March 28, 2014
Week #47: Guilty chili

image

'You know how it is with me, baby,
You know I just can’t stand myself.
It takes a whole lotta medicine for me
To pretend that I’m somebody else.’
- 'Guilty' by Randy Newman

Dear diary,

I got back to the beach this week after some time away, and it was like everyone had got together and had a conversation about how they should be pissed at me for leaving soon. The weather is changing. Just like I could feel the angled bones of winter underneath the flesh of Autumn on certain November days, Spring swells under the surface of life like a stretched bladder.

There is no clearer evidence that humans are roiling internal creatures than guilt and shame. Why play when we should work? Why cheat when we should keep it straight? Why give in to the selfish, the cynical, the glutinous, the dishonest? You know the list. Why allow the comfortable but well-worn paths of habit to expose the wooded clearing where our weaknesses lie? Do we think so little of ourselves and this dumb, tremendous world that we have lucked into?

Why even ask these questions after the fact? As a PhD in the subject, let me tell you that there are all kinds of guilt, and there are all manner of feelings that we indentify as guilty. However, guilt’s defining emotion, I would say, is fear. What have I done? What if I fall apart? What have I lost? What kind of asshole am I to do that to someone else? What kind of an asshole am I to do that to myself?

How did I get here? This is not my beautiful anything. It’s five in the morning, and I am half-way up a high-rise in the old Confederate capital, drinking in coffeed streets milky with dawn. I’m frustrated by her dumb, snoring sleep, but that’s more to do with me than anything. I’ve been thinking about this page for what seems like months, and it has been starting to keep me awake. I even talked to my therapist about it. Why am I’m bored with this? Why do I find my words so interminably boring right now? How do I cross this ‘must-do’ off the list? What is the point?

He asked: ‘What emotions are you trying to avoid?’

Read More

March 28, 2014
eatdrinkdie:

I cooked nothing for two days. I tore through cold, old pizza with my teeth or warmed up aging soup. I spent 26 hours – ten each Monday and Tuesday and six on Wednesday – scouring my computer. I went through badly labeled old files and folders, searching for half-edited versions of blog posts from the last two years. I accidentally deleted my tumblr account on Sunday night. I was doing too many things at once. I wasn’t paying attention and I clicked one too many times before the hot panic in my toes told me I’d gone too far. I typed eatdrinkdie.tumblr.com into the white of the URL hole and a huge colorful screen passed me a clear message. The work I’d done no longer exists. The stories I told were gone. Tears welled up in my eyes when I understood the damage I’d done was permanent. What I’d lost wasn’t coming back. The world I created had died and I killed it. I wasn’t deleted, but rather I deleted myself. I spent the next three days searching, capturing bits of this and scraps of that, photos and text, to revive my blog, to breathe old air into it and make new life. Like cleaning out the fridge and throwing together anything, old wilting lettuce and wobbly rubber celery to make a meal, to stretch things beyond their own limits, ignoring the mold and slime. Sometimes it works and sometimes you go too far and end up with something terrible, beyond endurance. Sometimes you make yourself sick. I lost nearly 70 pieces of original writing. What my blog was it is no longer. I have no followers and I follow no one. What was lush now feels thin and squalid. Images of my family and myself I’d created through anguish and sorrow were gone. Dreams and hopes turned like ash to the wind. I remember what they felt like, some of those pieces drifting up in the air over the oceans and jungles and mountains, in outer space. I remember sentences and sensations, some that drove me to tears and made me wonder where they’d come from. They no longer exist. I poured myself a whiskey and rattled with anger. I looked for someone to blame. I reached out to friends who might understand. I held hands with Nina and moved through the rises and falls that feel very much like grief.  [Painting: Death and the Maiden by Austrian painter Egon Schiele, 1915]

How could you not follow Eat Drink Die after that?So, do it, and then release all claims on permanence!

eatdrinkdie:

