This was the best soup I have ever made in my entire life. And honestly, I can’t even remember how I made it. I remember what’s in it (mostly) but not how long it simmered, how long it had to cook. Only that it took 7 hours to cook the chicken for it.
Admittedly at the time, I’d had an entire 2 litre bottle of Mountain Dew mixed with about 2 of the little bottles of sake you can find at the Sushi counter in Publix. I’d like to state now that I am not a “drinker” but on this particular day it was hell. I’d gotten yet another rejection from job searching. The interviewer had politely told me I was not a “good fit” for the job I was going for. It was a receptionist position at a propane company. Yeah yeah, go ahead and dust off all those old King of the Hill propane jokes now. Thank goddess I didn’t live in Texas at the time! Anyway, it all boils down to I have almost 2 years experience as a receptionist. I can do that job in my sleep. I’m damn good at that job, and my old boss had to hire THREE people when I left. Three people to do that job I did for the last 2 months I worked there ALONE and going to college AND teaching classes at a local crafting store. So, yeah. I could totally answer telephones, schedule installs, and take down messages. No problem. But wait, there was a problem. I “wasn’t a good fit” because I had almost 2 years experience in the field of receptionist work. It was a total of 1 year 8 months 1 week. Yet my skills and qualifications (the 2 year minimum aside) completely overshadowed the other applicants. I had glowing references from each and every one of my former co-workers, both from my old receptionist job as well as my teaching job. I even had students who offered to be professional references for me while I was in Florida looking for work because I had been exceptionally professional with them as well as highly detail oriented and efficient. But no. Despite being the best applicant in the building who submitted both an application and a resume, I was not picked because I did not have a full minimum of 2 years.
So, suffice to say that I decided “Screw this. I’m actually going to see if I can get buzzed.” It was the last interview I had in the Deltona/Deland area. It was my last hope of getting a job local enough I wouldn’t need to get up 5 hours early for a job just to ride the bus to Daytona Beach or hop on the transfer line straight to Orlando. So yeah, I bought Mountain Dew, a big giant cup, and some sake to mix in it. And decided the next day, while my dad was at work, I was gonna smoke my cigarettes in the house, make some damn good soup, and get buzzed because damn it I was trying so hard to keep my crap together and it was getting a mighty bit difficult to do that without transportation and having to choose between do I eat or do I have bus fare today.
That chicken soup, the booze, the Mountain Dew, and the unmarked DVD that I found on my way to the store (which turned out to be some really REALLY poorly done 1980s Spanish porn) was worth the 6 mile, three hour walk I did just to get the supplies and make the soup. Because when all was said and done, I laughed my ass off, ate some soup, got a decent buzz, and the world didn’t feel quite so forboding and harsh for about 7-8 hours.
As for what was actually in the soup, here’s a list of ingredients with commentary:
- Chicken leg quarters, boiled for 7 hours on medium heat, then pulled off the bone, broth strained for stuff I didn’t want to eat, and put back into the broth.
- Potatoes both diced and sliced paper thin. Diced for heartiness, and the paper thin so that it would break down and thicken the soup.
- Green beans. Because I really love green beans.
- Carrots. Because there were some in the fridge that really needed to be used or thrown out about a week previous.
- Minced garlic in olive oil. I say in olive oil, but really it wasn’t any longer. I’d drank the oil in a passive aggressive fit because of something my dad had said. I can’t even remember what it was.
- Onion salt. Garlic powder. Cajun seasoning. Lemon pepper.
- And possibly corn. But I’m a little fuzzy on that detail. And there might have been some celery, but again, not too sure on that.
To this day, I really wish I’d stolen that bowl when I left my dad’s house for good. I do really miss using that bowl. It was perfect for everything, It never got too hot with soup and never too cold with ice cream. And it held exactly 3/4 cup cereal with 1/2 cup of milk. Exactly the way I like my cereal.