Why Oprah Owes Me $20

Oprah's Favorite Recipes?

I haven't always been a celebrated blogger with 2 and 1/2 readers. Once upon a time I was an impoverished single mom with a crappy job and $30,000 in college debt.

But I had Oprah. She was my rock in the 80s when I lived overseas and watched her new show whenever I snuck into the dorms to do laundry at Yokota Airbase. My troubles and homesickness felt minor compared to her guests with their wild affairs, hoarding, and homelessness. Back in America I cried along with other Oprah devotees when she wheeled the fat on stage. If Oprah could overcome her weight struggles, I could overcome the fallout of my divorce! Her shows became a daily guide.

Flash forward to the crappy job and student loan. An equally indebted friend and I saved our pennies and indulged in a monthly epicurean spree. When the Oprah-endorsed Cooking with Rosie came out the friend and I methodically leafed through each page. We chose to make the mushroom soup for that month’s feast. The recipe called for lots and lots of fancy expensive dried mushrooms. We followed the instructions for rehydrating and cleaning the mushrooms then assembled the soup.

Something wasn’t right, that was apparent from the get go. We let the liquid bubble hoping the additional cooking time might repair the grey goop. With each glub it grew thicker and blacker. Yet we were convinced the tar couldn’t possibly taste as bad as it looked. It did.

Fifteen years later I continue to keep a memento of our tar soup in my freezer. It keeps me humble even as it reminds me of how far I’ve come. And every once in awhile, when I happen to catch an episode of Oprah, I raise my fist at the TV screen and shout; “YOU OWE ME TWENTY BUCKS!”

Oprah has yet to respond.

Soup is not always good food


Unknown said…
Too funny that you keep a memento of this occasion! We should all keep mementoes (sp) of the dark times to make the good times all the more special.

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