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21st September: Spicy Soup and Courgette Cake

A GLOSSARY FOR PARANOID MOTHERS

Ooh you little monkey!: Ooh you little brat!

He’s really developed his physical side hasn’t he?!: Get him away from my child please

He’s very confident: Can you get him to shut up please

Ooh you can tell she has two older brothers: She’s feral

He’s such a funny little fella: What’s with the freaky kid??

He’s a little thinker: He’s autistic

What a crackerjack!: What a little shit!

He likes things just so doesn’t he?: He’s autistic

He’ll have to come for his tea one night: But sadly I’m busy every night until I die

He’s got a good appetite hasn’t he?: Jesus, don’t you feed that kid?

He’s full of beans: I suggest you get him assessed for ADHD

They’re a lively bunch aren’t they?: Do you have any Migraleve?

There’s an unwritten code that you don’t criticise or discipline other people’s children. The ones that do are muttered about darkly when they’re out of earshot. “Can you believe she just said that?! Has she seen her child??”.

Once, in a playgroup, a dad came and started barking orders at our little darlings. We were all taken aback. He hadn’t been properly briefed. The kids looked alarmed. He had no jurisdiction here. Mothers ruled. Their own children.

If your child gets shoved/spat at/hair pulled in a playdate situation, then the permitted means of dealing with it is to go over and cuddle them whilst saying to the other one (in sweet voice): “Ooh no darling, we don’t push our friends”. Protocol now dictates that the mother of the ‘crackerjack’ must come steaming over and bollock her own child.
Job done, we’re all still friends, the system works. But woe betide if the perpetrator doesn’t get that rollicking… It’s a bloody minefield out there, I tell you 🙂

The weather has taken a turn for the dire. Heating on and fridge filled with root vegetables ready to be mulched into hearty broths. I love autumn. It’s my favourite time of the year. Cosied up eating pies and stews. The telly gets good again too.

It’s raining buckets outside, so me and the Fusspot decide to do some cooking together. In an attempt to get him to knowingly eat veggies, I decide to start a series of vegetable cakes.

First up is Nigel Slater’s Courgette Cake, adapted to leave out the nuts: Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a medium cake tin. Cream 200g each of butter and sugar. Gradually add 2 beaten eggs. Grate 200g courgettes and a small apple. Squeeze them with your hands to remove any excess moisture, then add to the mixture. Mix together 200g sifted plain flour, pinch salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder and pinch cinnamon. Then gently fold into the mixture. Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for about an hour, or until golden and firm to the touch.

The Fusspot is happy as Larry (who is this Larry?!) as we make this. He even licks the raw courgette mixture off the beater. I almost collapse.

We also make a Spicy Butternut Squash Soup. This recipe came from my friend Sarah, and it just SINGS autumn. Roast a peeled&chopped Squash (or pumpkin) in some olive oil at 200*C for about 45mins until soft and starting to caramelise a bit. Brown a sliced onion in some oil. Add about a tablespoon of curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes to release spices. I use a mild Indian curry paste, but Thai curry paste is lovely too. Mix in the roasted squash and cover with chicken/veg stock. Bubble away for about 10mins then add a tin of coconut milk, season and blitz with a hand blender. If it’s a bit thick, then add a bit more stock.

Absolutely gorgeous. I’m off to take some Migraleve and hibernate. They’re a lively bunch this lot 😉

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