See that steam? The picture doesn’t do it justice. There was even more steam as The Great Thaw progressed. It all started with me not reading the directions of a recipe in detail. I had all intentions of cooking Butternut Squash Spaghetti….until I got home and read that after I fight with the butternut squash so that it’s peeled and chopped into tiny pieces, I had to bake it for 50 minutes. Umm, excuse me? It’s 5:30pm. What was I thinking?
Solution: “Hey! Does anyone want soup?!”, as I dig through the freezer. My children yell in response, “WE WANT CHICKEN NUGGETS!”…. too bad. You’re getting soup.
And then the worst thing happened. Ok, maybe it wasn’t the worst, but it’s what started the terrible snowball effect of me essentially becoming a combination of Edward Scissorhands and a Medieval torture chamber operator. The frozen soup fell OUT. OF. THE. FREEZER! Just narrowly missing my foot. Due to the weight of the soup against the floor, it ripped a hole in the bottom of the bag. My usual method of thawing frozen soup relies solely upon the integrity of the Zip-lock bag it is held in. I put the bag of soup in the sink and run hot water over it. Why, you might ask. Well, it’s because I freeze my soups flat and I can barely get them out of the bag without thawing the soup a wee bit, and I’m a terrible forward planner so putting it in the fridge to defrost is not an option.
I tried so hard to use my typical method of thawing frozen soup, but with the hole it just didn’t work. If the hole had been at the top of the bag, I could have worked with it…. but the bottom of the bag was just too much to deal with. I thought that I could put it in another ziplock bag but decided against that. It seemed like a much better idea to put the block of soup into the Instant Pot cuz, heck yeah, it’s an Instant Pot! We’ll be eating dinner in no time! Except I had one tiny problem. The frozen soup was too big to fit in the Instant Pot.
Have no fear! For I have a kitchen full of perfectly capable chopping devices…See where this is going? Yeah, Edward Scissorhands.
Foregoing the re-bagging of the Zip-lock, I remove the currently ripped bag and proceed to look through my kitchen drawers for suitable devices that will adequately break down this two-inch thick hunk of chicken soup. I first find a knife sharpener/straightener stick and start to jab at the corners of the soup. Ok, this might actually work, until I see the frozen broth flying through the air. The two dogs giddy with excitement of pieces of people food flying through the air. Carrots, fire-roasted tomatoes, and say it isn’t so: CHICKEN! They were loving it, but I was hating it. I had to stop for the mess was too overwhelming. Frozen soup was in my eyes, on my arms, covering my shirt, and I won’t even mention the mess on the counter top. When you have to move end of the year teacher gifts from off of the bar behind the counter, you know it’s messy.
“Alright, you can do this”, as I pep-talk myself into finding a solution. I just need to contain the mess. I’ll get Saran Wrap! Yes, I’m so smart! No, it was a terrible idea. I just ripped holes in the Saran Wrap and the mess still got everywhere. The following is the series of thoughts I had for the duration of my moment as Johnny Depp in the Snow Dance scene of what I think is clearly Winona Ryder’s best role prior to Stranger Things, but what might have also been occurring simultaneously with her brief stint as a kleptomaniac:
“Ok, I need something more durable to contain the mess. I’ll use the Instant Pot! I’m going to cook it in there anyway, I might as well use it while I’m breaking this soup into pieces. I’ve already shredded enough away with the knife stick that it might just fit in the, oh nope….it doesn’t fit. Ugh. Ok, let me try jabbing at one edge at a time. Ok, this seems to, ugh, never mind, it’s still getting everywhere. Where is the Saran Wrap, I’ll just use it like a blanket to prevent the broth ice from going everywhere. (Note: by now I’ve switched devices to the meat tenderizer). Ok, yes, we’re on the right track! I’m taking out all of my pent up aggressions on this soup, it feels exhilarating! This is working, woo hoo! Oh crap, another hole…. Let me check for plastic in the food. Ok, no plastic….hmmm….if only I could melt the soup some. Hey! My Instant Pot has a “Saute” feature, yes, I’ll use that! (Queue the steam from the bad picture above). This is great! I’ll just melt it down until it’s small enough to fit in the Instant Pot. Man, I’m so smart. This was so easy…..”
And guess what. It worked!
But for like 20 minutes, this was literally me in the kitchen.
Lesson learned: I really need to plan ahead, read directions thoroughly, and watch more Johnny Depp movies. Except for the entirety of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. And Rango. Those are all terrible movies.
Positive lesson learned: Frozen chicken soup smells amazing! Even if it is being used like essential oils in a room diffuser.