(a version of this post was previously posted on blog that I started that I decided to collapse in favor of starting this one.)
Let’s talk about the serious lava pits of being an home cook that:
- that does not have the professional training they would like
- slippery hands
- a unique apartment layout, and
- a Chihuahua that out of nowhere, had so much energy.
Keep all of that in mind as I tell you a story…
I credit my fascination with gazpacho to the episode of The Simpsons when Lisa decides that a vegetarian way of living is best for her. Actually, I credit a lot to this episode, particularly my usage of the catchy conga line phrase:
“You don’t win friends with salad!”
Anyway, the long of the short of it is that after a trip to a petting zoo Lisa takes up vegetarianism and Homer coincidentally decides to make a BBQ to win the admiration and attention of those ’round Springfield. In an effort to be
pushy, manipulative and a downright self-righteous pain in the ass, inclusive, Lisa makes a huge bowl of gazpacho for all, which she says:
“It’s tomato soup, served iced cold!”
And for years, that idea stuck in my head. And it wasn’t until the original broadcast of that episode was so far away in time that I decided to make it for myself.
The first time I made it, it went great. The second attempt…
Well, this happened:
Now. Because of limited space in my beloved Manhattan apartment that is shared by my husband, our Chihuahua, myself, and any number of my multiple personalities- it can become an art to manipulate one’s way throughout the kitchen when the layout isn’t as ideal.
I had slippery hands because I barely wiped them off after prepping the gazpacho, and while walking to the refrigerator, the Chihuahua decided to do a complex dance routine often seen in such shows as Cirque du Soliel, An American in Paris and The Lion King. I am quite proud and also confused that he suddenly acquired and shortly lost that skill all at the expense of my tomato soup, served ice cold.
After the impact of the salad-soup hitting the tiled floor, I started my own production of #DramaIntheKitchen. I’m sure that if I submitted it for an Emmy or Oscar, I would go far in the running, due to my resonating cries of despair- despair at the dog who I thought was spiting me for some miscellaneous past grievance, despair at my own incompetence, and despair due to the fact that my husband was away for a conference and he wasn’t there in person to laugh at me.
After I finished my performance- that in my opinion, was worthy enough to rival Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, I cleaned up the mess. And then I reflected back on the recipe. I included colorful yellow and orange heirloom tomatoes in this one! That made me cry a little more.
I’m sure if Meryl could see it, she’d be all like:
The lesson for me is, that mistakes and accidents happen in the kitchen, and as long as there is no loss of limb or real estate, it’s OK. (Loss of sanity occurs occasionally, which is easily reimbursed by scarfing a Lucky burger down.) New York wasn’t built in a day, and mistakes only serve to teach a lesson. Although in this instance, I’m still not quite sure what the lesson was.
The Gazpacho Meltdown happened this past summer, and since then I’ve been working on techniques and skills that help me better myself into a well-adjusted human being that shuns dramatic ugly cries when spilling tomato soup. It’s quite empowering when I envision this version of myself.
In fact, I feel so empowered, that I think I will seize one of these upcoming chilly winter days by making tomato soup, served iced cold.