Do you remember your mum buzzing around the kitchen preparing your meals? She might have had a notebook of recipes to refer to, with bits of torn paper falling out, their sellotaped edges dried out over time. My mum’s is an A4 hardback curiosity, with some recipes from her schooldays, written in ridiculously pretty old Irish, and putting my scrawl to shame. (You should see me speed type though…)
She might have had a few trusty Delia books or the whole ‘Simply Delicious’ series from Darina, beaming and bespectacled on each cover. But not that many books were needed. Old favourites appeared over & over, some meals appearing as if by magic, buns & brown bread churned out with muscle memory. I know different now and I reckon I was a pretty ungrateful child all told. Though I ate a lot of raw veg, a trait Dominic has picked up to my delight. The work! The work put into feeding a family and feeding them well every single day while going out to paid employment 5 days a week. I have half the amount of children my mum has, and a husband who cooks too. My dear late dad was no caveman, but porridge or a mixed grill was about the height of his expertise. I didn’t understand how she was in the kitchen so much but now, as I wipe counters at 8am and 9pm with 9 hours in the office in between I get it. Now I get it.
Mammy is mad for making me try new things. Her and daddy eat sandwitches but I like to just eat the bits out of it and then other bread on it’s own with NO BUTTER unless I do want butter in which case they better know that I wanted butter that time. I like bagels a lot with NO BUTTER.
One of these weeks, we’re going to do a meal plan. We’re going to online shop and get it delivered in a late night cheapo slot. Then we’re not going to phone each other at 5pm saying “any thoughts about dinner?”. We’re not the worst in the world for store cupboard ingredients and there’s nearly always assorted fresh veg in the bottom of the fridge so I can usually rustle up something but it’s often a bit meh!
This tasty curry came from one of those evenings – sometimes I do hit the nail on the head. After a lazy day out and about having fun I had a craving for something ‘good’ to eat. The child is gone crazy for ‘teetos’ (potatos) lately so I’m trying to balance it out with slightly more exotic meal-bulkers hence the quinoa! There was an aubergine in the fridge and a quick google led me to this tasty Aubergine Curry with Fresh Tomato. You’ll notice I’ve switched the name round in the post title, that’ll be because I only had 1 aubergine handy, large though it was, it didn’t deserve top billing. I added in mange tout to bulk up the veg quotient.
See, I have to show off these things, to balance out the chips & a 99 days. Dominic absolutely lapped this up, and I loved it too. Where possible, I don’t fry aubergine slices – I coat them with some olive oil using a pastry brush & stick them under the grill, turning once. You get more done at once, they don’t need such careful minding, and they don’t soak up as much oil. Whether you consider that a good thing or a bad thing now, is up to you…
My daddy makes me the best dinners. He got me from the creche last night when mamma was still in work and we went home and played for a while we did trains and jumping. Then he went to the kitchen to make dinner and one Handy Manny later it was ready. We had sausages and then out of the white beeping box we had potatoes, carrots & broccoli. I nommed it up. Sausages are new to me, mamma won’t eat them with me and dadda but sometimes she has special ones from the brrrfreezer and dadda and me eat them too.
Today my mammy chopped up 2 big oberjeans and put them in the dangeroushotoven. Mostly I like to see what she’s doing but it was taking her ages today and I didn’t bother. There were tomatoes and pasta too and cheese on top and it took so much time that I had a bath and everything. Then we all had dinner together. Doma had dinner and dadda had dinner and mamma had dinner but only mamma loved dinner. I don’t think dadda likes oberjeans very much and I said my tooth hurt and it was better when I had milk then my other tooth hurt and I drank more milk and it was better so I stopped eating dinner and had a yogurt and mamma said she thought i mean my tung hurt and she shouldn’t have put chilli in the dinner.
As I’ve mentioned a time or seven, Dominic isn’t so into his spicy food. But luckily, cutting back on heat in cooking doesn’t mean cutting back on flavour, or lovely Indian cooking and this weeks top fud reinforces that.
My absolute go-to cook book is this one. Much as I love my BLW cookbook, there’s some recipes that I just prefer ‘my’ versions of – dhal is one of those. This book is bruised and battered and so it should be, this tome has travelled. It was bequeathed to me by Brian & Nataly in New Hampshire, who owned 2 copies because they had different covers and hadn’t realised. In 2005 me & Mark and the rest of (one of) the band(s) he plays with were staying with them for a couple of nights while they were on tour. (I mention it because of how it highlights the contrast of pre-baby days with now!). It came back to Toronto & then formed a large chunk of my baggage allowance back to Ireland when we moved home.
Luckily, I haven’t had to transcribe this recipe, I’ve found it elsewhere so cheers to that lady! I don’t do peeling & deseeding tomatoes where possible so I’ve just used a tin of tomatoes instead. I also had no limes to hand so used lemons. And I used the handy coriander-in-a-tube thingy too. This is a store cupboard type dish for me, and made it after getting me & Dom in the door from Mammó’s house with a car full of stuff and no time to think or unpack before dinner was needed. See below the cut for the recipe.
In this festive season of constant snacking & overflowing plates, Dominic has not been shy to join in. His usual rotating meals of stirfrys, soups and pastas are for a few days at least being replaced with Oma’s cooking. Oma is an excellent cook, catering for herself (coeliac), Opa (diabetic), her own (not particularly fussy) children, me (vegetarian) and her beloved grandson with what looks like minimal stress. Lucky for her he is following the path taken by her middle child and trying just about anything.
Today he ate appley porridge at home, toast on the go in his Great-Uncle Alfie’s house, and soup when he arrived at Oma and Opa’s. He snacked on some sugar free banana bread (BLW cookbook) then proceeded to try dinner from both his parents plates – buckwheat galette with cheese, spinach & tomato from mama, beef stew & mashed potato from dada.