I’m big in France

It may come as a surprise, but I haven’t always been turning the soup world on its head.  Before I found my soup-er powers, I was part of a wildly popular and attractive country band.  And like most bands, particularly the wildly popular and attractive ones, we had a Myspace page.  We still do, actually.  The band has, um, disbanded, but the Myspace page lives on.  This scenario really isn’t unusual; I would imagine that Bach and Montgomery Wards still have Myspace pages.  Myspace, of course, was once like a Facebook, and then gradually the real people left and it became mostly a bunch of bands promoting each other to other bands.  Now it’s evolved even further to a bunch of defunct bands not promoting themselves to anyone.

But that’s hyperbole of course, and not really fair to Myspace.  As it turns out, I discovered today, some people still apparently peruse Myspace.  Probably anthropologists.  Teenage French anthropologists, to be exact.   I gained these insights, and more, thanks to the site’s new “Dashboard” for bands, which tracks who’s viewing your page and listening to your songs, and where they’re from.  The ribbon at the top of the “Dashboard” says it’s still in beta, which I think is short for “beta sit down,  ’cause this shit’s gonna blow your mind.”  And that’s exactly what it did.

As you can see in the chart on the left below, the band’s Myspace friends are mostly males in the 25-34 age range, which probably correlates strongly to the fact that most of them are in other bands.  On the other hand, in the chart on the right you can see that fully 3/4 of our visitors are women.  No, let me rephrase that: young women.  And girls.

This is somewhat disappointing because I always felt our music appealed to more mature tastes.  On the other hand, it’s a consolation to know that we have hit the demographic jackpot.  Do you hear that sound?  That’s the sound of millions of Jonas Brothers posters being ripped out of lockers to make room for Milkmashers posters.  With these numbers we should probably just get the band back together tomorrow, bring these screen shots into the nearest major label and start cashing fat checks.  And if the labels aren’t quite convinced by our mind boggling popularity in the teen set, we’ll just pull this little picture out and let the bidding wars commence:

Yeah, we’re big in France.

Potato-skin soup

One of the benefits of being in a relationship and sharing a home with someone is that you’re able to really appreciate having the house to yourself for a couple days.  And one of the benefits of having the house to yourself for a couple days is that you can eat anything you want.

This morning I wanted 8 slices of bacon.   Thought about making eggs, too, but then I took my first sip of coffee and realized I had 8 slices of bacon in the oven, and that would probably do me.  I should mention here that I used to be a bacon fryer, but a few months ago I became a bacon baker, and I will never fry bacon again, unless I’m camping or I have some time to kill and just really want to savor the sweet aroma and lively sizzle of a burning house.

But this story isn’t about breakfast.  It’s about soup.  And the reason I wanted 8 slices of bacon this morning is because I really wanted some soup tonight — potato-skin soup, actually.  I love potato skins, loaded.  And by that I mean I love loaded potato skins, covered in cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives, but I also mean that I love potato skins when I’m loaded.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever had them when not in a bar.  I’d say that’s one of the benefits of not going to bars much: you can truly appreciate potato skins.

Potato skin soup

Beer, cheese, sour cream, bacon grease -- what's not to love?

Given my esteem for this culinary classic, I was understandably concerned that it wouldn’t translate well to the liquid world.  In hindsight, I was a fool to worry.  Potatoes, bacon, cheese and sour cream?  Check. Corn?  Sure! Beer?  %*@# yeah! No chives on hand, but I’ve never met a problem that an onion couldn’t fix.  Cut it with a little milk and, well, even I was surprised by how well the soup reproduced the entire potato skin experience I’ve come to know and love:

  • Unhealthy and kinda worrisome: I think I lose points here for using light beer, but the dairy trifecta probably makes up for that.  Oh, and I didn’t actually use any bacon.  I used the grease of 8 bacon strips.
  • It reminded me of a dive bar:  A little greasy, not much to look at, but warm, comforting and full of beer.  Wouldn’t want to take a date here.  Or a fig.  They’d get beat up.
  • Delicious.

Best of all, there’s some left over, so I’ve got a great foundation for my next soup journey.  And this journey has a special challenge.  The girl gets back in two days; with any luck I’ll be able to transform the soup so that she’ll never suspect how decadently this journey started.