There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Monday, December 04, 2006

all by myself

My husband left today for a 4 day trip. The dogs and I waved and barked and yelled "I love you!" as he drove off on the icy road. When we went back inside I said out loud "What are we going to do for 4 days without him?" and both of the dogs looked at me with knowing eyes. Those dogs are spooky sometimes.

So, I am making my comfort food; lentil soup. Growing up Catholic made for some interesting meals on Friday. In those dark age days of my youth Friday was a meatless day. I can't remember what we ate on Friday before I was about eight, but I sure do remember after that. My dad would barbeque swordfish. Swordfish. Dry, tasteless swordfish. White, bland, textured like cardboard swordfish. Swordfish; barbequed. Those meals were unending as I chewed and chewed but just couldn't swallow. I heard the poor kids in China story every Friday and still I couldn't swallow the stuff.

After my sibling was old enough to complain about fish Friday, it was only my dad that ate swordfish and my sibling and I were the recipients of the newly created fish stix. Greasy, bread crumbed, nasty fish stix. I remember thinking that they were made out of fish feet....they had a peculiar smell while baking. Eventually I complained too and I was given the gift of lentils, alphabet pasta and garlic simmered for hours and tasting like food of the Gods. For as many years as I lived at home I had lentils on Friday. I would eat the contents of the entire sauce pan, ate them until I was far beyond full, feeling bloated I ate until they were gone. Thankfully my sibling never liked them and went on to Friday pancakes and waffles.

I am not a cook, don't bake from scratch, am kitchen challenged except for cleaning up and have and would still be eating as much fast food as I could had I not gotten old and had this high blood pressure/cholesterol thing going on. As hard as I have tried, I have not been able to replicate my mother's simple lentil comes out mushy, or undercooked, or tasteless no matter how much salt and garlic I put in it, but.....I have created a really tasty lentil soup that is simple and used to taste better when it had real sweet Italian sausage instead of turkey copy cat sausage that doesn't even come close to tasting like the real thing. But, it has lentils and pasta and garlic and the rest of the ingredients are simple....diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, a veggie, mushrooms, onions and a little of this and that for seasoning. It will simmer all day, I will sample it every few hours, I will eat it twice a day until every last bit is gone and not have to share it with anyone. My husband thinks it is an OK soup, but he isn't wild about lentils so I don't feel bad about eating half a bag of lentils and all of the other stuff in the soup all by myself. I figure he will be eating with friends in a restaurant, having someone serve him and clean up after him and I can eat the entire pot of soup without any guilt! Evens out I think.


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gina said...

Okay, call me crazy, but I LOVE lentil soup. My mom made the best lentil soup, too. I am sure it was a holdover from HER Catholic upbringing, and most assuredly because we were poor and it was plentiful and cheap. I don't care why, I loved the stuff. I remember fish stick Friday's too, but more often we had cod or perch. Mom was not a talented cook, so that meant it was the nasty frozen stuff that she baked in the oven with some butter and dill. Do you wonder why I'm not a big fish eater? But I did love fish sticks and mashed potatoes. Oh, and mom never put meat in the lentils. Just lentils and carrots I think. And seasonings (garlic, of course). No one else in the family likes lentils but me, so I don't make them much at home. I get my fix via Progresso when I really want some (had some just last week, in fact). If you ever want to share.... :)