Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Soup - It's a Recipe-ish People.

My mother-in-law, Bonnie, is a genius at making up meals using whatever she has. She could actually be given any 5 random ingredients from the kitchen and work them into something. It's freaky.

She also can not stand to see a bit of food be wasted.  Many of her concoctions are fueled by her desire to not waste a bit of anything, which makes things extra interesting.  She belongs on a food game show. 

This past week I was gone a lot and not doing much cooking, so a lot of vegetables I had sat without use.  This makes me sad, not as sad as being unable to pee alone, but sad. 
When I was packing for my trip to Houston on Monday I immediately knew I should bring all my leftover vegetables to her so she could use up all of the unwanted produce. 

I knew she'd use it all so I even brought these.

I would consider these to be rotting, she simply sees dinner.

In an effort to not let food go to waste, and to participate in my own little rotting-food-use experiment, I brought it all along. I feel like I dropped a huge puzzle on her counter.  I see her picking them up and circling around them in deep thought. 

Next thing I know a bunch of them will be gone and we'll be eating a salad filled with rotting food....but somehow everything tastes good and actually looks appetizing.

She has made all sorts of things since I arrived, including what she simply calls root vegetables, but tonight she put a soup in front of me.  She called it potato soup.

I did in fact see her peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes, but that's not what it tasted like.

It was delicious, though I was a little scared to ask what was in it.  I couldn't think of anything that I had brought that could make soup like this.  I'm always a little frightened that I might be eating some version of Fear Factor soup, but it was good. Really good.

Now, if you think the way I write my recipe-ish can get convoluted, ask my mother-in-law how she prepared something.  She's very...little of this, little of that, found this in my freezer, I made a casserole with this last week so I put it in.  It sounds confusing and disgusting, but it always seems to work.

Here's what she said when I asked her how she made this soup:

There were squares of cabbage left from that salad, sliced zucchini without the skins, and boiled potatoes from Monday night's dinner.

All of those were in salted water on the stove.

Then, I added that round looking squash you brought, maybe it was an acorn squash?  (It was actually a patty pan squash.)  I baked it because I wasn't sure what it was or what to do with it, but it went into the soup nicely.

Then I found half a stick of butter and a half a cup of milk leftover from the kids' dinner last night in the fridge, so in those went.

Then I added that spice (serious hand motion demonstrating a difficult time turning something,) you know, that was really tough to open.  (Seriously...that's all she remembers about what it was.)

Then I threw in the corn that had been cut off the cob for Stella to eat the previous night.

Then I used that thing my mother had (emulsion blender) to make it into a soupy mixture once everything was soft.

I topped it with grated smoked Gouda cheese and served with the bread Cole and I got at Target.

I wish that I had added onion and garlic because they make everything better.  That and olive oil. 

Olive oil makes everything better.
I'm sure that clears it right up for you all.

I could have translated the whole thing more for you, given you an ingredient list, etc. but that would have taken away from the brilliance of Bonnie's ability to pull seriously anything out of the fridge and make something I actually would want to eat.

I think you'll agree that this was also more fun. 

Go see what's in your fridge.  Bonnie could probably serve twenty people a scrumptious dinner out of it....what are you making?


Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

I made mac & cheese for lunch for the four of us. Raisin Bran for dinner.

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

Ha! I have a weak stomach so just the thought of a semi rotting food being in my meal would make me feel funny about eating it. However, if you did not tell me what was in it, I am sure it would be amazing. Funny how are mind can have such an impact on things!

Your MIL sounds like a very impressive lady that I would most likely lose to in a cook-off :)

Hope you are enjoying your vacay.