Shared with beautiful peeps.
I had a lovely lunch at my place with 3 special gals.
It was the bestest.
Pip wrote about it here.
I also had a fellow blogger (Suz) write about how a post of mine has helped create a positive change in her life.
She had come across it as I was conversing with another mum about her previously adventurous eaters' new 'Fussy' stage. She had asked my advice.
My advice was to 'Give up worrying about it & serve Weetbix' ...well actually I advised Porridge as I know this little lovely has a special love for Oats.
This was an online conversation on Twitter (do you use Twitter? I do - you can find me here.).
She had read the post (which explains my position & experience in more detail) I had linked my other friend to and she wrote about how it had helped her here.
I cried & cried when I read it.
Who would have ever guessed that something I wrote could so profoundly affect someone in such a positive way.
Well at least I NEVER did.
It filled me up.
I overflowed out of my eyeballs.
I felt that as a blogger I could hang up my Clogs...so to speak.
I also had a mum stop me at the stupidmarket to tell me I revolutionised dinnertime at her house.
She has started to serve weetbix when the kids start a fuss.
She had asked me....pleaded with me months ago about how I manage dinner at my place and stay sane.
I pointed her to this same post.
She wasn't a mum I saw regularly.
And I hadn't seen her since we had that conversation.
It was so lovely to hear that for her the mealtime stress has changed in such a positive way.
What was the most interesting of all was that she said that her children seem to have become less resistant to meals too.
As parents of little kids I reckon the stress can be split in half between sleep stress and eating stress.
We seem to judge ALL of our success on either or both of these things.
We seem to have this dark cloud that hovers over us that is dinner or bedtime.
I imagine too that when people see my pictures that I post of the dinners I make here or on my Facebook page or on Instagram (you can find me there at: gourmetgirlfriend)
that lots of people imagine my 5 kids sitting up at the table eating EVERYTHING I serve.
It ain't like that!
I don't want people thinking that.
My little 3 are still pretty unadventurous and will have things like toasties or eggs or speedy noodle dishes, the kinds of recipes that I write about in Tiny & Little magazine. Meals for their age. Simple, good quality, nutritious food.
The dishes you see here are really the ones I make for me & Hubs & the big 2 (age 11 &13).
The Big 2 were difficult as younger children too but are now willing & able to eat EVERYTHING that is served.
They don't love everything but they do try- and are expected to.
The Weetbix fallback is still there if they are not in love with what gets served.
Respecting the cook is still an expectation. A nod to the effort is gratefully received (and EXPECTED) but I certainly will not force them to eat food they don't like. I respect their choice and their different palates.
I cook these delicious meals because I WANT to, because I LOVE to, because it gives ME joy- the preparing but most of all the SHARING.
I don't do it because I think it makes me a better person or a better mother.
Yes I DO feel strongly about my children being educated about food ethics & I DO want them to have a healthy attitude towards food & I DO want them to have an understanding of the provenance of their food & I DO want them to appreciate the effort that goes into cooking a meal & I DO expect the mealtime to be a time of enjoyment & fun & of sharing ......but I DON'T expect them to eat the same as me. I just don't.
What really happens is that I often serve a meal for the littlies that is different to mine.
What really happen is that it is not gourmet EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.
What happens is I REALLY serve ice cream for dinner sometimes. YES. REALLY.
What happens is I get upset too that my kids don't always like what I cook.
What happens is I now focus on the dinner table being a joyful place to be. Not necessarily a gourmet place to EAT. There is a BIG difference.
What happens is that we have candles- even when it is Weetbix all round.
What happens is we have music playing.
My message is that NO mother on this planet is to be judged to be a better mother because of the dinner she cooked.
At then end of the day it is......like everything else about LOVE.
GOURMET GIRLFRIEND'S CHICKEN, SAGE & GREEN PEPPERCORN PIE:
I'm so happy the cold is coming back.
Mostly because I can bring out my stripey tights but also because it is PIE weather!
I made this recipe up years and years ago & have been loving it ever since. Several of my besties also love it and I know they cook it at theirs too. Happiness making.
When my eldest came home from camp last night I was all ready to make Hainan Chicken rice as I know it is a real fave of his but he surprised me by asking for my Chicken pie.
I was happy to oblige! I LOVE it too and there was a crispness in the air asking for it!
I couldn't believe I hadn't put it up on my blog....so here it is!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 750g Organic chicken thigh fillets, sliced into chunks
- 1 tablespoon EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons green peppercorns (you can use pink and u can reduce the number if you think it might be a bit much but i LOVE the tangy crunch and surprisingly so do my kids!)
- 8 sage leaves, chopped fine
- 2 zucchini, cubed
- 3 rashers bacon, diced
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- 1 egg (to brush pastry)
Preheat oven to 180C.
Heat a nonstick pan to a medium/high heat.
Add bacon and fry till brown, add Garlic and stir for a minute.
Add sage and peppercorns.
Raise heat to High.
Add chicken and brown.
Dust flour over the ingredients and stir for a minute or so to cook the flour.
Now add the chicken stock and stir till thickened.
POur mix into an ovenproof dish and top with the Puff pastry.
Make a little hole to allow steam to escape.
I HAVE to make some sort of picture on top of the pie.
I find it NECESSARY & of course it tastes better!
Brush with egg wash and pop in oven for 30 minutes or until brown.
Serve with Buttery Mash!
Here is a little sneak preview of new M.Ward. Can't wait for his new album. YAYNESS: