Expanding the taste bud frontier

bacon butties

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A Lamb in Wolf’s Clothing

a lamb in wolf's clothin008

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Growing Pains



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Earwigging the wise

Please scroll down for Smiley Saturday / SOOC

“It’s just grossly unfair! Don ya know how lucky you are?”
“Me? I am be lucky?”
“Yeah. You sure are the luckiest kid I ever knew.”
“I am be lucky?”
“Yeah. Jus tell me this. What other kid on the planet get to eat chocolate every day? Huh? Well?”
“Right! You. Just you. Only you. Nobody else on the planet gets to eat chocolate every day. It’s just not fair.”
“Not fair?”
“No! In fact…..now I come to think of it you get chocolate more than once a day…..you get your chocolate in your Advent Calendar, sometimes you get Nutella sandwiches and you always get chocolate pudding if you eat the other crap.”
“Food you don’t like.”

All too often I need an independent third party perspective on domestic matters. I believe we have reached the point where we need to scale down chocolate consumption, now that a more broadly based diet has been “generalized.”

Here’s an update on that one:-

11. Sat – wholewheat pizza with pepperoni, mozzarella and spinach, bean burrito
12. Teriyaki chicken, chard and brown rice
13. Custard filled éclairs
14. Cut apple pieces
15. Shredded gem lettuce, grated raw carrot, chopped tomatoes, sunflower seeds, Chinese dressing and terryaki chicken
16. Vanilla pudding with chocolate chips
17. Thai chicken curry [mild] steamed greens brown rice
18. Macaroni with fresh chopped tomatoes, garlic, spring [green onions], sautéed celery, carrot and onion
19. First ever whole [small] slice of pizza [red pepper, onion, tomatoe, spinache and chese]
20. Macaroni and beef ravioli, egg nog
21. A prune!
22. Lemon pepper pappardell, onions, garlic, and bacon
23. Pumpkin and coconut bread
24. 3 prunes
25. Popcorn
26. Toasted open cheddar cheese sandwich [first ever toast]
27. Fresh apple slices [skin on]
28. Non chilli chilli with mashed potatoes and white French bread
29. One scoop of TJ’s sun dried tomato and pesto torta on one tortilla chip
30. Meatloaf and gravy, scalloped potatoes and mixed [frozen] vegetables
31. Chilli with kidney beans [mild] with mashed potatoes and mixed [frozen] vegetables – new phrase = chew it or you’ll choke!
32. Mushroom gnocchi [2] large pasta shells with spinach and mushroom
33. Hot dog in white hot dog bun [half]

One taste, teaspoon or half teaspoon of each of the following
34. Roast potato
35. Roast parsnip with rosemary
36. Garlic mushroom
37. Sautéed crook neck squash and courgettes
38. Pureed sweet potatoes
39. Pureed carrots
40. Pureed swede
41. Cauliflower in bechamel
42. White Corn on the cob
43. Brussel sprouts and chestnuts
44. Creamed spinach and toasted almonds
45. