Growing up, both my parents were proficient in the kitchen. My dad is an amazing cook and my mom is a superb baker. They both shared the responsibility of putting dinner on the table, equally (or so I remember). I also recall, when us kids were young, there was one night a week that we had to pick out a recipe for dinner and Dad and Mom would help us make it. Essentially, they were teaching us how to cook, know our way around a kitchen, also how to be familiar with vegetables and the secrets of the mysterious pantry items. In addition, whoever cooked dinner that night didn't have to clean the kitchen. That laid in the hands of the family members who ate the dinner, but were not responsible for actually cooking it. We all helped and it made light work. Whoever cooked got to kick back their feet and relax!
Because cooking was such an integral part of growing up, it is absolutely bewildering to me that there are people about us who don't know how to cook. Don't like to cook? I can understand if it's not your bag. After cooking my feet hurt, and I just want to sit down but then there's a pile of dishes staring at me. I get it. It can be time consuming and laborious. But don't know how to cook? That's a different enchilada altogether.
Todd and I decided to devote each Sunday dinner to a little cooking class. He's the executive chef and I'm the sous chef/cooking instructor during these lessons. I'm super excited at this prospect! And I hope he is too. Todd is an exceptional waffle maker (better than me!), but his capacity in the kitchen kind of ends there. Sorry, honey.
However, that's all changing. Yesterday was the first cooking instruction and he was lead behind this tasty Yam, Corn & Chard Chowder. This chowder is slightly sweetened by yams, laden with silky strands of chard, and popping with sweet corn and split peas.
He did such an awesome job, I think I might just have to be the sous chef every night from now on! Does your spouse cook? How do you involve your children in the cooking process?
Yam, Corn & Chard Chowder
Notes: Sweet potatoes can replace the yams if you like. Spinach or kale can be substituted for the chard. Be sure to clean the leeks well, as dirt likes to hide out in the leaves.
- 1/2 cup split peas, dry
- 1 1/2 cup water
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 2 medium yams or sweet potatoes, diced
- 1 small strip of kombu (optional)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium leek, cleaned and sliced (leaves removed)
- 1 bunch of chard, de-stemmed and chopped
- 11 oz. frozen corn
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
In a small saucepan, bring the pea ingredients to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce to low and simmer for about 35 minutes or until the water is gone and the peas are tender. Set aside until ready to use.
In a large soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-low. Add the remaining aromatic ingredients and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Then, add the sweet potato and saute another few minutes.
Add the vegetable broth and water. Turn to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the leeks and cook another couple minutes.
At this point you can remove the piece of kombu, or blend it into the soup like I did.Transfer the soup carefully to a blender and blend roughly. It shouldn't be completely smooth.
Listening to: Mree – Monsters
German Word of The Day: Yam (or sweet potato) --> Süßkartoffel (pronounced: zeus-cartoffel ) Literally translates to sweet (Süß) potato (Kartoffel).
Good Deed of The Day: Sign this petition to help rescue Masha from a "Bear Baiting" camp in Russia. This just made my heart so sad.