Would you like a side of Soda with that?

Last nights dinner was relatively uneventful save for one moment. He tried, really, really tried to eat his “No Thank You bites”. With the first spoonful his eyes bugged, his face grew red, tears began to well in his eyes and finally he spat it out, wiping his tongue on his shirt, the napkin and anything else he could find to remove the offending taste. “That was NOT good, don’t EVER do that to me again, please!?”

We had a Tuscan soup so that we could use some of the kale we have been receiving in our weekly CSA pickup. It’s the first time we’ve had this particular dish, so we were expecting the usual; neither BW or JB would like it, they’d choke down their bites and we’d move on.

There’s an unspoken rule in the house when mama cooks. Everyone. Out. Of. The. Kitchen. It’s a good rule, crucial even. It only applies when mama is cooking though. Charles has the curious ability to not only block out the sounds of the children, but he also is impressively able to incorporate them into the experience, sharing and teaching the art of cooking. No so with mama.

I am a good cook, great even when certain conditions are met. No noise, no distractions, no maniacal giggles that indicate that bad things are happening, or screams that just might imply that an injury or fire has already occurred. You know, everyday life for a stay at home mama. But I try, and I do well… but on certain days – whoop – not so much.

At one point the soup got really fizzy when it was cooking, but being a new recipe, it seemed a fluke. The soup was finished; side dishes prepped, table set and the usual chaos of dinner ensued. As usual, Charles and I liked the dish, and JB took her bites and her review was “Not so bad”. So BW’s reaction was not entirely unexpected, just a bit extreme.

After BW’s unusual protest, I looked back over the recipe and everything was suddenly clear as well as the value of the cooking rule. Just as I was reaching into the pantry to get the cornstarch for the soup, the kids came bursting into the kitchen screaming “MAMA” at the top of their lungs. Startled, I had instead grabbed the baking soda and added that to the soup. That also explained why it was runnier than I expected.

It will be awhile before I can convince BW to try that dish again.

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