I consider myself a capable cook and I love feeding people. Watching someone enjoying the food I serve them brings me great joy. I nurture my family and friends with food and – ALRIGHT! Yes, my name is Estelle Cameron and I’m a comfort eater! A good carbonara can truly take the blues away. Luckily I’m a fairly happy person or I’d have to be lifted from my house via crane.
Having said that, you can imagine my surprise when Tom started refusing to eat the meals I lovingly created and dished up. Did I say ‘surprise’? Allow me to be a bit more specific and say ‘horrified shock, frustration and insanity’. Tom’s a stubborn, strong willed individual and once he sets his mind, it won’t be changed. So, at 18 months old he decided to live on air and vegemite sandwiches.
What was wrong with him? I took him to the doctor, surely there was some medication available to make him eat my food?! The doctor looked at Tom, a two year old brimming with good health (I know this because I’ve seen the photos, at the time I thought he looked pale and gaunt) and asked me if I really did want that referral to a paediatrician. YES, OF COURSE! He paused, turned to his computer and wrote the referral, it said, and I quote;
‘Thank you for seeing Tom aged 2 for opinion and management regarding his mothers perceived eating problems.’
I kid you not.
He’s now 4 ½ and things have got better; he now eats all food groups. Not that he realises it - I’m the master of vegetable disguise. And all through our food journey together (said through a tight lipped, weary smile) I’ve made sure that the food he did eat was good for him, most of the time.
His current favourite dinner accompaniment is something we call Crunchy Munchies. This is a vegetable fritter of sorts which developed over time, but started as a scrambled egg meal that I used to cook in a ginger bread man cutter - this was called Egg Man. We’ve come a long way.
½ a medium carrot, grated
½ a medium zucchini, grated
1 handful of tasty cheese, grated
¼ of an onion, grated
0 tips of fingers, grated
125g tin of creamed corn
3 Tablespoons of self raising flour
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. The water content of the vegetables will come out if you leave it a few minutes so don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit dry.
Heat some oil in a non-stick pan and drop a small amount of the mixture in. When it starts to make that lovely frying noise put tablespoons of the mixture into the pan - like you’re making pikelets. Turn when golden and cook the other side. Drain on absorbent paper. Make enough to eat some yourself with a pinch of Maldon while standing in the kitchen.
I must say, the only cheese in the house the other night was a packet of pre-grated light mozzarella and they came up a treat!