"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Soup of the Week & The Riches: The Big Floss

This soup is a snap to whip up. It tastes even better the next day.

Vegetable Cheese Soup

2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 package (16 oz) frozen Californian-blend vegetables, thawed
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup Cheese Whiz

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour until bended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in broth and vegetables. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in cheddar cheese and cheese sauce; cook until heated through and cheese is melted.

The Riches: The Big Floss

I mentioned in my last post about The Riches that the scene with Doug trying to handle the Homeowners against Panco didn't work for me. This week, Wayne's Doug stuff worked much better. The show needed Wayne to be put in his place. This is not an easy thing he is trying to do, and he's not going to be able to just bullshit his way out of every situation.

There was some great tension as the opposing attorneys continued to reference case after case, all of them going right over Wayne's head. I was wondering, how can they possibly get him out of this. And I was as surprised as everyone in that room when he just went to sleep. It was interesting how that move was deemed something of a cop-out by the rest of the family. What I really liked about it was that Hugh didn't buy into it for a second. His 48 hour deadline is the kind of thing I want to see. A little pressure for Wayne.

His solution this week was rather clever. You could make the argument that he sure got that guest lecture gig on awfully short notice, but I'm willing to let that one slide because I like how it all played out. Wayne got the answers that Doug needed, and did so in a way that didn't require him to know more than he should, or his foes to be idiots. It's also worth noting that Aubrey started asking about "Wayne."

I really liked the scene when Dahlia came to the office. "Wayne." "Dahlia." "Doug." "Cherien." "Aubrey."As Wayne was struggling with all of that, there was a nice parallel with Dahlia as she had her own troubles with her new job. Not only were they both having trouble adapting, they both had instances of covertly revealing their true colors to someone.

Dahlia's new job did set the stage for some good stuff. Her scenes with Isaac (Charlie Robinson, Night Court) were very good. More interesting though was how they effected Dahlia as she related Isaac's experience to what she and Wayne are going through. It's as if now that they set this ball in motion, nobody is willing to be the one that actually brings it to a stop. They all realize to some degree that it isn't going to work in the long run, but they are just too stubborn to cut and run.

Cael and DiDi picked up right where they left off with DiDi becoming more and more comfortable with the buffer life while Cael misses the old ways. It all led nicely to the payoff from last episode's cliff-hanger where we found Ginny watching the Malloys. I have to say, that one caught me off guard. I fully expected Ginny to want a cut in return for not ratting them out to Dale.

And when Wayne and Dahlia pulled Cael out of school and mentioned what it cost them, I was curious to hear the price. The price being DiDi's hand in marriage wasn't what I expected. I considered it, but given Wayne's reaction when Dale brought it up earlier in the series, I just didn't think it would happen. That was a nice bomb to drop at the end of the episode. Made all the more potent by the fact that Eric was finally over for dinner.

Of course, that wedding just can't happen. There is a line in the sand, and DiDi actually marrying Kenny is far to the 'not bloody likely' side of it. It should provide for some funny stuff over a couple episodes before the whole thing blows up and creates even more drama. Overall, I'm really happy with how the show is progressing. Considering Wayne's guest lecture gambit, a nice turn by Charlie Robinson, and the slow ratcheting of the tension with the traveler family, I'm thoroughly enjoying this show.

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