Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gestalt and the zen of potage

I can't wait for dinner tomorrow night.

Why, you ask? What are we making? Cornish game hen? Escargot? Sundried pesto chicken roulade? Well, that's a good question. I have no idea what we're making.

What I do know is I have a real hankering for a home cooked meal. Fish tacos was my last one. Sunday night I had a migraine and couldn't even keep down water, so dinner was right out of the question. (It was hard enough feeding my precious daughter her bananas.) Darling Husband made do with Taco Bell in between taking care of me and our little girl. What a miserable time. Monday night was a mish mash evening, and my solo dinner consisted of a bowl of lovely potage my sister made and a yogurt parfait from Wegman's. Technically, I guess this counts as home cooked, but I didn't home cook it.

Tonight I had a drawing class through the art museum, so we got take-out wings from Odis 21, a bar that reputably has the best wings in Erie. Numerous wing places say this, but I presume Odis 21 has some sort of wing competition win to back it up. I don't know if they're the very best in town, but they were pretty good and the flavors were interesting and bold. We got hot honey, buffalo mesquite, and hot blue cheese. We were both too stuffed to do more than sample the hot honey, having finished off the other two (which, frankly, we were too stuffed to do, too, but they just tasted so good...). I feel like I won't be hungry again for a long long time, but when I do eat, it had better have fresh veggies or fruit in it.

My sister's potage, I should mention, was homey, warm, comforting and just right. It's a soup made with leeks, potato and carrots. It's something my mom makes, and I've never actually paid too much attention to what goes in it. I seem to recall celery in my mom's, and now that I'm writing it, I think my sister might have put something else in, too. But the point is, you combine the veggies with water and you have soup, but then you puree it all together and you get this wonderful, velvety bowl of goodness. A little pat of butter, or perhaps a dollop of sour cream, or just some good sea salt and freshly ground pepper finish it off nicely.

I am not a big soup fan (although I'm coming around) but I've always loved this soup. Mom made it when we were sick, but also as a first course for dinner parties. It's versatile, which is just one of the things to love about it. It's a good thing to have on hand, because it's just as good heated up as it was when you made it... in fact, it's not bad cold, either. It's also one of those awesome dishes that are so much more than the sum of its parts. (It's all very Gestalt). I also love that my sister refers to it as potage. Which it is, but coming from her, it sounds even better. There's just something about the way she says it that lets you know she put a lot of love into it, and nostalgia, too. There's a tenderness to her voice. Anyway, she and I each had a bowl with just a pinch of fleur de sel. My daughter had a (much smaller) bowl with no seasoning. We were lucky that my sister forgot to salt and pepper the pot of soup itself, so my little one could share in the meal.

You know what? After blogging, I don't crave home made food so much. I realize I had it yesterday. I'm still going to look forward to cooking, although right now some potage sounds pretty darn good to me. I wonder if my sister has any left overs...


  1. I think WHATEVER we make and/or have tomorrow, we need to save room for dessert. Cause I know what I'm making, and I'm kinda excited about it. I think it's gonna be super awesome. :-)

  2. I agree, btw, the wings were remarkably good. The hot blue cheese were INDEED hot and creamy and slightly bizarre but yummy, the hot honey were promising based on the one wing I ate of them... But I thought the buffalo whatever mesquite ones were particularly good. Nice heat, nice flavor, good balance... Do I dare say it...? Good eats. :-)

    I wonder what the folks at Erie Pizza and Wings thought...? I wonder if they've been?