Saturday, November 12

Hijacked Frequencies

(begin transmission)

(radio static fades into sprightly music, slightly fuzzy)

"Hello again, everyone, and welcome to this week's broadcast of Cooking with Rye! I'm Rye Ellison, and tonight we're making soup, just like last week and the week before that! Everyone have their rifles handy? Good.

We'll begin by heading out into the backyard and bagging ourselves a chicken. If you didn't have enough foresight to learn to keep poultry and livestock before the, uh, before last year, any carcass will do. The fresher, the better, though--we want to keep all those nutrients in useful forms.

You shouldn't need your rifle for this, but we never go anywhere without one, right? Good.

I've prepped everything in advance; here we have one large onion, some celery, lots of freshly chopped garlic, and herbs from the garden. I like to use rosemary in just about everything, that brightness really comes through, even if you cook it too long. There's some savory, a little sage, and of course thyme, our Old Reliable.

Once you've dressed out and plucked your chicken, or prepared, uh, your meat of whatever origin, no judgment here, haha, you can drop it in your large stock pot. Cover it up with fresh water, and let it cook until it's done. This will yield not only the meaty centerpiece of your soup, but the delicious broth that binds the whole thing together.

Take that meat and broth and set it aside. In your stock pot, now, you'll want a tiny bit of fat, oil, what have you, to cook those onions in. Saute the onions until transparent, then add your celery and garlic. Let those cook gently for just a few minutes, but don't let them brown. Few things will draw unwelcome, ah, guests like the piercing smell of burning garlic.

Now you can pour that broth back in, skimming off the fat if you prefer, but remember: fat equals energy! Tie your fresh herbs into a bouquet garni, if you have string, and drop it into your stock. Leave this going over low heat while you turn your attention to pulling the meat from all these tiny bones.

Now, when you bury your trash later, be sure to save some of your hollow bones. They make great pens and you can even make jewelry out of some of them! Bones from larger animals can be used for ammo boxes, salt cellars, just about anything.

Soup is just such a reliable, high-energy food for people in our, uh situation, you really can't go wrong--"

(footsteps clattering, a lower voice hesitantly volunteers something, mostly inaudibly)

"Oh, hey there! Hey, Peter! Listen, everyone, this is my friend Peter, he'll be joining us for dinner tonight!"

"Uh, hi, everyone--how are you all doing out there?"

"Everyone inside? Wonderful. Peter, you locked the doors, right? Great. So now we pull that stock pot off the fire, and open some bottles of water for a real treat tonight.

Okay, here's our soup! Wow, it smells just wonderful. I'd love to share some with you, but there's really no more room in the bunker, ha ha--"

(glass crashing, the obscene sound of metal doors being bent inward)

"Oh my God, okay, got your rifle handy? This is where we sign--"

(microphone screeching, the clattering of a table being overturned)

"Oh shit, Peter! Peter, are you okay? Peter! P--"

(multiple gunshots, the dull sound of bullets in flesh, a low moaning)

"NO! NO! Oh my GOD, PLEASE--"

(a revolting lip-smacking sound, then something bubbling through thick liquid...someone gumming mashed potatoes, perhaps.)

(increased feedback from the microphone mingled with full-throated screams, an ear-piercing burst of static)

(end transmission)