Matt Fontaine

December 14, 2010

Post #2669 – 20101214

Hi Mr. Pinkwater,

I’ve been a fan since I was a kid, but “The Neddiad” blew me away–it was gorgeous and silly and reverent and magical all at the same time. My kids are fans, too–I started reading “Lizard Music” to my 4-year-old and he made me finish it in its entirety in one sitting, and “Borgel” is now his standard night-time fare on the iPod when he needs extended storytime. His younger brother takes his inspiration from Irving and Muktuk. Your fans (and Jill’s, of course) will outlive us all.

Anyway, I just want to know how you fit 12-15 vegetables in a soup? I’ve never been able to get past 8. Would you be willing share a favorite recipe? I think a Pinkwater family cookbook would be a hoot. Thanks for all that you have created over the years.

Daniel replies:

Thanks for the kind words. Soup: I go to the produce section, the one at the good market. I select: a green pepper, a red pepper, a yellow pepper, an orange pepper, one or two of those curly gnarly peppers, a couple little hot peppers. Then I take a little handful of snow peas, a little handful of sugar peas, same thing with string beans, 3 or 4 nice tomatoes, a zucchini or two, some white button mushrooms, some crimini mushrooms, some shitake mushrooms, a leek, some swiss chard, or kale, or spinach, or some other greens, some little baby carrots, celery dill, parsley, garlic. How many is that? Then I get some chicken backs or other chicken parts. Sometimes I get those boxes of chicken broth to make the broth brothier. Jill throws the chicken backs into water or boxed broth with some celery and carrots, and cooks that up. Then she strains out the chicken bones and exhausted carrots and celery, and we dump in all the veggies, which have been cut up. Usually Jill dumps a ladleful of fancy spaghetti sauce in too. Soup! We eat it day after day, and then we make more. I don't understand your inability to get past 8 vegetables, unless like me you have dyscalcula. Maybe you can have someone else count? Not only does this soup taste good, not only is it spectacularly nutritious, it is also cheap, feeds the two of us for a whole week, and means we can prepare a meal in 5 minutes, (heating and making some nice toast). It is also addictive, which means that far from getting tired of it, one craves it. I think I have explained this before on this very website. (Webmaster Ed, please note--perhaps this should be permanently posted for the convenience of other gourmets).