Day two of the school holidays Mr Eeh Bah phones home to check we are all still alive.
Him: Hi Are you OK? You said in your email you were…. cleaning.
Me: Yes darling I’m fine. I was cleaning.
Him: Are you drunk already? It’s only 2pm.
Me: Darling I’m not drunk I’m sat outside enjoying a light palate cleanser of chilled blueberry soup.
Him: Oh God is this code? Say sausages if there’s someone holding a gun to your head. Do you need me to call emergency services?
The wonderful thing about small children is that you never quite know where your day will end up. Mostly it will end up with one of you crying on the floor of Marks & Spencer but sometimes wonderful things happen and that’s the joy of small children.
It started when I embarked upon my bi annual clear out. Starting with the box of pens. As Beyonce sang: If you like it then you should have put a lid on it.
In my chucking out fenzy I discovered that our freezer contains almost 10 litres of chicken stock. Something had to be done and that something was soup. I pulled out one of my favourite cookbooks – a 1976 book full of soups with funky illustrations – and I told the children to pick a soup they’d like to make.
The fumes from the cleaning products had clearly affected my brain. If you let a 3 and 4 year old make any decision about food they will always choose the most garishly coloured option. In this case Kirschsuppe – German cherry soup.
Rather brilliantly this was the only recipe in the damn book that did not require chicken stock.
Wouldn’t you rather make French Onion soup with toasty cheesy boats? I offered. Is it pink? was the reply. They were not to be dissuaded.
I scanned the recipe which involved not only pitting cherries but also crushing the pits so I made an executive decision to use blueberries instead after a quick chat with Google. Basically the recipe was: water, blueberries, sugar, glass of wine, cinnamon stick, lemon juice and cloves in a pan and boil, pick out the bits and blitz. Much more fun than an afternoon bickering.
We can do this!
So we did.
I’m a huge fan of blueberries and fresh fruit in general, I’m also a big fan of soup but somehow I’ve never thought about combining the two. Because, well why would you?
Cold fruit soup: Is it a pudding? Is it an appetizer? Is it a palate cleanser?
Who knows? Martha Stewart says cold soups are perfect when it’s too hot to chew a salad. How much chewing does a salad require that Martha is working up a sweat? It is never too hot to chew a salad Martha you lazy cow.
My dining companions were far more refined than sweaty faced Martha, slurping down their refreshing palate cleanser with blood red stained faces and no pants on. Maybe Martha should try whipping off her bottoms next time she’s too hot to chew food.
What did it taste like? It tasted like blueberry soup. It tasted like something that had kept the children entertained for an afternoon. It tasted like school holidays. I’ve frozen most of it into posh ice lollies.
School holidays are for doing things you’d never consider doing if you didn’t have whole days stretching out in front of you with children to entertain. Who knows what culinary delights we’ll be making by the end of the 7 weeks I have a whole range of cook books from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s and 7 weeks to fill. Pop round later in the summer for aspic canapes, duck viking, or marrow porcupine.
And let me know the bizarre things you end up doing in your school holidays.