Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomato Soup and Anorexia

My brother gave me a huge bag of tomatoes from his garden. Half the bag I cooked up into tomato sauce and froze. But I still had a huge bunch left and today was inspired to make tomato soup.

After looking up some recipes I created my own version. Most recipes suggest skinning and seeding the tomatoes before cooking. But why? You end up processing the tomatoes and straining them. So, forget skinning. I just sauted onions, celery, garlic and dried basil until soft. Added cubed tomatoes and a little water. Cooked for 20 minutes. Then gave it a whirl it in the blender. Then strained. Seemed a pity to throw away all that tomato seed and chunklets but there is no use for them that I know of.

The resulting broth was delicious though thin. Some recipes advise making a roux (flour, butter and milk) and then adding the tomato broth to it for a creamy soup, but I was too lazy. You can use chicken broth instead of water for even more flavor. You might add some rice or cheese. A lovely light meal.

Meanwhile a couple of weeks ago I awoke at midnight and said, "Oh my goodness, I'm anorexic." I proceeded to the kitchen where I found an empty refrigerator and a loaf of bread so I made two slices of toast and determined to eat more. (This because two people recently commented on how thin I was, one even asking me if I'd been ill.)

I began making milk shakes to try to put on weight. Now, three weeks later, the scale has gone up a pound. I love milk shakes and ice cream but for years have cut back on dairy because it is mucus forming. I drink soy milk but for my shakes I purchased some real milk.

Meanwhile I picked up a novel by Hilary Mantel called An Experiment in Love and on the first page were these words: "...people at any age may decide to starve." And further on, "They must decide on nourishment, they must choose."

Onward. I don't really think I am anorexic as I dont have the body image (thinking you are heavy when in fact you are thin) etc. But why have I not risen about 100 lbs for the last two years??? And I am starving myself in other ways besides food, keeping all my precious soul nourishing things in boxes including art supplies, not demanding the floor be repaired and the washer set up so I now must truck off to the laundry mat, keeping myself imprisoned here instead of stepping out into the world?

There are no answers to this. But I am trying to eat more. Although I don't really think the tomato soup will add on any pounds, the making of it and eating it feeds my soul.


kj said...

suki, i cooked up my tomatoes too and made sauce for pasta. i was surprised at how thin it was without adding some tomato paste or puree. next time i think i will want it abit thicker.

i hope you move, suki. i really hope that.

i think being somewhere clean and fresh and where your art supplies are within reach is all the nourishment you mind need. you deserve it so much.


Carrie Burtt said...

Hi Suki, i just love your blog...tomato soup sounds wonderful...i have the oppposite problem right now...i have gained 20 pounds in 1 year and cannot get it off...look forward to reading more of your posts, and i plan on checking out your poetry. Hope you ahve a great Wednesday! :-)

Kimmie said...

I was anorexic for a year. I didn't know it until I had a dream that I died of hunger. I had moved out of a bad roomate situation and was VERY MUCH in limbo. I had all my stuff in boxes, too small of a living space, very lonely, etc. It was a bad place to be in mentally. After I realized the sabatoge I was under I had to purposefully eat to nourish myself - and then I gradually nourished myself in other ways too - moving again, becoming more social, etc. After a time things turned around. Take time for yourself - in the very most basic sense of what that is. You must.

p.s. your tomato soup looks divine :)

sukipoet said...

Thanks for sharing your story Kimmie. I know what i need to do is move and do those nourishing social things and get out of the boxes. This place is far too isolated. I am glad you turned things around for yourself.!!! Thank you.

sukipoet said...

Carrie thank you. Hope your weight becomes what you want, though I must say even for myself winter is a time that weight seems to add on. Best of luck, Suki

sukipoet said...

Thanks KJ. The big question to myself as i try to therapeut myself is why am i not doing this move? do I feel so sorry for myself I want to suffer. do I think some parent is going to step in and set me straight. no, i know i am my own grandpa so to speak, and must do this myself. thanks for your encouragement.

Lynn said...

I wasn't allowed to leave a message this morning...good.
Now I see you already know what you need to do so you don't need me to say it for or to to you. ;-)
Next time add the cream to the soup and it will sit on your hips and tummy giving you energy to get up and go and do. ;-)
One small step at a time.

willow said...

Suki, your soup looks wonderful! I am definitely not anorexic now, but I was in my last years of high school and college. It's a scary condition. Enjoy those milkshakes!

Merisi said...

Your tomato soup sure looks delicious! :-)

I cook sauce from fresh tomatoes with all the seeds and never had any that tasted bitter. And ever since I read that the gel that surrounds the seeds offers health benefits, I say the more the merrier (seeds, that is). ;-)

Katiejane said...

Oh, I can relate to so many things in this post!
First of all, I wish I had your weight (or lack thereof) problem. I am the reverse; I always think I am doing so well and getting so thin until I see myself in those dressing room mirrors and then my optimism drops like a sack of potatoes on the floor!

