Our Daily Bread

by Mothership on January 24, 2010

I bought that breadmaker.

I hate it.

So far I have baked two bricks which I will save and use as part of the foundation of our house extension (should we ever chance upon a spare half a million dollars) but nothing actually edible has emerged from the wretched machine.
All it has produced is deep chagrin and a choice display of colourful and unsavoury adjectives via my good self, although several of the latter were chorused supportively and repeatedly by Two and Five with evident relish.

It’s actually not been a good week for me in terms of food.  I’m not the most enthusiastic of cooks, especially where the children are concerned. I am incredibly bored by preparing meals several times a day for hungry, finicky and frankly ungrateful little personages. They dislike almost everything – at least Five does, and whatever she says he copies which amounts to double mutiny at each mealtime with attendant whining leading me either to want to:

Shout at them

Tell them to throw the food away and then tough luck if they’re hungry

Show them photos of starving children

Quietly excuse myself and slip out for a cocktail for a few years

Let them eat chocolate for every meal

But I don’t do any of these things. I keep on cooking and presenting balanced meals, having them picked over critically and feeling irritated. To make matters more vexing, it’s not as if I’m that bothered about what I eat myself.  I’ll scoff something savoury if you put it in front of me, but I’m perfectly happy to live on Marmite toast and tea forever. Give me a carrot and I’m content. Or if the cupboard is bare? Perhaps I’m not quite so peckish after all..
But the children are children and as such need to be fed properly.

I was not always fed properly and that makes me feel all the more strongly that there should always be nutritious, healthy, tasty , filling food around for them, even if it kills me (and it is killing me a tiny bit).

I recall going to primary school on a single white roll, hastily bought from the shop across the road that morning with a scratch of jam and butter, accompanied by cup of instant coffee which would have been sweetened with saccharine (WTF?) and then refusing to eat school lunch because I’d seen the headmistress’s dog sniff and refuse a plate of the same.
Tiny squares of dry grey beef, possibly sheared from the toenail of an elderly bull, hard semi-spheres of ‘stuffing’ (taxidermist’s cast-offs?) and mashed potato-that-wasn’t-potato all lumped on your plate by a power-crazed older child who had been given the dubious role of doling out food to the smaller ones. If you dared to say you didn’t want a certain item, the sadistic server would merely give you an extra-large helping  and pour glutinous brown gravy in a sewage-like pool all over your meal, thus rendering it into a gloopy, tasteless stew which slopped over the sides.
To follow one might be treated to a traditional British pudding such as tapioca which would sit quivering in its bowl, staring at you milkily with a million accusing eyes,or perhaps a pink blancmange with its thick, almost human skin. At least once per week we were lucky enough to be given a steaming wedge of spotted dick (Yes, my non-UK readers, that is a real dessert!). This came with a pale square of margarine and a sprinkle of sugar.
God, even just writing about school dinners makes me feel bilious.
By the time I got home, mid afternoon, I was cross eyed with starvation and desperate for food but my mother, who was perennially anxious about her weight and size, found it difficult to differentiate between herself and a growing child and thus was very keen to restrict my intake.  I was allowed two pieces of fruit and perhaps one biscuit. Then I had to wait until grownup supper which was at 7.30 or so.

I often found it hard to concentrate at school.

I volunteer in Five’s classroom once per week and there is usually at least one child who is having difficulty focusing during that time. I always ask them what they had for breakfast. Invariably he or she has eaten a bowl of something sugary with a side of chemicals, or in some cases nothing at all before school. Then they’ll trot off to the lunch queue and get some more scary food, probably eating only the sweet and fatty bits. It’s going to be a hard day for them. And their teacher.

That’s part of the reason I can’t just give up and let Five and Two have more pre-prepared food (which they love). But it’s not all of it.

I don’t relish the thought of spending much  more time in the kitchen – it bores the crap out of me – but I can’t bear the thought of them eating all those chemicals and pesticides and additives and preservatives, and I also can’t stand the thought of supporting the companies that sell all that shit so they can poison the rest of their classmates across America and the globe while I sit by complacently thinking about my next career move or chatting on Twitter to my friends.

We watched the documentary Food Inc. the other night. (if you’re in the USA, get it on Netflix, you can even watch it instantly) It was an eye opener.

