What’s Ben cooking up now?
Wow! I think we've just moved into a Michelin starred restaurant. Since 15 year old Ben discovered he’s a 'natural' at cooking, you wouldn't believe the dishes we've been served up for dinner!
Last night we had wine, oil & thyme roasted butternut squash stuffed with Moroccan couscous (17 separate ingredients) plus a watercress & tomato salad with horseradish dressing which he rustled up to go with it.
On Saturday it was melt-in-the-mouth griddled rump steaks with Scotch bonnet pepper sauce and mushroom & pimiento side. Accompanied by fresh aromatic herb & olive oil bread – and all made by Ben's fair hands!
Lunch was pittas stuffed with a delicious mix of tuna, peppers, cucumber and salad with marmite dressing. Desert was slow baked rice & sultana pudding infused with star anise and cinnamon sticks, served with warm apricot coulis.
There's even a breakfast option of (low fat) blueberry and apricot muffins with chopped fresh fruit and yoghurt.
In fact the only thing that hasn’t been a massive success is the sourdough bread mentioned earlier in this blog. (Yes, it tasted like sourdough, but it was a bit brick-like. And I never could quite shake off the feeling I was eating that evil-smelling concoction that’s been gurgling away in our kitchen for over a month...)
Meanwhile cookery books are the new X-box as Ben makes long lists of what he's going to cook next.
("You won’t have to cook for the next 12 months, Mum!" / "Suits me", I say, brain-dead from umpteen years of slaving over a hot stove every night.)
Plus, he's watching all those cookery programmes that seem to have come back into vogue recently. Hairy Bikers, Jamie Oliver, River Cottage, Levi Roots, Nigel Slater, Master Chef... he’s glued to them all.
He's even started to love aubergines, courgettes and mushrooms which were the only three things he refused to eat.
I am now in the enviable position of having a teenager that will eat ANYTHING! And the healthier (and usually spicier), the better.
This of course has led to Ben become a kind of Food Policeman. If I want to treat myself to sinful stuff like cookies or chocolate I have to literally 'sneak' them into the house and hide them.
When he comes shopping with me he whips the offending items out of the trolley and back onto the shelf – Rolo soft-bake cookies being the latest casualty that never made it into my mouth. ("You don’t need that, Mum!" he barks. "Yes I do", I whine, "I've had a bad day...")
And woe betides if I suggest we take short cuts with ready-made sauces or spice blends. "That’s cheating, Mum!" / "Yes but it's quick, Ben...")
But one thing Ben doesn't seem to have mastered is the art of clearing up after himself.
The kitchen permanently looks as if a bomb's gone off and suddenly he's far too busy with school work to do the washing up ("It’s GCSEs this year you know, Mum.")
And whenever I need something from the cupboard or fridge it's vanished, absorbed into the latest culinary delight.
So what's on the menu in the future? Sushi plus healthy things in filo pastry on Christmas Eve, and he's even offering to cook Christmas lunch.
But no mince pies, chocolate logs, gooey creamy goodies or Christmas cake as, apparently, we're all going on a health kick...
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Blog from summer 2009... frantically cooking...
Back in 2009 I used to write a regular blog for a local newspaper and I've just had a quick look back on my entries for summer 2009 to see if they shed any light on the early signs of Ben's eating disorder. Here's one I found about his new-found passion for cooking - and there are SO MANY CLUES dotted throughout it that it makes me want to scream to myself "Why didn't the alarm bells start ringing?!!!!!!" Instead, I was simply inspired to write an 'amusing' blog...