January 31, 2010

Full Glass (of soup)

     "As a child, I would look at my grandfather and wonder how he could stay sane, being so close to his death. But actually, it turns out, Nature drips a little anesthetic into your veins each day that makes you think a day is as good as a year, and a year as long as a lifetime. The routines of living—the tooth-brushing and pill taking, the flossing and the water glass, the match of socks and the sorting of laundry into the proper bureau drawers—wear you down.
      I wake each morning with hurting eyeballs and with dread gnawing at my stomach—that blank drop-off at the end of the chute, that scientifically verified emptiness of the atom and the spaces between the stars. Nevertheless, I shave."
--"The Full Glass", John Updike
The daily routines of life can be wearing, but it is somewhat of a relief to remember that we, as a people, are stronger than we seem. We get up in the morning, face the blank abyss that is life - it is ours to fill - and still find it in ourselves to do whatever it is we do every day.

We all have our routines. One of my favorite ones is coming home at the end of the day and putting on a pot of soup. There's something primitively therapeutic about filling up a pot with water, setting the stove to high, and rummaging through the cupboards and refrigerator for things to turn that water into liquid deliciousness. For me, soups generally fall into three categories: tomato-based, seafood-based, and broth-based. Miso soup is next on my list. To my knowledge, no other soup has that cloudy magical quality.

Some miso pointers I'll be sure to keep in mind, garnered from both word of mouth and independent research: (1) Don't boil the miso, merely simmer it, and (2) Use roughly 3-4 tbsp. miso paste for every 4 cups of water. Everything else is up to the soup maker - tofu, noodles, seaweed, fish fillets, or just plain broth would do wonderfully, I imagine.

1 comment:

Kara said...

I loved that Updike story when I first read it. Thank you for reminding me.