movies aren’t small potatoes…

Yes, I went to see The Hunger Games. And before you ask, NO, I will not be sharing any spoilers, so get a grip already. Sorry, I’ve already been threatened by friends, who obviously have my best interest at heart. “Don’t tell me anything that happens, or I’ll kill you! Got it?”  It’s all said in love, of course. I hope.

But since I got to see it first (unless some of my buddies wangled an advance viewing, somewhere), because I’m in Australia, I can now thumb my nose at my friendly threateners. As it happens, I left the movie theater annoyed, but not because of the movie itself. Because of the audience.

When I’m in the U.S., and I know a movie is coming out that I want to see, I usually go to the very first matinee that I can manage to get to. Preferably about 10 or 11 in the morning. Why? Because I’ll have the theater to myself, and I don’t have to gripe inwardly about the crassness and absolute rudeness of the general public.

You know what? It doesn’t matter what country you’re in, Australia, the United States or any other. I’ll still tell you, if you want to go to a movie to talk and chatter through the whole thing, go see a comedy, or an action movie (where you can’t hear anything, anyway). If you’re going to see a drama (or something else that’s serious), then plan on being serious, and… shut the hell up.

Was I the only one in the audience that wanted to shriek at the rest of the group? I hope not. I’ve read the books, I care about the characters, and I wanted to see how things turned out in the movie version. Obviously, we know how it ends. But I wanted to know if they would do justice to the book. If they acted well, or if they’re descended from John Malkovich (don’t get me started). I wanted to see how everyone interacted, and feel my heart racing, as we reached the final showdown! Now, I got to do all that, but with a bad taste in my mouth, wanting to knock some sense into my neighbors.

Rude, obnoxious audience members, you take away from the movie experience of others, and I wish you’d go spend your money watching some movie that’s just as rude and obnoxious as you are.

~

Now, that I’ve got that off my chest, I’ll talk a little more normally. Sorry, I was steamed! When I got back from the movie, it occurred to me that I really should eat something that doesn’t involve potatoes, but I just couldn’t seem to help myself. Yes, if I go to Bogey’s for dinner, and have leftovers, I eat them for breakfast. And yesterday, I made potato soup, and today, I made a second batch of it, because the first batch got devoured. No, not just by me, by the whole family. It was definitely a hit.

So, having just had another delicious bowl of spicy potato soup, I’ll share with you about it. The original recipe comes straight from The Redwall Cookbook. If you know your Redwall books, then you know that they’re full of descriptions of delicious food. One of my favorites, that I always wanted to try was shrimp ‘n’ hotroot soup. A favorite of the otters in the stories, it’s full of vegetables, potatoes, shrimp, and tons of hotroot pepper!

Of course, in real life, this is either chili pepper or curry powder. Your call. When I finally bought my own copy of the cookbook, I followed the recipe and then expanded on it. I don’t remember if the recipe actually calls for carrots, but there are usually carrots in the books. Also, garlic may or may not be included, but I certainly use garlic powder. Over the last few years, my recipe has changed a time or two, and now that I’ve reached Australia, it took another path.

My Aussie family is allergic to prawns, or at least some of them are, so adding shrimp to the soup was not an option. Hence the name, Spicy Potato Soup. And with my first attempt, here in Emerald, I tried adding gnocchi (potato dumplings), but I didn’t think they tasted good at all in this soup, so I picked them back out again. Here is my recipe, as best as I can remember.

~

Spicy Potato Soup

1-2 yellow onions

3-4 green onions/shallots

butter

chicken or beef broth

3-8 carrots

4-10 potatoes (depending on the size)

1 cup milk

garlic powder

chili powder

salt (black pepper, optional)

~

I know that looks like a skimpy recipe, but I find that my soup recipes vary, depending on my available ingredients, and whether I’m in the mood to chop things up. I also use corn starch (corn flour) to thicken the broth, but I ran out, today, so I added my leftover soup from yesterday, and that went just fine.

