Monday, November 29, 2010

Spaghetti Soup

SOUP??? Spaghetti?? Yeah, that's right. Soup. Spaghetti soup.

Why soup? Well....I have a cold. The monster cold of all colds. It's gone down into my chest - like it always does. Triggers the asthma - like it always does. Now it's turned into bronchitis, hasn't done that in years.

It's 3pm. I'm just now eating "breakfast". (No, I did not just get up. Actually, I've been up since early am.) It's that now I'm hungry enough that it's worth enough to me to move and start the coughing. So I went and cooked something.

Why don't you have TURKEY LEFTOVERS, you ask? BLEEEEECCCHHHH. I eat turkey 2 times a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's it! I eat left-over turkey for 2 days afterwards. And. Then. I'm. DONE!!

I've never been very fond of turkey anyway and the older I get, the less fond of it I've become. Actually, I once broke out in hives from eating too much turkey. I quit the turkey and the hives went away. (long story, short. I lived alone, fixed a turkey and proceeded to eat it for 3 meals a day for a week - I wasn't throwing out food.) I'd say I'm allergic to it because after 2 days of turkey, I start having a sick stomach. So NO turkey!

Anyway, I left the left-overs at my DD and DSIL's house. They LIKE turkey. They both work FULL-TIME. DD is pregnant. THEY did a happy dance to have the extra food. Especially food that didn't require cooking or dirtying dishes. lol

And I'm HUNGRY. So....what's in the fridge? What don't I have to cook? Yogurt? Blech. Not today. Salad? Double blech! Not today.

Some ground buffalo that a friend picked up that was on sale. (Thanks Kathleen!) Ok. What do I want? Hamburger? Nahhh. I know, I'll fry up half of it and wing it. (proceeds to turn on eye under cast iron skillet and dumps in 2 tbs of rendered fat from some fatback. Hey, I don't want to hear that. It doesn't MATTER that I "could" DIE from heart disease because this cold is gonna KILL ME FIRST! I'm pretty sure this is my last meal! EVER!)

And step back from MY cast iron skillet. It's well seasoned. It's the heir to my fortune (sorry kids) and if you step back now, you'll live to tell the tale! Touch it and you DIE. IMMEDIATELY!

Oh, back to the food. Whoa, here's 1/2 an onion from T'day wrapped in foil and it's still good. (Chop, chop, chop. Toss, Sizzle, sizzle.)

Hummm. Probably need to add a little salt and garlic powder to this. This is a normal amount. A sane amount. Not I can taste crazy amount. I eye balled it like I normally do when I fry meat & onions.

Looking about done. What do I want to do with this? sigh Hash? Naahhh. sigh

Oh, here's some left-over cooked spaghetti - must be 2 cups of it in the bag. (Dump. Sizzle, sizzle.)

Humm....what kind of tomato products can I find? Well...here's a can of diced tomatoes and here's a can of tomato paste. (Opens can of diced tomatoes and dumps them in. Adds about 1/4 can of water.)

And now for the paste. Oh. Interesting. I don't believe the can should be shooting tomato plasma out of it when you puncture it. Must of been in food storage too long. Why haven't you bothered to DATE any of your stuff?? sigh (dumps the can of Tomato paste and washes can opener).

Man, that's some watery sauce. Ok, lets go looking for some more tomato products in a different BOX because there's still 9,005 boxes not unpacked yet. There's no place to PUT the stuff. It's in boxes with labels. Fruit, Veggie, Milk, etc. So...(dig, dig, dig) Oh, look there's some tomato sauce! SCORE! (Opens can and dumps it in, rinses out the can and used about 1/4 can water to do so.) (Looks at pan and goes; "Oh, crap! Man, that's watery!)

Hum...something missing. Oh, yeah, better season it. salt, garlic powder, fresh rosemary, fresh oregano, fresh basil - ok, it's drying out on the plant. but since the plant is not yet dead, it's still "fresh", Italian seasoning, brown sugar.

Still missing something. Hum....here's some Feta cheese.

Yeah, that looks good.

Does it taste good? Did you NOT READ the first paragraph? HOW THE (mystery word) DO I KNOW?? I have a COLD! The only thing I can "taste" is the salt in the feta and the large pieces of the rosemary - which I failed to think about needing cutting UP so it didn't overwhelm my mouth.

So here's the "recipe". Note of caution. You probably do NOT want to use the amounts of herbs that I put in here. Hello, I have a COLD!

Spaghetti soup that wasn't

1/2 pound of ground something - beef, chicken, turkey, pork, buffalo - not kid, it would not taste good! (You'll have to find another way to dispose of unruly children.)

2 Tbs of fat if you're using a lean meat like buffalo. Olive oil, shortening. Whatever ya got.

1/2 lg onion

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 cups left-over spaghetti (COOKED)

Sauce:
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes + 1/4 can water (rinse out can with it and dump contents in pan)

15 oz can tomato sauce + 1/4 can water (rinse out can with it and dump contents in pan)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp Italian seasonings

(Crazy amounts of the following. If I could taste, I probably would only use about 1/2 of these amounts!)

