Clay? Make that mud. Slimy stuff.
It being a non-nursery day today, and having spent the last non-nursery day mostly yelling at my offspring like the terrible mother I swore I’d never turn into, I was determined to have a nice day today. In my rose-tinted view I naively anticipated my girls smiling sweetly at each other as they helped me bake. “No, L, you lick the spoon, it’s your turn”, and: “Thank you, P; I love you” were spoken in my fond and foolish daydream, as baby R gurgled happily and contentedly in her bouncer on the floor.
So we attempted to make butternut squash soup, Irish stew and banana cake. The best I can say is that no-one died.
I gave L the job of squishing the bananas in a bowl. The bowl. That one. Look, on the table in front of you! Not the curtains! Don’t shake it in the baby’s face! Leave your sister’s plait alone! P, stop shrieking, your hair isn’t going to drop off, it’s just… banana-y. Right, you’re not licking the spoon. Or the bowl. Stop poking at the eggs, I don’t have any more. Put it down! Down! Now! Drop it! <splatch> No, I meant put it on the table, not drop it on the floor… Right, that’s it, you’re not even getting pudding now! R, I’ll change your nappy in a second, please stop crying. P, why are you smearing the egg on your cheeks? What …? Why…? Dear God above, get upstairs and get washed.
The cake turned out, well, hot and sweet and banana-y. The Irish stew has been renamed J’s Scottish mutton soup (I got distracted by Minx 2 swiping Minx 1 on the head with her dolly and put far too much water in it. And forgot to brown the lamb). But the soup turned out well! So here’s the recipe, while I relish a quiet household for 5 minutes:
J’s Autumn Butternut Squash Soup (yeah, I really did do this without a recipe!)
- butternut squash
- an onion
- a tablespoon of butter
- a tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger root
- sachet of coconut cream
- pint of chicken stock (I used a baby stock cube I was sent free in the post)
- Roast the squash. I quartered mine, sploshed it with olive oil, then roasted it alongside last night’s dinner. Around 200 deg C for about 40 mins. Let it cool. Scoop out the flesh.
- Chop the onion. Fry it in the butter over a medium heat. Say, 5 mins in a covered saucepan, so it cooks but doesn’t colour. Add the ginger, a grating of nutmeg, grind of pepper and give it a good stir.
- Add the stock, bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 mins. Doesn’t matter if it’s covered or uncovered.
- Add the squash and the coconut cream and simmer for 10 more mins, or until the squash is hot and tender.
- Liquidise it all. Now’s the time to adjust the liquidity – just puree the solids, then add the liquid till you get the consistency you want.
All 3 of my little horrors demolished this silently, with wholemeal bread fingers to dip in it. It was at least 8 mins from starting before P wailed about losing a bread finger in the soup, which is a record in this household – it means it tastes good!