Did Someone Say the “F” Word?!

Hello Campers,

How are you holding up this fine weekend? I hope you have been basking in the lovely sunshiney day…apologies if you are actually somewhere overcast, gloomy, drizzly and grey but we are having a good day here and I have learned that “ooop north,” 50 Shades of Grey has much more to do with the weather than anything remotely smutty so it’s definitely worth enjoying!   In fact, I am feeling ever so slightly smug as hubby flew to Ibiza today (he’s a pilot for those that don’t know, not some would be DJ leading the life of the jet setter!!) and apparently the weather was less than glorious…Not often you get to brag that the weather’s better in Blighty!

Having mentioned *that* book in the opening paragraph and titled today’s musings about the “F” word, are you getting a bit concerned where this post might take us? Dad, before you wonder whether it’s safe to read any further and I send your blood pressure sky rocketing, I’ll ‘fess to the fact, I’m not writing about that F word (well not today anyway!!….not likely EVER, you can relax!)

Noooo, the “F” word of choice today is all about FOOD – something that’s VERY important to my motley crew.  You will no doubt have heard the phrase  some people eat to live? Well, we definitely fall into the category of living to eat. Nonetheless, it occurred me the other day that having peeled, chopped, diced and slaved over the hob, and then surveying the table during and after a meal, my lot are a bunch of rotters.

Why? Well, although I wouldn’t say my kids are exactly fussy eaters and in fact between them eat a pretty wide range of veggies, fruits and some fairly adventurous combinations, it’s very difficult to get all of them to eat the SAME, exact meal. Please tell me I’m not the only Mum in this situation?

There’s the one that doesn’t eat pasta (I know – a child that DOESN’T eat pasta –  weird huh???) the one that won’t eat mashed potato, the one that will eat corn on the cob but not sweet corn kernels, the one that will only eat baby corn…the list goes on.

Add into the mix, that I have one child that is supposed to be dairy, wheat, gluten and soy free because of food intolerances (genuine, not a faddy eater as often is the case today) and one who will not eat any dairy falling into the cheese/butter/milk variety, (yes that one is a faddy one!)

Some like casserole but prefer it with rice rather than potatoes. The Minx can’t chew the meat in casserole type dishes (no how long it’s been slow cooked for) because her neuromuscular condition means chewing certain textures is just too tricky and puts her at dangerous risk of choking ) so I take out her portion and put it through the food processor but she likes the veggies whole. The boys on the other hand would freak if they knew half the veggies that went in it so it’s a juggling act to “hide” theirs….thank goodness for slotted spoons!

Take a dish like a stir fry – nice simple meal right? Nope, not in this house. Firstly the vegetables have to be selected carefully – peppers are fine but not too many and definitely no green ones, (apparently they make you gassy – since I have 3 boys, we need no additional help in that department!) broccoli is a no-no, (even though boiled it’s fine!) one picks out the onions and mushrooms and one has recently decided that just the noodles and chicken are acceptable.

It’s utter carnage to be honest and the only saving grace is that by the time they have all finished “editing” their meals, there is enough left at the end to scoop everyone’s left overs up and pop it in a pot for the least fussy-one to eat cold for lunch. (Glad they don’t read the blog or that would probably put a stop to that as well!)

Yes, I’m aware that I am making a rod for my own back. As hubby likes to tell me often, if he had his way, I would serve up only one thing and they would like it or lump it but since I am the one that generally puts the meals together, if I can get them all to eat the core ingredients, and then just modify it slightly, then I’m happy. It’s not exactly a lot of extra effort to throw a baked potato in the oven on the nights I’m making a bolognaise so that the non-pasta eating child will eat his sauce with that instead! Additionally, the tribe are well aware that if they don’t eat what’s been adapted for them, there is nothing else, so I consider this a sort of happy compromise……am I only fooling myself?!

I often think it would be easier to serve up chewing gum meals a la Willie Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate factor.  Not to mention the grief that would save me from the food shopping and preparation. Maybe I’m on to something there….. But on a serious note, I don’t serve up 4 dramatically different meals or pander to those that have decided that on Wednesdays, they no longer eat fish/chicken/whatever I have no doubt cooked in bulk because last week it was their very favourite meal. I will not scrape the contents of their plate into the bin with a long-suffering sigh and start preparing something else. There will be no bread to fill them up and hungry to bed they will go if necessary – one night without won’t kill them…

And on that note, those immortal words have been uttered  by some of the smaller members of the household “I’m hungry” so I’m off to prepare something that Jamie Oliver would be proud of for its nutritional content, visual appeal and budget busting, seasonal, non air freighted goodness……did someone say the F word?!

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