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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I Fought the Soup and the Soup Won

Hello. My name is Lisa and I am Cooking-Challenged.

This realization is one that has actually been simmering - pardon the pun - since the first months of my married life. The Quiche Incident is one that will forever be remembered in McKay Family Lore. Let's just say it involved some very underdone eggs in a graham cracker crust. In my defense, when a recipe says 'pie crust', it should specify the particular flavor or lack thereof required to make the finished result edible. I'm just saying.

Clarity, recipe people. It is essential.

Now that you have a bit of back story I can now proceed with telling you about my Harry and David's Chicken Enchilada Soup Fiesta Fiasco.
Harry and David's has this signature Pepper and Onion Relish that makes the most wonderful cream cheese dip appetizer so anytime I am near the store, I generally buy a jar or seven. However, this time there was an extra treat on top of the jar - a recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup. I read over the recipe and it sounded somewhat simple so, seeing as how I am already guilt-ridden over the lack of home cooking here lately, I decided I would WOW my family with a batch.

Here's where the trouble began. The recipe said I needed 'cream'. No other explanation, just cream. When I think cream, I think dairy so I went to the Dairy Dept. and bought cream - Heavy Whipping Cream.

I got home, started making the soup and hubs came in. I should have known disaster was brewing when the first thing he said when he hit the door was, "What smells like a skunk?" Retaining my Preacher Wife composure, I lovingly explained it was the garlic in the soup. He came in to the kitchen, saw my cream, and said, "That's not the kind of cream you use for cooking is it?" I not so lovingly told him to get out of the kitchen and that obviously he knew nothing about cooking. I then snuck to call his sister who confirmed I indeed had the wrong thing. Rats.

I was not about to let this little set back keep me from this great soup so, deciding I could get the right cream the next day, I put the beginnings in the fridge and took the kids to the burger joint for supper. The next day, I went to the store and bought Pet Milk like my SIL instructed. Note here: Nowhere on the can does it say 'cream'. How's a girl to know? Really, how??

To make a long story endless, I went home, pulled out the soup, and added the cream. My thought was, "Wow, this looks awfully milky. I read the recipe again and realized, oh the horror, I had misread the amount and instead of 1/2 a cup, I had added 1 1/2 cups times two for the doubled recipe. The result? 3 TIMES the amount of cream I needed. The only way to fix it at this point was to triple all the other ingredients which would require returning to the store and also using my last jar of relish which I knew I could get no more of for a few months. So I did what I had vowed I would never do - I quit.

Have you ever tried so incredibly hard to accomplish something, to resist temptation, to make amends and find no matter what you did, it still turned out badly? I'm reminded of Peter who experienced this very thing. Peter with the foot-shaped mouth. Peter who removed people from their ears. Peter who denied Christ when he swore that would never happen.

We can learn an important lesson from Peter's retreat to fish after Jesus' death - sometimes the best thing we can do after failure is back off and regroup before we try again. The benefits are a fresh perspective, fresh information, and fresh faith. Peter returned to pen 1st and 2nd Peter which in my estimation are some of the richest books of the New Testament. What a come back!

So back to my soup - petty compared to what some of you are experiencing but it is a great visual for me as to the importance of trying again! Next time, I'll remember what I've learned from my mistakes and work out all the kinks beforehand.

And hopefully my hubby will be none the wiser.

Please come visit my personal blog, The Preacher's Wife.

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Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

I can "bake" but I can not cook...does that make sense?

I totally get your cream thing, I think I would do the same thing.

Thanks for this reminder today,fresh faith...I sure like the sound of that.


October 1, 2007 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Oh the soup story is funny!
Reminded me of the time when we were first married (20 years ago!) and my mom-in-law was telling me how to make my hubbys favorite bean soup.
She said I had to cook a ham all day to get the bone.
What was she talking about- bone???
(The only ham I had ever seen had come in a can- I had NO idea you could actually buy a ham).
The house smelled just wonderful after a day of cooking the canned ham!

Seriously though- great post! So true.


October 1, 2007 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger lori said...

I love to cook but have had my share of frustrations...feeling like, been there!

as you said, 'back off and regroup and try again...' perfectly said!!
Isn't it just wonderful how we can see these life lessons in such daily life...IF we are paying attention?

Loved it!

October 1, 2007 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Tami Boesiger said...

