Tick Tock Soup

Last week I learned how to make soup. Now, for you to fully grasp how big of an achievement this is, you have to realize that my father and I creatively assembled this soup in a mild panic on our own, without Mama’s help. I never, and I mean NEVER, attempt cooking something for the first time all on my lonesome, but this was an emergency.

What was the emergency, you ask?

Well, my boyfriend the Cowboy was sick. (Yes, I finally wrangled a Cowboy. More on this some other time.)

We had planned this lunch for quite some time because, you see, he works all over the country and is rarely home. I wanted to remind him how spectacular of a woman I am by cooking him a full meal, renting his favorite movie from the library, and giving him the best back-rub in the history of spectacular-woman-kind. I had it all planned out – fried potato slices, asparagus, bacon-wrapped pork chops, three-bean salad, and Mama’s homemade raspberry lemonade (Click here for recipe!), with Man-Bait pecan pie (Click here for recipe!) for dessert. Sounds amazing, right? The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all.

I flew home after my morning class at Last Chance Community College, donned my broomstick skirt and an apron (the skirt was necessary for full domestic effect), and was about to start making a holy mess in the kitchen when my phone began hollering “…Operator won’t you put me on through, I gotta send my love down to Baton Rouge…” Cowboy! Cowboy! I flipped (yes, flipped) open the phone to…hacking.

“Honey, I’m sick. *cough cough*”

“Oh. Are you still coming?”

“Of course I am! Just, could you make something like soup? I don’t want you to go through all the trouble of a big meal ’cause I don’t think I’ll be able to eat it.”

“That’s fine, sweetie, of course I know how to make soup. I’ll see you in a few hours.”


This is where the panic set in because, well, I don’t actually know how to make soup. I tried calling Mama, but she was at some sort of agricultural convention in Indiana, partying like a hayseed rock star, and couldn’t be bothered with her domestic flop of a daughter. I consulted each and every one of the sixty-two cookbooks in the kitchen, but all of the soup recipes looked confusing as heck. Bone marrow? Who can be bothered with bone marrow at a time like this? Eye of newt? Leg of frog? What??

I decided to pour me a drink and wallow in self-pity. Cowboy is going to discover that I cannot cook soup. He’s going to leave me. I’m never going to find a good man ever again, because I cannot cook soup. I’m going to die a lonely spinster with fourteen cats. I could literally hear my biological clock ticking.

Luckily, Dad arrived home in the middle of my frenzy. He asked what I was drinking (cherry vodka and cream soda) and why I was drinking at 11 a.m. Dad dragged me off my duff and helped me rifle through the fridge and throw everything we could find into a pot. I covered it with water and let it cook for awhile. I even brought myself to cook a pecan pie, with extra bourbon, for myself.

Cowboy loved it, and my biological clock shut up. For now.

So! Here is the recipe for Tick Tock Soup:

Some potatoes cut into chunks

Some sliced up carrots

Some asparagus

Some sprigs of rosemary ripped off of Mama’s plant in the dining room

Some basil leaves ripped off of Mama’s plant in the living room

A couple of pork chops, chopped into hunks

A couple of venison chops, chopped into hunks


Some milk

Pinch of flour

A lot of salt (if you’re cooking for a cowboy)

Throw it all in a pot and set the heat on medium. Stir. When it has simmered long enough for the potatoes to be mushy, it is done.

Serve with beverage of your choice, unless you are serving a cowboy with a cold, then give him chamomile tea with a spoonful of honey. Make him drink it, because he will complain and try to give it to the dog when you are not looking.

If you’re lucky, he’ll even bring you some jeans and shirts to patch, because you lied and told him you knew how to mend…

Published on Feb 24, 2013

Grit Magazine

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