On Soup and the movie Rent

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I love homemade soup. It is fast, easy, nutritious, and delicious, not to mention cheap.

I don't love how my children balk at being presented with any new food item, especially anything that contains the colour green. I WORK and I SLAVE, and for what?

Conversation with Jude at lunch today:

Jude: "What is this, Mommy?"
Me: "It's soup."
Jude: "What kind of soup?"
Me: "Cream of celery and potato soup."
Jude: "I don't like celery and potato soup anymore!"
Me: "How do you know? You haven't even tried it!"

Later, after he ate two bites of soup in order to earn half a piece of toast, and then sat and played with the soup for a while:

Jude: "I'm done. I want to get down."
Me: "Okay, Jude if you eat 5 more bites of soup, you can get down."
Jude: "Actually [this is a new word in his vocabulary, which sounds more like a nasally "ac-hee"] one, two, three bites" (holding up the appropriate number of fingers.)
Me: "No, Jude, actually five bites."
Jude: "Actually, four bites."
Me: "No, really, actually five bites."

He's quite the little negotiator. I don't know how he got onto that, since once we have set the bar, we rarely change it. Anyway. Things escalated, it turned into a not-so-pretty picture, but he did eventually eat the five bites and more.

Noah just needed to be convinced to eat the strange food by being force-fed (almost) a couple of bites, so he could decide it really wasn't that bad.

I, on the other hand, thought it was delicious. And a great way to use up the celery that was going brown in my crisper. I'll include the recipe at the end of this entry.


In college, one of my favourite classes was Jazz Choir. One of my favourite classmates was Kim Denis. (Kim, are you reading me? Did I send you my blog? I'll have to e-mail you and check.) Kim ADORED the play Rent, which I believe she had seen in New York before her year-long tour with Up With People. And I believe our Jazz Choir ended up singing "Seasons of Love" in no small part due to her exuberant recommendations of the song. If she wasn't part of the reason, she was definitely over-the-top excited when the instructor pulled it out. (A lot of things with Kim are over-the-top. It's why I love her so much.)

Well, I loved the song. I had no idea what the musical was about, but as a die-hard musical lover, I knew I wanted to see it. Especially since Kim loved it so much.

Last night, my wish was fulfilled. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but I will touch on a couple of points:

  • I was surprised to discover that the lyrics "the way that she died" in the theme song (from all the trailers, "Seasons of Love") was actually referring to a he.
  • The music was sensational. But they could have at least found someone who could sing for the movie, right? *sarcasm dripping.* Seriously, everyone in this movie was an amazing singer, and from a musical standpoint, I have no regrets in watching it.
  • There was a little too much PDA between homosexual couples in it for my tastes. Okay, any would have been too much for me. I know that no matter what I say in the rest of this point, I am going to offend someone, or already have, so I'll just say it. I love homosexuals. I have friends that are homosexuals. I also have friends that pirate CDs, gossip, tell "little white lies", and can probably be condemned "guilty as charged" of many of these crimes and others at different points of my life. However, I don't have close friends who flagrantly flaunt (10 points for alliteration on "fl") their sins, demanding that they be considered as right, simply because someone is doing them. I know that it is only humans who rate sins ("What Suzy did when she cheated on her taxes is much worse than what I'm doing, so I am still doing okay"), and that God views them all the same. How could I ever condemn anyone else for what they are doing, when I commit so many blunders myself each and every day? I guess I just don't feel I need to have those things shoved in my face, marring an otherwise wonderful entertainment event.
While typing this last point, I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit: So, I found "Rent" distasteful because it involved same-sex kissing, but I still enjoy watching many other movies that include swindlers, con artists, murderers, and many other vices? Have I ever written a diatribe about these subjects? Yikes! Ouch! I get the point! Perhaps I have become more desensitized than I thought. Although, as I general rule, I try to avoid movies with excessive amounts of gore, and gore is still my least favourite part of any movie that includes this, I am rather fond of watching movies such as, say, "Ocean's 11" or other hi-larious con movies. So, wrong-doing portrayed in a humourous way is now okay? What kind of double standards do I have, anyway?


I am obviously going to have to re-think some of my other movie choices. Or, be more careful with what I say. Or, decide what kind of standard I am going to apply across the board. Hmm. Too much food for thought.

