This evening I left the table with the remainder of dinner still on it to go upstairs and change Celine’s diaper. When I came back, Lily was “making meatball soup, mommy,” crushing up bits of a tortilla and a veggie straw (probably remnants from New Year’s Eve left under the dining room table), bits of the broccoli side dish, and the rest of the grated Asiago cheese into the dish of meatballs and sauce, stirring well. I was instantly transported back to elementary school, when my best friend Kristin’s mom let us have run of the kitchen to make a “soup” from whatever we wanted (within reason, I imagine, that night’s dinner makings off limits)….
I recall it included a package of brownie mix and a bottle of ketchup, among other choice ingredients that gave it an oddly purplish-brown hue.
As Lily described her meatball soup, I noticed her looking sideways at me, as if anticipating my opposition to her chosen activity. Instead, I jumped up and said, “want to make a big bowl of fun soup?!?”
So we set up at the counter and I armed each of the girls with a whisk. I checked the cabinets and refrigerator to see what we could add. I took the opportunity to pull out things from the refrigerator that needed to go, inexpensive items that would add texture, and spices that have been a part of my life longer than my husband has.
We started with water, and then my girls whisked in the next, oh, 40 or so ingredients, including elbow macaroni, white rice, baby carrots (broken into bits), creamy Italian dressing, mayonnaise, ketchup, hotdog relish (the rest of this past summer’s jar), Tabasco sauce, Thai chili paste, peppercorns, turmeric, ground cloves, dehydrated onion bits, garlic salt, soy sauce, meat tenderizer, cinnamon, vinegar, oil, Karo syrup, and Cheerios. And a few nice swirls of Reddi Whip on top (and in our mouths too!).
Each time I turned around with something to add, it was “I wanna do it!” and “Me do this one!” with hands outstretched. With each “be careful,” and “just a bit of this one,” I watched them attempt to slowly add the ingredient, faces in deep concentration. Each bottle pours differently, so it was a neat exercise for their eager little hands. We had so much fun!
And then I had to dump this truly disgusting, vomit-like concoction in the sink, forming a chunky, spicy oil slick on the white enamel. Then the scooping of the solids into the trash (with gloves). Were I pregnant, I would have puked. As I write, the smell of cloves and relish lingers in my nose.
And shrieks of delight ring in my ears.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog by Darla, a New Jersey mom.
Photo credit given to Tasty Things.