Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Things We Do For Love

For those of you who have been reading me for awhile, you know that the Wunderkind is a pretty good little eater.  She is a good sous chef and is getting more adventurous with food.  And she's funny: from time to time some real zingers come out of her mouth.  For instance, last night I made beef enchiladas.  She took her first bite and said, "It's a little bit spicy Mommy, but I'm a brave girl."  She proceeded to eat an entire enchilada and all of Neil's homemade refried beans.  But the other day, we had, well, let's just call it a vegetable soup "incident."

My mom makes giant pots of vegetable soup and puts a lot in the freezer.  Ever since the Vivver was a little critter, she's eaten this soup at Mom & Dad's house.  Not long ago, Mom sent me home with a ziploc bag full of soup.  It was like the loaves and the fishes.  So, Viv requested soup for dinner for several days and it seemed like the volume in that bag was not going down. So, a couple of days ago, it was cool and rainy here all day long.  This prompted me to say to myself, "Self," I said, "this is a perfect day to make a pot of vegetable soup."  

Veg soup is a lot like what I refer to as "trashcan" or "kitchen sink" food...fried rice, omelets, stir-fries.  Just throw in whatever you have on hand and it will work just fine.  So my pot of soup contained baby lima beans, carrots, onion, peas, potatoes and cabbage.  I mixed water, chicken broth and Worchestershire sauce as my base.  Added a pinch of oregano and basil.  Then it was time for the tomatoes.  Here's where the synapses in my brain began to misfire briefly.  I opened a can of tomatoes labeled "petite diced."  I took the lid off, I could see the contents right there with my own eyes, I saw dice that really weren't that petite, but the idea of pureeing them did not occur to me.  This was the fatal flaw.

The Vivver isn't a big tomato fan.  I tried very hard not to project my (former) dislike of tomatoes onto her, but I seem to have done it anyway.  Or, the kid just doesn't like tomatoes all on her own.   Well, she saw them in the soup and wigged.  Truthfully, after I added them to the pot, I really thought they would cook down and blend in with all the other vegetables.  So, as she's exclaiming "They're everywhere!" and not in a good way, Neil started plucking tomatoes out of her bowl.  But I'm afraid the damage was already done. She only ate a few spoonfuls and that was under duress and with threats of no dessert.

Now, I was not willing to let this entire giant pot of soup go totally down in flames.  Because I love my little one so much and she loves vegetable soup so much, the next day, I went through that pot with a strainer and picked out every last tomato.  Then, I pureed the bejesus out of them and reunited them with the other veggies.  I proceeded to ladle it out into containers and froze them.  After the tomato trauma subsides, I'll pull one of those little babies out, tell her it's Grandma's soup and all will be right with the world.  I hope. 

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