I was in an elevator this afternoon and I’m pretty sure I heard the meaty, sad-looking man in the rumpled suit standing next to me say (to no one in particular) that he’d made soup from a “chicken wing and a Tater-Tot.” I spent the rest of the day wondering if he was telling the truth and if maybe thats how he spent his Thanksgiving.

Ive heard people over the years joking about loading up on ketchup packs at McDonalds and going home to make a poor mans version of tomato soup, but I never gave it much thought. This, however, was different. This sounded more plausible to me. I could actually picture someone finding an old wing from KFC in the back of the fridge and a Tater-Tot in the freezer. I could see making soup in that circumstance. The sum of the two ingredients, when added to hot water, make something bigger and better than just a Tater-Tot and a chicken wing. In the case of the ketchup packet, thats just not the case.

So, I was thinking about minimalist cooking and wondering if there might be other recipes like the Tater-Tot and chicken wing soup that I havent heard of before.

Some things are too obvious, like the combination of potatoes and lentils in boiling water. I spent years living that. Im wondering about less obvious stuff, like a dinner made from a used tea bag and hand full of dry noodles?

Not to change tracks completely, but when I was in college, my old housemate Andy used to have what he called his seven course Irish dinner. It consisted of a baked potato and a six-pack of beer. Andy, being of Irish descent, could say things like that.

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