I had an unspoken but hard and fast rule about soupapolooza! when it began: that I would never repeat a recipe. Since I tend to repeat boyfriends, bad behavior and boring stories I thought I would give myself the opportunity to be bold and different with the soup. But I also promised that I would use local, seasonal ingredients, and in looking back on the very first soupapolooza! I realize that unless we’ve all joined Marty McFly (oh how I miss my spiral perm and Whitesnake) in the DeLorean and have managed to have three seasons happen at once, that little rule was shot from the very beginning, so whatever. I cheated this week. Because I remade the creamy roasted tomato soup with a different variety of tomato, but I cheated nonetheless. I’m a big fat CHEATER. So sue me.
Maybe because I was familiar with the recipe and/or maybe because it’s so simple, I had the most laid back Sunday. Usually I’m up at 7.30 or 8, finalizing the day’s menu and printing out my shopping list, out the door by 9 and working through the farmer’s market by 9.30. Afterwards I come home with the various loot from the market, extra supplies from the grocery store, wine from K&L and new gadgets from Sur La Table (ANY excuse to buy a new pot) and start assembling the mess by 2. By 6.30 I’m ready to serve with candles lit, bar set up and salad dressed; well, in a perfect world...
Most Sundays I’m still running around and usually unable to talk with anyone when they arrive (just a few weeks ago I was quite short with the Conspiracy Theorist Web Designer when she was kind enough to ask what could she do to help and I practically screamed “get out of the kitchen and get yourself a drink! THEN we can talk about Atlantis!”). It’s a long, arduous, active day and, truthfully, I drag my feet much of the time. Sometimes I cheat by going directly to the grocery store and buying the crappy produce there, not that I like to admit this, but it can be challenging to stare down the barrel of the gun being held by an unknown number of potential party guests with nothing but an unknown stack of recipes in defense. And sometimes I try to shave some time off the prep by avoiding the hipsters with strollers and the displaced homeless people on Ivar at the farmer’s market. Plus I hate shelling out the fiver for parking at Bed, Bath and Beyond because, truly, that is beyond offensive since I come out of that place smelling like a bad candle. I do always get a better result when I go to Hollywood, though, so my cheapness and outrage over paying for parking really shouldn’t be part of the equation. But sometimes it is a very convenient excuse.
But this week it was all a breeze. Because I’m a cheater. Because I knew the recipe and because I was craving a grilled cheese sandwich.