Author Topic: No Snowflake Soup for you!  (Read 14019 times)

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JacklynHyde

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No Snowflake Soup for you!
« on: December 30, 2012, 03:55:24 PM »
As a teensy background, I am not comfortable in the kitchen.  If I can follow a recipe, I'm fine, but don't ask me to improvise.  Most of my foodie friends know this and are not surprised when I leave the potluck contribution to my husband's care.  However, for an upcoming NYE potluck party, I had a hankering to make matzo ball soup and found I had all the ingredients in the house.  I've never come close to my late grandmother's quality, but I was determined to follow her recipe to give it another shot.

Yesterday, I mentioned my planned contribution on the Facebook page for those who were invited.  Andrea, one of the other attendees, immediately asked if I'd make the soup vegetarian.  The recipe I have calls for chicken stock and chicken fat (schmaltz).  I have no vegetarian broth in the house, and I have found that using canola oil in place of schmaltz isn't as effective.  I responded to Andrea, "Unfortunately, I cannot. I already have the chicken stock and schmaltz ready to go, and I honestly have had terrible luck trying to make them vegetarian or vegan."

Today, I was so excited that I had finally started working in the kitchen that I updated my Facebook status that the matzo ball dough was resting and awaiting the soup to boil.  Again, Andrea immediately responded, "So, not vegetarian?  :("  I was quickly simmering faster than my soup stock.  No, I hadn't learned overnight how to make matzo ball soup vegetarian without wrecking it.  I also couldn't make it gluten-free for my other friend with celiac, but she wasn't prodding me about it.

Instead of blowing my stack, I responded, "Sorry, Andrea, I'm afraid it won't be possible.  I have plenty of matzo meal if you want to make a veggie version."

Her response?  "Bummer.  I think that I am going to bring bread, seeing how much soup is going to be there."

Oh, and at least one of the other soups that has been promised by a guest IS a vegetarian black bean soup.  She just wanted mine to be veggie as well.

jayhawk

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 04:28:35 PM »
Don't let her rain on your parade-your soup sounds yummy!

gramma dishes

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 04:42:10 PM »
Wait, you'd already told her twice that it wouldn't be vegetarian and she still acted disappointed that you hadn't rearranged the recipe to suit just her? 

I don't blame her for asking the first time.  If you have a special dietary need or requirement it never hurts to know what's going to be awaiting you when you get to the party.  But what on earth gave her the idea to assume that you (and everyone else) should/would all be willing (and able) to adjust your food contributions just to suit her personal preferences?  Is she accustomed to being catered to like that?


Deetee

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 04:44:42 PM »
This is your grandmothers traditional recipe. She is being ridiculous (and I cheerfully accomadate vegetarians)

Label the soup with Grandma Whatsit's Famous Matzo Ball Soup and the ingredients and don't give it a second thought.


JacklynHyde

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 04:49:14 PM »
I think the thing that got her is that we're two of the only Jewish people in our group of friends, so she got REALLY excited about the idea of something ethnic.  I'd offered her the one ingredient she might not have around the house (matzo meal) if she wants to make some vegetarian soup.  It would've been a major imposition for me to do this, especially after having made the chicken stock from scratch last week, but she might have had veggie stock in her home.  Instead, she requested I change my recipe and then she whined when I couldn't.

jayhawk

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 09:26:33 PM »
Too bad, so sad. Shrug.

buvezdevin

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 09:39:44 PM »
As someone who was vegetarian for a few years, but greatly appreciates really good matzah ball soup (and is no longer vegetarian) - I do want to say that, even allowing for the amazing things done with "molecular" cuisine, I cannot imagine how one would make a vegetarian matzah ball soup which approaches the version made with chicken.  I appreciate that your friend may long for, even yearn for such an item, but she approached it in a very impolite manner. You were generous to offer her the means to try for a vegetarian matzah ball soup, and you were wise not to try to change yours.

Now, if your soup turns out as well as I hope it does, pretty please share the recipe?
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Venus193

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 09:43:42 PM »
I agree.

My garlic soup is made with chicken broth.  I experimented with the recipe a number of times before submitting it to my SCA group for approval for a feast.  Someone asked if it could be made vegetarian and I replied in the negative.  It didn't work from either a texture or flavor perspective.

