Granville King, As Told To William Michael
Granville King, the late Desert Fox, had an inexhaustible supply of emergency fixes for mechanical breakdowns in the boondocks, a few of which have graced these pages (see "Boonie Field Fixes,'' March '97).
Granville also had a method for repairing the human mechanism as well, especially after too much reveling around the campfire. He called it Git Well Soup. Granville sent me the recipe back in 1987 when I was collecting a bunch of them from interesting people, from South Africa to Alaska, for an outdoors cookbook that never made it to print. I first heard of Granville King through the many articles he wrote for a variety of publications in the 1970s, and in the 40 years I've spent as a newspaper writer and editor, I never found another who could put words together like him. He was one of a kind . . . so, I reasoned he should have a one-of-a-kind recipe. And he did. (It took a couple of tries to get it-when my first request went unanswered, I asked him if a "member of his staff'' could help with the recipe if he was too busy to write it.)
When Four Wheeler began reprinting some of Granville's articles, I felt both his old and new readers would enjoy his Git Well Soup formula, so I dug it out. It appears here exactly as he wrote it-minus the portions listed at the beginning (for the benefit of you calorie-counters) and two signatures affixed to the bottom of the page: "'Granville'' and a smudged pawprint.
Finally, if today I could ask Granville two questions, they would be: "How's the Four Wheelin' on the Other Side?'' and "What the hell is rat cheese?''
Dear Bill, I'm a dirty ratt and I know it! The thing is, I did in fact write you a recippy or two the first time-while Dawg and I were out busting @#!?#! in the boonies and sipping little sips. About a 3-page, single-space effort! Unfortunately, I don't seem to have actually typed it. Mere details! So, I now take mechanical Underwood in hand to do a freebie. On paper.
Git Well Soup
1 pot water
1 onion, hunked
1 potato, sorta peeled
1 stalk celery, cut up
1 clove garlic, sliced (optional)
1 spoonful non-dairy creamer
1 hunk "rat cheese,'' cut up
A Few Crackers, Crunked
Salt And Pepper To Taste
My most favorite recipe is G/W Soup. I also have it at other times when I got the potatoes and onions but its main reason for being is to help on the Morning of the Day After. Hellacious good for a hangover, or even a just kinds @#!?#! feeling. And it's so simple even I can do it.
What you do is simply cut up an onion (outdoors so's it don't slay your trailer interior) and drop hunks into a pot of water. You then peel a potato partly; I like to leave some of the outsides on 'em. And you drop that in also. If you got it, cut up a stalk of celery and pop that in.
Kinda keep the sucker near a boil for a total time of some 20-30 minutes and mash down/break up at times. If you luck out, you should have things purty tender and mashed down when there's just a tad of liquid left. Into that, for the final 2 minutes, stir some powdered Coffee-Mate crud like you put in coffee and she's near done. As a finale, cut up some rat cheese, pop that in and serve before the cheese loses identity. Some pepper is nice and some salt. At times, I've sliced up some garlic and put in.
I crunk up crackers in it and go from there. Almost guaranteed to make you well, less likely to die before evening. The reason it's good for me is that it's a complete no-brainer and if I don't have one of the ingredients, I just double up on some of the ones I do have. A completely Flexible Soup. Gonna go make myself a snort ratt now. Feelin' kinda low from all this wratting on the tippy-type machine.
So there you go, Bill. You have my permission to use as you see fit. Loved your comment in your letter about "Can one of your staff help?'' That's really a wowzer! My staff has webbed paws and can't spell any better than I due.