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Syntax and quick bread

Bun Bun’s syntactic complexity is increasing every day, which is such a joy for her linguist mama. She’s been doing prepositional phrases (Noun + preposition, like in on under etc.) for a while, as well as conjunction (X and Y), but today she produced a conjoined subject, and it was just so charming I had to document it: Wombat and [Bun Bun] in boat.


Mr. Bunny captured a crappy cell phone picture. It’s a step stool. She’s never called it a boat before! So awesome!

I know. My kid did the most amazing thing = boring to everyone else on earth.

Meanwhile, I want to request some assistance from my Cookin’ย  Friends. We like to eat carrot-ginger soup. It’s smooth and creamy, tangy and delicious. But we rarely make it because it needs some kind of accompaniment, most likely in the form of bread. Even better would be bread that has protein in it, like cheese or egg. And since I have about 45 minutes to make dinner, it needs to be a quick bread (like biscuits) or at least something where the dough can be done in the morning and ignored until 5pm. Thoughts? I don’t have one of those magical palates that tells me what would be the perfect flavor combination for this soup…


26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Not a linguist (officially, at least), but these sorts of stories I *love*. A boat! How clever! (And she has a Wombat…)

    I’ll offer not just one, but *two* bread recipes, but only if you post your carrot-ginger soup recipe because that sounds delicious.

    The first is, alas, in German, but googletranslate does pretty well with recipes, and I hope to translate it (and make it) soon. This recipe is from one of my father-in-law’s cousins, and it’s amazing.

    Hmmm…in looking at it, I see now that the second is, unfortunately, not a quick bread, and that I also didn’t actually put in the proportions, so it’s not exactly useful to you. But here it is anyway.

    March 22, 2013
    • Sehr lecker! My German is good enough for recipes, it’s my metric that needs translating… We bake actual bread every now and then, so we may try it…

      March 22, 2013
  2. Ana #

    No help on the bread (wait, can you not buy the bread? that’s what we do—a nice hearty loaf or baguette with cheese or a fried egg on top sounds delish). Watching my children acquire language makes me wish I had some knowledge of linguistics because it is so freaking fascinating. B started putting “2-letter-blends” (what is that called???) together. Like B-LUE instead of “bue” and C-Racker instead of “kacker”. All of a sudden, he sounds SO MUCH OLDER. At least he still says yewow instead of yellow. I’m not ready for it. And L still sounds like a pterodacty sometimes and others like pebbles & bam-bam talking. Its completely incomprehensible and ADORABLE.

    March 22, 2013
    • You live in a place where good bread can be purchased. Not so much here. We could get a mediocre baguette when we go grocery shopping, but it would be stale by the time we wanted it, unless we had it that very day. Which we do sometimes. The fried egg on top sounds really good, though! You know, we’ve got a good word for vowel combos (diphthong!) but for consonants it’s just “consonant cluster.” BORING.

      March 22, 2013
  3. I hate to tell you this, but your kid is adorable. No wonder you hoard them.

    For carrot soup, I like to make cheese biscuits. I use this recipe from King Arthur, minus the sausage, plus a little butter to make up for lost fat, and minus the (gross-sounding) pizza flavor. It calls for cheddar, but I just use whatever hard cheese is languishing in the fridge — partly gruyere is AMAZING. The softer the cheese, the less extra fat they’ll need.

    They are quite delicious. Even the Bean sometimes eats them, and he doesn’t eat anything.

    March 22, 2013
    • But we already make cheese biscuits for our spinach soup. Are you suggesting I could make cheese biscuits for TWO THINGS?!?!?!? I wonder if your sweet potato biscuits would be good with spinach soup…I WANT BISCUITS!

      March 22, 2013
      • There is literally only one way to find out. Luckily, the risks are low.

        (I would suggest nice chunks of ham (ideally country ham, but I haven’t even get that here) in the biscuits, except that I know your wild dog act is ALL TALK.)

        March 22, 2013
  4. Oh, and instead of really working the butter in properly, I often just grate frozen butter in and stir it around. Works fine, though it does sometimes involve blood loss on my part, which may not fit with your vegetarian ideals. Works for wild dog, though.

    March 22, 2013
    • You’re right, there’s only ONE way. I make spinach soup, you make the biscuits, we meet in the middle. So, like, Pittsburgh. See you there.

      March 23, 2013
  5. Aw I didn’t find it boring, but adorable and charming!

    March 22, 2013
  6. I love the linguist’s take on speech acquisition- such a fun thing to experience as a parent!

    Here at chez slow I make bread & pizza dough about once/month and freeze the dough in single meal size amounts. This way you just take it out the night before or the same morning that you want to use it and then pop it into the over before dinner. We tend to make Italian bread around these parts, which is not the most nutritious, but surely this method would work with other recipes?

    March 22, 2013
    • You know, I know that this works in principle, but have never actually had the courage to try it. We are also big Italian bread fans (my husband makes THE BEST FOCACCIA!) I also make pizza dough…think you could share a bread recipe that works when frozen?

