Making Soup

SoupAt one time, I hated to cook.

Not that I am a bad cook, but there are other things I’d rather be doing.

Like anything else.

I hated it so much that back when I was single, I only cooked on Mondays.

I would fill a pot with whatever was on hand and feast on it all week. When that ran out, I ate bar-food.

One week, I decided to make vegetable-beef soup.

I poured water into a pot, sliced an onion and checked the freezer for frozen vegetables. Wouldn’t you know it? No vegetables. No beef either.

Given that I only cooked once a week, you would think I would have everything on hand – but that wasn’t my style.

So I changed my plan. Why not make chicken noodle soup instead?

I checked the cupboard again. No chicken stock. No sign of noodles.

Before checking the refrigerator, I bet myself I didn’t have chicken either. I won that bet.

This was a problem. What kind of soup could I make without meat, vegetables or noodles? So I searched the shelves again.

This time, I even moved the stuff in front, so I could see what was in back. No peas. No beans. No nothing.

I had onions, but could I eat onion soup all week?

I answered that question by grabbing my keys and heading for the door – but just then my phone rang.

It was my buddy Stan. “You up for a burger and a beer”

“No,” I told him, “I am trying to eat healthier and save money by making soup.”

“Oh,” he said, terribly disappointed.

“You want to help me?”

“Naw…,” he began.

“I got beer,” I told him.

He changed his mind.

“Come on over,” I said, “but before you do, check your cupboard for anything that could go into soup.”

“Potato chips?”

“Anything else?”

“Milk,” he said, “but it’s expired.”

“Bring it,” I said.

“So what kind of soup are you making?” he asked, with just a hint of suspicion in his voice.

“I started making vegetable-beef,” I told him, “then I switched to chicken – but I don’t have either beef nor chicken so I was headed to the store.”

“Stay put,” he says, “I’ll pick up what we need.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he says, “I got just the thing.”

Ten minutes later, he walked through my door with a gunny sack slung over his shoulder. I didn’t think much of it until he set the bag down… and it started flopping across the linoleum toward the door.

“Stan?”

“Yeah.”

“Your sack is moving.”

Whatever was in there, did not want to be.

What followed was a conversation interspersed with action.

“I got.”

He said reaching into his bag.

“Two.”

Pulling out two hapless chickens.

“Fresh.”

Snapping their necks.

“Chickens.”

Thumping them down on my counter.

He then began to pluck.

A blizzard of chicken feathers filled the kitchen and swirled into the hall. It roiled toward the living room, reducing visibility there to no more than the length of the coffee table.

As I rushed off to close doors, he snatched up my big butcher knife and thumped away at the carcasses. I was glad to be out of the room for that.

By the time I returned, he had the chickens in my soup pot.

“It will take four hours to boil up those chickens,” I told him.

“Sounds about right,” he said.

“What are we going to do until then?” I asked.

“Get a burger and a beer.”

“Sounds like a plan.”