Pranzo con Alex



It has been a bit of a slow start to the week for me. After a wonderful Sunday with friends (blog to come…just need to get photos sorted), I have found it difficult to motivate myself to write. It didn’t help that the week started with rain and I am not talking a light Irish shower. The path I walk the kids to school on has turned into a mud bath: this was how I found it Monday morning.


Our path to home in January

The fact that the boys are at school from 8.30am till 4.30pm on Mondays means I am left to my own devices. However, with that much rain I was not in the mood for a run around the block or a stroll in town, so I sloshed back home after school drop-off, picked up my book and spent the day reading. I am really noting this for myself because I am sure there will be a few times in the distant future (Nov/Dec spring to mind) when I will be bitching that I never get to just stop and read anymore. So, I would like to document the fact that not only did I manage to snatch a few hours to read but I did what any sane woman would do on a rainy, cold day after dropping the kids off to school: I popped on my husband’s sweatpants (the ones he owns but never wears…they are sooo soft, warm and comfortable), turned the heating on and read for pretty much the entire day!

Tuesday morning was here before I knew it and so was the guilt…..OMG, did I really spend the entire day inside, on the couch in sweatpants?? Umm…YEP!

Right, boys off to school down the muddy path to the right, mum down the path off to the left for a morning run while the sun was out and a chilly 2 degree biting me on my couch-sitting bum. Alex was due to have a short day at school Tuesday (12.30pm pick-up…very short!) and there was a whole butternut pumpkin sitting in the fridge. So once I came back from my run (leaving yesterday’s guilt behind me) I attacked the pumpkin and made a warm, wholesome, ginger, coriander (cilantro) and pumpkin soup for Alex and I. I also managed to scrub the bathroom, mop the floor and stand on my head which makes up for my complete-and-utter useless day yesterday.

Alex was excited to hear I’d made pumpkin soup and wanted to help with the pranzo making too. I suggested he put together a picky plate (as I point out here in a blog I wrote in 2008). Alex loves to help out and he is old enough now for me to leave him to his own devices. As I was setting the table for lunch I was very happy to see him putting so much effort into his selections and even happier to see what he selected.


Alex’s raw veggie and cured meat plate

For an 8-year-old-boy raw veggies, cured meats and pickles is a pretty yummy selection to have with soup. Once he popped the plate on the table he said to me,

‘Mum I hope you don’t mind I cut the carrots into rounds, it was safer than me trying to cut those sticks that you do’.

Alex has an eye for detail and doesn’t like to disappoint. A hug and a ‘whatever you decide is the right decision, after all you’re the cook today’ set his mind at ease. 

Now that the boys are getting older I also have to remember to let them into the kitchen and help out with meals. Kids love helping out and I tend to take over when they offer to help, not really thinking much of it. However, now I see Alex in the kitchen helping, and having pride in his work I have to make more of an effort to say ‘yes, please’ instead of ‘no, it’s ok I’ll do it’. The other thing I notice is the more fresh fruit and vegetables THEY cut, the more they eat and there can’t be any harm in that.

17 thoughts on “Pranzo con Alex

  1. Beautifully written Camilla. I envy you having a whole day to read, I cannot remember the last time I did that! That’s my ideal day, especially with study resuming soon.

    Good reminder for me too about including the kids in the cooking process. Life has been disorganised throughout Dec-Jan due to moving house and it’s just easier for me to cook but I’ve vowed to myself to start including the kids in another week’s time (school started back yesterday), especially as my 8y.o. has reached the age where he’s constantly hungry! So, thank you for the much needed kick up the backside!

  2. The picky plate’s a good idea. I’ll have to remember your words about letting the kids cook, too – at the moment I have to say it’s still stressful for me to have them in the kitchen, but at the same time I must look back and admit it’s much more workable now than even six months ago. We should start preparing more food together. In fact, maybe if P was working harder in the kitchen we’d spend less time arguing about him picking his nose while he’s cooking, so some problems might solve themselves…

  3. Looks like Alex did a good job too me! He’s even thought of the presentation! I use a picky plate (good name for it!) a lot, my daughter has been an extremely picky eater and it has helped a lot to get her to try different things. And I like it especially with a soup.

  4. What a beautiful post, and makes my heart ache. My Nic has moved to Chicago and is already looking for a permanent place because he wants to cook….that’s my boy. I love a helper in the kitchen, almost as much as I love a rainy day and a book!!!!

  5. Someone gave me a whole pumpkin grown in their garden this week & I have wondered what I would do with it. Despite the 37 degrees outside I decided to make your pumpkin soup with turmeric and coriander seeds, it smells wonderful and I am looking forward to eating it! I just wish Alex was here to make a picky plate to go with it 🙂 xx

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