Today I find myself struggling with what to do with the turkey carcass from our recent Thanksgiving dinner here in Michigan. The thing is I am not at home in my own kitchen and so there are no staples or pantry items. Oh and the other big problem is…..my son hates homemade soup.
When I was raising my 3 children often Monday would be homemade soup day. I thought I was being a frugal gourmet while at the same time a super mother, you know, real food made from scratch, delicious and nutritious. Not to mention the warm homemade bread which accompanied it. (My favourite recipe still from Harrowsmith Country Living Cookbook.) Every Monday the kitchen would be steamy and warm from the soup bubbling away on the stove and the sweet brown bread coming out of the oven.
I would set the table and present what I thought was a meal fit for a high end restaurant with cloth napkins, cheese or herb garnish for the soup and loads of salty butter for the warm from the oven bread. A handwoven basket of notable character (usually a gift from South African friends or one of my weaving friends) would be lined with a handwoven napkin and brimming with the yeasty delectable bread. The soup would be placed in the middle of the table so as to awe the awaiting diners( my family) with the ladling of the earthy mixture of broth, vegetables and herbs. Think of it as dining foreplay, meant to entice the eager eater into heightened gastonomic pleasure!
You can imagine my surprise when on one of these such nights my son, who suspiciously had been consuming copious amounts of bread and very little soup announced, “I hate homemade soup.” “What, you hate my soup? How can that be?”
It was unfathomable to me. How could anyone not appreciate the fine flavours, the delightful presentation and my enthusiasm in the domestic arts? That one short sentence brought me off my home economic high horse right promptly and caused me to have to adjust my expectations of my children’s individual palettes.
I continued to make soup on Mondays but the rule was my son had to eat one ladle of soup minimum and if he really wanted to indulge on the bread he had to make an effort to accompany it with a little more soup, even if was just the broth.
You may be wondering why I tell this story today. Well, as I said, here I am in Michigan, renting a small house without my usual well stocked pantry and I need a nutritious dinner for us and just happen to have a turkey carcass. But wait, alas the boy doesn’t like soup. But I just can’t bear to throw away that carcass. Hmmm
The solution comes to me in a flash. I will use the turkey soup stock to cook potatoes and leeks in and I will create the one soup he does like. Leek and Potato Soup.(recipe tab) Don’t ask me why but my son loves this soup. It really is the only soup he will eat. In the fridge I happen to have leeks and potatoes from the Farmer’s Market in Marquette and I brought some herbes de provence with me so we are set. There won’t be any homemade bread but we are both watching our ‘carb’ anyway. Not only will we have a nutritious, comforting meal. I will be able to give him a cooking lesson at the same time and he will be able to use the recipe I texted him a few weeks ago.
So, with snow and hail and frozen rain falling intermittently all day today and the cold north wind blowing we are going to hunker down tonight and enjoy the one soup that satisfied my need to be resourceful and frugal and allows my son to enjoy his meal.