First, cook as many onions and shallots as you want to, in butter, until they’re brown. The original recipe called for leeks, but I’ve never used them, because I didn’t like the price. After that, add some chicken broth (though I’ve used beef broth, before). It depends on the size of your pot, and how many veggies you use. Today, I used about 4 cups, I think, and I used a chicken bouillon powder, while at home, I used chicken base.

Since I like LOTS of potatoes and carrots, and I know that the broth level will rise, I was careful to not put too much broth in. You want your potatoes to cook until they’re soft enough to put a potato masher in the pot, and break them down into bits. Add as much chili powder, salt, and garlic powder as you want. At home, I put tons of chili powder in, but here, I have “Mexican chilli powder”, which is a bit zippier than the home version. And it’s labeled “mild”, too. So, don’t overdo on the chili powder, if you can’t handle the spice.

When the potatoes have started to dissolve, you can slowly add your milk, and if you were doing the original shrimp ‘n’ hotroot recipe, you’d add the shrimp. When I was eating it, today, I kept feeling like something was missing, but it still tasted delicious.

Finally, I take corn starch and water, and slowly stir that in, to thicken it. But thickening isn’t necessary, just a preference of mine. If you put enough potatoes in, your soup will thicken, eventually. Taste your broth, make sure it’s salted enough, and you’re good to go.

Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of the soup making, I was in quite a hurry, trying to finish chopping the veggies, so that I could play cards with one of my girls, who stayed home because she wasn’t feeling well. Once the potatoes and carrots were in the pot, they cooked for at least half an hour, if not more, without me having to do anything.

And there you have it. Never thought I’d fit a movie and potato soup into one post. Now, could someone PLEASE get that Hi-5 song out of my head? I’ll take the Thomas the Train song, any day!

3 thoughts on “movies aren’t small potatoes…

  1. “High Five,” by They Might Be Giants? Brilliant. I sing that song all of the time!

    Anyhoo: chatty movie-goers/audience members are totally my pet peeve; I’ve thought about printing up business-sized cards that simply say, “Shut The F*ck Up, Please.” so I can kindly pass them out. My son’s Holiday Concert was marred by the group of dads I was unfortunate enough to be standing near talking about hunting season and their kids’ basketball schedules. Ugh. SHUT UP!! I have two friends who teach dance and drama, respectively, in two different parts of the country. Prior to the big spring recital, they send home notices FOR THE PARENTS with behavioral guidelines for them, the audience members. Such a shame that people must be taught this.

    The other annoying thing is seeing someone in front of you turn on their phone (I mean, within reason, such as looking when the sitter calls to tell you that your child has become ill – wherein you excuse yourself from the aisle, go into the lobby, and call home).

    Hope that you had some enjoyment; I’ve read the books and will probably see the movie(s) later, once they’re out on DVD. The *only* time that talking is even somewhat acceptable during a movie is when it’s a matinee kid’s feature. Before my husband and I had kids, I can’t tell you how we roared and giggled along with an entire movie theatre full of kids and parents while watching “Finding Nemo.” The kids’ enthusiasm definitely contributed to the overall experience that time, IMHO.

    • Actually, Hi-5 is a pop music group for kids, as well as a children’s tv show, involving stories and singing. Five of them sing in harmony, with lots of dance moves with hand motions. They’re much more like a regular pop group than… say, the Wiggles, who have a younger age group in mind for their songs and dances. But kids just love them. But they dress in neon colors and make me feel like I’m watching a boy band for babies. Thankfully, I haven’t had to watch them often. The first time I ever saw them was when they performed at Christmas, during the Melbourne Carols by Candlelight.

  2. Our theater was host to a large group of Woo Girls who gave us all play-by-play countdowns to the movie, awww’d at characters (and wooed when a couple of male characters came on the screen). It was pretty distracting, but doesn’t sound like anywhere NEAR as bad as your theater. I’m so sorry! I just hope that this fandom isn’t like Twilight’s – you know how the books aren’t terrible but the fans are? I don’t want to see The Hunger Games marred by their fan base. Then again, maybe I just view the books differently than other people – after all, they did literally change my life. (shrug) Oh, well.

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