I thought I was reasonably well informed about my food choices, but what I didn’t know was that 90% of the food on the grocery store aisles contains either corn or soybeans and both of those are GMO products made from seeds sold and grown by the evil behemoth that is Monsanto who are so powerful and aggressive that they have essentially forced their Roundup Ready (TM) seed, which has to be bought again every year, on the entire USA.

That’s one type of corn.

So much for biodiversity. Oh, and then that self-same corn is fed to cattle who spend their short and miserable lives on giant feedlots knee deep in their own shit, unable properly to digest the corn because, as any fule kno, cows eat grass, so they are stuffed with huge amounts of antibiotics to keep them from getting ill (not always successfully).  Then they are transported to one of four ‘meat packing facilities’ to be slaughtered, cut up and put in a nice plastic package and sent off to a supermarket near you for supper.

Mmm! Still hungry?

And yes, you did read me correctly. There are only four meat packing facilities. In the entire United States.

Can you imagine how huge those places must be?
And how dirty? (how about a side of e-coli with that hamburger, Sir?)
And the scale of suffering and death that goes on in there?

No.  I did not say Bovine Auschwitz. I did not.

It doesn’t bear thinking about, and most people don’t because they want a hamburger for a dollar a piece.

The movie went on to highlight the cheery subject of GMO crops, pesticides and artificial fertiliser.
What terrifying things are they putting on my food, my children’s food, how the land is being raped and variety being quashed in the name of big business?
How much oil is being squandered so that we can have cheap meat, or produce out of season, flown from halfway across the world while the people of that nation starve because they cannot afford the fruits of their own earth.

How is this right?

Who will pay for this frightening gamble with the planet’s resources?

My children. Your children. All of our children.


But it wasn’t all bad news.

My big takeaway (and that is the only kind of takeaway I’ll be getting from now on) from this documentary was that it is very, very important to eat organic, eat local and in season, and to avoid processed food wherever possible, reading labels carefully to identify scary ingredients. Oh, and to say bad things about Monsanto whenever I can, hoping they don’t sue me.

I will not let these giant corporations give my children poison apples and I won’t buy their bull (steak, ground beef or shit)
I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid, I’m not buying the Happy Meals, I’m not taking the King’s shilling.
I will not save a few dollars to squander the safety of my children’s health and future and I’m not contributing to the retirement fund of a bunch of amoral assholes who simply do not care about the lives of others.

So I will continue to sweat over the rejected meals, grit my teeth over the “Yuck! I don’t LIKE it”s, gaily serve up fresh, organic vegetables and try not to feel too hurt when my loving ministrations are carelessly disregarded.

Even if my children don’t like my cooking, I’m sure the earth appreciates it; my conscience is clean if the plates are not.

I’m not sure, though, that I need extend my benevolence to that damn breadmaker.
If it makes any more bricks, it’s toast.


1 Little Brown Bird January 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I loved having a breadmaker, the only downside was having such lovely bread to eat everyday. With butter. And Jam. Result? Fat Nicola.

Children can be funny about food. My nephew would eat fishfingers and broccoli everyday if we let him but never asks for nor wants sweets/chocolate. Also he likes tea but black.

Go figure. Nice teeth though. ;0)


2 TheMadHouse January 25, 2010 at 12:20 am

I adore my breadmaker, once you find a receipe that works for you, you will too. GM is very scary indeed. One of the things I am really anal about is food. The boys always get their rainbow 5 a day. They eat well, even if I have to go without. Porridge for breakfast without fail.
.-= TheMadHouse´s last blog ..Genetics – Would you want to know? =-.

3 Chic Mama January 25, 2010 at 1:34 am

Oh poor you, something’s not right with the bread making…are you putting the ingredients in it in the correct order? It’s very important.
School dinners yuk! Why did school mash taste so different and tapioca…yuk yuk yuk!! Makes me feel sick thinking about it. The best thing was gypsy tart!
Maybe the children just aren’t interested in food like you?
I used to get so stressed when one & two wouldn’t eat. I’ve now learned that they will eventually, they all go through fussy stages and my eldest now eat anything…fingers crossed the rest will follow eventually. Good luck with it all, it’s very stressful watching your children not eat the food you’ve lovingly prepared. :0(

4 Tania Kindersley January 25, 2010 at 2:57 am

Hurrah, hurrah. Once drove past cows hock deep in mud and excrement outside San Francisco and was HORRIFIED. Very fortunate here to have Aberdeen Angus on verdant pastures, so gorgeous steak comes from happy coos. Keep up the crusade.

