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Ronnie Paul: Soup, salad offer break from moving kids

Mushroom Feta Walnut salad is a winner that will earn you brownie points.
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Before having children, it’s important to consider the number of dollars needed to raise them.

Diapers, volleyball shoes, restocking the refrigerator: it reaches a sky-high figure.

This last month, however, I’ve realized that an overlooked issue in planning family size is the number of times you’ll help each child move.



The first time is a piece of cake. You’ll groan about carrying clothes-laden hangers and moan with the difficulty of squeezing surfboards and televisions into the car.

But in comparison to what happens later, it’s not worth bellyaching.




Prepare instead for the weightier signs of maturity.

Future years will require you to move couches, bureaus and washing machines.

One of our daughters recently moved and guaranteed we wouldn’t have to lift a finger.

Our van was simply for hauling; we’d drive, but she’d load.

Moving day began with us first transporting everything she’d stored in our garage to her new address.

Painting canvases, tennis rackets, camera equipment: I’d forgotten she’d honed so many interests.

At her old house, big guys were hefting the heavy stuff.

Wanting to appear hearty, we loaded cartons into our car.

It took several hours of hauling boxes to finally remember our all too familiar mantra.

Parents, please chant it with me: “This is the last time I’m ever helping a kid move.”

Hopefully you’ll have time off from moving your offspring to try these recipes.

Greens and Mushroom Salad

Serves 4

You’ll earn brownie points with this one.

10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 ounces mixed fresh greens

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 ounces Feta, cut in small cubes

½ cup toasted walnuts

Dressing

Whisk together:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

½ teaspoon Dijon

Sauté the mushrooms in the oil until tender. Add the red wine vinegar and continue to sauté until the liquid’s absorbed. Let cool in the pan.

Mix together all the salad ingredients, add the mushrooms, and toss with the dressing.

Corn Soup With Avocado Cream

Serves 4-6

Serve this the day you move your kid into what he claims is his last house.

1 tablespoon butter

16 ounces of leeks

1 red pepper, minced

3 cups veggie broth

16 ounces corn kernels (I’m lazy and used frozen)

1 medium potato, diced

Salt and pepper

Split the leeks lengthwise, wash them well, cut off the dark green stalks, and peel off the tough outer layers. Yes, there will still be leeks left. Thinly slice what’s left.

In a soup pot, sauté the leeks in the butter until soft and just turning brown. Add the red pepper and sauté with the leeks for 5 minutes more.

Add the broth, corn, and potato and simmer for 20 minutes until the potato pieces are soft.

Stir in the salt and pepper and puree the soup to a chunky consistency.

Reheat the soup and serve with a dollop of the following.

Avocado Cream

1 cup

½ medium avocado

½ teaspoon lime juice

¾ cup plain thick yogurt (I use Greek style)

1 pressed garlic clove

2 tablespoons diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 minced scallion

Salt and pepper

Mash the avocado with the lime juice until smooth.

Stir together the remaining ingredients and serve.

Someone may intuit that this tastes great with chips, too.

Ronnie Paul is a freelance writer in Nevada City.


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