Are you catching much of the Olympics? We’re watching it constantly and I’m not sure if the kids have developed a new-found love of sport or are more excited about unrestricted access to the telly.
I enjoy the whole spectacle of it. I don’t really follow sport much at any other time, but I do like to use the games as a benchmark of where I am in life. I remember during Beijing in 2008, looking at my baby and my preschooler and thinking “WOW, by London, you guys will be BIG”, and here we are already. And big (and backchatting) they are.
Amazing how you can sit and watch nearly any sport or activity in the world if it’s being performed by the world’s best. The skill and dedication is awe-inspiring. But really, I wish the coverage would just leave it at that and not spoil it by interviewing the athletes. Not that they’re not fascinating, but you know… sometimes I don’t think we need overthink it too much. Like asking a swimmer about their race strategy. I’m guessing that they’re going to go as fast as they can for as long as they can, until the race is over and hopefully they’ve gone faster than everybody else. Usually there’s some excruciating chat full of clichés about going ‘harder, faster, performing on the night ‘or acknowledging the other competitors who also had intricate race plans that included going fast, all the way until the race was over.
For the next couple of weeks you might want to plan some make ahead dinners, so that you can drop everything to dash to the TV in time to catch that really crucial handball final, or to see the replay of the white water rafting capsize (which you can knowledgably comment on). Maybe try out this salmon mornay recipe. You can make it up at any stage during the day, refrigerate it then pop it in the oven whenever you’re ready.
1 carrot, peeled, grated or diced finely (whatever suits your family)
1 zucchini, grated
1 ½ cups cauliflower (diced as finely as you need for your kids to not notice it)
125g can corn kernels, drained
415g can red salmon (red is much nicer than pink in this dish)
¾ cup frozen peas
Chopped chives (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
2 ½ tbsp plain flour
½ tsp sweet paprika
1 cup milk, warmed (I just chuck mine in the microwave on medium/high for a minute or so)
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
½ cup dried breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 180C. Dig out 4 oven proof bowls or gratin dishes (one large dish will also work but doesn’t look as pretty).
If your carrot is in chunks, pop it in a bowl, add a splash of water, cover and microwave until 90% tender. Drain and add to a large mixing bowl. Repeat with the cauliflower.
Add in the rest of the vegies and the salmon – breaking up into chunks and squishing the bones (keep them in though, for the calcium hit). Season with pepper, squeeze over the juice and mix well.
Place the butter in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat. When starting to bubble add in the flour and paprika and stir well with a wooden spoon. Cook this mix until the smell changes from acrid to biscuity and delicious (1-2 minutes). Gradually drizzle in the warm milk, stirring briskly and constantly. At first the mixture will thicken up then it will smooth out into a sauce that coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese until melted. Pour this sauce over the vegies and combine really well. Divide out into your oven dishes.
Combine the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs, sprinkle over the top of each and bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden.
Serve with salad and crusty bread.
SERVES 2 ADULTS & 2 KIDS
NOTE – allow plenty of cooling time before letting the kids tuck in.