Archives for August 6, 2009

Multi-tasking

Wearing Beatrix, supervising the children and chickens (letting them all free range this afternoon), all while knitting a teensy tiny something, on a teensy tiny set of circular needles, for a teensy tiny person who is due to make her debut later this month.

Keeping them fed (black bean soup recipe)

Feeding my family is a challenge! Other than the fact that they are all growing so darn fast, I think their appetites have increased because we make them do so much “farm” work these days. We are trying to teach them the value of hard work, and I think that is a lot easier when the hard work involves a big outdoor task. When a big outdoor project is completed, and they had a hand in it, they can get a better feeling of accomplishment than when their work is doing something like folding the towels. Don’t get me wrong, I still make them fold towels (and the socks-Jonny and I both really hate folding socks), but I love that we are able to provide the boys with a little hard labor as well. Seth for one is always easier to handle when he has done some hard work. Back when he was little and attending Montessori preschool, his occupational therapist actually suggested that his teacher set up a basket full of weighted balls and have Seth move the balls one at a time from that basket to another across the classroom. She definitely knew what she was talking about.
Okay, I am going off on a tangent; sorry. I haven’t been taking my vitamins and all six kids are running around in different directions all over my brain.
So the challenge I have found is keeping enough food in the house for these boys that are constantly hungry and finding dinner recipes that are easily doubled or tripled so no one goes hungry(notice I don’t mention Larkspur-she really only eats a nibble here and there-not sure how she is still with us). Fruit doesn’t last long at all. We go through an obscene number of eggs. Meals that I used to make and have them last for two nights now only last for one. That really stinks too because I love it when I get the night off from cooking dinner. I have to cook gigantic quantities to have leftovers these days.
While we aren’t vegetarians anymore (don’t tell that to my liberate the animals tattoo), we eat that way most of the time. We eat a lot of beans, with the beanie dinner we eat most often being my version of Grit pintos, which by the way, still lasts for two nights. Beans are cheap and healthy, so I like them.
I discovered a recipe for a black bean soup a couple of weeks ago that has become my kids’ new favorite dinner. Of course I changed it a bit, making it more complicated, but it is still a really easy recipe. We ate this for the second time tonight and all the kids still loved it. Of course that is really weird because a year ago Seth and Keats would have gone bonkers if I made them taste something like this. One thing that is nice about having so many small kids is that they copy each other constantly. Well, actually that is really annoying, but it is a good thing when they all decide to like the same food.
So here’s the recipe (I doubled it tonight and have enough for the kids to have it for lunch tomorrow):

Black Bean and Salsa Soup
2 T. olive oil
1 chopped onion (more or less to taste)
a few cloves of garlic, minced
4 tsp ground cumin
4 15 oz cans black beans
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
juice of one lime
chopped green onions
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft. Add cumin then salsa and broth. Drain and rinse the beans and then add half or all of them (your choice) and then puree the soup (I use a hand blender-if you don’t have one you should-just get the cheap cuisinart one at bb and beyond and use your 20% off coupon) After you puree, add the reserved beans and simmer for a little while, I don’t know, maybe 15 minutes. Just before serving stir in sour cream and lime juice. You can sprinkle chopped green onions on top if you like. Serve with tortilla chips.