Bethany called me on her way home from class and requested that I cook something.  I have an app on my iPhone called How to Cook Everything.  It’s based on this book.  The top rated recipe in the app is called “Boiled Water.”



  • 6 to 10 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices French or Italian bread (slightly stale bread is fine)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

I thought to myself, “Hey!  I have all that stuff. It’s boiled water time!

1. Combine 4 cups water with the garlic, bay leaf, and some salt and pepper in a saucepan or stockpot.

OK, so I put the water in the pot and put the burner on high.  I got out some garlic cloves and stuck them in our garlic press.  After pressing a couple cloves, the garlic press exploded:

Hmm. That didn’t work so well.  Then I noticed that the recipe said to use “crushed garlic.”  Maybe that means I just do the thing where I squish it with the side of a knife.  So I did that for the rest of the cloves.

Next, I looked for the bay leaves in our giant pile of spices:

The bay leaves were nowhere to be found.  I later found out that Bethany had thrown them away when they started looking rotten.  While I was looking for the bay leaves, a giant cloud of smoke started coming out of the burner:

Bring to a boil, cover partially, and turn the heat to very low.  Let the liquid bubble gently for 15 minutes.

I was afraid that the smoke detector would go off, but somehow it didn’t.  I went around and opened up all the windows to try to prevent smoke inhalation.

2. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When hot, brown the slices of bread in the oil, turning once, for a total of about 5 minutes.

This step went pretty well, except I burned the bread pieces and had to scrape all the burned part into the sink:

3. Put the bread in bowls and top with the grated cheese. Strain the soup into the bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve.

This part struck me as kind of weird.  I’m supposed to dump the soup on top of the bread?  I didn’t have any grated cheese, but I did have a can of Parmesan cheese powder in the fridge:

I used some kind of metal object for a strainer.  It has a lot of holes in it and looks like a satellite dish.  I think if you hook it up to your TV you can pull in HBO.

Here’s the final product:

All in all, with 1 being the worst soup I’ve ever had, and 10 being AWESOME, I’d have to rank this soup in the negative numbers.  It completely fails at bearing any resemblance to a tasty soup.  Here is Bethany enjoying the bowl I made for her when she got home from class (while the koala on my monitor looks on):

Luckily, she already knows about my cooking skills, so she stopped on her way home to pick up some backup food.  She will post her review of my soup in the comments.