More toast, please.

And “I’m still hungry!”

These are the phrases I hear around 53 times per day, by two out of my three children. And the third one will start doing the same once she’s graduated from the blissful “mamama” and “dadada” – stage.

So this blog is my “pièce de résistance” in the literal sense of the term. An attempt to capture beauty and meaning in the relentlessness of the ‘every day’, which, at our life stage, often appears to go on forever, and then some more.

And what else could it be about other than food: The daily battle for survival, satisfaction and, of course, sanity. If this battle is won, for example after a creative, exquisite, but not too indulgent meal with my love, with wine, coffee and pudding, I might find a sense of peace and hope for the future. If lost, say, when middling child rejects my elaborate efforts to make him appreciate his vegetables and just shouts “Daaaw, daaaw, daaw!” meaning “Toast, toast, toast!” it leaves me despairing over how mean and unrewarding my life feels, and I have to work hard to suppress the urge to throw the plate like the toddler would.

In looking for the moments that move me (and could be worth writing about), for better or for worse, I was drenched in joy yesterday, when said middle toddle, in yet another one of his “more, more, more daaw” moments, was offered a piece by his older brother, who is keenly aware of his own struggle for more…

What moved him to share his very last piece of bread, I wondered, knowing his stingy mother probably wouldn’t come out with another tray, but tell him to “wait 20 minutes to see if he’s really still hungry.” It could only have been love or the instinct to care for the younger, less mature ones that oldest siblings appear to adopt from a very young age. After all, he’s still only 4!

But maybe, only maybe though, he was able to let go of the bread because he’d received true satisfaction from my new favourite, our pink porridge. This I try my hand on when feeling generous enough to let dad have a lie in on a Saturday morning (yes, you heard me right, it is that way round in our household!).

For colour, secret vegetable and steaming creaminess on a grey and very early morning, it certainly does the trick and takes less than 10 minutes to make, even if you don’t have a food processor. Here goes:

Ingredients for 2 hungry kids and 1 adult, or 2 generous adult portions:

  • 1 raw beetroot
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1 tsp mixed allspice
  • 3 tbsp porridge oats
  • 2 tsp mixed seeds, such as chia, poppy or sesame
  • 1 dash of orange juice
  • Any sweetener you feel you believe in, to taste

Blitz or grate the vegetables

Put veg, oats, spices and, if using, chia seeds in a pan

Pour over some hot water and stir over a low heat until you reach your desired texture, around 5-7 minutes

Sweeten with your chosen sweetening agent

Sprinkle over remaining seeds.

If it’s too hot and the kids or you are too impatient for it to cool down, use a bit of yoghurt or coconut milk to speed up the cooling and add some colour variation. There you have it,  I think it’s good for sharing.