Monthly Archives: September 2013

Flood Soup.

It was a king-sized disaster for way too many, but for us, a small one, at least above the anxiety we felt when Alex got caught at home in the biggest flood in Boulder’s history, and I was caught on the way there, unable to make the last 100 miles because of road closures and detours. We had a flooded crawl space, but that put us in among the lucky ones. We didn’t lose our home, or even any rugs, and we were both safe.

I managed to get home in the break between storms–amazing how the roads clear suddenly, and then, when the rain comes again, clog and close just as fast. But I did get home. Tired and spacey after driving 1300 miles with my little dog, but happy to be there, happy to see my loved ones, happy to be home…since home is defined as where your loved ones reside. The Dear Husband had really thoughtfully gone out and bought some grocery store sushi rolls for lunch, so I wouldn’t have to think about feeding us. And he suggested we go out to dinner down the street at the local pub, which invitation I accepted gratefully. Dinner, hearing stories about how our waitstaff had to watch, helpless, as the water roared down the street in front of the restaurant–“right down to where most of us live”–sympathetic ear, back home,  and then an exhausted tumble into bed.

Next morning, I looked blankly into the refrigerator. Well, there was almost nothing there. “What have you been living on for the last six weeks?” I asked, though, amused, I was pretty sure I knew the answer.

“Oh, you know. The usual. Cheese and salsa sandwiches and granola and bananas for breakfast.”

Ah. Thought so. I laughed and started to make a grocery list.

Then it started to rain. Again. Hard. Continuously. You could almost feel the collective anxiety of the county begin to rise. For the moment, it was foolish to think of going outside on the unstable roads, with the sheets of water pouring down. But life goes on, people need to be fed. We were hungry. I’d bought a jar of pickled okra on my way home, and we had some of that, with Alex’s cheese and Triscuits he’d been living on. That was lunch. But what were we going to do for dinner? I considered my possible courses of action.

And then, of course, I did what I always do in these circumstances. I rooted around to see what we had. And I made something out of that.

Here was what we had:

1 old, wrinkled turnip (but turnips can keep a long time, as long as you shave the wrinkles off, they’re always good in soup…)

1 almost equally wrinkled potato, with sprouts (see above comment about turnips)

A half a bag of baby carrots (obviously bought as a salad course for the Dear Husband’s cheese sandwich meals)

One wilted celery heart (obviously left from a bunch bought as a … see above)

A half a bottle of spicy tomato juice

A can of beets


I don’t know what that says to you, but what it says to me is soup. Especially on a cold, rainy, potentially dangerous day. Soup. Definitely soup.

So this is what I did:

I peeled the old turnip deeply, until the bit left was white. Then I sliced it thinly, and cross cut the slices until they were minced.

Did the same with the potato. This is an excellent thing to know: sprouting potatoes are fine as long as you cut away all the sprouts and green areas. What’s left is a great addition to soup.

Cut the brown bits off the celery heart and sliced what was left.

Chopped the baby carrots.

Sauteed them in olive oil. Added a little dried thyme and some salt. Wilted them.

Added the juice drained from the beet can. Added some spicy tomato juice.

Added a little juice from the pickled okra jar.

Cooked on low heat until…

All the veggies were tender.

Then I sliced the sliced beets again, and then cut up the slices.

Added them, and rinsed out the beet can with water, added that.


Added a little more spicy tomato juice.

Turned the soup off and waited till dinner…


Then the rain died down, and the water that was knocking at our back door gave up and sank back into the river that was running through our back yard.

To celebrate, we sat in front of the fire, he with a beer, me with a glass of wine.

We toasted the end in sight of the flood. We toasted luck to all those who had lost so much that day. We toasted each other being safe.

Then we sat down and ate our soup.

And the Dear Husband looked down at his empty bowl contemplatively, and said, “I’m glad you’re home. I was starting to get tired of cheese sandwiches and carrots after all.”


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