Prior to pregnancy, I was a really good cook. I was the kind of cook who could take a look in the fridge and pantry, discover that we had absolutely no food to speak of, and somehow end up making chicken and dumplings. I could throw together the most random of ingredients, add some spice and simmer, and people would ask for the recipe.
Apparently, the baby boy swimming around in my abdomen has sucked the chef right out of me. Yesterday, I got hungry and started making myself some lunch. I decided to make some soup. I found an old onion in the fridge, said to myself, “It doesn’t smell that bad,” and fried it up. I told myself it only smelled funny because I was pregnant, and onions have smelled bad for the last 5 months (which is true).
Then some sick little shoulder-devil inspired me to combine cream of mushroom soup with a can of pork and beans. I don’t think I need to tell you how badly that went.
After the bad onion mixed with the canned abomination, a part of my brain realized I was doomed – but I just kept thinking, “We need to save money. I shouldn’t throw this out.” Something evil in my mind whispered, “I can still save it.”
Have you ever told a small lie, and then had to cover it up with bigger lies, until you found yourself claiming you were a foreign exchange student from Tanzania, or that you were born in a log cabin you built with your own two hands? When food lies, the lies only get bigger and more desperate. I tried to cover up the failed soup, but the harder I tried, the worse it got.
I added taco seasoning, of all things. This is a testament to my broken pregnancy brain. Taco seasoning is like the plastic surgery of the food pyramid. It’s what you add when you feel like your food is never going to be good enough on its own, and it usually ends with your food tasting more suspicious than it already did. Mine ended up tasting like bad, canned, gringo enchilada sauce.
I tried to embrace the gringo enchilada, and I added cheese and sour milk. “Sour milk is great in baking,” I thought (and the baby laughed with glee at the havoc he had done to my brain). So I added bad milk to the bad onions and the bad ideas. And a little more taco seasoning. Also some chopped carrots, a handful of lentils, and some desperate prayers to the Goddess of the Gringo Enchilada.
At this point, I decided I was done. It smelled like death. Sour, cheesy death. It was either going to save itself, or it was just going to die an ignominious death on the stove. I let it simmer for a while, thinking the carrots and lentils would need some time to work their magic. After about 30 minutes, I decided the lentils were not Jack’s magic beans, this soup could not possibly end in a goose that laid golden eggs, and I turned off the stove. I opened the front door to let the house air out, and I lay on the bed, trying not to think what a horrible cook I was. While I waited for my husband to come home and discover the reek, I fantasized about Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Thankfully, the baby-hormones that made me think cream of mushroom might go well with pork and beans chose not to work overtime on my emotional center. When Ethan came home, I was still at peace with myself, though marveling a bit at how badly I had failed. Ethan also marveled, then took the soup outside to cool while he aired out the house some more.
“Maybe this is a good opportunity for you to learn how to follow a recipe,” he said gently, sporting his I’m-trying-so-hard-to-be-tactful-about-this face. He’s been holding my hair and cleaning out the vomit-bucket since I hit morning sickness, and I think this was nearly as bad. I joked about selling it as a tonic or a witch’s brew. It would probably kill toenail fungus. Neither of us was willing to taste the finished product. After it had cooled for a few minutes, Ethan took the soup out with the trash, and we went to KFC to eat something much less dangerous. ♥