Turkey soup and poison

Two of my family members who never resent anyone, which is REALLY annoying.

I don’t know when Carrie Fisher got to be my guru of choice but I saw this pithy quote from her in Sunday’s paper and had to use it toot sweet: “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Somehow I got through “Wishful Drinking” without noticing that line, but yesterday it leapt off the newsprint and grabbed me by the uvula.

Local barn quilt tour over Thanksgiving break

Golly, gee, have you ever seen a more effective precis of the whole resenting others thing? Not that I’m going to stop because I really cherish some of my resentments, but if I make myself look at my former, fat self, I see someone who frequently did — resentfully! — for others and then that poison made her more and more oompah-loompah shaped.

I am just sure, for instance, that what kept me from overeating at the Thanksgiving table this year was my realization several days before that, heckfire, it’s my table and I’m 66 years old and if I want to drink wine with a holiday dinner, I’m allowed. How others deal with it is not my problem. Wow, what a realization after more than 23 years of Prohibition-era Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter tables up here in North Iredell.

I didn’t drink much — really didn’t have much more than some generous swallows from each of the four wines that were here (from a glass — what do you think I am, a pirate?). But it was incredibly freeing: This notion that my life and my table are mine, mine, mine.

So Monday with my life and my time, I walked 4 miles, cleaned out the refrigerator (the dogs are reeling), pruned the big holly tree and practiced some tricky Christmas music. Next up was turkey soup –probably my favorite way to eat roast turkey. I tried something different this year — Fiesta Turkey Soup from an old Food Lion ad.

It was stultifyingly warm Monday morning (forsythia, witch hazel

Beneath draperies of dead morning glory vines this forsythia bush thinks it's Easter!

and Carolina jessamine all blooming 2 to 3 months ahead of time) but cold and wet today for a hearty soup. This soup is like chicken chili, only with fewer calories. I made the broth, BTW, the day after Thanksgiving when I took apart the bird, tossed bones and skin into the soup pot, added water, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, a few whole allspice berries and salt and pepper.

Success with this zippy soup is mostly a matter of being able to operate a can opener.

Fiesta Turkey Soup

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon oil

1 garlic clove, minced

3 cups chopped, cooked turkey or chicken

1 15-ounce can chili beans or kidney beans without seasoning (my choice)

3-1/2 cups chicken or turkey broth

1 11-ounce can whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, rinsed and drained

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 /8 teaspoon pepper

Toppings: Sour cream, shredded Mexican four-cheese blend

Saute onion in hot oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 more minute. Stir in turkey, beans, broth, corn, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Serve with toppings. You could also fry up a batch of small corn tortillas (as my friend Catherine C.M. taught me to do during our recent Wild Women in the Woods weekend), drain them on paper towels and crumble them on the soup. Serves 8.

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