No soup for you!

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02 Jan No soup for you!

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Well, that didn’t take long. Day One of 2009 and I had my first kitchen disaster. That’s a personal record. I usually take a good week to warm up to a culinary gaff, but this year? Mere hours. And as if that wasn’t enough, the results were not just unappetizing; they were downright inedible.

My nemesis? Of all things, soup.

Maybe the blogging gods couldn’t take another soup post? Maybe the kitchen gods were punishing me for cursing out the broiler when it fell of its track the night before? Maybe I should just have paid more attention to the weird way the kidney beans shed their skins after being pre-soaked.

In any event, I was so busy taking down Christmas decorations and getting the house back in order, I plunged ahead with the soup. After simmering the concoction for hours in the crockpot, I lifted the lid ready to puree the bubbling mixture to creamy perfection. But instead of a hearty onion-and-bean aroma caressing my nostrils, the scent was more like a musty old basement. Thinking it just needed to be stirred up a bit, I pureed the soup. Flecks of bean skin swirled about the surface, defying my immersion blender. And when I adjusted the seasoning? It tasted… stale. Like it had somehow acquired freezer burn sitting next to unwashed sweat socks.

How did this happen? The vegetables were fresh. The stock was homemade. The seasonings were the same ones I’d used for split pea and ham soup only a few days before. The problem had to be the beans.

Ah, the beans. A few months ago, someone gave me a package of kidney beans because they’d “never use them.” It must have taken them a long time to reach that conclusion since dried legumes have a shelf life of 8 years. And these beans tasted like they’d arrived with the first settlers.

So, now I know to beware friends bearing bean gifts and to use my dried legumes quickly. But how does one dispose of cold bean soup for 12 people? No. Really. How do you get rid of this much soup?

Photo © magical-world. Published under a Creative Commons License.

No Comments
  • Linda
    Posted at 11:21h, 02 January Reply

    Christie, Take solace in that it wasn’t a costly disaster. Aside from that, it wasn’t really your fault, right? How were you to know you should have taken a carbon-14 reading of those beans? LOL!

    Linda

  • cheryl
    Posted at 12:51h, 02 January Reply

    Use it to caulk up holes i the bathtub? Spackle a hole-riddled wall? Resurface the driveway?

  • Elizabeth Kricfalusi
    Posted at 14:38h, 02 January Reply

    Do you compost? If there’s no meat in it, I would think it would be a great addition to the pile. Sounds like it’s already started decomposing anyway…

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 16:17h, 02 January Reply

    Linda, you’re right on both accounts. It wasn’t the most costly culinary error of my career and since my carbon-dating machine is stuck at the border, I couldn’t have known :-)

    Cheryl, too bad the driveway was resurfaced recently, but I have enough to fill a pot hole or two!

    Elizabeth, the composter is a great idea. No meat, no problem! Why didn’t I think of that?

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 18:13h, 02 January Reply

    Yikes! Glad you didn’t get sick or anything from the ‘old’ beans.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 20:44h, 02 January Reply

    Dana, there’s no way a spoonful would have made it into anyone’s mouth!

    Oh well, start the year with a disaster and it can only get better. Right?

  • Joe
    Posted at 03:05h, 13 January Reply

    Hi Christie,

    Not sure if you allow URL’s but here’s my worst kitchen disaster – think rivers of fat (8 gallons of it).

    http://blog.rouxbe.com/my-horror-story-rivers-of-fat/

    I will never forget it.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 13:37h, 13 January Reply

    Okay, Joe. You win for the worst kitchen disaster EVER. Wow… I’d rather eat the whole vat of stale soup than deal with the culinary oil slick you had on your hands (and feet).

    I do allow URLs if they’re relevant. Thanks for asking. And thanks for sharing your story. Hilarious — because it didn’t happen to me.

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