Soup's on

Mar 26, 2002

Using my newest cookbook, Best Recipe Soups and Stews, yesterday I made chicken stock from scratch; I’ve frozen this stock, and will use it in the coming months for different soups from the cook book. Today I made Tuscan white bean soup (which doesn’t call for chicken broth; instead, it uses pancetta to give the soup a meat flavor). Both days I’ve used my Calphalon stock pot.

My birthday is approaching, and I’ve been retelling one of my most memorable birthday gift stories: One year, before Erin and I were married, we gathered at the Shaughnessy home for my birthday meal. Before dessert, wrapped gifts were placed before me. I opened the first. Looking to Joanne Shaughnessy (Erin’s mother), I said as genuinely as I could, ”Thank you for the crock pot.” ”That is what you asked for, right?” asked Erin. ”Well, no. I wanted a stock pot.” My next gift, from Erin, turned out to be very stylish clothes that I immediately recognized as much too small for my frame. ”Where did you get these,” I asked Erin. ”From the juniors section,” she replied. ”You wear small sizes, don’t you?” ”Not that small.” We laughed and laughed that night. Erin’s made up for those gaffes in many ways and with some wonderful presents; she really is one of the most thoughtful, generous persons I know.

I learned that year that I should communicate my desires—and my sizes—a bit more explicitly. So this year, I used to create a wish list of the gifts I’d love to unwrap. In the mean time, I’ll be in the kitchen making soup in the stock pot. Erin, to make up for the stock pot incident, let me indulge in this expensive piece of cookware after our wedding.

Anton Zuiker

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