Chicken Soup for the Pissed Off Soul

Where I work, when it's your birthday you bring the treats, sort of like 5th grade. But with four birthdays in September, four of us Virgo gals decided we would go together to put on a lunch for our co-workers.

Pizza? No, that would be too convenient. Jimmy John's? No, too easy. Instead, we decided to spend our money on unprepared ingredients. One person claimed chili. Another volunteered to bring Bundtinis (which are as good as you'd think they'd be bad). The third lady offered to bring bowls, silverware and a veggie tray since her kitchen was out of commission (likely story). And me? Well..."I can make homemade chicken noodle soup," said my mouth without asking my brain for permission.

You see, I have this thing where I volunteer to make elaborate dishes and when the time comes to prepare them I panic and Chef Boyarob has to come to my rescue. This time was no different.

On Tuesday night, I begrudgingly trudged up and down the aisles of the grocery store gathering my ingredients and regretting that I ever offered to make the dish that would come to be known as the “soup from hell” in the first place. If you’re wanting a good time, don’t take a hungry toddler to the grocery store you don't frequent regularly. We ate half a tub of Teddy Grahams looking for the frozen noodles.

Later that night, after Faith paid a visit to Mr. Sandman, I came downstairs and got on the computer to blog/avoid my birthday treat soup a little longer. Then Rob turned the light off on me. This is a little something he likes to do all the time that drives me bonkers. I let him know just how much this drove me crazier than I already am. He let me know that I was overreacting, and before you know it, we were in an full blown argument over electricity.

I was planning to write a birthday blog that was going to be all sentimental, but I was too pissed off at that point. I knew my soup wasn't going to make itself so I slammed the computer shut and slammed open the cabinet before slamming the pot on the stove (temper temper, I know). I started furiously chopping the six chicken breasts the recipe called for while occasionally grunting in anger. By about the third one, I was debating how to apologize to Chef Boyarob so he would save the day again, but my pride refused to give in. Thankfully there was nothing on TV and by the fifth chicken breast, I think he was worried enough that I would chop off a finger, he offered his help. I sheepishly accepted.

The two of us chopped until our hands cramped up and then some. I got a phone call and Top Chef Lindquist took over. When the soup was heated through, I put the pot in the fridge and went to bed. The next morning I got up, threw the pot on the stove and headed upstairs to get ready/pigtailize Faith/stop Howie from going in the closet/complain to Rob about Mt. Laundry.

Half an hour later, I was changing a diaper upstairs when I heard a muffled voice from the kitchen downstairs. “Sue turned the loop!” At least that’s what I'd hoped he said. After a quick clarification, it was official. “You burned the soup!” Dammit. Strike five on this damn soup. Luckily, only the bottom of the pot was scorched so I scooped up as much as would fit into the crockpot and put the rest in the fridge.

After carefully placing it in the back of my car, I went on my merry way. You can probably see where this is going, but naïve Nicole did not. I was just cruising down the Interstate, loving life. I even hit the green light at the intersection of Interstate 80 and 42nd Street which NEVER happens. Just when I thought God was smiling on me, the lid to my crockpot slid off as I was rounding the corner, and the backseat of the Fusion got a heaping helping of chicken noodle soup.

An odd calm came over me. It was almost as if my subconscious expected it to happen. “This soup will be the death of me,” I thought.  I saw a fender bender car accident on the side of the road, which sadly made me feel better about my morning, even though I was running late and the time that I was spending on this stupid soup was now going to surpass a full workday.

I dropped Faith off at daycare, not caring that she probably smelled like celery, and continued on to work. I brought in the ¼ cup of soup that remained in the crockpot and plugged it in. Then I went back out to my car to clean up the crime scene.

Did it spill onto anything other than the floor you ask? Haha. That’s funny. The floor of my car is made up of an Iowa State sweatshirt, ISU flag, my magic Cyclones scarf, Faith’s doggie neck pillow, my TOMS and a bunch of newspapers among other treasures. Fortunately, no stuffed animals were harmed in this accident, but unfortunately, it spilled on the middle of the backseat of the floor, not on the mats that can be washed.

I couldn’t just go home and get the rest of my soup in the fridge because of a morning meeting, so I did the best cleanup in Aisle Ford Fusion job I could and left it. After my meeting, I called my mom to bitch about the “soup-that-would-not-die” a little more. She showed her support by laughing at me. To her credit, she tried to stifle her giggles, but she wasn’t foolin’ this soup lady.

When I got home, I threw the pot on the stove and realized how scorched the bottom was. ‘That's going to about as much fun to wash as it was to cleanup the backseat,’ I thought. There goes hours number 22 and 23 on this freakin’ batch of soup.

Rather than place the entire pot in the backseat of my car just to see what happened on the drive back to work, I scooped it into some Tupperware, sealed the lid and checked the seal approximately seven times. Fearing this damn soup was too bland after all the effort I went to, I place the chicken bouillon spice on top of the container to add to the whole thing once it was all in the crockpot at work. Wouldn’t you know it, that spice bottle never moved a centimeter from top of the Tupperware lid the entire drive to work. Oh, the irony.

I'd stopped at the Grocery Store of Confusion again and bought some yellow food coloring to make my concoction look less like stone soup and more like a Campbell’s commercial. It worked like a charm and once I had it all in one crockpot, I sat back and relaxed. With a little salt and pepper, it might have some hope.

Just then, Rob sent me a text. “Soup tastes awesome!” Bless his heart. It was just what I needed to hear. Me: “Thank God. I just had to go back home and get the rest that wouldn’t fit in the crockpot cuz it spilled all over my backseat this morning. Yippee!”
Rob: “Oh no.”
Me: “That’s not exactly what I said.”

In the end, people ate the soup and said nice things about it. I had some too, and with a little salt, pepper and maybe a lot of crackers, it was, dare I say it, good. Faith even liked it, but she’s been known to put crayons in her mouth, so her opinion doesn't exactly make me want to make it again just yet.

The whole process including, and especially, transportation was pretty much maddening. It was definitely more time, effort and money than the $2 I usually spend to make my Pillsbury homemade cupcakes (nothing but the best for my coworkers ;). All I know is, next time, I’m bringing the Bundtinis!

And what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't have at least three pics of my kid eating soup. There are taken on my new Nikon. I am in love!

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