"Bacon is the candy of meat."

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Winter White

It snowed last night in Vancouver, which caught us all by surprise. Our part of the city doesn't get much snow, and it's early in the season for what we do get. We were out last night having a drink with friends when it started coming down, and boy was that pretty. The city was frosted with it today, cold and crisp. It was a great day for soup and fresh bread.

I'm still adjusting to life as a -- dare I say it? -- housewife. Things that I love to do in smaller doses, like cook, play with children, go marketing, or putter around tidying up, get tedious or aggravating when it's day after day. All jobs are like that, I guess. Getting dinner on the table every night is becoming one of my frustrations. With a team of picky eaters, each picky in his own way (one eats three fruits but no vegetables, one eats a moderate variety of vegetables and beans but no fruit, one theoretically eats most things but will reject a piece of bread for having brown "skin" on it), I often feel like no matter what effort I put in, somebody is going to complain about it and nobody is going to be happy. Mid-afternoon rolls around, and if I haven't figured something out already, I start to panic.

Mr. Gateau and I are flirting with the notion of just making whatever we like, and essentially daring the kids to eat it or nothing. There is always a supply of decent alternatives in the house (cheese, bread, peanut butter, yogurt, mac & cheese in a box, edamame, fixings for cheese quesadillas, eggs) and kids with increasing kitchen competence to prepare it. Still, something nags at me, making me want to produce a meal that is nutritious and appealing to everyone, and frankly, the idea of an 8 year old scrambling eggs while I'm trying to get dinner on the table isn't that attractive.

Tonight, quite by accident, I managed to produce an entirely white (or beige, I guess) meal that concealed some decent nutrition and flavor. I recently got a recipe for a Thai red curry roasted cauliflower soup. It's a great recipe and right in my wheelhouse -- tons of flavor, huge amount of vegetables crammed in there, silky texture, and all made in one pot. I was planning to tell the children it was "White Mulligatawny" and thus capitalize on the fact they have tasted and found acceptable a white bean soup I make and a Mulligatawny. 

I had decided at about 2 in the afternoon to put together a batch of homemade pita. This is something I recently discovered I could easily make, and it really is a pleasure to do, well worth the little bit of time it takes.

I pureed the soup and popped the pitas in the oven, and then it happened. I tasted the soup and found that the red curry paste had packed a serious wallop and the kids would certainly not be able to eat it. I ended up rounding out the meal for them with some hummus and a batch of Annie's Mac & Cheese. To my surprise, they actually liked the soup, though they found it too hot to eat more than a spoonful. My anti-vegetable child even told me it was perfect in every other way, and I should make a mild version very soon. He has no idea he was enjoying a cauliflower soup.

I suppose there is hope.


George said...

On the days when the idea of cooking more than one dinner makes my heart sink the alternative I offer is houmous, wholewheat pita (from the freezer), an apple and whatever veg is going. Sometimes, I worry, it's more healthy than dinner!

That soup sounds fabulous.

Mlle Gateau said...

I ate the leftovers today and was just sad I didn't have any more pita with it.