On Tuesdays during Lent, our parish has a soup supper, followed by a talk from either our parish priest or a guest speaker. Since I absolutely love to cook for a crowd (and a good presentation followed by a rousing discussion), this means my Tuesdays generally feature baking a huge loaf of bread and making a gallon or so of soup. Of our tribe, only Bugaboo is not a soup aficionado, so I usually set aside a saucepan of the day’s concoction for their supper. Bugaboo does, however, love fresh, homemade bread, so I’m usually able to cut off the complaint department by reminding her that with the soup comes at least one good slab of still-warm-from-the-oven bread, slathered in the topping of her choice.
I didn’t get a chance to run to the grocery store yesterday, so I was a little light on soup ingredients. Since I feed a family of six, plus anyone who happens to drop by, on a daily basis, my definition of “a little light” is probably somewhat uncommon; in this particular case, it means the first thing I came to in the freezer was three pounds of smoked sausage and a half-dozen ears of frozen corn from last year’s CSA. That sounded like soup to me, so I brought the lot upstairs to thaw, started a roux with a trio of onions that peeked their little bulbs out from the corner of the produce drawer, and threw bread ingredients together to rise. If you want the recipes for either the soup or the bread, leave me a note in the comments. Neither is particularly complicated.
Soup was assembled and bread was baked while Bugaboo and Beanie were finishing their schoolwork, and Baby Guy and Mr. Man were trading toys in the living room. Several times, Mr. Man wandered into the kitchen, seized a spoon from the silverware drawer, then tiptoed over to the stove, waving his spoon and asking, “Soooooop? Sooooop?” No, sweetie, no soup until dinner. These things take time.
Lunch, naps, an episode of “My Little Pony” for the girls, finishing the craft from today’s devotional, and a good romp in the great outdoors whetted the tribe’s appetite; a little after 3:00, Beanie bounced into the kitchen, parked herself at the table, and began inquiring cheerfully as to the status of the soup.
By 4:00, Mr. Man had struck the harp and joined the chorus, so it followed that I merrily measured soup into four small bowls, garnished each with a warm slab of bread, and called Bugaboo to the table. I parked Baby Guy in his high chair to feed him his wee spoonfuls, and started the stream of reminders to Bugaboo that regardless of her dislike for the meal presented, we expect her to eat what she is served without complaining.
An hour and a half later, Bugaboo finally finished her soup, and I could then put the three ambulatory musketeers in the tub for a much-needed scrubbing. Baby Guy was just as happy to have all the living room toys to himself for a few minutes, before he was rejoined by his newly cleaned siblings. Once I was certain that all four kids were playing gently with each other, I headed for the kitchen to wash some dishes and prepare soup for transport.
No sooner had I found the big ladle than Bugaboo blew into the kitchen, stridently admonishing me, “Mommy, Baby Guy threw up. It’s everywhere. And Smudgie’s outside, so he can’t help clean it up.”
My little Bugaboo is an absolute fountain of relevant details sometimes.
To make a very long story short, it was probably unwise to let Baby Guy and Mr. Man sate themselves on any dish involving smoked sausage. As I type this, Mr. Man is snuggled in between my husband and I, as we thought it advisable to keep him up for half an hour or so after we dosed him with kiddie Pepto in an effort to avoid our fifth bedding change of the night.
Today’s prayer: Lord, please keep me mindful that not everything Your blessings want it good for them. It’s easy to remember when they ask for cookies for dinner, somewhat less so when it’s something that’s tasty and nourishing but unsuitable for little tummies. Thank You for granting us such abundance that when Your blessings are ill, it might be related to overindulgence in rich foods, but never from malnutrition or incurable ailments. Thank You for the opportunity to share Your bounty with our friends and neighbors, and please help keep our eyes open to those neighbors who may need what, to us, is extra.