I’m getting into a kind of routine, if two consecutive afternoons count, where it’s after lunch and Boy Lacer is watching TV, I like to get into the kitchen and make something, preferably something that can be made in bulk, lasts and can go in Girl Lacer’s lunch box. Yesterday it was tomato ketchup, which hit the mark on all three criteria (Girl Lacer had a little tub of it in her lunch box today to dip her regulation low fat – low salt crisps in). Today it was using up some mushrooms from a buy two veg get one free deal (and mushrooms were the only choice left and although we’re not great mushroom eaters, I wasn’t going to say no to free food). I dug out the excellent Finger Foods for Babies and Toddlers by Jennie Maizels (who is more famous for her distinctive children’s illustrations) and made her Spinach and Mushroom Polenta. It smelt amazing whilst cooking (that’s what I like about my mid afternoon cooking sessions, there’s something almost rebellious about sending these delectable whiffs out and about, escaping through my kitchen window, when other people have ‘far better’ things to do than cook). However, amazing as it smelt, it’s not often I produce a food that is literally grey. I had a quick shifty taste though whilst it was still in the saucepan and as well as smelling amazing, it turns out it tasted pretty good to. So I continued with the recipe instructions and let it cool in a metal tin. I then stuck them in the fridge for tea time and hoping, if Girl Lacer liked them, lunch tomorrow.
I heated the polenta back up in the oven and it only looked slightly less unappetising in it’s greyness once baked for 5 minutes or so. Served it up to the kids and Boy Lacer as usual refused to touch it, Girl Lacer was slightly more verbose in her criticism “I licked it, it was disgusting”, sigh. So back to the normal boring stuff then. However this whole experience has made me at least want to experiment more with flavoured polenta, I’m thinking with roasted Mediterranean vegetables next and all for me!
PS Don’t let this put you off Jennie Maizel’s book, if you’re looking for some finger food recipes for babies and toddlers, it was one of my favourite baby food books for Girl Lacer and actually thinking about it, back then she did eat this recipe, it’s just when they get older they get prejudiced against grey food!