What’s For Dinner?

It’s a grey, now rainy, day today and there is a definite chill in the air.  This would be a perfect day to curl up with a book.  If I were still in college, I would probably head to a local cafe with my books and a notebook and actually get some work done.  Yes, I mean notebook the paper kind.  I didn’t plan menus for this week so on the meal-front we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants.

On the way home from school, I decided that today was a soup and grilled cheese kind of day.  I took a quick turn and headed toward Iggy’s bread for some whole wheat pain de mie and I prayed that I had some ingredients in the pantry and fridge to pull together a soup.  I had to work a couple of hours in the morning and then planned go to the Apple store in the afternoon with a friend to oggle the iphone.  This means dinner would have to be made after school while I’m trying to unpack the backpacks, give the kids snacks, avoid melt-downs, and prepare dinner.

I’m home now.  Isabelle is having some down time in the play room and I’ve started the soup.  She will help me finish it later.  In a little while we’ll cross the street to pick up Henry and he’ll help us put together the grilled cheese sandwiches.  It will be a small miracle if he tries the sandwich or the soup, but participating in the cooking builds intrigue and sometimes encourages at least a couple bites.

The version of grilled cheese I grew up with was done in the toaster oven and was open-faced.  The base was a slice of, often home-made or if not really good German, bread toasted.  Good Canadian cheddar was then melted on top with the broiler.  My mom often had tomato on hers and what we referred to as twigs.  It was “twigs” as in “No, twings on my grilled cheese mommy” or “Eww. Mom why do you have to put sticks in the salad dressing!”.  It turns out twigs aren’t half bad.  I love tomato andoregano on mine now.  Tonight, I’m going classic American with some whole wheat sandwich bread/pain de mie, softened butter to spread on the outside of the bread, American cheese for the kids and most likely Cheddar or Gruyere for the adults, and a hot pan to grill it on.

The soup du jour is Patricia Wells‘ curried chickpea, lentil and swiss chard stew modified because of what I lack in the fridge.  I had no swiss chard so I grabbed a bag of spinach from the freezer.  If I had had my coffee this morning I probably would have grabbed the kids and their umbrellas and puddle stomped over to Formaggio Kitchen for some greens.  They always have fabulous, fresh, and most often local greens.  I also don’t have bouquet garni so I just chose some other nice smelling spices my fines herbes.  The recipe for this stew can be found here.  The children will probably try a few lentils and chickpeas.  I expect they won’t have much soup due to the curry powder but they have never shied away from strong flavours so they may surprise me.  If necessary I will prepare some miso broth with wontons for the kids.  Miso can be mild and is very salty so it’s always a hit with our kids.  I just need the miso paste from the fridge and some hot water and it’s ready.

Bon appetit.  ttyl your BFF (Boston Family Foodie)

For more info: Look in your pantry.

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