I cooked nothing for two days. I tore through cold, old pizza with my teeth or warmed up aging soup. I spent 26 hours – ten each Monday and Tuesday and six on Wednesday – scouring my computer. I went through badly labeled old files and folders, searching for half-edited versions of blog posts from the last two years. I accidentally deleted my tumblr account on Sunday night. I was doing too many things at once. I wasn’t paying attention and I clicked one too many times before the hot panic in my toes told me I’d gone too far. I typed eatdrinkdie.tumblr.com into the white of the URL hole and a huge colorful screen passed me a clear message. The work I’d done no longer exists. The stories I told were gone. Tears welled up in my eyes when I understood the damage I’d done was permanent. What I’d lost wasn’t coming back. The world I created had died and I killed it. I wasn’t deleted, but rather I deleted myself. I spent the next three days searching, capturing bits of this and scraps of that, photos and text, to revive my blog, to breathe old air into it and make new life. Like cleaning out the fridge and throwing together anything, old wilting lettuce and wobbly rubber celery to make a meal, to stretch things beyond their own limits, ignoring the mold and slime. Sometimes it works and sometimes you go too far and end up with something terrible, beyond endurance. Sometimes you make yourself sick. I lost nearly 70 pieces of original writing. What my blog was it is no longer. I have no followers and I follow no one. What was lush now feels thin and squalid. Images of my family and myself I’d created through anguish and sorrow were gone. Dreams and hopes turned like ash to the wind. I remember what they felt like, some of those pieces drifting up in the air over the oceans and jungles and mountains, in outer space. I remember sentences and sensations, some that drove me to tears and made me wonder where they’d come from. They no longer exist. I poured myself a whiskey and rattled with anger. I looked for someone to blame. I reached out to friends who might understand. I held hands with Nina and moved through the rises and falls that feel very much like grief.

[Painting: Death and the Maiden by Austrian painter Egon Schiele, 1915]


How could you not follow Eat Drink Die after that?

So, do it, and then release all claims on permanence!

4:33pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlWB2w1BS8ODj
  
Filed under: thisisMYbody 
February 26, 2014
Stockin up.

Stockin up.

11:29pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlWB2w18duc7i
  
Filed under: stock soup 
February 9, 2014

richardbucknerposts:

ReBloomed: a Gauzy Dress in the Sun

Bloomed came out when I was in college, and I saw Richard for the first time then, 20 years ago now. I have seen him perform probably once a year on average in at least a dozen different cities, and his records continue to be good, sometimes great. But going back and listening to Bloomed is still a special, poetic explosion of pathos. It offers a home for drinkers, doubters, lovers and people with broken and bruised hearts of all kinds. That voice and those words, the resignation of loss from a young man that captures where we came from and what we’re papering over. It means more to me than any other record maybe, and it keeps giving even into my middle age. Man, we have seen some shit, Bloomed and me…

"I’ve been stunned, and I’ve been turned
I’ve been undone and burned.
I saw you as the answer to
Years of blue and wonder.
Your voice shakes me through,
But you don’t know what I might be.
You haven’t seen the worst of me
When your eyes move up I’m silent.

Put your arm around me
Pull your mouth on up to mine.
What’s that word?
I forget sometimes.
It’s the one that means 
The love has left your eyes.”

And just for good measure:

"Well, my dear, I miss you dearly.
Once I thought this breeze would blow the orchard down.
I guess the fire never withered in me.
Until I die all I’ve ever leave is ash and tears that once was you and me.

All tanked up and dressed down in desire,
And I hope you understand -
I’m not your man anymore…

No, I’m nobody’s man anymore.”

And more and more. Long may he run.

February 9, 2014
Cut the crap soup… it was actually quite good.

Cut the crap soup… it was actually quite good.

2:09pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlWB2w16w1IY_
  
Filed under: crap crap soup soup 
February 6, 2014
Week #46: Faux pho

image
'I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow.
I’m drunk and dirty, but don’t ya know … I’m still, willin

Everything about this is as true as I can make it, but it’s still false.

There are words on my screen, and soon hopefully, your screen. There are pictures. There is some conception of what pho is. There is a soup blog that was supposed to go for a certain length of time. Behind all of this, there is me. Or some version(s) of me. And there is you, in all of your various, glorious second-person versions. Soup has often been a part of it, but I think it’s fair to say that the potage does not give a shit. So, really, this is about me and you – remember?

So, here we are.

Waiting for my words.

Maybe you should give something back every once in a while. Eh?

But of course, these will remain my words here and now – my hesitant gifts to an uninterested world. Which means, they are probably really for me. A way to harness the voice in my head to better ends. To establish a tone, a paradigm, a way of being? More on that in the weeks to come.

I served this soup to a room full of mostly strangers, who all noticed it needed salt and politely added copious amounts. I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit, but always remember to taste your soup at the end, my friends, especially when busy and when you have a soup with a variety of components.

image

Anyway, after, I left my car at the party, and on my way home late at night, walked into a blizzard on the beach. An unbelieve assault of ice particles on the wind. Not hail, but like tiny flakes of broken glass (or sea salt!) peppering (!) me at up to 50 miles per hour. Although it was not terribly cold by many standards - 20 degrees F – 65 degree days are not uncommon right now, so my tolerance was low.

