“When did Motley Crue become classic rock?”
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I’m old enough to have been a music fan during the actual punk era of the late ’70 and early ’80s. At the time, the very core of punk was rejecting the major-label manufactured pop flooding the airwaves. It was about teen angst, politics, and anger. It was a sloppy mess of poorly played instruments and shouted off-key vocals. It was glorious.
So, of course, the major labels had to get on the “punk” bandwagon, but also, of course, making it “radio-friendly.” Hence, the birth of the Pop Punk genre. Sure, real punks might find it easy to hate bands like Green Day, Sum 41, The Offspring, or Bowling For Soup, but, just like rockabilly fans with The Stray Cats, they may be missing the point. These pop-punk bands are often a gateway into exploring “real” punk bands. And honestly, some pop-punk is pretty damn fun.
To be honest, this is perhaps the only Bowling For Soup song I know. I’m sure they are a fine pop-punk band, but they are not a band I seek out on any basis. What makes this theme song poignant is its complete and utter mocking of my “I Was A College Guy in the ’80s” memories. I WANT to hate these kids for mocking my nostalgia, but damn it they are pretty fricking spot on!
The key to a great homemade soup is to slow down. Making soup is zen cooking, a quiet meditation on bringing simple flavors together into comforting warmth. I usually devote an entire Sunday to making a soup or two. I especially love soup making on grey rainy or snowy days. The house fills with the smell of stock then soup simmering making the day feel extra cozy. Everyone should take the time to disconnect from the world and find joy in the slow quiet simplicity of soup making. It may be cliche but honestly, soup is good food and good for the soul.
BOWLING FOR CHICKEN SOUP
Homemade chicken stock, chicken, red pepper, green pepper, carrot, celery, onions, red potatoes, corn, and diced tomatoes
Makes about 3 quarts
3-pound whole chicken, quartered
1 onion, sliced into 6 pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
2 carrots, cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
½ tablespoon dried marjoram
1/3 cup paprika
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 tablespoon chili powder
3/4 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, medium dice
3 carrots, medium dice
1 red pepper, medium dice
1 cubanelle or green pepper, medium dice
6 red potatoes, medium dice
3 teaspoons Seasoning Mix
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup of frozen corn
Make the Seasoning Mix
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Store mix in an airtight container.
Make the Chicken Stock:
Place stock vegetables in the bottom of a pot. Lay chicken pieces on top of vegetables. Add cold water covering chicken by 1 inch. Add peppercorn, rosemary, and marjoram.
Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 – 1 ½ hour skimming fat and foam off the top of the pot as needed. Chicken is done when an instant thermometer reads 160°F inserted into the breast and thigh pieces.
Use tongs to take the chicken out of the pot. Continue to simmer stock while chicken cools.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones and add the bones back into simmering stock. Put the chicken in the fridge and simmer the stock for another 15 minutes. Strain stock through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Wash out the stockpot to use for the soup.
To make the soup:
Heat oil in the pot you used for the stock. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant – about a minute. Add celery, carrot, and pepper and cook until tender-firm about 6-7 minutes. Do not overcook.
Add potatoes and 2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix and stir to combine. Cook 6 minutes – stirring often. Add the stock, diced tomatoes, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender about 20-25 minutes.
Add the chicken, corn, and remaining teaspoon of seasoning mix to the pot. Stir to thoroughly combine. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with some crusty bread or saltines.