Hello there! It’s been way too long. I know we’ve been cooking at our house because somehow food keeps appearing on the table at dinner time. I’m just not quite sure what or how. Sound familiar? Because it is STILL winter here, and I’ve still got napping little ones, I’ve taken to making soup from the weeks leftovers on Sunday afternoons. I’m kind of loving this little ritual. The relative quiet. Doing something with my hands. Letting my mind wander. Giving my sense of smell, taste and feel something to do other than sit on the sidelines as they do for most of the week. I enjoy it without any of the guilt I associate with sitting on the couch and watching netflix or shopping online or any of the other things (that I also enjoy!) that I could be doing with my Sunday afternoons.
Not that I should feel guilty for any of it, just that, honestly, I do. I blame my Dad (as wonderful and amazing as he is. Hi Dad!). When I was a kid, my dad would walk in the room and immediately observe his surroundings. If he saw that you weren’t engaged in something “productive” - reading, homework, cleaning etc. he would blurt out “What are you doing!?!” with urgency and more than a little distress. I would have instant regret at my foolishness for relaxing so openly. It’s hard to tell whether it nature or nurture - and it’s surely both - but as I grew older, I internalized this sense of “What are you doing!?!” to the point where I say it to myself constantly. Having kids, and no free time has definitely toned down that voice in my head, but it is always there, somewhere. As much as it drives me crazy, I appreciate it too. For the fact that it drives me. Even if it’s just to make soup.
My Sunday soup ritual does not involve any recipes. Just throwing leftovers into a pot with stock really. But I have been supplementing the soup with some great breads and bread mixes from Paddy’s on the Square. Like me, the kids love brown bread and using a mix makes it so easy. I can make the soup and bake bread all at the same time. And if we don’t eat the soup and bread for dinner, I take the soup with me to work for weekday lunches and we enjoy the bread as toast in the mornings.
A couple of weeks ago, I made this Brown Bread mix from a Company called Boutique Bake. It was beyond easy to throw together and came with this nice little packet of seed mix to throw on top of the loaf for even more texture and flavor. We loved this bread. The only downside was how fast this loaf went at our house.
Your only remaining job is to slather it with Irish butter and eat. Now, RELAX. You can do it!