Welcome In thirteen and a half years of marriage, I promise I have had more than four wife “fails.” But today, I’m going to share a few of my sincere efforts that backfired, leaving me with my hands on my hips and a big “huh?” on my lips. I hope somebody out there can identify with some of my experiences and maybe share their story or tips too. Today’s Two-For-Tuesday recipes are soup recipes, because it’s decided to feel like fall now! Thanks for joining me. Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisers or affiliate links seen on this blog. For further information, please see my Terms and Disclosure page.
Food For Thought Okay, I’m going to start with the story behind my title picture. In the background there is a 2017 planner and a matching set of pens. I gave these to my husband last December 31, along with a card celebrating the 13th anniversary of his proposal. First of all, I thought it was pretty nice of me to recognize the anniversary of his proposal, as I consider that night extremely important in our lives. But it’s not just a blank planner, as that is something my husband would never use. Inside the planner I labeled key events for the year…my vacation days, planned trips, birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates for our family. I also mapped out monthly date nights, complete with details, so we would guarantee ourselves a date every month and he wouldn’t have the “stress” of planning it. I’m not sure about any of you ladies, but my husband does not like planning date nights! It’s not that he doesn’t want to “date” his wife (at least I don’t think it is!), but he’s just not a planner by nature. So I thought instead of grumbling all the time that we don’t ever go out and do anything, I’d just take the pressure off of him and we could celebrate this gift all year long. The date nights didn’t have to be big or expensive either. I tried to alternate simple and more complex dates each month. Like in January, we had a fondue night with movie rentals. Fun and out of the ordinary! We ran into our first snag, already, in February. I had planned an at-home spa night for the two of us, but my husband came down sick that week. I know he couldn’t help that he was sick, but I was disappointed and frustrated and wanted to interpret his illness as “I don’t want to participate in your stupid spa night.” A couple weeks later, we actually did make that date night happen and I think it went okay. What I noticed as the months went on was I still had to remind him of date night (or day) because he put the planner away and never got it back out. As you can see in the picture, the pens are also still in the box. And he’s always looking for pens! He sort of showed excitement about these planned dates until about July. That was the last month we went on one of our “planner-dates”. We went out for his birthday and he took me out to dinner a couple of times, but my idea for a year’s worth of “different and exciting” dates has gone out the window. He’s just not that interested in this.
One of my very recent “fails” involves a heated towel. My husband works outside so he can get pretty chilled on a cold day. I was hoping to be thoughtful and loving by heating up a towel in the dryer so he would have a nice hot towel waiting for him as he got out of the shower. When I thought he was getting close to being finished, I took out the towel and folded it up so it would keep the heat in and set it on top of his clothes that were by the sink. I am not even kidding, when he got out of the shower, he grabbed a different towel from the shelf, moved the hot towel to the side, and reached for his clothes, never noticing what I had done. What? Why? How? Nope, no explanation for that one.
In February, I made my husband a “mailbox” so I could deliver a small trinket with a little note or card each day to let him know every day of the month how much I love him. Well, February was kind of an emotional month around our house, so it became more of a chore than a loving gesture. But I stuck to it and didn’t miss a day. Each day he could find anything in his box from fresh fruit to a breakfast treat to office supplies to little toys. And of course the notes attached included a cheesy saying to go with the item in the box, like “Orange you glad you married me?” or “Donut you know how much I love you?” You get the idea. Well, he loved anything that was food-related, but the other stuff, not so much. I guess he did keep the box and notes, so that’s something.
My last “fail” is my gift-giving abilities. I’m not very good at getting my husband gifts he loves. I think it’s because the stuff he really likes is usually very expensive, and I’m kinda cheap! I always want to do the “thoughtful” gifts and I succeeded with one last year for father’s day. I gave him a hand-stamped leather camera strap with the GPS coordinates of one of our favorite waterfalls in Tennessee. Best gift ever, maybe. But one year for Christmas I spent quite a bit of money at Sharper Image to get him a Video Gaming Chair, thinking I had found THE gift. He used it once or twice after he first got it. It has been taking up space in our home office ever since! Thinking I know my husband and his likes, I have a lot of wife fails at gift-giving, unless I flat-out ask him what he wants.
