February 21st, 2012

100 page soup

Originally published at Through the Tollbooth. Please leave any comments there.

Yesterday, I wrote very briefly about my personal correlation: cooking and writing. For me, they go together. I get into “creation” mode and we eat better.

(Unfortunately writing and cleaning seem to have the opposite relationship.)

Cooking special dishes is also how I celebrate writing milestones.

When I’ve gotten through a tough section of a story, I tend to make something chocolate.

When I’ve finished a draft, I usually crave brisket.

My favorite milestone is getting to page 100. Why? Well, it always amazes me when I realize that I’ve written 100 pages. When I’ve gotten that far, I know I have a story…not just an interesting character. I can’t help being amazed that once again, the creative process has actually worked!!!!

So to celebrate page 100, I treat myself to Thai Seafood Soup. I like it because it’s spicy and full of citrus. (I began developing this recipe when I first moved to Hanover, NH. I love YAMA, but I really miss good Thai food.) If you have loved ones sensitive to spicy food, cut back on the peppers…or watch steam rise from their scalps. When my kids were small, and esp before I had any success at all, I wanted to include them in the process, in these milestones. This is a commitment (living the writing life) that we have all made…and I never forget that.


Sarah’s super spicy Thai Seafood Soup

Seasoning Mix: (Taken from Paul Prudhomme’s Fiery Foods That I love):

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground ancho chili
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper

Mix these seasonings together.

The rest:

2T unsalted butter
2 cups fresh white mushrooms
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced thinly
2tsp fresh garlic
2tsp fresh serrano chilis
4 T (or more) lemon juice
2T (or more) fresh lime juice
3 T fish sauce (a combo of prepared fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice and pepper…let it sit an hour.)
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound shrimp
1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound salmon, skin removed
1 pound calamari, cut into rings (I like tentacles, too.)
silver noodles, prepared

For the end:
chopped zuchini, red pepper, onion. peas bean sprouts

What to do:

melt butter in a saucepan. Add mushrooms, lemongrass, serranos and seasoning mix. When that begins to stick (about 2 min on high heat), add juice and fish sauce. Cook five minutes until thick. Then add stock. Bring to boil. Add fish and cilantro. Again, bring to boil. When fish is cooked, add vegees. Add extra lemon and lime to taste. Ladle into individual bowls with silver noodles, cilantro garnish, and some bean sprouts. Make sure you have a BIG pitcher of water.


I halve the cayenne. For my husband. Because he is the one who has made it possible for me to stay home and write…..

Happy eating…and don’t forget to celebrate the milestones with your loved ones!!!