Feeding Time At The Zoo…..

As new mums we always make that comment that we will never be one of those mums making three meals every night instead of one nutritious, healthy meal round the table like the Waltons.

Bull. Shit.

Those who succeed in this idealistic dream have either kids that are allergic to everything except chips and you all eat these every night or you have enough cash to bribe everyone to be home by six to manage to eat some sort of pasta bake concocted of leftovers from the last few days covered in cheese of a non descript flavour of ‘mature’.

I have been cooking toddler tea, teenager tea and grown up dinners for way too long….

However I have discovered a secret, the slow cooker.

I have an odd bunch living in my house. I have an almost 18 year old that cannot BEAR anyone chewing or swallowing within 25 yards of him. It’s fine if he eats like a cow chewing the cud, he can’t seem to hear that…

I have a two year old that had superb cutlery skills until about three weeks ago, now he wants to eat everything with ketchup and with his fingers. Nice.

My other half is lucky is he comes in before 6.30 so we have eaten, about to eat or are too hungry to eat….

I am happy just to get dinner whenever it is luke warm, hasn’t been microwaved more than twice and comes served with at least one glass of wine.

But this slow cooker lark is getting me.

Before I leave for work I can throw some dried herbs, the usual suspects in my Schwartz selection of oregano, thyme, Italian seasoning, celery salt and Lea & Perrins over some unsuspecting red meat of lamb chops or steak pieces. Maybe even go mad and chuck in a dash of Hoisin sauce (usually reserved for the teenage prawn and noodle dishes). Bit of stock (yes, from the cube variety) and Bob is most certainly your uncle.

Then I found more recipes via the old Google. Now I’m chucking in rice and adding the correct amount of water or stock so it comes out rather risotto like rather than cement….

Even using cheap and cheerful things like tins of tuna and finding recipes from Delia and Jamie can be adapted rather easily. Go me!!!
Sunday dinner is now lamb shoulder with wild mushrooms, just add some green veg.

Dinner for 12 in a caravan is actually feasible with a pork shoulder and BBQ sauce for pulled pork wraps, just need the kids to grate a block of cheese the size of a brick and use that mandolin I bought six years ago to slice cucumber and lettuce….

The other great thing is the ‘warm option’ so everyone can eat whenever, especially if we have toddler who wants dinner at 5pm with waffles on the side, a starvo in at 6pm who obviously never gets fed and us adults who may once in a while like to eat without a toddler on a knee…

Three words.

One pot meal

Or…..

Get it yourself.

Stretch or starve.

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