Secondly, yes! you can starve yourself artistically! After only two months of being boxed up I had to drag most of my stuff back out when it began to look like I wasn't moving this year. I don't know how you've lasted so long. Go ahead, surround yourself with the things you love and your spirits will lift. I guarantee it.

And lastly, your tomato soup looks wonderful! If it had been me making it, I probably would have skinned them but left all the "pulp" in the soup. I love the seedy part best! Hey, they leave the seeds in the sauce, right?

Robin said...

Suki, I don't think you are anexoric....BUT, I do agree with Kimmie and KJ.....the reasons they speak of have a lot to do with your losing weight and not having much of a desire for food.

So, MORE TOAST (with butter), more soup (with cream) and more milkshakes. (Pippi always had an appetite!) You eat healthy - but add a little more bread and/or potatoes to dinner....

That being said, your soup looks so yummy....I wish I had a bowl of it right now!


♥ Robin ♥

~Babs said...

I see you're receiving good thoughts about nourishing your soul. I think those things would make you happy and make you feel more like eating.
I think it's very insulting to ask someone thin OR fat about their weight. Even if it's mis-guided concern, it's rude.

Your tomato soup looks great,,,,we recently made a bunch of salsa.

Oh, and I've just read all on your poetry blog and enjoyed it thoroughly!

patti said...

Yes, seek nourishment in all things Suki. You deserve to be happy and it is your choice.

The soup looks wonderful!

studio lolo said...

I can't add to all of this good advice Suki but I can agree with it.

I had anorexia when I was 25. I was perfectly thin at the time before starving myself for a MAN, and now I have a heart defect and I am severely overweight. They say my body is holding onto what it can for fear of being starved again. And you have no idea how healthy I eat. Oh my.

I think a nice crusty loaf of french bread and sweet butter would make a nice compliment to your yummy soup ;)

Mim said...

Everyone has said what I was going to say (I'm in the Katie camp). I think it has to do with self value. Do you value yourself enough to cook for yourself, take good care of YOU? Do you eat standing up? If yes...stop. Start setting the table and treating you like you are valuable.

And yes....time to move girlfriend - before the winter comes. Rent if necessary.

Annie said...

I agree with everyone here. You just need to add some bulk to your diet :-). And Suki, it seems to me that you eat, you are just thin by nature. Not a bad thing! And I am with Kj, rub your lucky charm and find that house, you need to be somewhere less toxic. Love and hugs. xoxo

Marion said...

I don't think I can add anything that hasn't already been said, Suki, but I remember feeling this way, too unmotivated to do much of anything, a few years ago. It was the hardest kick in the butt I ever received from myself, and I was scared silly, but I threw myself out there amongst people, places and things.

I felt much like the Fool in the Tarot Deck. I relied solely on faith.

It seems to have worked so far..

Linda said...

your post so spoke to my heart...and your tomatoes are so gorgeous, throw in some pasta and good cheese, a yummy sounding thing to this GF person....anyway, i too am going through much the same but recently forced myself to paint a bit, draw some, and maybe i felt a bit better....not miraculously and still, i am not hungry, but the paints await me now instead of hiding here and there...take care xx

Kim said...

Suki, blogger doesn't like me today. :-) Okay, so I said something like this: I often notice when I don't meet my emotional and spiritual needs, my physical self decides to shake me up a bit to make me listen. Have you ever had this experience? Could it be why you are so thin and it has frightened you?

Also, my daughter shared this with me. Grate fresh tomatoes, skin and all, on the large surface of a box grater. Be careful when you get to the last bit, but often that little bit of skin will offer enough protection from the cutting blades. Then, season for the recipe you want (soup, sauce, etc.) and simmer it until it becomes the thickness you desire. Easy and so good!

You have gotten a lot of good advice here about putting on some weight! I can also add it is the opposite problem which plagues me!

Have a Wonderful Day and Enjoy that Beautiful Soup!

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Glad you are more watchful about eating the right foods and staying strong. Tomato soup looks wonderful! Oh, think of all the pasta you will have with that homemade sauce...yum!

Anonymous said...

dearest suki:

this is the universe.

and the earth Mother.

and Emily Rabbit.

we have held a conference on your behalf and we have come to the following conclusion:

# 1 clear space for the art supplies

# 2 MOVE dammit!

most sincerely

the celestial bunny executive board

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful insight! Most good ones come at times like that, right? Out of the blue at midnight? It does feel like you are punishing yourself, playing martyr. Forget the why and just be aware of it, as you now are. Watch with curiosity and compassion this stage in your journey. I've heard that doctors often recommend peanut butter for putting on weight quickly.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

You are aware of your thinness, your needing to nourish both yourself and your mind...and you have shared that with friends. Those are all steps in the right direction...

I find I bite my nails when I want to 'hurt myself' and feel better about life in general when I can get through rough spots without doing that...

Oh, when I see tomatoes like that...I just crave them with fresh basil, slices of mozzarella and good olive oil!