5 London City Mum January 25, 2010 at 4:24 am

I just tweeted you a reply (wow, moving up in the world of technology I am, fasten your seatbelt) but thought a proper comment about the bread maker would be more appropriate.

Having had one for, oh, I dunno, some 15 years or so, it goes through ‘phases’ of being used, the latest having started before Xmas.

Two things: firstly I find the best results come from using it to make dough only, and then tip it into a bread baking dish and pop into the oven. Results are far superior and takes no time at all (15-20 mins for the cooking).
Secondly, not sure if you already do this, but get the kids involved in tipping the ingredients in and experimenting. No guarantee of clean results (yeast granules all over the kitchen floor anyone?), but they do love to eat the stuff afterwards.

Mind you, my lot are gannets and already eat us out of house and home. What will happen when they are teenagers, heaven knows.


6 Almost American January 25, 2010 at 5:31 am

Ah – school lunches! For years, my mum fed us crisps and sandwiches for tea, saying that we had had a ‘good hot meal’ at school so she didn’t need to cook for us. (She did cook for my dad later in the evening though, even though he too had had a hot school lunch!)

My kids don’t have school lunches, though they would like to. They get a treat once a year on ‘field day’ when they get to eat at the cookout – hot dogs, crisps, watermelon and popsicles. Yumm (not!)

7 Nene January 25, 2010 at 6:03 am

Glad to see that I’m not the only person who’s obsessed with what’s in food and how it’s made (or anal, as one commenter writes!).
I can’t say we entirely avoid processed food, but compared to school mates, friends and family we’re doing fabulously. Y’day in M&S the woman in front of me bought ONLY processed food. Nothing “fresh from nature”. That horrifies me.
Children are picky and difficult. At young son’s preschool (kinda Buddhist philosophy) they were vegetarian. Dairy allowed, no eggs.
When they started serving the children a buffet with lots of raw vegetables and a choice of e.g. rice or bulgur, pearl barley or cous cous, all the children could find something to eat. And since absolutely everything on the buffet was healthy, there was no reason to force the children to eat more. As they told us, if a child eats only cucumber for three days, it will definitely survive. And it will definitely get dead bored with cucumber and try something else.

So that’s what I do too. I give young son choice between healthy and healthy. Sometimes he eats only raw veg and bread for several weeks, but then that bores him and he’ll ask for some of the other options.

I get an organic veggie and fruit box delivered each week. That saves on packaging and forces me to be a bit more inventive in my cooking than I would otherwise be.

And, as you know from Twitter, I bake my own bread and also cakes. That way I know that it’s butter and sugar and how much of it and don’t worry that he eats two cinnamon rolls. And the bread – well, here in the UK it’s more than difficult to buy bread that I can be bothered to eat, so there’s no way around it. And once it becomes a habit, it’s nothing really. I’ve never owned a breadmaker but couldn’t live without my Kitchenaid Mixer.

I’ve written about breadmaking here: http://labeet.dk/wordpress/?p=498
.-= Nene´s last blog ..Cold =-.

8 Lori January 25, 2010 at 6:42 am

Great post! Took my son, Max (a teenager), to see Food Inc. this summer, and he was quite moved. Have you tried doing Meatless Mondays with the kids? There are lots of fun things you can do without spending hours in the kitchen. I don’t envy you figuring out the meals for two little finicky ones, but, dahling, this too shall pass! xoxo

P.S. Breadmaker=heartache.
.-= Lori´s last blog ..Liberté, Égalité and Eating Whatever the Heck You Want =-.

9 nappyvalleygirl January 25, 2010 at 8:15 am

Great post. I applaud you for perservering with the children. In fact I have just blogged about how mine finally ate a Sunday roast dinner, after months of trying – LB1 has been a terribly fussy eater since day 1 but I am determined he will learn to eat a balanced meal and finally, he is getting there.

Re US food production, it is indeed scary – I just hope that by avoiding the cheap burgers and sodas, as you do, I am protecting them from the worst of it. I will try to see Food Inc – thanks for the Netflix tip.

And re the breadmaker – The Doctor had one in the UK he used all the time, but in the end he used it for the mixing of ingredients only, then baked the bread in the oven – he found that worked better. It really is worthwhile if you can make it work as the results are so much better than any bread you can buy (and, as you know, my baking skills are nil, but I am sure yours are superior).
.-= nappyvalleygirl´s last blog ..Sunday roast =-.