I staggered, sometimes I slowed to a stop. Everything my senses could process raged against me, and I felt like I was nothing – even though I stood there, a solid beast, on top of a hill, possibly freezing to death. I laughed at the thought of being found frozen on a beach in North Carolina along with some yowling foxes, and kept plodding. Certainly I might have had an accident and then who knows, so I imagined my fate like the icy Jack Nicholson’s mad man face at the end of the Shining.

I am a nothing that moves. And that mobility is a big tool in the Swiss army knife of life. I knew all I had to do was keeping moving, and I would get home. Didn’t matter how fast. Didn’t matter how straight the line was. Nobody was waiting. Nobody was worried. One foot, another.

Read More

February 4, 2014
Fat ready to be removed atop some lovely beef stock. You’ll see why soon.

Fat ready to be removed atop some lovely beef stock. You’ll see why soon.

6:14pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlWB2w16RupH3
  
Filed under: beef stock stock tips fat 
February 2, 2014
"You know, Souper Bowl. It’s like a pun."

— You mean like Super Boll, the great seed?

February 1, 2014
A soup play in one act

Scene:
The front porch of a diner/roadhouse with a live jazz band playing inside. Man holds phone in front of Woman when she says she has read his entire soup blog front to back, and she wrote down her favorite and least favorite parts… He says to read what they are into his recorder.

W: Awkward, but awright.

M: Well, I don’t want to forget.

W: OK. Oh wait, it’s not under notes. It’s in trash … I think.

M: Trash? Did I get downgraded?

W: Yeah, I erased all your shit. Nevermind. Anyway.

[bigger voice into the recorder]

HERE’S MY FAVORITE … OK … HERE’S MY FAVORITE LINES FROM YOUR SHIT.

[Long pause with jazz guitar noodlings filling the space nicely]

OK.

'It's kind of false composure, but I have always considered it a fairly honest, if occasionally annoying, response to people and the world.' [Ref: Irish Lamb Stew]

That was a good one. And oh, oh wait:

'And anyway, if it was true, she would have lived near the old house where my parents got divorced, and besides my version has beer in it.' [Ref: Beer, Cheese and Broccoli]

That’s pretty fucking good.

M: Has beer in it?

W: Beer, dude, beer. You wrote it. How can you not know?

Dude, read your shit again.

M: I’m not sure that’s what it says, but ok.

W: Yeah, it’s pretty clever. Awright…

'But then I've had the sea on my mind a lot recently.' [Ref: Paradise by the ‘C’]

That’s just, nice.

[Laughs]

Oh wait, this is a good one:

”Yeah, you know, I write about soup in my spare time.’ It’s like admitting you roll on the ground with dogs.’ [Ref: Winter squash and apple]

[Both laugh]

See, that’s good.

M: Huh. Funny.

W: ‘And then they’ll tell you it needs more salt.’ [Ref: Garlic and Rosemary]

But that’s just because I love salt.

OK, but my all-time favorite… My all-time favorite of any of the shit you wrote on that blog.

M: OK

W:This is not clever.

Really? Thanks.’ [Ref: Kale and Lentil]

That is my all-time favorite shit.

M: Nice. What about the bad stuff?

W: I wrote down one thing.

[Reads]

[Speaks very fast and low]

'I never thought my love would end …' blah blah whatever. Forget it.

You have a book here you know?

M: Really?

W: Well, just take out all the stupid soup and recipes and shit.

M: I see.

January 31, 2014
Tumblr sent me an email. It said that A Year of Soup was two years old today. Funny, right? Especially given that part of the blog’s tag line has always been ‘One year only! If I live that long…’ But then I have always felt my own mortality too strongly. I have felt like I am on borrowed time for so long that I have come to feel both truly blessed and truly cursed. Sigh…Anyway, to defend my laziness a bit, Week #1 of a YoS did not come until the end of July 2012, so I actually have quite a bit of time before we really hit 2-for-1 slacking. Anyway, sorry I haven’t been there for you more. Week #46 is coming soon. I hope to see you there.Much love,The Potager

Tumblr sent me an email. It said that A Year of Soup was two years old today. Funny, right? Especially given that part of the blog’s tag line has always been ‘One year only! If I live that long…’

But then I have always felt my own mortality too strongly. I have felt like I am on borrowed time for so long that I have come to feel both truly blessed and truly cursed. Sigh…

Anyway, to defend my laziness a bit, Week #1 of a YoS did not come until the end of July 2012, so I actually have quite a bit of time before we really hit 2-for-1 slacking. Anyway, sorry I haven’t been there for you more.