I am not Jewish but I am a New Yorker with some familiarity with this foodstuff.  I can't see how it could work without chicken.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 07:39:48 AM by Venus193 »

VorFemme

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 11:26:30 PM »
There are just some recipes where animal fat (or animal muscle - aka meat) is the only ingredient that gets the "kitchen chemistry" to work properly.  Vegan or vegetarian version with other sources of fat and protein are not going to have nearly as good a taste or mouth feel.

Baking, such as cookies, is one thing (salad oil, vegetable shortening, butter, or lard can be interchanged if you adjust how much is used) - other recipes, not so much.

And any form of "chicken soup" isn't going to work out right without chicken. 

Sorry about that...slurp...slurp...slurp!  Balls of dough, noodles, rice, or what have you - chicken soup NEEDS chicken.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

MamaMootz

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 11:29:36 PM »
Cooking Light magazine had an outstanding recipe for chicken matzo ball soup in there a few months back. It came out SO GOOD!
And I didn't even use homemade stock - I cheated and used store-bought.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-matzo-ball-soup-50400000119682/
"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

Danika

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 06:34:24 AM »
I think what bothers me most about Andrea's Special Snowflakeness is that she posted on your personal FB status - like she was publicly shaming you. She already knew you weren't going to make it vegetarian. So she was trying to either strongarm you into reconsidering or she was just trying to show that you're a meany who won't accommodate her.

I'm comfortable in the kitchen and I do a lot of improvising and sometimes it just plain doesn't work. I made three versions of my favorite cookie recently - one with the wheat flour it calls for, one with oat flour and one with rice flour. The two latter ones tasted nasty. After all the work, I had to just throw them in the trash.

Especially since you made the chicken stock from scratch, good for you for not trying to accommodate her special snowflakeness!

JacklynHyde

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 12:43:14 PM »
I think what bothers me most about Andrea's Special Snowflakeness is that she posted on your personal FB status - like she was publicly shaming you. She already knew you weren't going to make it vegetarian. So she was trying to either strongarm you into reconsidering or she was just trying to show that you're a meany who won't accommodate her.

Exactly!  The hostess was particularly annoyed with Andrea.  Thankfully, she apologized to me last night when I arrived (possibly at Hostess' urging).  She was so excited at the idea of having ethnic food and didn't consider how much it would put out someone who doesn't have the alternative raw ingredients lying around the house (i.e. vegetable soup stock).  She admitted she just needed to go get some matzo meal and make her own.

gramma dishes

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 01:22:27 PM »
I think what bothers me most about Andrea's Special Snowflakeness is that she posted on your personal FB status - like she was publicly shaming you. She already knew you weren't going to make it vegetarian. So she was trying to either strongarm you into reconsidering or she was just trying to show that you're a meany who won't accommodate her.

Exactly!  The hostess was particularly annoyed with Andrea.  Thankfully, she apologized to me last night when I arrived (possibly at Hostess' urging).  She was so excited at the idea of having ethnic food and didn't consider how much it would put out someone who doesn't have the alternative raw ingredients lying around the house (i.e. vegetable soup stock).  She admitted she just needed to go get some matzo meal and make her own.
 

Great update ~~ but tell us!!  How did the other guests like your Grandma's soup as made by you?

Danika

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 07:30:13 PM »
I'm glad the hostess also saw what Andrea was doing and didn't fall for it thinking you were a meany for not complying. I'm glad Andrea apologized - whether or not it was her own idea, at least she got the point that she was out of line. I bet your soup was yummy.

RooRoo

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Re: No Snowflake Soup for you!
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 08:55:22 PM »
Without excusing her rudeness, I can feel a little bit sorry for Andrea, if, indeed, you and she are the only Jewish folks in your group.

Becoming vegetarian is a choice, usually based on not wanting to contribute to the death of animals, or on the belief that meat is unhealthy. (There may be a few exceptions; if so, please forgive and enlighten my ignorance!)

Andrea probably heard "Matzo Ball Soup" and remembered how good it is, and was hoping that she could have some. That only excuses the first request, though.

P.S. I almost made a spell-check proof mistake. I'm glad I caught it! I don't think our vegetarian members would enjoy being called "vegetatian."  :-[  :D
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late