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Gran June 4, 2008

Posted by tuimeltje in dinner, food.
Tags: , ,

Last weekend it was my grandma’s 85th birthday and while she’d had some visitors during the day, no plans were made for the evening. She was perfectly happy simply eating on her own, but I didn’t think it was nice to have her eat on her own on her birthday when there’s really no need to so I took her to my parents’ place and cooked up something.
The two siblings still living at home had warned me there wasn’t much food around for a decent festive dinner, but I was a little stubborn and pigheaded and invited her over anyway, sure there’d at least be some pasta or rice and beans I could make her.

There was, of course, but there were other options. While my siblings were correct about there not being much recently-purchased fresh veg for a meal, my parents do keep a decent pantry which will allow a person to make a filling meal if one is prepared to put in a bit of effort.
Or capable of opening a jar of just-heat-up pasta sauce.

Since I though my grandma’s birthday dinner was worth more than the effort involved in opening a jar of just-heat-up pasta sauce, I took a better look at the pantry to see if I could make something else.

What I found:
-a 500g bag of red lentils
-a few tins of tomato paste (only used one, though)
-a carton of chopped tomato in sauce
-a few onions (used two)
-garlic (used three cloves)
-a bunch of spices (IIRC, I used cumin, coriander, paprika, chili pepper, turmeric, salt, pepper, and a bit of cinnamon)
-bouillon cubes
-part-baked baguettes
-vegan margarine

In short, all I needed to make a proper lentil soup with bread.

Technically there were a few fresh tomatos around which could’ve done what the carton of chopped tomato in sauce did, but I thought it’s be fun to make something using only pantry ingredients. I know garlic and onion might be considered fresh veg, but these are the kinds of things that last and one is more likely to have around randomly since they keep well. However, feel free to sub freeze-dried onion and garlic flakes or whatever if you want a true pantry meal.

I sautéed the onions, added some water and the washed lentils (not the whole bag, but I made the soup with leftovers in mind), let it simmer for a bit, added the tomato things, then added the spices in some random and unmeasured amount, and waited until it was all done, stirring it occasionally. I stuck in an immersion blender for a bit, but didn’t blend it smooth. Just a little to have some smooth bits in.


Apart from finding a bunch of food, I also found some rather festive paper cups which made an appropriate vessel for the requisite water and some orange paper napkins which made a nice lining for the bread bowl that sort of matched the soup.
And since it’s at my parents’ place, the food was eaten at a proper dinner table with proper placemats and everything. Isn’t that fancy?

My grandma enjoyed the soup a lot and didn’t seem to mind having to wait a good while to get it, so I count it as a good meal.
There were indeed leftovers, so I gave my grandma a container of soup to take home and put the rest in my parents’ freezer (blue container, the one in the house, 2nd or 3rd drawer. I think)

Before she went home we watched the Vicar of Dibley episode which has this joke at the end

Extra points for the person who know what episode it’s from.



1. Celine - June 4, 2008

happy belated birthday to your grandma! you’re an amazing grand-daughter.

2. tuimeltje - June 4, 2008

Thanks. It’s easy to go a good grand-daughter with a grandma like that.

3. VeggieGirl - June 4, 2008

So lovely of you to cook up a meal for your grandmother’s birthday :0)

OH MY GOODNESS I’M OBSESSED WITH ‘VICAR OF DIBLEY’!!!!!! I own all of the episodes on DVD!! :0D

4. tuimeltje - June 4, 2008

Thanks. :) No chore, really.

OH YAY! Seen the final eppie? It’s dead brill, but unfortulately the last one…
But do you know what episode this joke is from?

5. VeggieGirl - June 4, 2008

I don’t know which episode it’s from off-hand, but I’ve definitely seen it before :0)

6. tuimeltje - June 5, 2008

Does the random mention of “succour” help?

7. Bonnie - June 7, 2008

That’s so sweet of you to do that! I like those placemats, too.

8. tuimeltje - June 8, 2008

I don’t know where my mum found them, but they are indeed very nice and used regularly.

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