You always make me chuckle with your stories, Lisa. Thanks for always bringing them around to the Word.

October 1, 2007 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Thanks for making me smile, and teaching me at the same time my friend.

October 1, 2007 at 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

Reminds me of my cream potatos, aka....smoothie. Mom left out one tiny detail....drain the water off the potatoes before adding milk, etc. Hince, J "drank" our first cream potatoes:)

Never give up until we are called up!!

October 2, 2007 at 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Lisa, I am giggling and my 12 year old daughter had to stop and read over my shoulder. Great story to read as I start my day. I have been there with you. If a recipe does not have exact instructions, I am doomed.

Delightful and filled with God's love and your beautiful heart. Love you sister, Lynn

October 2, 2007 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

Lisa -
As I read this - I am thinking this - I have Never added Pet Milk to ANYTHING that I have cooked.....
Except something baked.
And I do put HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM in my potato soup.....
so great story but I'm bummed. Appaerntly - I can't cook as well as I thought.....

October 2, 2007 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Melody said...

I agree with Mindy. I alway use heavy whipping cream, and my favorite to use in the mashed potatoes is the Sweetened Baker's Cream! The kids love it...duh! I also use it in my bread...calories-shmalories!

Don't think I would ever have thought to use Pet Milk myself...

Still a good example of your lesson though! You just aren't as cooking/challenged as you thought! Either that or we're all in there with you!!!

October 2, 2007 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Thank you Mindy and Melody! I'm feeling better already!

But you said nothing about the graham cracker crust for the Quiche..:))


October 2, 2007 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Amy Grant Bayliss said...

You crack me up!! I needed to hear this today. Thanks for the visual!


October 2, 2007 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

OK, I get the message loud and clear. Like Peter, I won't give up, quit, or throw in the towel in an area of my life that I have been struggling through. It is so difficult to see through the mistakes often times that it is just easier (or at least it seems so in the moment) to never try again.
The example of Peter in scripture is such a beautiful one.
Thanks Lisa!

October 2, 2007 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

HA! This is exactly why I only watch Rachel Ray and Paula Deen and never attempt to make what they do!!!! If you ever get it ironed out I would like to try it!

October 3, 2007 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

Lisa - you are too funny...Well, I have to admit, I would have not known about the cream either -- I would have bought the same thing - lol.

We do have to re-group sometimes and bring before the throne of grace and hopefully we will do better next time.

Thank you so much for sharing...Be blessed today and always.

October 4, 2007 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You're so your story!

Keep cookin'! (or trying to):-)

October 4, 2007 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I would have trust the whipping cream more than "pet milk" lol I have never heard of that! Thanks for the chuckle and the lesson learned.

October 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

You crack me up! Glad I popped over here today.

October 4, 2007 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Patricia said...

I come from a long line of great cooks...those Southern ladies who fry anything in bacon crease and, to borrow a line from Tim Hawkins, make it come out "so good you wanna slap your momma." These ladies also dislike any kind of kitchen encroachment while the project is underway. So how's a new wife to learn to cook?

Trial and error (my errors....his trials).

My first meat loaf: Mix ground beef and mushrooms, and other stuff. Put it in a sheet pan. Add mushroom caps for garnish. Mmmm-kay.

Somehow I missed the part about shaping into a loaf. By the way, ground beef comes with it's own marination. The whole thing was swimming in grease and not that yummy(?) bacon grease my grandma used. The mushroom caps were fairly floating.

My dear and very patient husband, returning from his swing shift job at midnight, bravely tackled my creation. After a few bites, he had to give up...

The starving stray kitten I had been feeding outside the apartment refused to even look at it after one sniff.

Lesson learned: Read the recipe twice...and check off each step.

My beef loaf now outclasses any meat loaf I've ever eaten and even my 4-year-old grandson comes back for seconds (thirds if I give him more ketchup!). And his mommy has become a chef.

Thanks for the devotion, Lisa. Timely for me as I'm tackling a new kind of recipe in the form of my first novel for publication.

January 9, 2010 at 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Shannon J said...

What a delightful story! It was funny and truly enjoyable! Thanks for sharing the lesson you learned so we too might apply it to our lives! Please check out my new blog...

January 9, 2010 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Jo said...

I loved that story... probably because I can relate to it so well myself since I'm adventuring into the land of cooking! :)

January 9, 2010 at 1:19 PM  

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