10 Lorna Harris January 25, 2010 at 8:41 am

It always amazes me that here in California the supermarkets are full of crap food. We live in a State that has amazing weather and should be able to produce wonderful food. I want to have tomatoes that I’ve eaten in Italy, just bursting with flavour but can never seem to find any.

As for the bread maker, I abandoned mine when we moved from the UK but the tip to make the ingredients in it and then cook the bread in the oven sounds great. Maybe I should buy another one …
.-= Lorna Harris´s last blog ..Dear Texas =-.

11 Potty Mummy January 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

Great post, and spot on. It’s scary what goes into our food and I’m trying not to think about that much now until I get the right places to shop sorted here in Moscow.
I’m not going to bore you with meal planning (but really – it does take the pain away, think about it once in the week and then just operate on autopilot every time dinner comes around) and organic veg boxes etc; you already know I do that (or at least, I did in the UK – I have yet to tap into that here and somehow doubt there’s an Abel & Cole in Russia).
One thing I would say though, is how are your two with fish? My two love it in most forms, particularly grilled with a squeeze of lemon on the top, and I even get away with breading the odd fillet of plaice / cod etc, grilling it, slicing it up and calling it fish-fingers (I know. Evil mummy). It doesn’t have to be fancy – and if it’s fresh from the sea, should have had minimal fussing about done to it…. Thinking of you though – I know it’s crap, having your kids curl their lip when you put dinner on the table. And despite what I just said about the fish, it happens with Boy #1 at least 50% of the time.
.-= Potty Mummy´s last blog ..Is your handbag comfortable? =-.

12 Mothership January 25, 2010 at 9:29 am

LBB. I had not considered the fat angle of the bread machine. I am not good at restraining myself with fresh bread and butter. Hm. Perhaps it’s good it’s going back.
TheMadHouse.I WISH my children would eat a rainbow 5. I have even resorted to trickery in the form of pureeing and hiding things but they rumble me each and every time. Sigh.
ChicMama. I have followed the steps faithfully, it’s just not working. Even used new ingredients, done every troubleshoot. It’s just crap. Hate it. I am looking forward to the day when my children will eat anything. For now it’s a real chore.
Tania, the extent of the horror that is US food production is only scraped upon in this post. What I didn’t have time to get to is the impact it has upon global food production. Quite sickening. I am glad you get happy cows there. They are such lovely creatures.
LCM. Ooh! A tweet, I’ll go and look. The children will definitely eat fresh bread, there is no problem there (esp if it has butter/jam on it). But vegetables? Or any kind of protein? That is a challenge. I am looking forward to the day they grow out of it. They’ve already pissed all over Annabel Karmel’s fussy eater book and Jessica Seinfeld’s hide the veggies in other things book (metaphorically, I mean).
Almost American. Crisps and sandwiches for tea! I am so jealous. There was a kid on my street who got chocolate and crisp sandwiches when she got home. I know it’s not nutritious but I was always desperate to be asked round to play at her house. You even got SECONDS if you asked. How funny that she cooked for your dad but not for you. I am the other way around, I’ll cook for the children but Husband has to forage for himself unless he happens to be here and ready to eat at 5.30 or 6pm. Five is desperate to eat ‘hot lunch’ at school but I only let her have it once a week on ‘pizza day’ provided she promises to eat some fruit and carrots that I pack for her midday snack. The rest of the time it’s packed lunch.
Nene. I think many people care about what is in their food, but there is such a big lobby by the food industry here to keep consumers in the dark about what they’re eating that it has been a slow process for people to fight back and demand knowledge and change. The sickness goes right up to the highest echelons of power -the supreme court and even the White House.
I’m keeping fingers crossed that my children will get bored enough of their usual repast to try some new things. God knows I’m bored!
The veggie box is a great idea. I do slightly want to die at the thought of more time-consuming experimentation going into the bin, though..
Lori, thanks. Meatless Mondays? That’s a nice concept. We have many meatless days, actually (beans and rice one of my weekly staples that the little blisters will actually eat). I need to come over to your blog to look for things that I can do that will be fun and not take time that they might actually eat.
I think you are right re. the breadmaker. UPS, here it comes.
NVG. I am going to see how you got them to eat a Sunday Roast. That is some kind of witchcraft! I am sad to say that you won’t really be avoiding the worst of it just by not having burgers and sodas. You will understand this after seeing the movie. It’s quite heartbreaking. In order to protect ourselves we have to shop REALLY CAREFULLY over here, and put a lot of thought into what we buy which is a bit of a bummer when you’re trying to look after 2 active small kids. I think I’m going to try bread by hand (easy recipes). The breadmaker has challenged my notion of myself as a good baker. It’s a bit of an ego blow..
Lorna, isn’t it astonishing? We can SEE the produce growing in the fields but it still tastes like crap. We grew some tomatoes last summer (little cherry ones) and they were incredibly delicious and very easy. I am good at killing plants, but these just grew and grew and I was very, very glad we did it – Five was especially proud as they were ‘her’ plants. That’s how you get that proper taste.

