Mother perks

Joy is piped into my cellular structure when I watch my (6 year old) baby eat his dinner. To me, him chewing, is the best show in town and I know it’s all about survival–it is critical to be wired to keep the child alive–but it’s a great perk just the same. When I can convince Ferd to try something new, it gets even better. I have so much in my head at the moment that all I ever want to eat is soup; I made my favorite cannellini with a soffritto of carrot, celery, onion, fresh sage, thyme and garlic. When it was done I offered him a single bean.

“Smell it,” I said.
He took a bite.
“I’ll eat that,” he said.


Finely chop one onion, two carrots and two stalks of celery. Get those in the frying pan, on top of 3 cloves of garlic that have been whacked in half and sauted til golden. Add a good pinch of salt and about three fresh sage leaves and a sprig of thyme. Simmer over a low to medium heat without letting them your attention for about 20 minutes. If you like a soup with more body, add a peeled and finely chopped potato as well. Give it all a grind of black pepper. I keep cannellini in the freezer (in their liquid) that I cook up all at once, soaking first and then simmering, covered with a piece of tomato, a sage leaf, a good spill of delicious olive oil and salt (add the salt about halfway through) until tender. Add two cups of cannellini and two cups of their liquid. Smash some of the cannellini with the back of a fork and simmer everything together, tasting for salt and pepper before serving. Drizzle with your olive oil if it’s good.

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