage coming-of-age story and those SNL cast members are barely even in it. This soup is Adventureland.

I did have a strawberry milkshake though, and it was gooood.

11/03/2009

Tonight’s triumph

Filed under: David,Dinner,video — David @ 7:46 PM

What a difference a day makes.

If you read my post from last night, you know how despondent I was about the whole S365 affair. And you know how Lynda pulled my fat out of the fire and gave me a new lease on life.

Tonight, I sit here with a full belly of delicious, homemade, turkey soup . . . and I couldn’t be more confident. Now, I know that everything is relative and that tomorrow my inability to stop looking at the enormous bags of Halloween candy that my children begged for over this past weekend may drive me into pits of insane despair that I just can’t understand right now.

But those cravings are for another day and will be satisfied with a chocolate soup recipe that I am going to identify and eat for breakfast every day.

Again . . . that is another day’s problem.

Today, I am triumphant in my successful and entirely spontaneous turkey soup that I whipped up from the meal that I was concocting for everyone else. And best of all . . . it was DELICIOUS!

Do you hear me Mike and Brie?! I made delicious soup and I am so cocky at this exact minute that . . . well, I’m pretty cocky. I’m cocky like Terelle Pryor in the first quarter. I’m cocky like the South Carolina Gamecocks. I’m cocky in some what that had absolutely nothing to do with a sports metaphor but I can’t think of it right now. I’m cocky in ways that I’m imagine later when I don’t feel like updating the post to include.

I’m confident is what I’m saying.

I wish you could have been there with me to see it all happen. I wish you could have smelled the pans as the ingredients cooked. I wish you could have taken that first bite with me, wondering if it would be any good and then realizing with a shock of excitement that it was very good.

Maybe you should come by the office later this week and watch me eat the leftovers for lunch? Would that be pretty creepy? Well, I’ll leave that up to you.

Here’s a video of me getting it all together. Food Network . . . I’ll expect a call from Alton Brown soon.

turkey soup

Soup for a Year: Dinner 2: Brie Eats Broccoli Cheddar Soup: It’s Complicated

Filed under: Brie,Dinner,Make Brie some soup,soup,video — Brieanna @ 7:03 PM

First off, I’d like to say that today was much easier than yesterday. I had no breakfast, but I had a delicious turkey chili for lunch. Plus crackers! Maybe this soup thing isn’t so hard. In a similar vein, when I told my mom about this thing, she mostly thought it was par for the course and really funny. That was yesterday. I spoke to her again today, and she was very receptive of my soup needs for Thanksgiving should I still be eating soup exclusively. That was pretty awesome. So thanks, Mom!

Now for my dinner. I decided to get a broccoli cheddar soup from Panera. That pretty much covers the soup places I can think of near my apartment, with the exception of that Soup Nazi place downtown. I’m not sure how late that place stays open, though, so maybe I will try that this weekend.

Several other things. I searched Craigslist for soup and nothing funny came up! What gives, Craigslist? I expected something disturbing having to do with someone wanting someone else to sit in a bathtub filled with tomato soup or something, but nothing!

If you search “good soup places” near my apartment, you will find that many people think that Subway has good soup. Is this a thing? I have never been to Subway and wanted and/or seen soup on their menu, but maybe that is because I would get a sub at Subway. I mean, “sub” is in the name! Anyway, eventually I may get desperate for variety and be forced to give it a shot.

Also, I have yet to have a highly-debated milkshake, so there’s that.

Finally, I have several more people lined up to make soup for me, including our own soup contestant Mike! Keep those offers coming, people!

11/02/2009

In which everything almost fell apart . . .

Filed under: David,Dinner — David @ 9:19 PM

. . . but Lynda emerged as a true hero who knows the meaning of a wedding vow.