13 Mothership January 25, 2010 at 9:32 am

PM. You are SO RIGHT about meal planning. I need to do it, we’ve even corresponded about this and I’ve just fallen down (no excuses, just my usual fecklessness). Actually, they will eat fish and as I live by the sea I can give that to them. I think part of the problem is that I still haven’t quite fully embraced my role as ‘mother who cooks on a daily basis’ so I am continually surprised at 4.30 or so that I have to start preparing a meal. This may require therapy, or at least another post.
Good luck with finding nice food in Moscow! I’m sure the other expats have done some sourcing ahead of you xo

14 touche January 25, 2010 at 10:32 am

Slaughtering animals is so wrong…….

15 ThatGirl39 January 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

And so the bread making saga ends! Sorry you had another brick… to coin a phrase. I left it to OH and he made a much better job of it – maybe it’s a man/gadget thing. And I applaud you for keeping on with the home cooked food for the kids. It is so disheartening when they reject it after you’ve spent ages preparing but as they grow older their tastes change and one day they will appreciate it. (This is what I will be telling myself as I blitz up piles of vegetables to go into the sauce to accompany Small Child’s meatballs this week)… sigh..
.-= ThatGirl39´s last blog ..Award Season (In A Diane Kruger Stylee) =-.

16 Metropolitan Mum January 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm

FOUR meatpacking facilities? I hope you are joking. You’ve got to be joking!

Through that bread maker out of the window and make the dough yourself. Beating the dough is better than therapy, I’ve found.
.-= Metropolitan Mum´s last blog ..Crazy for Cupcakes =-.

17 Metropolitan Mum January 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Throw. Not through. Of course. Mummy needs to stop drinking before dinner.
.-= Metropolitan Mum´s last blog ..Crazy for Cupcakes =-.

18 Knackered Mother January 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Bizarre, last night’s Panorama was all about what really goes into childrens’ food here. I was horrified at what goes into a fishfinger, and how they are able to market it as containing so much fish!

I had to make something tonight for the cake stall being done at school later this week (in aid of Haiti) so went for Hummingbird Bakery Oat & Raisin cookies. So proud, they looked like biscuits! Unfortunately they taste like toothpaste. I think I overdid the cinnamon. I’ll have to put a made-up name on the ingredients label.
.-= Knackered Mother´s last blog ..Skinny legs and all… =-.

19 Mothership January 26, 2010 at 9:38 pm

MM I’m NOT KIDDING about the four meatpacking facilities. It makes you want to THROW UP. I wonder if the organic stuff goes there? I need to find out.
I can’t believe it does.. I was a vegetarian before I got pg with 5. I would be perfectly happy to go back to it and take the fam. with me.
No need to stop drinking before dinner. It’s a mother’s privilege.
Knackered Mother. Processed food – vomito spew. I love baking. I’m not really an expert, but there is something very theraputic about doing it oneself. A truly balanced life would include making one’s own food, living close to the source of one’s food and spending time with loved ones as well as contributing something positive to the world at large.

20 Heather January 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Your description of school dinners had me feeling rather queasy, spotted dick with a thousand eyes and blancmange with human thick skin, *shudder*

The food industry is frightening, some of things that go in our food is terrifying. I applaud you for sticking to your guns on this one and looking after your children’s health and the planet. Getting them to actually eat it is a whole other matter though. Mine are the same, fussy as anything, and live off yoghurt half the time. Unless of course they go to grandma’s house, there they eat everything!

