Five Family Dinners

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If you follow me on social media (and if not why not? No excuse now, buttons are on the right or underneath on mobile) you’ll know how often I meal plan. I mean, I post a picture of it each time I do, so I know it’s not that frequent – I guess that’s about every few months. Right now, I have some potatoes in the oven baking, and I’m trying to get some writing done before yer man gets in with the two Tasmanian Devils. We decided on baked potatoes about half an hour ago, while he was getting up from his desk to leave work and I was on the bus home. Plan-schman. That makes me an idiosyncratic parenting/food blogger really; to neither meal plan, nor batch cook. We’ll soldier on…

Here’s a selection of family dinners we’ve eaten recently, old favourites and new attempts. The one thing they have in common is I’ll make them again. We all ate them happily, including the fussier four year old. (Proof is below!) Continue reading

Away we go!

My little Teddy bear is 6 months old since yesterday. Over the festive season we’ve been leaving bits and pieces in front of him, casual as you like, just to see what happens.  The kid is plenty big, he’s totally thriving on mama’s milk, and having been here before I know the extra logistics involved in your day to day life when baby takes a trip to solids-town.  So I was in no particular hurry to introduce this element to our reasonably unstructured days.


But I’m a compliant soul at heart – believe it or not I don’t rock the boat for the sake of it – and he will have a developmental check in a month.  They will ask is he eating 3 meals and seeing as he won’t be (at least not in the public health nurse’s understanding of such) then I want to be able to confidently present my healthy boy and proudly tell them the things he can eat rather than the things I feed him (there’s a difference). Then a mere month after that again he’ll be joining his brother in the crèche where spoonfeeding will definitely happen, so the kid needs to be at least used to some quantities of non boob milk based grub! And now that I’ve started, I’m actually quite enjoying it again.

No worries here – he’s totally into it after a really speedy learning curve.  I envisaged a couple of weeks of swiping things around the table, maybe picking some bits up.  Nuh-uh.  The guy is liking the new tastes for sure. He started on Christmas Eve, with banana, has progressed through sucking homemade hummus off pitta fingers, sharing a mandarin with his brother, having some teething relief with cucumber, enjoying a cheese omelette and then yesterday, on his 6 month birthday – well he plain ol’ robbed my apple.

With regard to making your own hummus I read this article on How to make perfect hummus in The Guardian, and stuck fairly closely to their “perfect” recipe. I used tinned chickpeas (as I do always), added more than a pinch of ground cumin, and added a good glug of olive oil while blending. They didn’t include ‘will it be eaten with a spoon by a nearly 3 year old and relished by a tiny tot and 2 grown ups equally?’ in their judging criteria, which I feel is a mistake. Because although I purport to serve up regular human food for all the family, really, that question rings in my head before every dinner time. Anyway, if they’d factored that in, *my* hummus would have been right up there with Nigella & Yottam Ottolenghi’s versions.

The thing I’m most concerned with right now is young Dominic.  He’s pretty tickled by the idea of his little brother eating food like all of us, so I’ve to drill into him that he shouldn’t ever give Theo food, that he needs to ask mama and dada if it’s okay for him and that we will give it to him. So while yeah, it’s absolutely fine for Theo to take my apple while he’s sitting on my lap – as happened in this picture – it’s not so good for him to share his snacks generously while I’m emptying the dishwasher/cooking/on Facebook/closing my eyes pretending it’s midnight and everyone is asleep.

Does anyone know of a place where I could buy eyes for the back of my head?

– Jill