Birds and sneaky fat ass

I’m not normally obsessed with my appearance. I’ve been with the same partner for 11 years, and what can I say? I take it for granted that he likes what he sees. Sure, I do it up sometimes, but I’m no fancy-pants dresser and I rarely freak out about my image.

When I get dressed, my primary objective is usually to make sure everything’s clean and matches, more or less, and that nothing is on inside-out. I typically leave the house feeling fairly satisfied.

But every once in a while, it happens: I pass a mirror, or see a photo of myself from someone else, or (God Forbid) try some skinny-legged jeans on, and my image slaps me right in the face. Oh, come on, you know what I’m talking about. You see a picture, and you’re supposed to be looking at all the smiling faces, but really you’re looking at that part of you that seems just a bit bigger than it is in your mind’s eye.

It’s sneaky fat ass. It hits most often in the fall, for me.

I’ve been on a yoga kick for the past week or so, feeling drawn to the mat by a happy body (I’m feeling much better than I did in September and the beginning of October), and by the by cross-pollinating encouragement of the upcoming ski season and a burgeoning behind.

When we came home from yoga today, my legs wiggled. I needed food. But Jackson (the cat), who decided it would be fun to turn the house into a menagerie of tiny live birds just a few days ago, decided we needed more exercise. On Friday, the birds had been small; I ushered them out from under the refrigerator with a broom handle and the action was over.

Today was different. When we got home, the house was littered with feathers, big and small (like this). Feathers in the office, feathers in the living room. Feathers in the kitchen, feathers glued to the inside of the shower curtain. Feathers, everywhere. But no bird.

But we were tired, and hungry, so we hit Pete’s Egg Nest and forgot about the bird.

When we came home with friends in tow, we remembered the bird. It was hard not to: it was flapping frantically around the living room, a gorgeous, healthy-sized specimen, spastic with stress and bleeding from what was presumably a siginificant struggle with the cat. We all started yelling at once, fluttering about the room around it, guessing its species. Woodpecker? It had a sharp, forceful-looking beak, with a body like a pigeon, but a thicker neck and colorful plumage. The camera was conveniently out of batteries, but it looked kind of like this.

We flushed the bird out, and returned to the house. We looked closer: bedlam. Bird blood on the walls, on the white blinds, on the windowsills, on the floor. Bird shit on our credit card statement, on my datebook, dripping down my yoga mat, matted into a dog bed, slashed across the kitchen floor. And the cat? Nowhere.

So the afternoon wasn’t the relaxing, chill Sunday we’d hoped for. We spent it scooping bird poop and picking feathers out of the rugs.

By the time we got hungry again, my energy wavered. I wanted soup. Fast. I thought of the turkey and rice avgolemono Kathy made for Favorites, and thought I’d make something like it. But I had no lemon, and no herbs, just half a turkey carcass and a refrigerator jam-packed with nothing.

With rich, thick stock (from the batch I’d made with two chickens and labeled “GOOD chicken stock”), sweet leeks, and richness from the cream and egg I swirled in at the last minute, the soup was perfect. It preened when I took photographs, like the bird must have done before the cat ruined is day (and ours).

But when I loaded the pictures up, there it was, a half-hearted looking soup with not enough color and dubious ability to make many mouths water.

Really, I mean it: I loved it, every fat, hot, satisfying drop. And before I loaded my camera with a fresh battery, I felt 100% certain it would be gorgeous.

But now it seems . . .blah. Even soups get sneaky fat ass, I guess.

Quick Turkey

Quick Turkey “Egg Drop” Soup (PDF)
Recipe 308 of 365

When only the ugliest bits of turkey meat are left on the carcass, make this soup, with the best chicken or turkey stock you can find (which is probably your own). For variations, add lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley or basil, or any other leftover vegetables that need a home.

TIME: 13 minutes, start to finish
MAKES: 1 to 2 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 small leeks, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup, or onions will also work)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups homemade chicken or turkey stock
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup chopped leftover turkey
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, then the leeks, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, and bring the soup to a simmer. Add the peas and turkey, and simmer 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the simmering stop.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together. Stir the soup, and drizzle the egg mixture in as it swirls in the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and eat hot.

2 Comments

Filed under leftovers, recipe, soup

2 responses to “Birds and sneaky fat ass

  1. Beth

    Skinny leg jeans are the devil and should be avoided at all costs…

  2. The bird looked a lot like that woodpecker, but with a longer beak. Said the guy who spent most of the time the bird was in the house covering his head and eyes.

    And as far as sneakyfatasssoup, the soup looks splendid. Awesome enough for a temporary bachelor to make.

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