The point of all these stories is I’m trying. I really want to be a good wife. I want to let him know how much I love him and do special things for him. I just don’t always choose the right way. Or maybe I choose a good way and he just doesn’t react the way I expect. What I do know, though, is I will continue to work at our relationship in all areas, including letting him know I love and appreciate him. This quote from A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes, says it all: “Remember, you will only get as much out of your romantic relationship with your husband as you put into it. Too many people make the mistake of thinking this intimacy stuff comes naturally.” So maybe they weren’t “fails” after all.
Suggested Reading (links verified 10/31/17 at 11:20 a.m., CDT):
Today’s Scriptures I am going to share three of my favorite “wife verses” today.
Proverbs 31:11-12 “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Ephesians 5:33 “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
1 Peter 3:1-2 “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
Today’s Recipes My very first cooking fail for my husband happened when we were still dating. He frequently came to my apartment for dinner and I certainly enjoyed preparing meals for him. One night I was planning to serve broccoli cheese soup and some garlic bread. I dished our bowls of soup and when we took our first bites, we looked at each other with scrunched up faces and grimaces. While I had intended to add garlic powder to my soup, I had added a healthy dose of garlic salt! I tried to counter the salt with bread slices, potatoes, more milk, but nothing I did could cut the extreme saltiness. We reluctantly finished the bowls we had in front of us, but the rest of the soup was thrown out. We still talk about that meal, as it was without debate, the worst meal I have ever made. And he married me anyway! What a lucky girl I am! Today’s soup recipes are MUCH better…especially since I don’t use garlic salt anymore! Speaking of salt, you may notice that salt is not an ingredient for either of these soups. My husband and I do not like overly salted food, and the condensed soups, broths, and cheeses contain plenty of saltiness for our taste. You can add seasoning as you desire, but wait until the end and taste first, so the soups aren’t over-salted. Learn from my mistakes…you cannot take the salt out once it has been put in there.This first soup is so easy and fast! It’s perfect for a busy work night or a quick weekend lunch.
Easy Cheesy Vegetable Soup
- 2 16-oz bags of frozen California Blend vegetables (with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
- 2 10.75-oz cans condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1 10.5-oz can condensed cream of celery soup (you could also use cream of mushroom)
- 2 cups milk
Place frozen vegetables in large pot and add water until vegetables are just submerged. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cooking until vegetables are very soft. Drain water from pot and break down vegetables using a potato masher (they won’t be soft like mashed potatoes, but will have fewer large chunks in the soup.) Return vegetables to stove, add soups and milk, stirring until well combined. Simmer on low until heated through.
This is a rich, hearty soup and a family favorite! I like to garnish my bowl of soup with dill pickles, but the rest of my family frowns on that little burger detail.
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (also good with ground venison, buffalo, elk, etc.)
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalk celery, diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic (from jar)
- 2 TBS flour
- 1 32-oz box low-sodium chicken broth (Yes, I use chicken broth in a beef soup; if I use beef broth it makes the cheese taste funny, in my opinion.)
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
- 2 tsp smoky paprika
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 TBS spicy brown mustard
- 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 2 8-oz pkgs shredded cheddar cheese (or any preferred cheese flavor)
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, cooking until beginning to brown. Add meat, breaking up with wooden spoon and getting brown bits from bottom of pan. When meat is no longer pink, sprinkle flour over meat and vegetables. Slowly pour in broth and milk, stirring to thicken. Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium low and add spices, mustard and Worcestershire. Continue to cook 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cheese, adding only a half bag at a time. Be sure the cheese has melted in before adding the next batch of cheese.