Recently a friend’s facebook status included her daughter’s critique of her cooking. “Mum, this dinner is so bad even Jesus wouldn’t eat it”.
There’s nothing quite like the straightforward criticism of a child to discourage your valiant efforts at feeding the family. Being demoralised by preschoolers sucks.
My poor kids are subjected to a fair share of kitchen experiments. Usually it’s pretty obvious if a dish is a winner, but sometimes when things are being picked at in a ‘so-so’ way, I have to put myself out there and pry for truth in the name of research. Miss Fruitarian is now a big school girl and conscious of not hurting my feelings too much but without Jesus on her side her criticism is generally straightforward. Last week I’d made fishballs in a curry sauce. “What do you think of it?” I asked tentatively.
“Oh mum, you’ve done great. Great cooking!”.
Good girl, I’m thinking, but of course she wasn’t finished. “But I just don’t like the flavour of the red stuff or the feel of the lumpy things”. Scratch that one off the list then.
Try not to be discouraged when your kids reject stuff. It is entirely irksome to have to throw good food away. Try to be Zen about it and maintain optimism that you’re one meal closer to one they’ll love! Here’s a recipe that endured a couple of rejections, but this version was a total winner.
Tuna, rice & zucchini puffs
Canola oil cooking spray
250g packet microwaveable brown or white rice
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp finely chopped dill or basil
1 cup grated cheese
1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
185g can tuna in olive oil (drained)
Preheat oven to 180C. Spray a 12-hole muffin pan with cooking spray and line with paper cases.
Cook the rice according to packet directions, then set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients (including rice) and mix until combined. Divide evenly between the muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes until golden.
Serve immediately or reheat the next day, topped with chives.