There are times when I would love to be able to hire someone to live my life. Just so I could clock out and not have to worry about boring stuff like responsibility and finance and having to feed and clothe smaller humans. I also wouldn’t feel the need to be the perfect Pinterest mom all the time cooking up super healthy, fantastically elaborate meals, baking magazine perfect cupcakes and spending hours crafting with my little darlings. I’m not artsy nor crafty, nor particularly gifted in the kitchen as this tale demonstrates.
One of the few things Mini is happy to eat is Spaghetti Hoops. From a tin. Needless to say, the Frenchman was horrified when this item became a shopping list staple and so I’ve been trying to come up with a more nutritious, homemade alternative. The answer came to me as I perused the shopping aisle of our local German supermarket. I’d make tomato soup!For what is tomato soup only spaghetti hoops without the pasta?I was surely on to a winner. A quick Google search gave me the ingredients as chosen by a well-known celebrity chef. I was going to narrow it down by adding it’s a celebrity chef who the Frenchman particularly loathes, but he hates practically all of them so that doesn’t really help. The recipe was dead easy-some carrots, onion, celery, some veg stock, two cans of plum tomatoes and six regular lads.
Of course me being me, I f-ed up the recipe from the get go. It called for most of the veg to be sliced neatly so they would cook faster. I took the line “roughly chop the onions” as directions for all the veg. I didn’t realise my mistake until the veg had been in the pan for about twenty minutes and even then I just figured they would still have time to soften up when the tomatoes and stock would be added to the mix. I was wrong.
Now Mini has a touch of Sensory Processing Disorder. If you haven’t heard of it before, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. I’ll have a blog post coming soon with more information but for now let’s just say that she has difficulty processing the contents of her environment, leading to a kind of neurological traffic jam as her brain attempts to give certain stimuli the correct response. Some sounds plunge her into utter consternation. Hand dryers in public toilets are one of them. Food processors are another.
Once I had added all my ingredients to the pot, I was ready to blitz them with a hand-held food processor. I asked Mini to leave the room and she duly obliged. I reckoned I’d only need a few minutes to blend everything but because the vegetables hadn’t fully cooked, they wouldn’t pass through the blades of the processor. Every few minutes, Mini would arrive back into the kitchen, hear the God awful racket and begin to scream, whereby I would stop what I was doing, ask her again to leave the room, which she would only to reappear a minute later and we would do it all over again. Me cursing the soup and feeling just awful for making her so upset. Her with big, fat tears streaming down her face and Mini Mini looking on in utter bewilderment.
Eventually I had the bright idea to go into the utility room and lock myself in there and complete the task. So off I went with the big pot and the boiling soup. Only in my frazzled state, I neglected to remove the food processor from the pot, which promptly fell out, knocking hot soup all over my hand. Thankfully, I know enough about soup burns not to have wiped it off with a kitchen towel (that’s one way to rid yourself of some skin). A quick blast with cold water and some Savlon and it was back to a semi usable condition. The soup itself was edible but no one went back for seconds.
With health concerns over dietary habits on the rise, it’s unlikely most people would choose ready-made meals over homemade ones made from scratch. I’ll just leave this with you though. Two days later, I repeated the dinner, but this time, I went straight for the ready-made cans in the supermarket. Here are how the two evenings compared:
Cost of homemade Tomato soup: €5.87
Amount of injuries sustained during cooking time: scalded hand.
Electricity spent: 40+ minutes of hob time and food processor.
Time spent: An hour between chopping, cooking and consoling small child.
Cost of two cans of Tomato soup at the supermarket: €1.18
Amount of injuries sustained during cooking time: none.
Electricity spent: Feck all. Took 2 minutes to heat on the hob.
Time spent: 2 minutes 10 seconds from hob to bowl.
And that my friends, is why I’m not a food blogger.