I am compelled to attempt to please all the tastes and appetites of my family on a daily basis. I do want them to tell all who will listen that I am a fabulous and amazing cook so that my reputation shall travel far and wide and I will be headhunted for a little slot on This Morning. However the probability of this pipe dream of mine is looking decidedly and most definitely improbable. My children hate my cooking unless it is sausage and chips, pizza and chips or spaghetti bloody bolognese. There is so much fake retching most of the time that I fully expect to find a tonsil on top of an untouched fish pie or suchlike one day. They should win a BAFTA the little but lovely brats. Snacks are the same. I would love to put out carrot and cucumber sticks with some cute little cherry tomatoes in pots for an after school snack or even to have alongside their tea. I can’t explain the mumsy pleasure that would give me to see them filling their cheeks with vegetable and fruit goodness. “Grow strong and healthy my beauties ” I would say whilst brimming with parent smugness. But alas my reality is far, far away from this idyllic vegetable and fruit tupperware fest. In truth my children would laugh in my face whilst throwing the tomatoes at each other before kicking me in the shins repeatedly until I gave them some crisps. I hide vegetables where I can but my son just knows. All he has to do is look at it. “What’s that ?” he hisses with a face to rival Monica Galetti from Master Chef. I don’t know how but his ability is almost uncanny. Perhaps I should be proud of his talent and audition him in Little Big Shots but then all the land will know that my children pretend to vomit at my food.
I just have to keep my head down in these many moments, breathe slowly, open the wine, ignore the tears (my own) and revert to the” No pudding rule” if they don’t eat at least half of their lovingly prepared meals with sneaky veg, in the hope that it is enough to facilitate correct bone development and prevent open sores.
So I am exhausted from it and damn well fed up with it this week and have decided to be the Maverick that I thought I was before I had children and realised my greatest pleasures would come in tupperware pots full of fruit and nicely chopped vegetables. To hell with it I thought….let them eat beans on toast all week and I shall feast on this delicious Lasagne filled with meat (not sausages), two lots of vegetables (retch loudly and throw myself on the floor), herbs (“Oh my god what’s that green thing!”) and cheese (only on pizza and in no circumstances in a sandwich you crazy woman)…………and it feels so, so good. I think I’m going to pretend I’ve made it them for tea whilst pointing at the spinach layer………how I will laugh…….