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Friday, September 5, 2014

Not so matchy-matchy with my food prep any more

So it used to be that when I made soup from scratch I used "matching" ingredients. For instance, if I made a chicken-based soup I used chicken fat, chicken stock and chicken meat. I might walk on the wild side and use turkey stock with chicken "other" ingredients. But mostly, I pretty much stuck to the formula my mom always used, and I had continued.

Well, not so much any more. Last night I made a pretty decent soup, starting with turkey fat and oil, then using vegetable stock, adding ham meat and topping the whole pot off by adding the last of the ground beef gravy from the other night's dinner (of Yorkshire pudding and beef gravy).

The soup I made was along the lines of plaid shirt with paisley skirt, polka dot hosiery and a striped sweater. But you know what? It actually tasted good! (The soup, not the outfit!)

Are there any "rules" that you follow, just because you've always followed them? As they say -- some rules are meant to be broken!

(p.s. If you're curious, in addition to the mentioned soup ingredients, there were also lentils, onions, summer squash and red pepper flakes.)


Anonymous said...

Last night we made red beans and rice. I added turkey kielbasa and beef broth so I guess I don't follow the rules too well

Linda said...

Your soup sounds delicious! I had been pretty set in my ways regarding cooking "rules" until I started seeing more and more recipes over the last several years that mix things up...chicken stock with pork, choice of chicken or beef stock used for various meats other than chicken or beef. I think many more possibilities will work than we were originally led to believe!

Cat said...

Hmm...had to think about this. I tend to mix and match ingredients with chicken or turkey broths, but not so much with beef broth. I don't make separate veggie or pork broth so no issues there. The other day, in cooking quinoa to go with a cabbage and ground beef dish, I did add beef stock base to it, so my usual tendency is to "match". Though I will default to chicken base for rice or quinoa if that's all I have onhand.

Anne in the kitchen said...

Congratulations on a successful non-traditional soup. We make what we fondly call Garbage Soup. It has whatever remnants are leftover. ( I do keep a container in the freezer where they all live until I have enough for a soup meal) I have put any and everything in it i.e. 2 tablespoons of mac and cheese, leftover Chinese whatever, tomato slices, gravy, bits of leftover veggies. You name it, it goes into it. Personally I think cooking rules were made to be broken. The worst that can happen is you make something, eat it once and vow never again. ( p.s. leftover eggs do not do well in Garbage Soup. Don't ask, just trust me)

ruthie said...

I love it! I call it "eclectic neglect". I graduated from interior design school and I decorate my home this way also. If life is too predictable it tends to get boring. It's nice to add an element of surprise - even in dinner!

Belinda said...

Sounds like good soup to me, Lili. I think soup can be very forgiving too. I used to think I had to follow a recipe exactly as written, but I've learned that is not always the case.

Live and Learn said...

I tend to use whatever I have on hand mixing meats and broths of different kinds. I tend to that because it's the easiest thing to do not necessarily because I think it will taste better. But it does usually turn out just fine.

Liz @ Economies of Kale said...

I've been a bit more experimental lately, as I'm trying to use up what I have in the house rather than buying new things. I made a soup with a ham bone (for the first time ever) and chicken stock and it was delicious :)

Lili said...

Hi Shara,
good to know, turkey and beef can and do go well together! The red beans and rice sound yummy!

Lili said...

Hi Linda,
It's funny how we simply do as we've always done, with cooking "rules". It does make me wonder just how much more we can change things up and still have good results. Cooking does seem to be forgiving and flexible.

Lili said...

Hi Cat,
Most of the time, I do "match" flavors. But for the time being, I have a lot of frozen turkey fat needing using, so that is my go-to saute fat. I do mix it with a bit of oil to tone down the flavor, where I think the turkey fat might compete with other flavors.

Lili said...

Hi Anne,
I just followed your suggestion this weekend. I started a container of what we labeled "crazy soup". (Garbage soup is what I make from vegetable trimmings, so had to give it a different name, so no one would put onion skins in my new container.) So far, just a spoonful of baked beans left over from our Saturday cook-out. This will be an interesting experiment. thanks for the suggestion!

And you're right, the worst that can happen is we eat it, but vow to never subject my family to it again!

Lili said...

Hi Ruthie,
I love that name -- eclectic neglect. Our house does look like how you describe! Almost everything in our house was a hand-me-down. We've supplemented with a few garage sale finds and a couple of purchased pieces. I try to group furnishings that appear to go well together, but otherwise, I really don't worry too much about getting everything all matching.

Lili said...

Hi Belinda,
I agree, soup is very forgiving. Recipes can be a really good jumping off point. They've given me a good idea of what works together, and quantities of ingredients, so that now I can and often do throw things together.
I do follow baking recipes almost down to the last ingredient, though.

Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
Everything does seem to turn out well-enough, doesn't it? And that works for me!

Lili said...

Hi Liz,
Yes, using up what's on hand is definitely driving me to try different things together! My freezers are quite full, and I would like to make room for fall stock-up items like whole turkeys. So if a little mix and match cooking will help me in that area, that's how the food prep will go.

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