Monday, 13 February 2012

Verucca Salt

I read recently about "little emperor syndrome" where parents cross the line from loving and attentive to over indulging their offspring causing the child to become the ruler of the parent or the l' enfant roi - the child king. When Tilly is in her car seat, stroking the seatbelt pulled across her and gazing out of the window I often think how regal she looks, more so because when we go out as a family I am relegated to the back seat like a naughty kid (am thinking of getting myself a Nintendo DS to complete my look) while she rides shot-gun with daddy, for 2 reasons, she cries when she is in the back (she dislikes being in the car sear at the best of times, but the back seat causes her to wail like a wounded animal and we cant have that can we.....) and the other being her daddy prefers it that way, he likes his little princess where he can see and chat to her, can you hear alarm bells ringing or is it the sound of me building a rod for my own back? Am i a car journey away from having to walk two steps behind my master ? 
Some of the examples given were allowing your child to dither over their choice of sweets in a shop whilst a queue forms behind you or rearranging your plans so your little cherub can go to a school friends birthday party, can such things really encourage narcissism as the article suggested? I regularly dither over my choice of meal in a restaurant,  is this a deep rooted way of making people wait for my almighty decision ? Or simply my inability to be decisive when food is involved?? And as for waiting in line for a few more moments while a 5 year old decides if he wants a milky bar or a fudge (milky bar, every time) the issue seems to be with the adult and their lack of patience, no? 
But then I remembered the words of my recent blog where I said I would arrange for Tilly to "listen to Nessun dorma whilst bathing in ass'milk If it made her happy " oh dear, I may rue the day I thought that way, is my style of parenting going to result in me raising a little Verruca Salt? 
No home made dinners for you tonight little one,  Bread & gruel only, can't have you getting above your station.....

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


My failed attempt at breast feeding left my inner earth mother feeling a little bruised, when the time came to wean my little darling, I felt i could achieve redemption by feeding her only home cooked mush, no jar, sachets or pre packed purées would pass her lips.
So i set to work  furiously peeling, chopping, steaming, pureeing and freezing dozens of cubes of mushed fruit & vegetables in several variations, pea, mint & potato, sweet potato & broccoli, apple & raspberry, roasted plum. One dessert recipe suggested fresh cherries, I love cherries so was keen to see if my little offspring had inherited my tastebuds, so there I am washing, de-stoning, chopping and stewing them ready for the food processor, managing to get tiny splashes of deep purple juice all over the white walls in my cherry fuelled frenzy, this whole process was laborious, cherry skin is surprisingly tough and my risk assessment of the possibility of Tilly choking on the skin was at least a 6 on a scale of 1 - 10 (frighteningly high don't  you agree?) so I ploughed on until all that remained was a smooth pulp. There I am pleased as punch with my culinary masterpiece when the boyfriend joined me for the final stage, pouring into freezer pots, he had foreseen something I hadnt and couldn't resist the spectacle. After half an hour (ok, 20 mins) of graft I had managed to make just 3/4 of a cube of cherry dessert, not even enough for a full serving, not even scraping the remnants from the blender with a spatula could make up the difference, boyfriend was amused, i was demoralised and washed up in a huff, i could have coped with this minor set back had it not come on the same day as I attempted home made oatcakes, which instead of gnawing contentedly on, Tilly bashed full force on the table as if to demonstrate just how inedible they were.....

These hiccups havent put me off creating culinary baby food masterpieces, quite the opposite, I enjoy leafing through Tillys recipe books more so than my own these days, and delight in seeing her experience new tastes, but I have to admit defeat in one area, desserts. The purist in me gave way to the much stronger element to my personality...laziness. I have committed what seems to be a cardinal sin in the world of Annabel Carmel, feeding my precious little monster petit filous, which opened the flood gates and led to rice pudding and finally last week I caved and bought a weeks worth of desserts in a jar (organic, I'm not an animal!) i am interspersing them with fresh fruit, but the damage is done, I am no longer worthy of the title Betty Crocker, I feel guilty, but not enough to go back, mains are still of the home made variety which eases the pangs, and confessing to you makes me feel lighter of heart, but i worry, am I one step away from feeding her takeaways and fizzy pop?