Posts Tagged “food”
Posted by: Lydia in Brussels, Family, tags: Baby, food
Our little Hayden is developing some quirky eating habits. His growth has slowed a little, and with a decreased apetite he has discovered that he can now be a little bit more selective in what he chooses to eat.
His main nutrition comes from spoon-fed purees, while his main food education comes from sharing our meals. When he was nine months old, he would eagerly open up his mouth at the sign of any incoming spoon.
These days, getting that first spoonful in is a major challenge. He will wave his hands emphatically while shaking his head vigorously, almost panicing at the sight of mashed vegetables. When he opens his mouth to scream for help, Adrian will try to slip in some food. Hayden will reluctantly swallow, realise he actually likes the taste, and then eagerly open his mouth for more, pretending that the last five minutes of protest never occurred. However, if Adrian takes more than 45 seconds between spoonfuls, or opens another jar of exactly the same food, the food refusal begins all over again.
He enjoys sitting at the table with us, though if left to his own devices, he doesn’t eat much of what is in front of him. He refuses to touch anything slimy or warm. However, he does enjoy eating cherry tomatoes (but not regular tomatoes), washed and dried kidney beans, and bread. He quickly gets full, and enjoys feeding carrots to Adrian, ensuring that the whole chunk gets right into his mouth.
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Posted by: Lydia in Brussels, tags: america, food
One a month, the cafeteria at work steps away from lapin à la gueuze, chicons, waterzooi, carbonarde & vol au vents to explore a new cuisine.
Last week we celebrated “America Day”. The menu consisted of cheeseburgers, pulled pork, cornbread, meatloaf, macaroni & cheese, and fried chicken, with apple pie and lime pie for dessert. I think they deliberately chose to exclude fries from the menu.
The chefs also included this informative flier on each table:
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When I was growing up in Australia, my mother packed my lunch every morning. It usually contained a vegemite sandwich, some fruit, and a juice-box. We ate while sitting on the ground outside, wolfing it down quickly so that we could finish up and start to play. The canteen was a small shed that sold egg sandwiches, frozen orange slices, mini pizzas, sausage rolls, and Sunny Boys popsicles.
The Europeans have a completely different attitude to lunches. The whole year is are planned out by a team of chefs, matching the meals to the vegetables that are season. Pears in January, apples in February, rhubarb in April, asparagus in May, peas in June, fennel in July, corn in August, parsnip in September, raspberries in October, grapes in November. When we toured the pre-schools, they showed off their cantines with pride – long dining rooms filled with tables and chairs, where the children are expected to sit and eat their three-course lunches. There is usually one vegetarian day per week. Each day there is only one option for each course, and each week there is one “légume découverte” (vegetable discovery) and one “féculent découverte” (starchy food discovery). Last month, the pre-school children were introduced to parsnip, Swiss chard, fennel, Brussels sprouts, turnip, split pea, and couscous.
This menu is available a few weeks in advance, and is posted online as well as at the entrance of the school. Most parents read it with interest, and use it to ensure that it complements their weekly dinner menu. I am told that the most common question that parents ask their children when they pick them up is “how was lunch?”. Most schools consider table manners to as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic. I am very glad that Hayden is being introduced to European gastronomy at such a young age – and also that I don’t have to spend every morning making up a lunch box.
More adventures with the Thermomix. On Thursday night I cooked up a batch of an old favourite – spaghetti bolognaise. This time however, the sauce was made from scratch and the vegetables were bought whole. I combined two recipes, versaceyoyo’s vege laden pasta sauce and Master Moderator’s Best Bolognaise Sauce.
I put in huge chunks of broccoli and carrot, and after five seconds of chopping, they came out looking like this:
I removed the veggies, and then Thermie chopped and sauteed the garlic and onion before I added the rest of the ingredients (substituting 500g minced beef for 300g tofu mince and 200g chopped veggies, and adding an extra 70g of tomato paste), then Thermie mixed them all up for 35 minutes while I was out of the kitchen.
I was very happy with the result, and we had enough for two more huge serves of leftovers. It wasn’t as tomatoey as I am used to with a jar of sauce, but it tasted great and I think it will make it into the weekly rotation.
For dessert I made rice pudding, which was pretty good. I think some extra sultanas or other dried fruit would have made it more interesting.
I am glad that I had a few successes under my belt, because the next night was a bit of a disaster. I tried to cook cookie1′s Bacon Leek and Tomato Risotto without the bacon. Once again I was impressed with how quickly it is to convert whole vegetables into diced ingredients (obviously I have never owned a food processor before).
One second later…
However, in my hands this risotto came out too runny and very bland. I think the next time I will increase the rice to 230g, and maybe add some truffle oil or stronger cheese or sundried tomatoes to give it a bit more flavour.
I mixed some eggs into the leftover risotto mix and the next night I made fried rice cakes with Simone’s Mushroom and Wine Sauce. Edible, but also not one to be repeated.
At least Thermie is easy to clean at the end of the night.
Next week I’m going to try Phad Thai and Aloo Gobi.
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