I didn't know when I started this post that I would start having to sweep out the dark, cobwebby corners of my mind and values. Grey areas can become so comfortable--you tend to lose focus on black and white in the soothing, warm fuzziness of the fog that obliterates them. Sometimes, grey is the real colour, but sometimes, grey is only black or white covered with apathy and neglect. The question is, which is which?

If I was smart, I would probably delete the whole second half of this post. But, in an effort to maintain this newly-discovered honesty with myself in this area, and at the risk of losing at least half of my readers, I will post it anyway. Please don't send TOO much hate mail my way.

Edit: I forgot to mention earlier: I did like the theme of the movie, which was "No Day But Today." Good reminder to live every day to it's fullest.

Now, for the recipe (you thought I forgot, didn't ya?)

Cream Of Celery and Potato Soup

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 med. onions, chopped
6 cups chicken stock (homemade is best)
3 cups whole milk
4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 to 1 head celery, chopped (depending how much you like celery)
few sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. green peppercorns, crushed
1 cup whipping cream

Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan until melted. Saute the onions until soft (about 10 minutes.) Add the stock, milk, potatoes, celery, and thyme. Cook gently until vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes.) Do not let the milk boil. Remove the thyme. Blend with a hand-held blender until partially smooth (you may leave chunks of celery, etc. This is just to thicken it up a little, and to make the kids have less trouble eating it!) Add the salt, peppercorns, and whipping cream. Re-heat gently, and serve.

Makes about 12 cups.

(Heating milk past a certain point kills enzymes that are needed for absorption of calcium, as well as other parts of the digestive process. This is why pasteurization is so bad.)

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  1. The soup sounds awesome, I think I'll have to try it! Thanks for posting the recipe...it'll feed my 8 family members :) Also, as for your review of Rent, you're allowed to say what you want, it's YOUR blog :)

  2. Thanks, Beth! Perhaps I worry too much about offending. Certain things I don't mind so much, but on such a hot issue as the homosexual rights debate, etc., people seem to stop listening before they hear what you really have to say, and your true heart about it. They hear what they think you're saying instead. (Guess that can happen with anything, though.)

    Enjoy the soup!

  3. Agree with Beth - say what you want! I don't know the extent of PDA in Rent but Brokeback Mountain didn't really make me uncomfortable but it did make my husband squirm!

    Your soup sounds yummy but I have been know to screw up simple things like boiling eggs. So I think I will spare my family and resist the temptation to cook it!

    I know what you mean about kids not eating. I hate it when I occassionally slave over some new thing to introduce to my son and he takes one taste and then spits it out. It makes me sooooo mad!

  4. I admire that you said what you thought despite it being a touchy subject. Good dialogue shuts down when you can't process thoughts together. And avoiding certain topics by having to walk wide circles bout them can seriously impede true understanding between people.

  5. Rohini--Ironically, even though I enjoy cooking, I would screw up boiling eggs on a regular basis until quite recently. So, here's my trick: Get your water boiling, then place the eggs in with a slotted spoon. Set timer for 15 minutes. As soon as it goes off, drain the eggs, fill pot with cold water, let sit for a minute to cool the eggs enough to handle, then crack shells and peel. Until I started doing it this way, I had never done a nice boiled egg in my life.

    Trust me, the soup is harder to screw up than this!

    I purposely chose not to watch Brokeback Mountain because I knew what the premise of that story was. (If it was a musical, I might have been tempted to watch it at least once, but it wasn't.) However, even without PDA, hearing two men sing a love song to each other is just NASTY!

    Colleen--Thanks for that. So true. But often so hard, in a public setting, to say what you mean and be understood, especially without seeing body language, etc., to make sure communication is happening. That is the drawback to this blogging thing, I suppose. And the advantage--you can't be interrupted before your point is made!

    Love ya!

  6. Talena - all your thoughts are good and I admire you for putting them out there. I think many of the same things.

    Wanted to share one of my own blog posts about the subject...

    Have a great day... oh - and no one in my family likes soup. It's such a shame - yours sounds delicious.

  7. *GASP!* How can you live without soup?!

    Seriously Cathy, thank you for sending me that link. I read it and commented there, in case you don't get your comments e-mailed to you.

    God bless!

  8. Hey, I could never condem anyone for being honest.
    I like soup.
    Sounds like Jude's vocab has really grew since I saw him last. That's awsome. "Actually" hahah. What a funny kid.


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