One of my favourite light meals to make, over the Christmas holidays, is sausage and mango rolls. They can be made using just four ingredients. Quick and easy, plus great to snack on as we watch a movie. Everyone loves them and I can enjoy the film too, rather than being stuck in the kitchen. Making me a very happy person too. Win-win. Instant jig on the spot time.
Then a few weeks ago, I bought a pack of turkey sausages. Just to try out. I thought they might be an alternative for sausage meat, if I removed the skins. It worked. This might also work with chopped up, left-over turkey too. In just over a month, I’ll be so glad I thought of this idea. I’ll have enough turkey leftovers to make a dozen batches of these finger sized snacks.
In the meantime, I can use turkey sausagemeat. Want to know how I made turkey and mango sausage rolls? Continue reading
There are times I envy the hound. She wakes up, stretches and is ready to go, whatever the day promises to bring. All she needs is her collar and she can head on out. She’s even happy to skip the collar part. It’s an easy start to the day. Whatever the season.
Contrast to her human pack. It’s the time of year when we’re waking up in the dark again. Same time, but no daylight. The radio alarm goes off, catching a Radio 4 presenter mid-sentence as they bring us up to date with the overnight news events. Always mid sentence. I seriously question if it’s a good way to start the morning. In an instant state of bewilderment. Left wondering who they are talking about, or where. Knowing I’ll have to wait for the news to cycle through again before the mystery is solved.
To add to this state, there is no daylight. I know I mentioned that part, but being in the countryside, we have no street lights either to ease the darkness. Even a self confessed morning person like me, finds it a bit more of a struggle to make it out from under the covers, when the sun hasn’t made it over the horizon. To add to the fun, the Teen has turned eco-manic about electricity. All lights are now turned off overnight. Before the gentle glow of the landing light would reach along the corridor and help with navigation. No more. It is pitch dark. I spring out of bed and then quickly remember to tread carefully in case the hound has managed to sneak up overnight, and is laid out, occupying the floor.
And so my morning starts.
Sigh. Continue reading
I’m going to come straight out with this. No beating around the bush. Here it goes. Ready? Brace yourselves.
Teenagers can be just as fussy as toddlers when it comes to food.
Goodness. Now that does feel better. Sorry to pop the bubble for all you parents out there with young children, who thought it would soon all be over. You’re in for the long haul with this one.
Maybe I should explain. The difference is that teenagers give you reasons why they’re not going to finish their meal. If you’re unlucky, more than one reason, as you watch the carefully sculptured meal being rejected. Your gangly teen then adds insult to injury, by disappearing into the food pantry to rustle up a less than nutritionally balanced alternative.
On the whole, I’m lucky. My offspring have never been particularly fussy. Ok, one doesn’t like yorkshire puddings and another hates squashes and coucous, but I have, on the whole, been blessed. Until recently. It started when eldest took against one whole food category – meat. Admittedly not all meat. Just enough.
It began when she had braces fitted on her teeth and found it difficult to chew. I made allowances. I thought it would change once the braces came off. No. By then a habit had been formed and she would no longer eat meat unless it was easy to eat. Not for ethical reasons.
I’m not the first mother to encounter this problem, but there was a second complication. Soon after she was fitted with braces, she started to develop dry patches around her mouth, that became very sore. It was horrible and uncomfortable. Not only the braces to deal with, but these unsightly sores too. It knocked her confidence at a time she needed it most. You can imagine we tried a whole host of remedies to solve it. We visited the nurse at our surgery a few times and also researched. We thought it was set off by the orthodontic treatment.
Then one day, on holiday in Scotland, a pharmacist suggested it may be a vitamin B deficiency. That was a new one. Needless to say, we upped her intake of vitamin B and, blow me down, she’s not had a problem since. Just like magic, it was gone! It may have been coincidence, but I don’t think either of us are willing to test that hypothesis out.
Vitamin B had not been on my radar at all. It made sense. Her meat intake had dropped, which is one good source for it and nothing had replaced it. I had compensated for the missing protein, but she must have been missing out on other important nutrients, I hadn’t even considered. If she had given up meat completely, I may have clicked earlier.
I moved into action. Lesson learnt. Teenagers, and tweens, go through phases of dropping some food types. When they do now, I am much faster at substituting in another source, and I explain to them why I am doing it.
I’m also much more conscious about how I cook meat. No point serving up a tough piece of meat. One of my favourite ways is to slow cook it. The meat is tender and falls to bits in her mouth. She will eat it. Double benefit is that I can set it off cooking early in the day and its ready for us when we finally get home from an after school club.
Time to share a recipe. A slow cook Somerset pork and apple stew. With dumplings.