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Soup-washing



I had no choice. It was an emergency. I had to wash the soup.....



Say what?



Whoever heard of 'washing soup'?!


Let me tell you a story.



It was my Mother-in-Law's birthday. She'd invited a ton of guests to a late night supper. The plan was just to chill and catch up, have a bowl of soup and bread, blow out some candles....you know...birthday stuff.



Now as the kitchen enthusiast in the family, she'd asked me if I minded making the main meal-



It was to be an authentic Hungarian Goulash soup.



Of course I readily agreed. Food is my love language, after all. And of course I wanted it to be the best, yummiest, knock-your-socks-off goulash soup ever....



So I found a recipe online. Great reviews. I was set. Went shopping, scaled the ingredients up by 5 times. (I was cooking for a LOT of goulash-eaters that day!)



But following recipes is not how I normally operate in the kitchen. I'm more of a 'follow your gut, trust your tongue' kinda cook....so...


I accidentally got the recipe wrong.


I inadvertently emptied half of the rather large spice shaker of 'very hot chilli powder' into the soup instead of the 'sweet smoked paprika powder' (in my defence, both ARE red!!).



The result?



Extremely spicy, tongue-scorching soup. (Even for me, and I like spicy!)



My mother in law flapped around in a panic. We started getting creative.



We added sugar (might it help?)

Added some tomatoes (could it add some different flavour?)

Dumped in a bunch of potato cubes (might it soak up the spice?)

Finally half a bottle of red wine (her idea...not mine....might it make things taste refined?)



Nothing helped.


She declared it a failure and got into her car to go to a gas station to buy canned soup.



No offence to canned soup, but....oh...not this...I was not losing to a can!



I rolled up my sleeves, surveyed the damage, inspected the lovely, tender meat in the pot, and then realised what I needed to do....



I would wash the soup!



I strained the offending spicy hell-broth out, gently rinsed the odd assortment of vegetables and incredibly tender meat off with a bit of water, got some homemade stock, threw everything back in, and made......


A MEL soup.


It was a mish-mash of chaos, served with love. Born in a moment of utter desperation.


My mother in law didn't have to use the cans she came back with 20 minutes later.


People even went back for seconds and asked for the recipe. The soup was completely gone in 30 minutes.


My point? :


If you're following a recipe and it goes wrong, trust your gut.


Don't be afraid to make radical changes like soup washing, if it feels right.


If you need a backup (there's always canned soup), leave the door open, but don't give up on your goal.


Cook with your gut, check with your tongue. You've got more skills in you than you'd ever dream!


Fellow parents, I'm talking to you. Bet you've had a few soup-washing days of your own with your kids right? What were the things that helped you most?



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Sometimes we find ourselves confronted with relearning an old skill. This can be tricky. Can we still do it? As a kid, I loved to cook. I learned early. I was a 9 year old, gas-stove pro. The fire, th

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Love your perspective and sense of humor. I can totally relate to soup washing because I am not one who likes to follow rules or recipes. Unless people know me well, they would never guess that I don't. You bring a much needed honesty and lightness to something that not all of us can admit is the hardest job ever -- parenting! Thank you! @Mel Schmitz

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Mel Schmitz
Mel Schmitz
Apr 20, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much!!! Gosh I remember the birth of my kids: from the moment of that first enema I thought, “ok… so I guess this is the beginning of the lesson on all the s#!t I will NOT be able to control from now on …*inhales*


P.s: I did NOT know enemas were a part of the deal. Ever. Why is this not in the books? Sneaky, sneaky. It’s like welcome to parenting 101: Let us illustrate this journey in physical terms to show you how little control you will really have….

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