In this area of the Midwest, we have "supper clubs". I'm not exactly sure what defines an eating establishment as such, but that is not what I am referring to. As I was cooking (see below) tonight, I couldn't help but think that one thing I love to do is talk to others about food. My common work conversations consist of:
"So, what did you eat last night?"
"So, this is what I ate last night"
"Mmm, I'm so hungry for this ____"
"Tonight I'm making _____"
You get the gist. I think about food. A lot. I talk about food. A lot. No, I don't have some type of binge eating disorder (and yes I am qualified to make that determination...). I don't think it's an unhealthy obsession. I just like to discuss food, think about food, ponder new combinations of flavors. Sort of like an athlete focuses on a game. Except I'm not super-skilled at cooking. I just really enjoy it.
So, per the title, I should start a real supper club. Not a wood-paneled Midwestern restaurant that features a small salad bar and a waitress with a smokers' cough. But a group of people who like to talk about food, share recipes, go out to eat together, etc. Doesn't that sound like a riot? Anyway, until that exists in my life I will use this blog to talk "at" someone, anyone who might be reading. Welcome to my supper club :-)
Here was tonight's dilemma:
-It is towards the end of the month and we are getting down to the end of our grocery budget. To make a long story short, we have school loans we are *aggressively* paying off, and what we save in budgeted areas we put towards our loans. Thus, I like to save a bit in the grocery line when I can. I didn't want to run out and buy a bunch of ingredients for a meal. So I just played the cards I was dealt (i.e. used what was in the fridge and pantry).
-I made stock (see previous post) and wanted to make a point of using it before it spoiled
-I have some fresh broccoli that should be used, and some uncooked chicken in the fridge.
All this leads to: soup!
What kind of soup? Oh please, I have no idea. Most nights it is the fabulous process of working with what I have creatively to make something that is tolerable on the palate. Tonight's experiment turned out well, which isn't too rare of an occurrence.
I heated up half of my veggie stock in a pot, and added a handful of soba noodles (thanks sis for getting them in little Tokyo!), half of the fresh broccoli, and a can of sliced water chestnuts (drained). I pan-grilled 1.5 chicken breasts (whatever was left from our Indian food this past weekend...I'll write about that soon) and seasoned them with a Chinese-Cajun spice mix (who knew?!). As the soba noodles cooked and the broccoli and water chestnuts softened a bit, I cut up the chicken and added it to the pot. All in all, a delicious thrown-togther-semi-Asian soup.