Week #46 is coming soon. I hope to see you there.

Much love,
The Potager

January 28, 2014
The Definitive Ranking Of Soups

Definitive seems much too strong for this random, schizophrenic list. But that’s why people click on it. Anyway, if you’re a soup fan, even a Totally Subjective, Arbitrary Ranking of Soup Types can be interesting…

January 27, 2014
7 Mistakes Everyone Makes With Soup

Some good, if simple-minded, stuff here. Are you people not putting love into your soups?

9:46pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlWB2w15fsupo
  
Filed under: soup soup mistakes 
January 15, 2014
Week #45: Herb soup

image
This is a chastening soup. A soup that casts an eye askew at me. ‘Stop being such an idiot,’ it says simply in its earthy, floral rumble, as only a bunch of worked up herbs can do.

Making soup, drunk and alone, in an apartment that sits uneasily like a graveyard, this verdant green offering starts making some sense. It asks have I ever wondered about the black box that is my own heart? How come my understanding often exists under the ‘X’ of a treasure map that I don’t even really remember seeing? ‘What do you want,’ my soup asks slyly before undercutting: ‘Want? What does that even mean as a linguistic construct without multiple qualifiers? Want to eat some soup?’

Sure.

My soup might be insane for even thinking such complicated things.

Don’t worry, it’s the night before a small dinner party, and I am sharing some of this rich tincture tomorrow. And in these winter months, these musky herbs will try to remind us of love and heartache and the third of three stooges: death. They will say cataclysm. They will say catastrophe.

And we will taste it, and maybe we will say catalyst. It might be explosive and creamy and a powerful reminder of the sun. The musty herbs will be perked up with turmeric, Greek yoghurt, lemon juice and the like. And we will say recovery where there was none before. Herbs have healing properties after all. Their roots take from the soil, bloom into sacred leaf and then give unto our souls. Perhaps with the right blend of herbs, it will cure what ails us. We might take the spoonful of elixir and feel love and trust and forgiveness and health, and these things will wash over us like the wave of a hot summer’s day.

There is nothing really to worry about any more, and I am fine with that. ‘What does fine even mean,’ says my soup. And I say: ‘yes and what is the point anyway?’ But it’s time to think about a more merciful life, maybe the first hint of another spring? At least, it’s time to cross our fingers and hope, finally, for a fucking break.

Read More

December 9, 2013
Week #44: Winter crab bisque

image

'Above all, a bisque should be smooth, light without being liquid, glossy to the eye, and definite to taste.' - Louis P. DeGouy

'What is bisque?' It's up there in the top 10 list of most asked soup questions.

'What is bisque?' you say.

I ask back: ‘Think of it this way: what isn’t bisque?’ which usually sets things off on the right direction, so I continue: ‘Well, it’s like this…

The origins of the word are unknown, but I think we can safely assume it’s French. And like a lot of French soups that have become popular in America, that means smooth, creamy and flavorful. However, you might be shocked to find that the French are no help in our quest for meaning. In The Soup Book, good ol LPDG breaks it down this way:

“Three soups that are closely related to chowders are cream soups, purees and bisques. Each of these is different, but each has something in common with the chowders.”

Yeah, not very clear right? And try to get meaning from this:

“Cream soups often are made from a single vegetable, such as peas, corn, carrots, etc. But several vegetables also may be used together.

“A puree is much like a cream soup, but it is always made from sieved vegetables and is usually thicker than cream soup.

“Bisque is the third variation. It is generally a fish, crustacean, or shellfish soup, as well as tomato, pea, or similar vegetable.”

I know you’re confused. We all are. It is our humanness, so don’t worry. But I think we should, first of all, just make a rule that bisques are for seafood only. The bleeding of the word into other areas is just salesmanship. That helps our cause of clarity quite a bit.

Read More

December 4, 2013
Scene: Two characters from ‘Futurama’ on the run and hiding out in a cabin in the woods…

Character 1: ‘We’re in luck! This must’ve been the cabin of a soup bootlegger back in the days of soup prohibition.’    

…They look into the tub…    

Character 2: ‘Oh, yeah, bathtub minestrone.’