Soup explosions and other cautionary holiday tales

Tomato soup everywhere

My mom remarked, “I can’t drive at night.”
Me, “Why not?”
My mom, “I have a padiddle.”

I could not be more excited about the holidays. All I can think about is seeing my sister who I haven’t seen since July and the luxury of having my mom here for days on end. Of course as you have so kindly, or not so kindly, pointed out: I’m a worrier. Padiddles aside, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out with weather, travel and that stars are aligned.

I used to have a job where I got one or two days off for Christmas. There were many holidays that I would be driving back home on Christmas Day. Let me tell you I didn’t speed those days, I didn’t try to aggressively pass anyone, and my car’s maintenance was up to date. I was going to do everything in my power to avoid being a statistic on Christmas Day and breaking my mother’s heart. 

This week my husband and I have been sick. I blogged last week that my son had a cold (he’s over it for the most part) but this weekend the germs transferred. My husband is afflicted with something that he has been fighting off for about two weeks. It seemed like it wasn’t getting any better so I finally had to step in and take him to the doctor (he’s now on antibiotics). He has severe asthma and I don’t want to take any chances. Last December he got the flu and he didn’t leave our bed for days.

Despite this year’s illness, he decided that he wanted to cook something for us this weekend and chose a Indian tomato soup (he is teaching himself how to cook Indian food because he wanted to learn how to cook and why not start with something you like to eat in restaurants?). I could see that it was going to take a long time and, in an attempt to give him private time in the kitchen, I took our son out to run an errand, assuming that when we got back there would be soup waiting.

My little guy and I busted in through the door and I found my husband at the sink nursing a burn. He had tried to blend hot soup and the top of the blender exploded sending hot soup everywhere including his arm. Soup graffitied his shirt, the counter was a war zone… There were splotches covering every inch of the floor. The worst part in his eyes: my husband’s backpack was on the counter open. The outside and the interior was covered in tomato soup. He was pissed.

Thankfully he calmed down and we ended up eating some very delicious soup for dinner as there was still plenty that hadn’t been spun out across the room.

That night, after the small one was sleeping, we pushed our sick selves to clean the kitchen. He We ended up reorganizing everything. The way things are organized now is more functional and less slapdash. We’re both pleased.

I’m hoping everyone will be healthy in time for the holidays. I’m hosting my small family for the first time ever. I really need some kitchen time with them, it’s nourishing. I don’t care if we make messes, just as long as no one gets burnt! Fingers crossed while wishing you the same, readers!

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18 thoughts on “Soup explosions and other cautionary holiday tales

  1. Sounds like Santa needs to bring you an immersion blender. If you make a lot of pureed soups (or even just a few), it's worth it.

    Will you share the recipe?

  2. Darn! Amy beat me to my comment! I have an immersion blender, and it's the single most used gadget in my kitchen! The blender and hand mixer gather dust, but the immersion blender is right next to my pots and pans–it's a great investment for any cook, and if you look after the holidays, I'm sure you can snag one for around $10.

  3. Ahh…soup flying across the room is always a treat! I am with Amy and the immersion blender and would also suggest your husband try this cookbook: The Indian Slow Cooker 50 Healthy, Easy, and Authentic Recipes by Anupy Singla. Everything in it is really good and probably filled with things you've love to enjoy after a school lunch.

  4. I also raced to the comments section to say that I love my immersion blender. I use it to make everything from pureed soups to smooties to vegetable purees for baking and the like.

    And what's with the men always cooking exotic time consuming recipes? LOL! I cook about 80-90% of the time for the family. When my husband cooks, which he loves to do, he always makes something complicated and wrecks the kitchen!

  5. This reminds me of a time when I decided to add some red wine to a gravy I was making in a saute pan. A bubble of hot oil exploded, and I had red wine stains on the ceiling of my kitchen! I was actually really lucky that I wasn't leaning over the pan at the time, because then I would have burned my face. It took about six months before I found the time to re-paint the kitchen ceiling.

  6. A familiar story. Seems like all my cleaning and organizing gets done after incidents like this.
    Happy holidays!

  7. Yesterday on NPR they had two indian cookbooks authors on talking about their books. They both stressed how easy Indian cuisine can really be to make!

    Here's one of them:

    From India: The Cookbook (November 2010 $49.95), by Pushpesh Pant, Phaidon Press,

  8. I asked for an immersion blender this year for Xmas. I've been making soup recently and found my blender makes everything too evenly textured for me. I'm also guessing that your husband's mistake is why my recipes for soup always say to take the center out of the lid and cover it with a towel. Something about heat and pressure….

  9. I was at work today (I merchandise magazines) and saw something anyone here who is gluten-limited/free. Betty Crocker ( just put out a Recipe-magazine called "gluten-free recipe collection." I know that Wal-Mart and United Supermarkets has it. HEB might.

  10. I had to google "immersion blender", but until started dating an American, who is subsequently becoming my husband, I've never used anything else… The added bits mean it's a whisk and a small food processor at once, in a best case scenario.

    My mother used to make most of the baby food for the four of us kids using the immersion blender. Of course, you can't always get the purée 100% smooth, but I like it a little chunky. 🙂

    "Immersion blender" is above "espresso machine" and "assault rifle" on my wish list for birthday presents. ;D

  11. I haven't heard the term "padiddle" in YEARS! Used to play with my sister when we were kids. Awesome.

    Spraying hot soup out the top of a blender is a right of passage. Congrats to Mr. Q: He's moving up in the ranks of great chefs!

  12. I had a good chuckle over both the photo & your story (except the part where your husband got burnt). Reason: I did the same exact thing when I made homemade tomato soup! What a mess indeed. Bet whatever portion didn't explode was tasty. Happy holidays!

  13. I hope you are all feeling better to enjoy the holiday in a few days, Mrs. Q. We are all fighting illness as well (husband, me, and 3-yr old daughter). Ugh. We were all sick for Thanksgiving, too. Kind of a sucky end of 2010.

    My husband enjoys cooking too; he is getting a new immersion blender for Xmas (he burnt out the first, cheapo one we got). If this 'cooking thing' evolves like it did in our house, you'll end up with all kinds of kitchen gadgets that are very useful but hard to find places to store! One of our more 'interesting' appliances is a soy milk maker (my husband cannot handle lactose). Never even knew they made those and here we have one! And our daughter still doesn't like the sound of the food saver when it's running. It'll be fun to hear what you end up with as time passes and your husband accumulates small appliances.

  14. We grew up with "Popeye" in the Pacific NW but now I'm in the Midwest, it's padiddle here too! Have a wonderful holiday with the fam!

  15. Merry Christmas Mrs. Q! I have really enjoyed reading your blog this past year and thank you so much for opening people's eyes, showing them how the kids are fed. I am a lunch lady, sigh. The hardest part of my job is seeing the students expectant glances as they line up for lunch each day. What's for lunch today? You can see the disappointment in their eyes when they find out it's the same old burgers, chicken patty sandwiches, tater tots and maybe a daily special. I am embarrassed to be serving them this stuff. Did I say these are high school students? I agree with you on the bake sale article, just like it confuses me that a beer company sponsors youth bicycle events. Not enough people, like you, to speak up about these things, try to make a difference. Thank you so much for everything you do!

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