Wednesday, August 03, 2016

A Kitchen Fable starring a soup tureen, a cowardly artichoke and Calvin Klein

Months ago, I splurged and bought a soup tureen in the Blue Mandarin pattern by Calvin Klein. Do I need a soup tureen for the two of us? I'd say I need a soup tureen like a hole in the head, but I'm trying to eliminate cliche from my writing. The tureen has languished in the cupboard.

On refrigerator clean-out day, we had a left-over Costco chicken carcass to use up, which automatically meant soup for dinner. A huge artichoke had hidden in the vegetable compartment under the salad greens, but I found it, chopped off it's head and readied it for cooking. As I simmered the chicken bones for stock, I threw the cowardly artichoke into the pot out of laziness—one less pot to wash. 

When the soup was done, I heard a garbled sound coming from the cupboard.  "Use me, use me please!" The voice sounded strangely like Calvin Klein sucking on helium. At first, I thought it was just my tinnitus playing tricks but when I opened the cupboard door, the sound got louder and I knew for sure the near-desperate tureen was crying for action. Once I filled it up with soup, it seemed calmer—perhaps the warmth? Still, it didn't seem completely satisfied until I plopped the simpering artichoke into the middle. When the artichoke hit the soup, it opened slowly like a flower blossom in slow mo. Wait ... was that more sound coming from the tureen? I swear I heard a muffled Calvin Klein burp. On second thought, it was probably just the soup settling down—surely a classy guy like Calvin has never burped. 

The artichoke turned out wonderfully—little bits of herb, chicken and vegetables found their way between the leaves; the overall flavor, from steeping in the chicken stock, was great. The plain-Jane soup even seemed improved by it's short marriage to the artichoke (glutamates) and their honeymoon in the tureen.   

Instead of the usual cheap swill we drink, I opened up a more expensive bottle of swill for the special occasion! 

Moral of the story: Always check the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for hidden artichokes. Secondary Moral: Always wear earplugs when making soup. 

Tureen and soup

Tureen, soup and artichoke


  1. Anonymous1:46 PM

    GLUTAMATES! Love the word...and I think I'd love the soup. I'll have to ask Nancy to make it.
    Oh..and I love the tureen!

  2. I'd make it but I don't have such a classy tureen. I do have a tureen however but I think I'll wait until winter to fill it up. It's not a Calvin Klein tureen, but a vintage one from Czechoslovakia. I think it might be as photogenic as yours.