The Child has taken to squirming her way between my thighs and trying to push me away from the hob as I attempt to cook. It usually ends with her lying on the kitchen floor writhing as though in great pain because I won’t pick her up while trying to rustle up a meal with the wok or frying pan. Before she walked, she would simply scream — she has an incredibly piercing, high-pitched one — until she got some satisfaction.
As almost all primary carers are likely to tell you, the only time you can do any proper cooking is when the little demons are napping. As naps can range from 5 minutes to over two hours, us stay-at-home mums and dads need to be very efficient, otherwise it’ll be takeaway pizzas and fish suppers every night.
I tend to repeat (ad nauseam) on my personal blog how much I dislike cooking — and I do. It’s amazing, the things you’ll do for a tiny human that grew in your womb. I’m also not very good with taking instruction: ask any of my piano teachers, dance teachers, tutors… and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So I hope to provide not so much recipes, but basic methods that I’ve figured out after only-kind-of-following recipes in order to provide nutritionally-diverse meals. And they are either cooked in a thermal pot / slow cooker or really quickly in a pan / wok.
Oh, and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you can only deal with microwaving ready meals for yourself for a while, it’s no big deal. If your kid is on solids, chunks of fruit and vegetables or easy things like baked potatoes (as in go out and buy a baked potato), sandwiches, small pizzas, and my favourite, leftovers, work a treat.