You can probably recite the part of the vow I’m thinking of: “for better or for worse . . . ’til death do us part.” We pledged those words to each other 14 years ago (to her Dad, no less!). And, thankfully we’ve had few instances where we’ve truly tested the meaning. Maybe tonight, as part of this arbitrarily imposed challenge, we stretched the boundary a bit.

Let me explain.

The day has gone fine, for the most part. Breakfast and lunch were satisfying enough. During lunch we videoed some discussion of allowing a roll with soup–to most approval (though definitely NOT to Dean’s liking). Also, the Souperintendents clarified that noshing on ingredients while preparing homemade soup is not okay. But after lunch, Mike emailed the panel to get a ruling on the allowability of milkshakes.

Now, I immediately had a gut reaction of No! (Which I continue to believe.) Milkshake, while they are beverages–which, according to an earlier leniency for freedom of drink choices–might seem permissible to some, I feel are far more of a dessert luxury rather than a drink. Surprisingly, everyone was okay with allowing milkshakes under the definition of “drink.”

I didn’t like that but didn’t make much of a fuss. But I realized we were arguing over stupid things in a pointless, made-up challenge with no larger goal. Thereby disillusioned, I went home to find Lynda making a delicious meal of sausage, onions, potatoes, and corn. She had not remembered that I was eating soup and was immediately worried about excessive leftovers. I, in turn, was upset enough about the milkshake decision and overwhelmed with ennui, to just give up (on day 1!!) and eat my regular dinner.

But here is where Lynda’s love for me (in the face of idiocy) shone through and her heroism asserted itself. Seeing how bothered I was by the idea of throwing in the towel at the starting line, she put all of the ingredients of everyone’s meal into a bullion broth . . . and I can claim to make it to another dawn.

And best of all, it tasted really good! And there were leftovers that I quickly converted into another serving of soup for another day. So, maybe things aren’t as dire as I think?

But it is only the first day, I realize. And I’m am going to have to find a way to make it meaningful to me and–I hope–make it meaningful to others. Mike and I were briefly discussing it this morning, and maybe we can turn our soup-eating into a charity effort to get cans of soup donated to local soup kitchens? I welcome any and all suggestions on how to make our little game be a force for good. Because, otherwise, it’s just goofy people doing goofy stuff.

Still, I thank you for paying attention the last few days and I hope we can devise something here that you can find some entertainment in. It’s a work in progress.

Soup for a Year: Dinner 1: Brie Eats Lobster Bisque: It’s Complicated

Filed under: Brie,Conditions,Dinner,Make Brie some soup — Brieanna @ 8:31 PM

This is my first post! I guess I should state my feelings about this whole ridiculous endeavor. I didn’t think that was going to be that hard, but I can already tell I was wrong. This morning instead of having eggs and some sort of breakfast potato, I had a bottle of V8 and a can of Sprite. Healthy! Then for lunch I had a bowl of French onion soup from the cafeteria at work. That was ok, but I did not feel satisfied. Now, a post about my dinner. Be warned: the quality is terrible. I don’t have fancy recording equipment like David and Mike do, so I took this video with my Blackberry.

Hmmm, well it turns out I don’t know how to put this video on the blog. Something about it not meeting security guidelines or something. Oh well. Anyway, I had a bowl of lobster bisque and a glass of Riesling. It was quite good, actually. Also, I did eat my dinner to the Rocky theme song because when I say I’ll do something, I do it. I am a woman of principle. I just hope Mike is a man of principle because I am going to eat soup longer than him, and I expect my demands to be met!

Update: I think I figured out how to add a video. Please to enjoy Soup For a Year: Dinner 1: Brie Eats Lobster Bisque: It’s Complicated.

Oh, one more thing. If anyone wants to make me soup, I would appreciate it. I’m not what you call a “good cook.” I don’t “like to make things” or “make things that taste good.” Well, unless what I’m making is either lobster, mac and cheese from a box, or spinach dip. Erica Kendall Pastorell Pastorelli Pastorelle already said she would make some soup for me and so did Dean, so let’s have some more offers you guys!

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