Clash of the Titans

Sometimes I don’t know if I like having crushes – or the whole dating universe. I mean, it’s great to have someone to play with, but it’s also jarring to begin sweating all the stupid girly shit when you were doing just fine before, on your own.

Something is overwhelmingly disturbing about having one’s confidence shaken to the point of paralysis as the result of not getting a phone call (or, more often than not these days, a text) about a plan that was vague at best, anyway. A plan you didn’t even really know if you wanted to be a part of anyway.

Suddenly one’s skin and emotions are all gossamery and stuff.

But then, it’s also really important to try to remember that this is supposed to be the funnest part, the neatest part. The totally not boring part.

But then, of course, the inevitable big battle begins: ego and jealousy always jump in and try to wreak havoc on the butterflies and giggles parade.

It must be worth it because we all return for it, over and over again. Hell, we hunger for it. We pay good money to see God-awful movies and wildly successful TV shows (that became God-awful movies) about it.

Funny thing: I have been doling out dating “advice” to my friends a lot lately, it seems. But I just realized, as it’s been so long since I’ve been on more than a couple dates with any one person that said advice is infinitely easier said than done.

I guess this is the part where I tell you that my first date, about which I shared some neurosis with you very recently, went really well. I had a lot of fun. And I didn’t expect to. And yes, there has since been a second (and maybe a third!) date. Also fun.

So this brings us to the now – the time when I have to work really hard – wait for it – to enjoy everything. Oxymoronic, no?

And so, as I reflect on these thoughts, and try to recall and feel the fun sillies from the weekend, and try not to project on how many ways either he or I or the universe could possibly make it all dissolve into thin air, I, as usual, found my zen in my kitchen. Making soup.

This is a beautiful and delicate soup. It’s one I had a lot growing up in Richmond. There was (and still is) a little Greek spot called Athens Tavern that served it. That was the only place I ever had it until somewhat recently. It’s like chicken and noodles, but it somehow manages to be a lot more complex and bold while simultaneously being delicate and diaphanous upon hitting the tongue. These supposed elemental mismatches end up making perfect sense - they just are - not unlike the ego versus butterfly battle. The clash of the Titans.

I also gave a certain someone a big bowl of this soup to have for lunch at work today…

Avgolemono Soup

6-8 servings

2 quarts strong chicken stock (preferably home-made)
1 cup chopped up chicken pieces (preferably from the meat of the chicken used for the stock)
½ cup raw orzo
4 eggs
Juice of 4 Meyer lemons
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Bring stock to a boil and add the orzo. Cook until orzo is tender, about twenty minutes. Add chicken.

Remove the stock from the heat. Just before serving, beat the eggs until they are light and frothy. 

Slowly beat in the lemon juice and dilute the mixture with two cups of the hot soup, beating constantly until well mixed.

Add the diluted egg-lemon mixture to the rest of the soup, beating constantly. Bring almost to the boiling point, but do not boil or the soup will curdle.

Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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