      March 22, 2013
  7. Oh, Bunny, she’s absolutely adorable! And I think all best moments are caught in crappy pictures, just because it happens this way. I have an entire collection of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    About bread – I love baking bread. I wish I still had time to do it regularly, but then we have a bakery delivering to our door twice a week, and it is really bourgeois of me, but I love having croissants and bread delivered at 6 in the morning, and so there is no reason for me to start punching dough. But when I do feel like baking bread, I never go wrong with Jamie Oliver’s recipe. It also freezes well, so I would do some in the weekend and thaw half of it mid-week. I like to make small balls of dough and just cram them in a round pan, and slather butter with garlinc and parsley on top of them. It is ready some 5-10 earlier than a loaf, and it is delish!

    March 22, 2013
    • Oh, this sounds perfect! Though not as perfect as bakery delivery.

      March 22, 2013
  8. I’ve been on a corn bread drop biscuit tear lately. We’ve had a lot of soup this season because I had a ton frozen for postpartum meals, and it’s lasted much longer than I anticipated. Anyway, I’ve seen recipes out there for cornbread that incorporate quinoa flakes, so that could be a way to work in some extra protein. (Though I just read an article on the Guardian’s site that makes me a little sad about all of the quinoa we eat in this house…) What about some kind of sweet bread/muffin that uses almond or cashew butter? Or even something with toasted pecans mixed in? All of those sound like delish pairings with carroty-gingery goodness to me. So, no real recipes, just thoughts. I am admittedly terrible at following recipes and usually just riff on them.

    It’s been so long since I’ve seen a picture of Bun Bun. She has grown so much! Just wait until Bun Bun starts breaking out crazy vocabulary and combining it with unflattering observations, such as Arlo’s recent, “I see your whiskers in your armpits.”

    March 23, 2013
  9. Do you guys have that book Diary of a Wombat? It’s a must have. Bun Bun is a dangerous combo of cute and clever, who could find that boring? Stupid people, obviously. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now I need to go scour my cabinets for soup and cheese bread because YUM. And I buy my bread. And soup. So I am of no worth in this discussion.

    March 23, 2013
  10. I don’t find BunBun’s antics boring…

    And that soup sounds delicious! Please share the recipe… In return I will recommend a super quick and easy accompaniment – soda water scones. Make them with cheese and chives…. Yum!

    March 23, 2013
  11. Oh, that is adorable. It’s not boring. Plus, I love to see some Australian wildlife in posts from O-hi-o.

    As for the bread – in our house that is DH’s responsibility. But I do think you could use the cheese biscuit-y things. (I have to call them that, to me a biscuit is a cookie, and your biscuit is some kind of scone thing). Make lots and freeze.

    Or you could do what I sometimes I do and make pita crisps. Buy a good quality pita bread, spread olive oil, garlic, parsley (whatever you like really) on it and stick it in the oven for about ten minutes until it goes all crispy. You could put cheese on that. The good thing about these is that they will keep in an airtight container once cooked for a few days. They are great with hommous, dhal, roasted eggplant dishes.

    March 24, 2013
  12. Aww! She’s adorable! And so clever!
    I’m guessing you don’t have a bread maker? We got one as a gift a while ago, used it regularly, and then had a kid. It has been gathering dust for the last 4+ years, but we got it out recently. You can dump all of the ingredients in ahead of time and set it on a timer so that it’s done when you come home or when you wake up in the morning. It’s magical!

    March 24, 2013
  13. The banana, carrot and quinoa bread recipe in Aran Goyoaga’s Small Plates and Sweet Treats book is divine, though I guess perhaps not the best with this particular soup. It’s actually more like a cake. So nevermind. But good! Dig the wombat! I like to see the underloved species of the world get some well-deserved stuffed animal playtime.

    March 25, 2013
  14. I’m here to comment on the wonders of acquired linguistic skills. Each and every day I am amazed by this. It must be such a treat for you. Prosessive and reflexive pronouns thrown around in our house amaze me every time. I know it’s overkill, but I am really loving this nearly two years of age time myself.

    I never have luck with bread of any kind. Though if you find yourself in need of a curry recipe I’m your girl.

    March 26, 2013
  15. Bun Bun’s language acquisition is wonderful to read about. Please keep those posts coming.
    Your culinary question tumbled in my head for a while, so much so that I was compelled to make carrot soup and the bread I recommend last night for supper. Do you have ‘the enchanted broccoli forest’ by Mollie Katzen? The cottage cheese and dill bread goes very well with carrot soup. The loaf bakes for 50 minutes, BUT if you put the dough in muffin tins instead, voila! 20 minutes and they are baked. I’ll send you the recipe if you don’t have the book (and if you want the recipe. Maybe dill or cottage cheese makes you gag, in which case I withdraw my recommendation).

    March 27, 2013
  16. I have never had that soup, but when you say cheese and bread together that makes me think of those Red Lobster Biscuits which you can get a knock-off version in the baking aisle near all the cake and muffin mixes. So that might be yummy with your soup.

    You’re kid is getting too big.

    March 27, 2013
  17. Wombat + Bun Bun + boat = good times. (I am LOVING the language explosions.)

    I feel like coriander (wait, cilantro?) would be a good thing with that soup, but then, does cheese go with coriander? Eggs do, but I know nothing about eggy bread. Except for when it’s gypsy toast, and that has no business anywhere near this meal. So, on balance, no help whatsoever.

    March 28, 2013
  18. A boat – that’s impressively imaginative! And a very sweet photograph. I can’t believe she’s so big (having blogknown you since she was in utero…wow…time goes very quickly, doesn’t it?).

    No help on the bread front. I just bought a cloche. I don’t know if I will ever use it.

    March 29, 2013

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