Cook by the book

Stone Soup

Stone Soup is a story about building community. A version of the story exists in just about every culture.

When we started to film “Stone Soup” Belle read through the story of how the monks had visited the village and said, “In order to make Stone Soup, we need villagers.” So she rounded up the neighbors and we reenacted the book – to a point. Unfortunately, before the soup was done everyone had to go home to eat their own dinner and do their homework.

You can do a bit more planning than we did. Have a Stone Soup party and ask your neighbors to each bring something for the soup. Food is a great way to cement friendships.

NOTE: Please don’t use real stones because you don’t know what kind of minerals they have inside. It might be something you really don’t want to eat!

Stone Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 10 Cooking Time: 1 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 "stones" (small whole potatoes - scrubbed with their skins left on)
  • 4 cups of organic chicken stock
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger - peeled and shredded
  • 4 dried black mushrooms Ð soaked in warm water
  • 4 ounces of chicken or pork - cut in very thin strips
  • 1/2 cup of snow pea pods
  • 1 cup of Chinese cabbage - shredded
  • 1 small can of bamboo shoots - drained
  • 1 slab of bean curd - cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper - optional
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar - optional
  • 1 green onion - sliced thin

Instructions

1

Soak the dried black mushrooms in warm water for at least and hour. It's better if you let them soak overnight. Have your aunt or whoever is helping you slice them into 1/4 inch strips.

2

Just before you are ready to start the soup, heat the chicken stock in the medium-sized pot until it boils.

3

Begin the soup by putting the potatoes in the bottom of the pot.

4

Tell your guests the story of Stone Soup.

5

Have your adult helper pour the hot broth over the "stones."

6

Now add the onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, black mushrooms and meat.

7

Turn the heat on to medium and bring the soup to a boil. Stir the soup once in a while so the meat doesn't stick together. Be careful. Don't stand too near the flame.

8

When the meat has turned from pink to beige, lower the heat to simmer.

9

Now you can add the more delicate vegetables: snow pea pods, shredded cabbage, bamboo shoots and the bean curd. Cook for about 7 minutes.

10

Add the soy sauce and the sesame seed oil. Stir gently so you don't break up the bean curd.

11

Mix the corn starch and the water in a cup until it is smooth.

12

Drizzle the corn starch mixture into the soup. You can ask your adult helper to please stir while you pour the mixture a little at a time.

13

Next, do the same thing with the egg. The hot soup will cook the egg as it falls into the water, so just pour a little swirl of egg in at a time.

14

If you would like Hot and Sour Soup, now is the time to make the soup spicy by adding the pepper and vinegar.

15

Finally, stir in the green onion.

16

Serve the soup immediately.

Notes

Without the pepper and vinegar, this recipe makes a very mild soup. You can spice up individual bowls by putting in a dash or two of white pepper and a little bit of rice wine vinegar in each one. We suggest you put the bottle of soy sauce out on the table and let everyone adjust the flavor in their own soup.

Dinner/ Featured/ Lunch/ Vegetarian

Papa’s Pesto

Kids love pasta. There is no doubt about that!

This recipe has become a summer favorite around the Spatulatta kitchen. It starts in the garden when we plant the basil plants in spring. The anticipation of watching the plants mature is always a great topic of conversation around here. When are their enough leaves to make up the cups needed for pesto!

The hardest part is washing and picking the basil leaves but if you have lots of hands, the work goes quickly.

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Desserts/ Fruit/ Fun with Food

Fancy Fruit Kabobs

A great dessert for backyard barbecues. We used small cookie cutters to cut shapes out of watermelon, strawberries and cantaloupe. Don’t limit yourself to our list of fruits. Get creative.

Equipment

  • Small cookie cutters

Fancy Fruit Kabobs

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Bamboo skewers
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • or other fruit

Instructions

1

Ask mom if she would please help you by slicing the watermelon and cantaloupe into slices about 1/2 thick and cutting away the rind. You'll also need help cutting the pineapple and maybe washing and taking the leaves off the strawberries.

2

You meanwhile can peel the bananas and use a butter knife to cut them into chunks.

3

Arrange your fruit in bowls so that you can reach them easily.

4

Lay the melon on a cutting board and use the cookie cuts to make fun shapes.

5

Now come the tricky part putting the fruit on the skewers. One end of each skewer is very pointy and boy, will that hurt if you push it all the way through the piece of fruit and into you!

6

We hold the piece of fruit by the edges and hold it up where we can see where are fingers are and where the point is headed. Then we push the pointy end straight into the middle of the fruit, well away from our fingers. You have to use your imagination a little to figure out where the point is going to come out and make sure your fingers aren't in the way.

7

You might want to practice with some thick pieces like the strawberries or the bananas before you try the cookie cutter shaped fruit.

8

Add more fruit until the skewer is almost full then lay it on a plate. Put the plate into the refrigerator until your ready to serve your kabobs.

Picnic/ Salad/ Vegetarian

End of Summer Salad

This salad combines all the wonders of harvest, pairing bright cherry tomatoes with corn freshly cut from the cob. Black olives and avocado, not only provide color, but fill this salad so full of favor you will make it a meal.

There’s no cooking, just arranging things on a pretty plate. Children will feel a sense of accomplishment when they bring this lovely dish to the table.

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