My love of food and cooking came late. I never cooked as a child as my Mum hated the mess in preparation. And so, although well fed I was never involved. When I bought my first house at 21 I was on my own clueless. I was fully immersed in my career playing as equally as hard and so food was simply fuel. No enjoyment, just what I had to do. I once had friends over for dinner. As they politely crunched on their spaghetti carbonara I said with a red face “Don’t worry about eating it!”
The relief as they politely pushed their plates away was obvious….
So when I had children and moved here to Luxembourg I had more time and more of an incentive to learn about nutrition and being healthy. These perfect human beings I’d created were pure. I didn’t want to fill them with processed food. Annabel Carmel’s book’s were my bible. I boiled, and mashed and puréed more vegetables than Id done in my whole life. The freezer became my friend and was packed with ice cube trays full of bland salt less vegetables.
I went from one very apt cookbook Delia’s “How to cook” to a library full of beautifully presented books. I began to experiment, adding more and more recipes to my resume. My theory being haven fed my kids every fruit and vegetable imaginable I would have created the impossible. Children that ate everything. Errrr no!!
Mealtimes were like feeding time at the zoo. Finger food every piece sniffed them thrown on the floor. Spaghetti and meatballs although enjoyed would literally end up everywhere. I often picked up child in white ikea high chair and lifted the whole thing complete with child in the shower.
As they got older they became more fussy. I’d dread mealtimes as the pressure I put myself under was huge. Social media dictated what they should be eat. All my friends seemed to be doing a better job than me. The screaming, tantrum’s, the refusing to eat, the time it took to prepare and clean up after. I was exhausted. I then decided enough was enough. I wasn’t going to give in but rotate. One night home cooked meal from scratch the next fish fingers, chips and peas.
And they loved it. My audience at last became more appreciative. I still had to cook something else for myself and husband as a 4o+ wouldn’t be happy eating fish fingers on a plastic peppa pig plate. But that was ok it was never complicated just fresh and healthy.
Now they are older. God teenagers are difficult like a different species. Only leaving their cave when they are hungry. In lots of ways more difficult as they are always trying out recipes from tic toc then walking away leaving me the mess. The two older ones still fussy but slightly more experimental. I’m not sure who should take credit for that me or tic toc. But all I want is for them to have the basic tools. I love food as my waistline now dictates and appreciate all cuisines.
But I’m glad it clicked all those years ago that it’s ok to have a night off and give them baked beans on toast. You might think everyone is doing a better job than you but I’m sure there will be someone looking at you thinking the same.
Once again thank you for reading. I hope it resonates xx