Monday, June 9, 2014

Mom is Sick, Let's Make Soup


Today's post is about the culinary skills of two older children, Sagar and Sapna who take care of the lunch for the siblings and hopefully the dinner too, in Mom and Dad's absence from the kitchen.


Mom is Sick, Let's Make Soup

Sapna asked her sixteen-year-old brother, "Bhaiya, do you really want to try your hand in the kitchen?"

Sagar scratched his head, "Not really, but Dad is gone for the weekend and Mom is not feeling too great."

"What's wrong with her?"

"We better keep the twins out of her room, she has a fever, it's at 103 degrees."

"Shouldn't we call a doctor?"

"It's a weekend and she emphatically said not to call a doc. She asked for a couple of fever reducing tablets and told me to give her two every four hours."

With a tearful voice Sapna said, "I wish Dad was here."

"Me too. I talked with him on the phone and he said he's cutting his trip short and will be here later tonight."

Eight-year-old twins, Suchi and Soori came to the den. "Where's Mom? We are hungry."

Sapna said, "Mom's sick, so Bhaiya and I are in charge. We're going to eat tomato-soup and a cheese-veggie-sandwich for lunch."

The twins' faces fell, "Will it take long?"

Sagar said, "Not too long. Do something until the both hands on the clock are on twelve."

Sapna added, "That will be twelve noon and your lunch will be ready."

"Promise?" The twins asked.

"Yes, that's a promiset."

"Didi, we know how to tell time." Suchi said.

Soori added, "That's right. The minute and the hour hands are on twelve, so it's twelve in the afternoon. It can twelve at night also, but it's daytime just now."

Sapna gave a pat to her sisters, "Okay, okay, I'm glad you can tell time. Now if you want lunch, come later. Go..."

The twins made a face at their sister and left.

"Sapna, can you handle the sandwiches? Peel the cucumbers, slice the tomatoes and defrost the mint chutney from the freezer, and then get the loaf of bread and cheese-slices out."

Sapna tied an apron around her waist, "Yes, sir, you're the boss."

"And I am going to look for Mom's tomato soup recipe." He shuffled through the recipe index  cards. "Here it is. Let's see what it says."

Sapna came over to take a look, "Bhaiya, I can read the recipe, you get the things."

"Thanks, sounds great."

Sapna read the following recipe.

"Tomato soup

4 roma tomato--take seeds out
1/2 big onion-cut in strips
1/2 red bell pepper

3 garlic cloves
3-4 fresh thyme
salt and pepper
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
grilled at 400C

Remove thyme twigs, pury in a blender
and make a vegetable stock."

Sapna interrupted her reading, "Hey, I know Mom keeps the vegetable stock frozen in different sized containers, she labels everything that goes in the freezer with the date of preparation." She peeked into the freezer and took out one of the containers of the stock.

"Thanks Sis, that saves us time, the twins are going to barge in at any moment." He started the chopping and cooking of vegetables.

Sapna said, "No problem, they can set the table for lunch."

Sagar said, "Sapna, please let's see what went in the veggie stock."

"Here it is."

Sapna read it.

"Vegetable stock:

2 C water + one small potato + 1/2 onion + 2 garlic cloves + 1 bay leaf + ginger + 3 cloves

Boil simmer for 15 minutes

Strain the vegetable stock and add to the soup-tomatoes."

Sagar looked at his watch, "I'm glad Mom keeps the stock ready. It's already 12:15 PM, where are the twins?"

Sapna peered into the freezer again, "Did you know Bhaiya that she also keeps containers of frozen daals (beans)? Let's see, she also has..."

The twins sauntered in, "We are ready for lunch."

Sapna closed the freezer and said, "You'll get the lunch as soon as you set the table for soup and sandwiches."

"What do we need? A plate? A fork and ..."

Sagar said, "Kiddos, your call, you know what we are eating." He whispered to Sapna, "I am going to check on Mom, be back in two minutes."

The twins set bowls, forks, plates and napkins, they consulted with each other and asked, "Can we have croutons too?"

Sapna served the soup in bowls, "Sure. Girls, how are you going to eat the soup with a fork?"

Suchi and Soori placed the soup spoons by the bowls, "Can we pour the croutons by ourselves?"

"Sure, go for it. Remember, you spill, you clean."

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah


  1. Fun post. My daughters flip back and forth between wanting to help out and wanting to be taken care of. Yesterday Diya ladled sambar onto my idli for me, this morning she said she didn't know how to spread butter on toast. If I were in Sagar's shoes, we may have been calling Domino's Pizza.

  2. Soft butter is effortless to spread. Giving chores early, and keeping them small and easy does the trick of getting children to help. Sagar and Sapna were planning on ordering a pizza that evening! Meera