Two weeks ago or so, another screwball court, the 9th Circuit of Appeals, decided children saying the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is a violation of Church and State. The very next day, Roger Kimball's future daughter-in-law said, "Mommy do you want to hear what I learned in school today?" "Sure." I replied. She then proceeded to rattle off the Pledge of Allegiance almost perfectly. "That's worth the price of your tuition." I thought and said, "Very good. Say it for Daddy when he gets home. He'll be so pleased." She did and he was.
Last week, while on a bike ride, Little Bertie Wooster asked, "Mommy, can I have a gun?" "You sure can Little Bertie." He then straightened up in his saddle seat like a man and started singing "I'm getting a gun, I'm getting a gun...."
Yesterday we went to get the gun. Little Bertie is now the very proud papa of a lovely semi-automatic cap gun pistol. The gun barrel actually gleams in the sunlight like every gun barrel ought to. When I handed the pistol over to Little Bertie he did this deep heh, heh, heh, cackle and if he had had a mustache, I'm certain he would have twirled it. Roger Kimball's future daughter-in-law chose for her reward for learning the Pledge of Allegiance, a bag of plastic rats. She thought they were adorable. When we got home, she asked me for a Dixie cup full of celery because her "rats were hungry". While the rats were enjoying their first real meal since their departure from the factory in China, screams suddenly rang out from RKFDIL, "Mommy, Little Bertie is killing my rats! Help Mommy! HELP, HELP, HEEEELLLLLPPPPPP!!!!" I came running and calmly asked Little Bertie why he was killing his sister's rats. "They're BAD RATS!" he shouted with his pistol pointed at the head of a cute grey one. "NO THEY'RE NOT MOMMY!" his sister screamed backed. I very quietly told Little Bertie that the rats were not bad and to let them eat their celery. "OK, I'll go shoot the BAD BUSHES!" Thankfully, he meant the arborvitae and not the President's family.
Unfortunately for me, the-defend-the-Constitution run to the toy store blew my household budget for the week. Yes, that magnificent brute, Mr. P, keeps his wife on an allowance. So tonight must be a pantry dinner. Since the weather tuned very nippy overnight I am in luck as it it perfect soup weather. Mr. P will not even realize I spent all my money at the toy store. Until he reads this of course. But when he comes home tonight to a house fragrant with the smells of lentil soup and fresh bread and filled with the sounds of gunshots and plastic rats nibbling on carrot sticks, I don't think he'll mind too much.
Lentil and Brown Rice Soup from Gourmet Magazine via Jane Brody
5 cups chicken broth, or more
3 cups of water
1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 cup long-grain brown rice (I don't have any so will substitute either Texmati or Arborio)
1 35 oz can tomatoes, drained (save the juice) and chopped
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large stalk of celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 large cloves garlic, minced ( 1 tablespoon)
1/2 tspn crumbled dried basil
1/2 tspn crumbled oregano
1/2 tspn crumbled thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tbspns cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the broth, water, lentils, rice, tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, carrots, onion,celery, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 55 minutes or until the lentils and rice are both tender. Remove and discard the bayleaf.
2. Stir in the parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper. It necessary, thin the soup with additional hot broth or water.
8 to 10 servings