It’s been cold and dreary here nearly all week. I finally had to turn on the heat today in the hopes of curing my weather-induced achy bones. My week started out interesting, to say the least. Sunday afternoon, while my husband and I were deep into our staircase renovation, our oldest son decided he would be a little rebel and eat 14 pieces of Halloween candy – all at once. Inevitably, he got a stomach ache and whined about having to help out with chores outside. (I am still trying to figure out why the trees in our yard have already lost their leaves, while everyone else’s on our block are still green and clinging firmly to the branches).
So Monday morning rolls around and my oldest is still complaining of a tummy ache. Boys are such whiners! I suspect he would just like another day off from school and is playing up his illness. My oldest warned me before I took him and his brother to school. “Don’t be surprised when I get sick in gym class”, he said. Ha ha. Good try. Suck it up and get to class!
A couple hours later, I had just finished putting away groceries, and I get a call from the school nurse. Curse you Shayne! Apparently, they were doing hurdles in gym class and he hurt his poor little ankle. Plus he had a stomach ache. And he was very pale. It was a game of ‘let’s pile on the symptoms and see which will convince mom to come pick me up’. “Of course he has a tummy ache”, I quipped to the nurse. “He ate 14 pieces of candy in one sitting”. And he is only pale because he is a teenaged boy who would rather spend his time inside listening to music than to ever be outside away from his precious electronics. The kid is not sick, but ok. I will come get him.
Did I mention that there was a torrential downpour outside? I could barely see while driving and huge puddles covered the roads. I finally made it to the school and grabbed the umbrella from the back seat. Of course, when I tried opening the umbrella, the metal frame was completely bent and distorted. So I popped open my trunk and threw it inside. You think that trunks that open at the press of a button are such a great invention until you are standing there with sheets of water pouring over you waiting for the dang thing to open just enough to throw an unusable, contorted umbrella inside.
Now, I don’t run, but I ran my booty as fast as I could through at least ½ an inch of standing water until I got to the dry overhang outside the school doors. I check my son out of school and go to the nurse’s office to see this ‘injury’. My son is sitting there with ice on his foot and a trashcan in his lap. Oh, he totally has this nurse feeling sorry for him! Not Mom. Let’s go! I grab his backpack and try to help him walk. I know he is not as badly injured as he is making it appear. I have him hobble the rest of the way to the school doors while I run back outside in the pouring rain to get the car and pull it around. I finally get inside the car, but now I can’t see because my glasses are covered with rain. There is not a dry spot on my clothes to wipe away the water on my glasses. I use my soaking wet shirt to clear my glasses as well as I can then drive around to the front of the school to collect my son.
We finally make it home and I go into my bathroom to change. Horror struck when I glanced at myself in the mirror. The mascara, that I had so meticulously applied earlier that morning, had migrated from my perfectly separated eyelashes, and transformed into tar-like streaks under my eyes and to the tops of my cheeks. Sigh.
The good news is that my son is fine! No bruising or swelling on his ankle. No tummy aches after he ate a healthy lunch. No nothing. It was just a good old fashioned case of the Monday’s. The next morning before I took him to school, he says “don’t be surprised if I get sick in French class”. “Oh, don’t you dare!” I reply.
Clearly, after my adventurous day I didn’t feel like slaving over the stove. Instead, I made this soup. It is very similar to Medieval Times’ dragon tail soup which everyone in my family loves. No chunky bits of veggies that the kids will pick around, just smooth, tomato-y goodness.
- 1 large sweet onion (I used Vidalia)
- 1 stalk celery
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- 1 carrot (or 6-8 baby carrots)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried basil
- dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 c veggie or chicken broth
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- ½ - ¾ tsp kosher salt
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree onion, celery, garlic, and carrots. Mixture will look slushy.
- Add oil to heated pot. Add oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes. Allow the herbs to bloom for about a minute.
- Add pureed veggie mixture and allow all the moisture to cook out. This takes about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add tomato paste and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, stirring to combine.
- Slowly add in veggie or chicken broth, stirring to incorporate.
- Add sugar and salt, tasting for seasoning as needed.
- Bring soup to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, until the flavors have melded.