a bit beige; kids’ stuff

i got sick of looking at all that beige. beige – what was i thinking?! even though i am tired of the old colour scheme, it will have to do for a while until i find some time to finally redecorate. can you cope?

in my last post i had a (satisfying) whinge about how none of the family were eating my cooking. i was starting to take it personally. i mean, we had sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and max turned his nose up at it for ….. a green apple. yes, a green apple. surely he is no child of mine. well, that meant more for us greedy adults (and it fed 3 big pigs double helpings, twice. recipe to follow). but i did start to wonder if there was something wrong with my cooking.

anyway, after some thought i decided to change some of the conditions of meal times, rather than the actual meals, and relax a little about it all. some minor adjustments were made. now, as much as possible, lola eats with us at dinner. previously she had her dinner separately because she was going to bed so early, at 6pm. now, we try to wait until bruno gets home so we can all eat together, unless he is away in basel or working very late. everyone has exactly the same thing on their plates, and lola uses, or tries to use, a fork and spoon and glass like the rest of us. i’ve made a great effort not to hover over her while she is eating, trying to spoon that extra forkful of peas or rice or chicken into her mouth. now, we help her little bit if she’s having trouble, but otherwise she is left to her own devices, and she does pretty well wielding her spoon and fork, with only the occasional tine in the eye or spoon in her cheek. also, i never offer her something if she has her mouth full. she will invaribly spit whatever she has in her mouth out down her shirt in preference of that something (hopefully) better.

max and lola eat together at lunch, and have the same thing – before i had made them separate lunches. now i’ve realised that lola is really old enough to eat anything, and max only ever wants to eat what lola has anyway. so max has regressed a little to his toddler lunches of pasta and fruit pieces, but i don’t think he minds too much.

lola has given up her baby highchair, and now has max’s old tripp-trapp.  she refused to sit in her old highchair, so we graduated her to the big kids’ chair. she loves it, because she isn’t strapped in (we don’t bother with the restraint), she is right at the table with us, and she is able to climb up and down by herself. now when she is hungry she climbs up onto her chair and waits at the table for me to find some food for her (that is, after she has done a reconnaissance mission around the kitchen looking for any stray food that may be lying around).

not huge changes, i know, but enough to make a difference. i suppose i also needed to acknowledge that lola is growing up fast and doesn’t need to be treated like a baby anymore. anyway, it has all made a nice change to our previously stressy mealtimes.

some things that the kiddies like lately:

– i tried the meatballs again, but made them very basic and left out the onions and thyme. a total hit! i think the taste of the onion was too strong for them last time. even bruno commented on the strong onion taste. annabel karmel’s recipe calls for one whole onion, and even though the meatballs are cooked for 10 minutes, the onions aren’t really well-cooked enough to lose that odoriferous rawness. so, my recipe:

chicken meatballs

2 chicken breasts

1 grated apple

1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs (i used a very grainy wholemeal, to improve the nutritional content : ) )

2 eggs, beaten

a little flour if your mixture is too moist (i used a big, heavy rye flour left over from my breadmaking days)

how

– in a food processor, mince the chicken and add all of the rest of the ingredients, except the flour.

– turn your mixture out into a bowl and add some flour if the mix is a bit sloppy

– take teaspoonsful and roll in flour.

– fry for 5 minutes or so on each side (i didn’t do the total oil immersion frying) until cooked through and golden brown.

– these were quite delicious (if a little bland for adult tastes) on their own with a plate steamed veges and fruit, or in a pasta sauce the next day. this recipe makes about 30 meatballs, but next time i think i will double the recipe because they freeze well and are so handy to have around for quick kiddie meals.

>>

– the kids are also loving thin chinese omelettes.

– heat a small frying pan and brush with sesame oil.

– beat two eggs and pour into pan. cook over medium heat until set, then flip and cook the other side for another minute or so.

– slide omelette onto plate, roll up into a tube and then slice into thin rolls.

– lola, the girl who adores egg whites but despises the yolk in any way, shape or form, will actually eat these egg rolls by the handful.

>>

– other faves: fruit salad (i think they like the novelty of having all their fruit cut up and mixed together, as usually i just serve them one type at a time); mummy’s home-made zopf; flakes of fresh fish mixed through rice; hard boiled eggs; dried apricots; banana cake.

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