5 semi-dried out fresh basil leaves or about 2 tsp dried basil

1 TBS fresh rosemary (chop 'em up folks or they're STRONG!) or about 1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp fresh oregano. This one might be ok as is. Normally, I would used about 1/2 tsp dried oregano in something like this, so 1 tsp fresh is probably spot on.

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Get the skillet hot, add the fat, then the ground meat. Cook over med-low heat until done. While it's cooking, chop an onion and toss it in there. Season it with the salt and garlic powder (or use 2 cloves of fresh garlic and don't use the second amount of garlic for the sauce.

When the meat is no longer pink and the onions done, add the spaghetti and let it "fry" while you find the tomato products and deal with disaster.

Make the sauce:
Add the tomato products and the water. Mix it around. Turn up heat because it looks like it's gonna be really soupy.

Add spices. Turn down heat as you realize that 1.) it's spattering all over and 2.) it's not as bad as you thought it was and you don't want it too thick. (Did I just imply that spaghetti sauce can be TOO thick?? NEVER!)

Heat until it's all hot. Don't wait for the flavors to "marry" because YOU CAN'T TASTE ANYTHING, ANYWAY!

Add feta and serve.

Eat a bowlful and write a useful blog entry.

Go back for seconds. Realize that as it's sat, it has thickened and it tastes better. Or is that because I have more feta in the second serving and THAT'S what I'm tasting?

And for the experienced, adventurous, broke cook:

1/4-1/2 lb meat, ground, shredded, cubed. Cooked or raw

an onion

garlic if ya got it.

fat to cook above so it doesn't stick to pan

some cooked pasta, egg noodles, rice, chow mein, or rice noodles

some kind of tomato product or spaghetti sauce, watered down a bit for "broth" or whatever kind of sauce floats yer boat or cranks yer tractor.

seasonings for the meat/onion mix and more to sauce - unless you're using spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce.

Cheese, what kind? I don't know, look in YOUR fridge!

black olives, mushrooms, more/different kinds of cheese, etc

Cook/heat meat with onion and garlic. If meat is already cooked, you may want to start the onion cooking first and then add garlic and then meat. Remember to not brown your garlic as it makes it bitter. (I thought only humans got bitter. humm...wonder if it was a divorced garlic that was tested?)

When the meat is hot, onions cooked, add the pasta and let it cook for a few.

Add the sauce. Whatever kind would work. Water it down a little bit so as to make it more soupy. You want soupy. Make a white sauce if you want to instead of tomato based "soup". Add some Parmesan to the white sauce and call it "Alfredo" which is what Alfredo sauce IS! lol Season it as ya need to.

Add cheese. Add black olives. Add mushrooms, whatever's in the fridge that needs usin'. Eat it as is, or put it in a casserole and sprinkle it with cheese. Put it under a broiler or in a 350 oven until the cheese is golden.

I know there's no black pepper in this recipe. I don't LIKE black pepper, so I don't USE it. Knock yourself out. Use it if ya wanna.

And then when you're done eating. Decide that the bathroom floor can just not STAND another day without being swept. And washed.

And then get side-tracked by remembering it's trash day (at 4:30 AM!), as you collect the trash and are in the process of emptying it, notice that there are MOTHS coming from a storage box of FLOURS and RICE. OH! NO! PANTRY MOTHS.

And will someone PLEASE answer my ears? They're ringing.

Yah know, tomorrow has GOT to be better! If it's not, I'm thinking I'm gonna have to just curl up in the fetal position for a while. Maybe pull the covers up over my head. You know- HIDE. Sort of like the hog-nose snake that the minute you touch it, it plays dead. Then when you walk away, it comes back to "life" and crawls off. Wonder, if I play dead will stop beating up on me? Nah, I don't think so either, but...it was worth a thought. Ah, the fairy tales we write for ourselves. lol

Oh, my one ear just popped. YEAH! It's stopped ringing. Oh, fun. Now it sounds like the ocean. Hey, I grew up in St. Pete. I LIKE the beach. And hearing the sound of surf on the shore sure does beat the ringing! Now if only the other ear will pop, clear and perhaps I'll have the ocean in stereo. Or be able to HEAR again.

1 comment:

LizBeth said...

I love it! I love it! I love it!

And yours is much better than mine. In one of the Earlier Ramen Periods I was trying to find cheap, easy ways to get through Saturday with as little cooking as possible. Used cans of cheap spaghetti sauce, broth, enough salt and herbs to keep it from tasting thin after broth/water was added, browned hamburger crumbles all heated up in the crockpot. Broke up packages of Ramen noodles just a bit before the first meal and let them cook. I really liked it. The idea was they could have a bowl of soup any time they wanted it, and I was done for the day. Didn't work. They wanted supper, too. A different supper. Oh, well.

Certainly hope you feel better soon. All that respiratory crud is a pain. Wish I could help.
~Liz