Tuesday, February 2, 2016

That's not Potato!

Helping in the Kitchen during CSA Time
"Can I help you make dinner?" DQ asked last night.  I admit, I bit my tongue against a sigh.  She's eleven, and she really does have a desire to learn how to cook things, and that is GREAT..I just..wish dinner was at noon when I had the energy to give proper instruction and didn't need to be by myself to recoup before the chaos of the dinner table.

Being an introverted mama is ridiculously hard.

So I pushed a smile onto my face.  "It's only soup," I told her apologetically, "so it's mostly just reheating and stirring."  Her face fell. "But," I hedged, "if you want to pull up a stool, I'll walk you through how to make it."

She did, and I grabbed a bag of leftover mashed potato from our last CSA box in the fall, a bag of frozen corn from the $1 sale, a bag of frozen sweet peppers I'd cored and quartered in the summer, and a sandwich baggie of cooked, frozen bacon from the freezer.  Soup is my JAM. 

I asked DQ to get me the carton of chicken broth from the bashed bin at the market -- generally, I make my own, but we haven't had a whole chicken in this house since Halloween.  Then, after adding my potatoes and some broth to dilute them to the pot, I handed her the whisk to bring them together and started chopping broccoli to roast.

"I could never do that," she commented seriously, watching me cup the larger florets in one hand and slice the stem with the other.

"Stir," I reminded her, then told her that if she was going to learn to cook, she couldn't be afraid of ovens or knives.  I dipped my spoon into thickened broth and tasted.  What the...?  I'm sure my face was a mask of confusion because THAT was NOT potato.  I handed DQ the spoon, "Try it."

She tasted, frowned, shook her head, "That's NOT potato."

"I know," I told her, "It's Alfredo.  Garlic Alfredo Sauce."

"Still tastes good," she decided, tasting again.  

I'm kind of like my grandma, in that when I cook, it's a bit of this and a bit of that and a lot of tasting.  I almost never use a recipe unless I'm trying to make a dish with which I'm unfamiliar.  The problem with that method of cooking is that it's very hard to pass on the recipes, which means much of what I grew up with has been lost with the death of my grandmother more than ten years ago.  I'm hoping that by actively teaching DQ how to cook, some of our favorites will live on, even if not in writing.

DQ's Crab Bisque

(Makes 4 Servings) 
  • 1/2 Jar Garlic Alfredo Sauce
  • 4c Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Head of Broccoli, Roasted or Raw
  • 1/4 Bag of Frozen Corn
  • 1 Can/Tub (8oz) of Crab Claw Meat
  • 1/2c Chopped Sweet (Bell, Mini-Bell) Pepper
  • 2 slices Bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
  • Pepper to taste
  • Parsley to taste
Add alfredo and broth to soup pot, whisk together until combined.  Add rest of ingredients except spices, stir into soup until warmed through.  Add parsley and pepper to taste, serve immediately with toast triangles or biscuits.  Soup can be stretched by adding more broth, alfredo, and vegetables, to taste.

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