I’m Better Than I Think, And Then I Think I Could be Better

Let me tell you something about second-guessing yourself when it comes to cooking, or rather, not doing what you know you should do.

When you have a recipe in mind, and you know the basics of what you’re doing, just go with the basics and add onto it. Do not take short cuts or assume that you should, or even can, do something else.

Case in point: tortellini soup.

I know that to make a tomato broth, you need a stock of some sort and whole, peeled tomatoes. Maybe stewed tomatoes if you’re short on time. That’s all you need.

Today I was so proud of myself for having planned our dinners for the week. We went to the grocery and started purchasing what we needed for the next 7 days of meals, and somewhere between canned goods and produce, we realized that we had failed to determine a meal for dinner tonight.

No big deal! We can come up with something. E suggested soup –just a hardy tomato soup and some bread. I thought soup was a great idea, but I said, “Hey. I can make tortellini soup. The frozen pastas are on sale!”

As we were walking to check out, I mentioned that perhaps I should get some tomatoes. E said, “We already have the tomato basil soup. No rule says you cannot make your own recipe.”

True! But I had a bad feeling, and I ignored it.

Fast forward to now. I have a quasi soup on the stove. I used the pre-made soup, and I realized there wasn’t enough to include all of the vegetables and pasta –it would be much too thick.

No worries, I thought! I have chicken stock in the fridge. Not enough. That’s ok! I have some vegetable stock, too. So I add that. And then I taste it. Water. It tastes like water with some tomato spice in it. It’s disgusting. So I tried to cover it with some spices.

So now I have a water and spice and tortellini soup. Very bland. And all I wanted was to have something flavorful for dinner. This is what I get for saying no to reheating the pork and having BBQ sandwiches because I wanted something flavorful.

I also just wanted a smoothie, but that was not apparently dinner enough.

This is not a victory. This is yet another reminder that when I second-guess my gut reaction, it usually turns out wrong. I am a better cook than I think I am because I know instinctively what I need to do. But I am a horrible cook because I go against those feelings and allow others to convince me to take short cuts or ignore my instinct.

My bad. I have learned now. And E will have to eat it, too.