Today, according to the meal plan, supper was to be pea and watercress pasta, a lovely summery type dish (I hoped) much in the vein of St Hugh's macaroni peas, but frankly, for reasons that will become apparent, I've now officially had enough of trying to pretend that the rain hasn't really been raining pretty much every day since - well - since I can remember. I mean I know I've been all happy happy about going away camping and making the most of it, snatching those sparkling moments on the beach to store up for less cheery days; and I know that I have had some sunshine (a teeny bit) this year, but frankly, now I. have. had. enough.
The children's school has an open air swimming pool attached to it, and today was the day for the gala. KS2 this morning, and the Husband attended to support Blue. The sun shone and the children were happy. My turn this afternoon, for KS1. As I left the house, the sky had already clouded over - not quite 'fine at 7, rain by 11', but it was definitely spitting. It didn't take long for the heavens to open and it basically rained for the hour of the gala. Pink was in the first 'race'. Afterwards, she got changed and then sat on the poolside, in the rain (with her dressing gown on) for the rest of the hour. By the end, the kids were cold and wet, but there was still half an hour of school to go.
Now, I am going to try really hard not to rant about my kids' school and their totally erratic behaviour in situations such as this. If it had suited the school, we would have been encouraged to take our children home early. But today, clearly, it did not suit, so we were not allowed to liberate our soggy children (I would have had to wait for Blue anyway, but that's not the point here). Not only that, but with 30 mins to go, there was really no sensible option but to wait around. In the rain. Offered refuge in a friend's car, I gratefully accepted, and also accepted the offer of a lift back down the hill - it's only a 15-20 minute walk home but really, I was wet, Pink was wet, and I knew that Blue would be knackered from his efforts this morning. And frankly, as the car was already at school and was going to be going back down the hill, it was going to make no difference to the environment.
Pink was due to be going to Rainbows later on but she was cold and tired so I put her straight in the bath and had a rethink about supper. What they needed was not pea and watercress pasta. Oh no. What they needed was soup. In July.
I cannot believe that I was cooking up the sort of chunky soup that I'd normally serve up on an autumn/winter weekend, but I did. And I commend it to you for all those wet and miserable days to come. Bah humbug.
Warming and chunky soup for a miserable summer day
Ingredients: 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, 2 carrots, 1 red pepper, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 2 tsp vegetable stock powder, 125g cooking chorizo, ground coriander and smoked paprika, large handful of small pasta - I had some orzo (left over from St Hugh's mushroom risoniotto) and some conchiglietti in the cupboard.
Method: Put the kettle on. Finely chop the onion and garlic, heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan, and add the onion and garlic and fry gently for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Peel and dice the carrots, halve the pepper, remove the seeds and dice, then chuck the carrot and pepper in with the onion and stir for a couple of minutes. Chop the chorizo into similar size chunks as the carrots & peppers, add to the pan, stir in and cook for a couple more minutes. Sprinkle in a sprinkle (literally, just a sprinkle) of the paprika and coriander and tip in the tin of tomatoes. Add the stock powder to the empty tomato tin and fill with boiling water. Add the stock to the pan, then a scond tin's worth of hot water. Bring to the boil chuck in the pasta and leave to cook until the veg & pasta is cooked - it'll take about 15 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread