"More Risotto, honey!"

Well, my culinary skills are definitely being put to the test out here on Vancouver Island while I take care of the twins. It was a cold rainy day, a day that just begged for home made soup. At home, my kids’ favourite soup to have on cold days is Company’s Coming Curried Carrot Soup. Pure soul food. So, I made it for Kaylee and Cole, except I came without the recipe and couldn’t find it online. I had to wing it.
Kaylee, the one who hates carrots (remember the tuna casserole fiasco from two blog entries ago), and otherwise known as Little Miss Picky, loved it. That was a shock considering even I knew it didn’t turn out as good as it should have. When I was on my grocery run, I neglected to pick up curry. Duh. But I thought surely there would be curry in the cabinet at home. I was wrong. I used a Thai curry mix I had picked up from Winners (bad idea), and it didn’t quite give me the results I was hoping for. Next time I go anywhere, I am going to pack a few essentials: sea salt, peppercorns and a grinder, a good knife, chicken stock and curry. That should be able to get me through any food crisis.
Cole did not like the soup one bit. Nope. No way. But I am not giving up on curry for the kids. I noticed that Brambles carries Vancouver’s Vij products in the frozen section and tomorow I shall pick it up and put it atop some homemade coconut rice. What kid wouldn’t like coconut rice?
Tonight I decided to go low key. Steak and risotto. I stopped by Edible Island, a store in Courtenay that carries lots of organic and local products, and picked up a small package of beef tenderloin from Courtenay’s  DeeKayTee Ranch (naturally raised beef). I didn’t go crazy with the risotto – just a basic saffron/parmesan style. I used American saffron (also from Edible Island) which I wouldn’t go out of my way of purchasing again. No flavour, no colour, no taste. But while I was cooking it, I thought that might be a good thing for the kids. Cole, snorfed it up like it was going out of style. Kaylee, as you can see from the pictures, reacted to it like it was nuclear waste.

Some people might think it’s time to throw in the towel and pull out the SPAM. No way. Not me. Today for lunch I made Kaylee a sandwich of free range turkey on sourdough bread from Cakebread (a gem of an artisanal bakery in Courtenay, check out “our big earth” local foodie’s blog on Cakebread) and she loved it so much she asked for more. That alone will keep me trying.

And tonight when I asked Cole if he wanted more, he made my day when he said, “More risotto, honey.” How can you not be inspired by a kid who says that?