Come dine with me (you won’t want to after reading this)

9 Mar

Supermarket sweep? Oh - you already have. This is our local, most days.

Since the baby rather selfishly started demanding actual food instead of permanently guzzling milk, I’ve found myself playing a nutritional game of hide and seek as I try to figure out what the fuck to feed an infant who can’t have anything containing added salt or sugar.

It turns out that almost everything on the shelves in our local supermarket (ok that’s not a lot) has both. In abundance.

It’s come as a big shock, because it means I have to cook everything myself from scratch.

And I am a shit chef.

My only memory of Home Economics lessons at school was the time I got caught studiously trying to carve my initials into the table with a vegetable peeler. It was either that or throw up, having just gutted my first (and last) fish.

That fish got its revenge the other day when I decided to turn my clumsy hands to the challenge of making fishcakes.

The recipe in my Yummy Mummy Cookbook (or somesuch – I found it in Help the Aged and it’s printed in a delightful handwritingesque font. I am that shallow) made it sound so easy. Boil a few spuds, poach a bit of fish, mash the lot together and fry for 3 minutes each side. Simples.

It didn’t mention that the local fishmonger would put the fear of God into you about the potential of finding a stray bone in your expensive fish fillets, forcing you to spend 45 minutes flaking every morsel of fish flesh between your thumb and fingers just to make sure. Actually I’m glad because I found four. I do however still smell of fish 72 hours, 3 showers and a bath later.

It also didn’t mention that your carefully boiled and drained spuds will still somehow contain enough water to flood the sodding Sahara, meaning that rather than sizzle in the frying pan and turn golden (shut up, Yummy Mummy Cookbook) your lovingly shaped fishcakes will sit sad and pale in a sodden lump surrounded by a lake of virgin olive oil. And then fall apart the minute you try to turn them over with a spatula.

Ninety minutes in and the bloody fishcakes are still neither golden nor cakelike. So I bung them in the oven at 250 degrees to see if that will dry them out. It does. Slightly.

Fortunately the baby is not yet able so comment on my presentation skills and actually seemed quite happy with his fish and potato gloop. Even more surprisingly the husband also held off from anything but praise when we had them for dinner that night. Good news all round because I churned out about 30 of the stupid things.

Tomorrow I’m attempting Cheese Straws. My poor family.


3 Responses to “Come dine with me (you won’t want to after reading this)”

  1. Bern March 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    You’re a great Mum! x

  2. The Coffee Table Years March 12, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    Oh, how I can relate. I found making ‘family meals’ so stressful when I had my first baby. Luckily, I’ve lost all pretense of trying to be a cook and now will make the kids anything I can whip up in less than 20 minutes. Normally, all meals contain copious amounts of both salt and sugar; I use a lot of olive oil too. Did I tell you that I never eat anything they do? Nope. I choose to add lots of flavour and chili to my meals – and I drink two glasses of wine with my food after they have gone to bed. Not sure if we’ll ever end up sitting together as a family and eating the same thing. I just can’t bring myself to eat what the kids eat. I guess I should really start making more of an effort, but the thought of eating with the Raging Bull really doesn’t inspire me to start reading cookbooks.


  1. Mums making money « Zsk's Blog - June 15, 2012

    […] for example, but I’m not sure I could actually charge for it (that may say more about my catering skills than my business […]

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