Fresh. Really Fresh.

Piper is once again on a stand off with the leftovers. She would prefer every meal made from scratch and hot out of the pan just for her. Who wouldn’t? I get it. But who has time for that? I cook homemade meals 3-4 times per week. My partner cooks dinner twice a week on my teaching days because I get home late. We try to double the recipes so that there are leftovers and plenty for packed lunches. We do what we can.

Piper appreciates her food. She LOVES to eat. Sissy couldn’t care less about food. She HATES to eat. This is how I know that when it comes to meal time, it’s nature and not nurture. They’ve both been raised on a mostly healthy eat at home vegetarian diet, and they both turned out with completely different tastes and habits. Sissy would prefer seaweed and oranges as an after school snack. Piper wants a fried piece of cheese, please. I’m sure there are plenty of things I’ve screwed up for both of them, but I can’t take any credit or blame for their food intake preferences.

Still, Piper peruses our offerings with a close eye. “Is that kalamata olive bread fresh?” Piper asked this week when I offered it to her with homemade soup. I’d even slathered on some butter to moisten it a bit. “I will eat today’s bread or yesterday’s bread but nothing older than that.” Food snob, right? I was immediately transformed into my own mother and gave Piper the starving kids in Africa lecture. It wasn’t pretty.

Last night dinner was running late so I offered guacamole as an appetizer. Piper loves guacamole. She peered into the bowl. “Hmm. That looks a few hours old, Mom. Is it fresh? I mean, really fresh?”

I’ll take that as my cue that Ms. Fresh is indeed ready to join me in the kitchen. Here’s to hoping Chef Piper will soon be at my service.

Hot Noodle Soup With a Side of Snap

When Piper woke up this morning with a raging fever and a sore throat, I wanted to cry. But I can’t. I’m the mom. So I gave her a dose of ibuprofen, stripped off her sweat soaked pajamas, and brought her to our bed. We cuddled and talked about how stinky it is to feel sick. “I know what would make me feel better,” Piper said.

“Anything, baby. What?” I asked.

“Hot noodle soup.”

“But you ate all the noodle soup yesterday,” I reminded her. “We’re all out.”

Tears welled in Piper’s eyes. Okay. Okay. I can make a fresh batch. From scratch. Before 6 a.m. Fine. I diced and simmered the broth. I boiled the noodles. I buttered a fresh slice of bread. Then I fed it to Piper with a spoon. She said her throat felt better. She said it would feel even better if she could watch Word Girl on the couch. I’m a sucker, I know.

A few hours later, after the fever broke and some of Piper’s energy returned, after the negative strep throat test and doctor’s visit, I brought her another bowl of hot noodle soup. Piper peered into the bowl at her beloved carrots and celery floating in a fragrant bath of broth and noodles and said, “Mom, I don’t do leftovers.”