Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Give Me a Shovel

Sometimes I think that we need to dig into what we have buried. Sometimes, I think the past needs to come back to the light of day. Good memories and bad need a chance to breathe and be a part of who we are. Life needs to unfold around the foundation of the past and form our future. Sometimes, all I really need a shovel.

For years, I have claimed a dislike of goulash. I grew up with it. It was a mainstay on my mother's quick and easy menu rotation. But, I came to despise it. Hunks of cooked tomato? Yuck. Gristly, grainy ground beef? Yuck. Tasteless, mushy macaroni? Yuck. I didn't want anything to do with it. I would have used a shovel to bury it, if I could.

However, recently, the past seemed to be coming back to haunt me. I had a desire for a soup that was so much like the goulash of my childhood, that it amazed me that I even considered it. Someone planted the thought of it in my mind, and I couldn't shake it. I HAD TO have it.

And, guess what? It wasn't so bad. In fact, my creation was really pretty good. There was no need to feed it to the dogs, or send it out into the backyard for a burial. It was a hearty soup worthy of savoring. I won't claim it to be a culinary masterpiece, but it is a simple, comfort type of food that does restore memories of families gathering around the table for dinner. It reminds me of simpler times of homework, kissing boys, giggles, and security. Sometimes all I need is a shovel to uncover the past On My Plate.

Goulash Soup
1 10.75 oz. can condensed Tomato Soup
1 10.75 oz. can water
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/4-1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cooked macaroni
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, or more to taste
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for serving, if desired

Prepare Tomato Soup with water as directed on can.
Brown ground turkey with chopped onion and minced garlic.
Stir frozen corn into Tomato Soup, add seasonings and heat gently.
Stir browned ground turkey, onion and garlic mixture into the soup.
Add the macaroni and simmer to blend flavors.
Serve warm, topped with shredded cheddar, if desired. (Serves 4)

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