21 Rodney January 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm

My father planted a vegetable garden every year (still does, but on a much smaller scale). I was drafted to pull weeds and water plants and such. As a 6 year old I could not figure out why my parents bothered with this when one could buy food at the grocery store. I loved ambling out on a summer morning to pick fresh strawberries and eating corn on the cob every July but the rest just seemed uninteresting and superfluous (onions, tomatoes, carrots, courgettes, cabbage, pumpkins, green beans, potatoes and more). This was because I was a *stupid kid* with no sense of perspective. As an adult I marvel at what good fortune I had to get hands-on experience in how food comes to be.
.-= Rodney´s last blog ..Wilf =-.

22 Caroline January 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I will have to rent that movie. For more on this subject, I recommend a book called Fast Food Nation (subtitle: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal) by Eric Schlosser. He explains the growth of the fast food industry, the American slaughterhouse industry (used to be a highly paid skilled job, now it’s all factory processing) and how fundamental changes in society have altered the way we eat. Fascinating stuff. Made me glad I was vegetarian. If you read it though you’ll be adding companies like Con-Agra to your Monsanto hate list.

I’ve been veggie since 1996 and I haven’t missed it. I admire your dedication to making sure the kids eat right. Persevere, and you’ll succeed in the end. I have a breadmaker that I haven’t used in ages, but I would agree with the poster who said to use it for mixing dough then put the loaf in a pan to bake. Much better.

23 Caroline January 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm

That’s hilarious, hubby and me both composing replies to your post at the same time, him upstairs and me downstairs. :)

24 geekymummy January 27, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Ugh, so tough, feeding kids. Our food baggage form our own childhood, their control and independence issues, it is a wonder they grow at all. I try to follow the principles of Ellyn Satters book “Child of mine, feeding with love and good sense”, but still have many days of despair. I compromise, since getting home with two hungry kids at 6.00pm doesn’t allow much time for home scratch cooking. Tonight I was at least rewarded with “Thanks mummy for making such a yummy dinner” after serving up scrambled (organic) eggs, broccoli (ditto) and Trader Joe’s spaghetti Os (probably made with Monsanto corn oil and other nasties), but i’m hoping the good stuff balances out the crap, because I see no way to entirely eliminate it from our diets.
.-= geekymummy´s last blog ..Get Packing =-.

25 Cassandra January 28, 2010 at 5:48 am

My dear mothership

W will not eat any proper meal now – he gives me his picture symbols when he wants something and if I don’t give him what he wants, he won’t eat anything. Fortunately his tastes cover a reasonably broad menu, including apples, but it’s VERY far from ideal. But since the diagnosis I worry a lot less about everything – I’m not trying to say that this stuff doesn’t matter, cos it does, but my perspective has changed. I am just grateful that things aren’t as bad as they could be on the disabled front.

I think that you are doing very well indeed and FUCK that bloody breadmaker. Fxxx

26 Mothership January 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

Rodney. How incredibly lucky you were. Are you continuing in his footsteps? My parents grew tomatoes and I remember the delicious taste of them in summer. We grew some last year and they were magical.
Caroline. I’ve read that book – quite chilling. Also recommend Fat Land by Greg Critser. More ‘ugh’ reading about the food industry. I LOVED being a veggie. Am going back. Too funny that you both read at the same time :)
Geeky Mummy: It’s very hard trying to feed kids from scratch when you get in so late, I can sympathise. Trader Joes make Organic Spaghettio’s, then at least you know that Monsanto is not involved. If it’s organic there is some comfort there. Also, just for making life easier, have you done much with a slow cooker (electric?) It’s brilliant for chucking stuff in in the morning and then it’s cooked when you get in. All we can do is our best. Well done you xo

27 Mothership January 28, 2010 at 9:45 am

Heather, I know, School dinners the WORST. My children eat a lot of yoghurt, too. At least it’s organic. My little horrors always eat what their dad cooks them. V. vexing..

28 Meredith January 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

First time reader/commenter here.

I also recently started my own bread making and experienced the bricks you did until my friend told me the secret – add the higher amount of liquid the recipe calls for. So if it says 1-1/5 cups – go for 1 1/5 cups and then listen during the first 20 minutes and if the machine sounds like it is straining or making a scraping sound – add some more liquid. It worked for me and now my loaves are perfect. Just wish I could learn to slice them into appropriate sandwich width.

I am 100% with you on working on having the family eat as healthily (for the planet too) as possible and how much it sucks sometimes. I slave away at making my own fish sticks only to have my son poo poo them. He is loathe to try new things too.

