This evening we made Chorizo and Butternut Soup with Herbed Tomato and Cheese Quesadillas in our kitchen which actually has a few cabinet bases installed. It is so gratifying to finally see some real progress on the remodel, and also to be able to actually visualize what we are going to end up with. So far, it is looking good. The installers appear to have their work cut out for them, what with every single wall and edge slanting in different directions, but they are doing a grand job. It appeals to my inner control freak to start deciding what will go where and to find the exact location for our slightly enormous cereal collection. Unfortunately my inner control freak is hidden very, very well beneath a number of layers, so it usually only manifests itself through extreme periods of research, procrastination and discussion. The end result is always a haphazard bunch of whatever; my follow-through in such matters is consistently lacking.
Today started badly with Baby A saying that she wanted to go home- a totally understandable desire when the electrician started drilling holes in the ceiling at around 7.30am while we tried to breakfast in the barren kitchen. Baby A woke up a number of times last night saying “I don’t like it”; we can only hope that she was thinking of fennel or chicken sausage, rather than her whole new life over here in the new house. She’s not on top form at the moment, we think the novelty of moving has worn off and now she just wants a space where she is free to roam without meeting power tools at every step. Next up this morning was a trip to Ikea to order the missing kitchen parts discovered so far. Fortunately they’re not crucial as they will take around ten days to get here from Montreal. We are certain that more missing things will reveal themselves in the fullness of time, but hopefully not on a daily basis. We came back to discover that the height of the fridge is exactly the height of the space into which it will be placed. We appear to be missing a few inches for clearance above and tile below. Fun times.
Anyway, the meal this evening was certainly easy. I had not realised that you could buy frozen, puréed squash, and was tragically excited by the prospect. We joked that you could make a fortune bottling the $1 boxes each into maybe 10 little jars and selling it as baby food for $1 a piece. Unfortunately when the entire meal tasted of baby food, we were not so amused. We fried chorizo (minus the called-for oil) with onions, garlic, cumin, chilli powder and black pepper. Next in the pan went the thawed squash and the chicken stock. After simmering for around 15 minutes we served the soup. Meanwhile we made quesadillas with Pepper Jack cheese, chopped tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. We had to make them in sections as the tortillas were too big for our frying pan, but that was not a great problem. At least not until I burnt myself trying to flip them with a spoon, then I sort of threw one away, spilling the contents all over its pan companion.
On to the eating. The soup was blander than we’d hoped and the ready-puréed squash had a spooky baby-food-like taste and texture. This soup would have been infinitely better made with fresh butternut squash mashed with a potato masher. But, obviously it would have taken longer. The quesadillas were not in any way interesting; a bland side dish to complement a bland soup. In future, we would add plenty of red pepper flakes and maybe another vegetable for some extra crunch to counterbalance the strangely smooth texture. Tomorrow we will be making Big Beef and Garlic Italian Stir-Fry. I wonder if the whole meal is big, or if we will be using peculiarly large bits of beef.