Okay, wow, I am really behind on blogging. You guys, I have so many recipes I’ve cooked recently that I still have to write about! Let’s dooooo this! I’m also going to be posting these out of order of when I cooked them, because I don’t really feel like writing about some stupid dessert right now. Let’s talk about Broccoli and Cheese Soup!
Where we last left off, I had just moved into my beautiful new apartment, and forgive me for bragging, but it’s so beautiful!!! I completely lucked out with this place. It’s perfect for the owner of a massive, massive, idiotic dog. The downside is that it’s in what is more or less a total subway dead zone in Brooklyn, so no one will ever visit me because you have to pack food and water on the subway to keep your energy up for the long journey. ANYWAY. I moved into this place. It’s great.
Wait, can I derail things to update you guys on my job? It’s fun! I like it! Even though I was still doing work from home at 9:30 last night, like some sort of ADULT or something. BOOOOOO. (Full disclosure: While I was working, I was also watching cartoons.) Anyway, the reason I’m talking about this is to say I actually have a full-on FRIEND through work now, which is great, and we now have a lunchtime bet going, which is relevant to this blog post. See? We’re not totally off-topic. But bear with me as I explain.
You see, New York is expensive. You’re welcome for explaining that to you, because I’m sure you had no idea. Anyway, it’s super expensive, and us lowly peons can’t afford to eat out every day like some people, which is where this bet came from. Essentially, the first one of us to not bring a lunch from home has to buy the other guy lunch. That simple bet, designed to save us money, spiraled into a whole series of rules. We wondered, “What if you work out in the morning and therefore get hungry for a mid-morning snack? Or what if you have plans after work and need something in the afternoon to hold you over? Does that count?” So we set up a cap of $3.99 (pre-tax) per day to be used for either breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack, but NOT during the lunch hour. However, that’s still $20 a week, which is too much, so we stipulated that you can only spend $3.99 a day for three days out of the week, meaning you have to choose your days wisely or go hungry.
This is what New York has turned me into, after only a little over a month.
There are all sorts of other rules regarding store-bought lunches and all that stuff, but I won’t bore you with it. Feel free to ask me about specifics if you’re thinking of implementing a similar strategy at your workplace. It’s a great money-saver! Although it may result in you eating a PB&J sandwich and an apple 4 days a week.
Anyway, I decided to make one of Gwyneth’s soups, which could easily last me for a few days’ lunches, giving me a leg up on the competition. So I made broccoli and cheddar soup.
Wait, let me be obnoxious: This is my new kitchen!
And here’s the living room! Oh wait, what’s that behind it?…
SECOND LIVING ROOM. (Sorry. In my defense, these pictures were mostly for my mom.)
Aaaaand the soup was really easy. Onions, garlic, broccoli, chopped up and sauteed in some olive oil. After a few minutes, pour some chicken stock in. Cook for a while, then blend.
I frantically searched our kitchen for a blender, hoping a roommate had one. Nope. Not even a Magic Bullet in sight. My first recipe in the new place, and it’s already falling apart.
This is pretty much the entire recipe.
My roommate came to the rescue and informed me his old roommate had moved to a new apartment in the building, and she had taken her blender with. So I ventured down to her apartment, introduced myself, and awkwardly asked to borrow a blender. (I should note that I felt VERY New York doing this. Knocking on neighbors doors in your apartment building to borrow kitchen supplies? What is this, Friends?) She very nicely didn’t give me any odd looks and handed the blender over, cautioning me that it was her roommate’s and may not work. (Which was clever, seeing as I knew she had a blender of her own, yet she chose to give the stranger her roommate’s blender. Very crafty.) I brought the blender upstairs, plugged it in, and started it. The machine whirred, but the blade didn’t spin. A quick inspection revealed the blender top and bottom were different; I was literally trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
So once again I returned downstairs, blender in tow, and asked if she had the correct parts to the blender. We dug through her still-unpacked kitchen supplies, managing to drum up a THIRD blender, which did not have a top anymore. Deeming this the best of the three options, I took it upstairs and resolved to find some way to protect myself from soup splatter. “Where’s the party?” a neighbor asked me in the elevator, eying the blender in my hands. “I’m blending broccoli soup,” I told him. We rode the rest of the way in silence.
Here is how I solved the problem of the missing lid:
This was actually my Plan B, after Saran wrap. I think this was smarter.
And, you know what? It worked perfectly! Sealed tight as can be. I was quite proud of my ingenuity.
Finally blended, I merely added shredded cheddar (Tillamook cheddar, in honor of Oregon), and that was that. The soup was okay, if a little unexciting. It was also much more of a broccoli soup than a broccoli and cheddar, which, being from Wisconsin, is the opposite of what I expect. But that probably made it much, much healthier.
Pleased with my results, I went to pour the rest of the soup in some Tupperware for work, only to find my roommates don’t own a single piece of Tupperware. (Additionally, we have about 10 spoons, 10 knives, and only two forks. I repeat: TWO FORKS. In a house with four people! Insanity.)
Bolstered with confidence after my blender problem-solving, here is what I did: poured my soup into a Ziploc bag. And that, my friends, is what I toted to work for the next three days of lunch. A Ziploc bag full of green soup, which I would then pour into a bowl and microwave. My first day with the soup bag, a woman walked into the kitchen as I was pouring my vomit-bag into a bowl. “DON’T LOOK AT ME!” I shouted, as ashamed as if I had just been walked in on the toilet.
While seeing me sitting down to a lunch of a Ziploc bag of soup and two apples, my coworker remarked, “Dude, that’s like a serial killer’s lunch.” I couldn’t argue with him.