I can’t afford to eat 100% organic so I try to do the following: 1) eat local as much as possible – too bad all teh CSAs here are sold out for years to come but there are some nice farmers markets with local produce 2) Cut down on the chicken/meat – and only grass fed when possible – doing a lot more vegan/vegetarian stuff these days and 3) Shop by the “Dirty Dozen” – if you google dirty dozen produce it gives a list of the top 12 fruits/vegetables that is a must to buy organic.

I am trying to do more but like I say, the budget is tight so sometimes you just do what you can.
.-= Meredith´s last blog ..Kreativ-ity =-.

29 Mothership January 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Cassandra. I can totally understand why you are not too bothered about these things when you have to prepare food according to flashcard whims and your life revolves around W’s and how to deal with that. There is only so much attention one has to dole out and it’s either micro or macro. You have an overload of micro to contend with. And yes, I concur. F*CK the breadmaker.

Meredith. Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. If only I’d had your tip before I sent the damn thing back. I just couldn’t stand it any more. Plus my own middle is rather doughy at the minute so perhaps it’s best I don’t have one? How annoying is it to make your own fish fingers and have the little cherub *coughbuggercough* refuse them?
Grrr. I’m off to google the dirty dozen. Will I get some p*rn too? Veggie P*rn.
It might actually make the gruelling task of cooking for toddlers more fun..

30 Cassandra January 29, 2010 at 1:30 am

Oh nooooooooooooooo….I now realise that I sound like a total f*cking nightmare in my last comment, exuding clouds of Burnt Martyr and No One Knows The Troubles I’ve Faced self-absorption. I really didn’t mean to, sozzer. Have just been catching up on Spice Spoon btw – just WONDERFUL xxx
.-= Cassandra´s last blog ..Thanks, sorry and The Snoggies =-.

31 Mothership January 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Don’t be SILLY, Cassandra. Of course you don’t.

32 shayma January 31, 2010 at 5:58 am

dear mtff, i enjoyed reading this very much. i think it’s fantastic that you ever try to make bread for your children- and the fact that you care so much. i was quite shocked to see my friend feed her children cheezits on friday night while she was preparing food for us- she said she needed to give them smthg so she could cook in peace- then she handed them popsicles. unlike you, her conscience is definitely not clean. regarding Monsanto, i hear you, you are right- there has been a lot of criticism regarding a lot of experimentation they have done. unfortunately, i am a wee bit of a supporter of Monsanto- while at the UN’s IFAD, we worked v closely with them to develop drought-resistance corn seeds- back in 2007. there is a huge debate centred about Monsanto, good and bad. i am happy to have learnt some more things about them from you-acknowledging the negative aspects of Monsanto, i do also see the good they have done for the rural poor farmers. as you said, we are all going to pay for this in the end- us, our children, their children. come to Pakistan and see how animals are treated- probably worse than they are treated in the West. at least in the West you can read labels, in Pakistan, my sister doesnt even know what she is feeding her baby. x shayma
.-= shayma´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

33 LOVEMYBABY January 31, 2010 at 8:41 am

I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that finds the never ending job of preparing meals and snacks for family a complete bore!
At least you still try to preapre yours lots of healthy food, I gave up when in 1st trimester of this pregnancy the sheer thought of food made me sick.
Think I need to put a boot up my backside and do feed my family right.

34 Mothership January 31, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Shayma, While there is no doubt that the UN and its affiliates have worked with very noble intent on GM grain to ease the terrible suffering and conditions of the 3rd world farmer, Monsanto’s motivation is considerably more sinister in my opinion. While it’s true that for 5 African nations recently Monsanto has agreed to donate intellectual property rights, royalties, seed and science to a public/private partnership for a similar drought resistant corn, they openly admit that this is in order to open up a new market for themselves where they will be able to earn royalties, use their terrifying force over intellectual property rights, and withhold the right to grow food from people who will literally starve if they cannot get hold of seed. I don’t think they want to save the planet from starvation, I think they want to control the food chain and make sure we all pay.
On the cheezits and popsicles, I must say that there are occasions where if I had them in the house I might have handed them over. It is easy to see why moms go over to the dark side. Two was home all week with a cold and I was pretty much ready to give us both a shot of heroin;)

35 Mothership January 31, 2010 at 8:41 pm

When you’re pregnant ALL RULES ARE OFF! Enjoy it while you can. I ate donuts for 8 solid months when pregnant with Two. It was only afterwards I discovered that it had been a really, really bad idea.

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