Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Home cooking

I was up early this morning. The girls have to be out the door by 7 a.m. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned how the schools here typically run in shifts to accommodate the number of students. Anyway, the girls attend the 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. shift.

*YAWN* Not a fan of getting up when it's still dark. But it is a quiet time of day, which I do like. This early no workers have arrived next door to start hammering and pounding and to crank up the radio to a station that plays truly awful cuarteto music -- sometimes so off key that even I can tell (and my family will tell you it takes some serious off keyage to catch my attention).

What's funny is why I was up so early. It's because the alarm DIDN'T work.

With the insomnia issues I struggle with, Ivan wants me to sleep when I can so he graciously and willingly gets up with the girls and takes them to school, allowing me to sleep in. But... [you knew there'd be a big BUT in here, didn't you?]... last night around 10 p.m. his phone kept sending him the same text message over and over. It's some hitch in the cellular phone system that happens every so often. Talk about annoying! When it happens there's nothing we can do except turn the phone off and wait for them to fix the problem.  Or leave it on and listen to a loud and obnoxious noise every 10-15 minutes.

However, his phone is what we use as an alarm. So last night we used my phone instead. Now the last time we tried using it (the day we were going to Cordoba to pick up our D.N.I.s) it didn't work. So I was very careful last night in making sure I programmed it correctly. Only I didn't. I have no idea what I did wrong. I thought it was set and enabled, but it didn't go off this morning. Aaargh! I woke up when I heard the girls moving around in the kitchen, getting their breakfast. So I woke Ivan up.

And then I couldn't go back to sleep. Yesterday I didn't even hear the alarm go off. This morning the alarm NOT going off woke me up.

I foresee a 10 a.m. siesta on the horizon.

For now I'm enjoying a good cup of coffee and a homemade granola bar.

I've been spending a lot more time in the kitchen these days. My 9x13 pan has seen more action in the past month than I think it saw in the previous two years. I'm making some kind of treat every Wednesday for English group, usually a plain white cake for youth group on Saturday, and something of a chocolate nature for Sunday merienda after soccer. Those boys can pack it away!

I'm also making more soups and slow-roasted things now that it's cooler. I like working in the kitchen this time of year. The warmth, the smells... they spell comfort on many levels. Yesterday I spent a good part of the evening making a roasted butternut squash soup. First I chopped several squash into large cubes. I toasted some herbs and spices and then threw them into the blender in order to make a spice rub. Roasting the squash called for butter, a few spoons of the spice rub, vinegar and molasses. Good stuff. The smell while it roasted was amazing. Then using my big soup pot I sauteed onions, celery and carrots, added chicken broth and a cinnamon stick. The smells mingled and created such a rich scent. I added the roasted squash cubes to the broth and cooked it a little longer, then pureed it in the blender in batches. I made a double recipe of the soup so that took a while. A cup of half-and-half for a final touch of richness and the soup was ready. We ate it with grilled cheese sandwiches.

I've just found myself thinking more about food lately. (If that's possible.) I suppose because we're doing more in terms of ministry... having people over for meals, doing things as a group where food is involved... This week, of course, we have the girls with us so I want to make sure and keep them well fed; it hasn't been that long since I had a horde of hungry teens to feed on a regular basis so I haven't forgotten their capacity for enjoying great quantities of food.

And again, I think it's the time of year. There's just something so satisfying about filling the house with the warmth and smells of home cooking.

What's on your menu today?


Shannon said...

squash soup sounds delicious! I'm interested in knowing more about your life in Argentina. What an adventure you must be living!

sara said...

That soup sounds great!!

Since it is starting to get pretty hot here....the grill recipes have been fired up!! Trying not to use my oven as much now. However, if you saw my post yesterday, I was asked to review a deep fryer, so when it comes, catfish is definitely on the menu!!!

rita said...

Fun, food, full house...great post!

Betty said...

Mmmmmm, sounds great that soup. I´ve never had it, but I bet it was good. I´m actually making more soups too. It´s definitely this time of year. Right now I´m making a dove noodle soup. Same as chicken, except I use doves. Very good! :) At this time of year (harvest), we have many doves on the fields and many hunters who like to shoot them.... :)
The sleep problems sound very familiar. I´ve been frequenting the guest bedroom a lot these days, because I´m sleeping so loosely that my hubby´s snoring always wakes me.

The Bug said...

Boy that soup sounds excellent!

I seem to have missed the part about why you have to feed teenagers these days - I'll have to go back & read some earliers posts!

Mari said...

I wake up early when I'm not sure of my alarm too. Annoying, isn't it?
You're so right about the cooler weather inspiring cooking. It does that with me too. We had pork chops tonight. I had to work today, so I used my wonderful crock pot and they were ready when I got home. :)