How to avoid the sneering barista

Where will you be this Sunday, will you be tucked up at home, savouring your children and some home-cooked treats, or will you be valiantly going forth and trying to deny that your ‘parent’ status has impacted on your café lifestyle?

Ah the joys of brunching out with children.

It goes something like this; stressful car trip, struggle to find a parking spot. Carry offspring to avoid stroller jam. Outdoor table so that tantrums blend into the traffic noise. Wedge kids into hard edged chairs. Mr Meat & Potatoes headbutts table (first of 7 times) and wails. Look around café and see it is half packed with family scenes just like yours and half packed with childless folk, who are hating us.

An unimpressed waitress finally appears to take order just as Miss Fruitarian screams “I WANT SMOKED SALMON”. Smile apologetically – you have no idea how your child learnt how to be so pretentious. Order raisin toast.

The service is slow, so the kids have played maracas with all the sugar sachets, sucked them, busted a few and put them back in the container before the food finally arrives. Inevitably the wee arrives then too.

Drag sugar covered-sticky child to the grotty bathroom. Child assures you “don’t worry, mummy, it’s just a little bit wet”. Fish out spare undies from bag (which also stocks baby-wipes, nappy bags, spare cars, books, crayons, notepads, water bottles and sultanas). Child then decides they actually need to poo. Settle in; try not to touch surfaces. Wait. Finally done. Dress, wash hands, back to find food is cold. Other child being restrained by partner who is grimacing but assures you they’re having a great time.

Eat cold food as partner goes straight to counter to pay – you don’t have time to wait for hungover waitress to get your bill. Back to car. Strap in. Drive home only to realise you left blankie behind.

Next time, do everyone a favour and just stay home. Make these healthy hashbrowns and avoid all those (other) wretched children.

Oven-baked, healthy hashbrowns.

Save yourself on Sunday mornings with home-made hashbrowns.

Oven-baked hash browns

The combination of onion and parsnip is absolutely delicious in this dish. Microwaving the whole vegies first speeds up the cooking time and gives a nice creamy texture.

1 potato
1 swede
1 sweet potato
1 parsnip
1 onion, peeled, grated
1 tsp parsley or chives, finely diced
Salt & black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for cooking

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.

Soften the vegies individually by cooking them whole in the microwave. Try 3 minutes on high for the potato, 2 minutes for the swede, 2 minutes for the sweet potato and 1 minute for the parsnip. Allow to cool slightly. Peel off the skins and grate the soft insides. Transfer to a mixing bowl, mix through the onion, herbs, seasoning and olive oil. Use your hands to combine well.

Form thin patties. Place on the oven tray, drizzle with oil and cook for 25 minutes, turning once during cooking.


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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kathryn said,

    Your post did make me smile. And that’s a lovely recipe for hash browns you’ve got there. I particularly like the swede and parsnip being in there.

  2. 2

    Jonah said,

    Your family should join my family for brunch out one day. We will have the place to ourselves in 10 minutes. Booyah!

  3. 3

    Louise said,

    OH. SO. TRUE……. !!!
    That pretty much sums it up for me, my husband, and our 3 kids.
    We went from cappuccino strip to nappy strip all too quickly… sigh…
    Have faith though; we HAVE realised that at some (distant) point in the future, it will be US sitting there, with our then adult children, and THEIR “feral little monsters” (our precious grandchildren)… and oh, the espresso will be hot, the full breakfast; steaming, and the smile on my husband’s and my faces; ear to ear 😉

  4. 4

    Nicole said,


    was just wondering if you know (or think) it would be ok to make the mix up the night before so in themorning all that’s left to do is form the patties and put in the oven?

  5. 6

    Kellie said,

    Do you reckon they’d freeze?

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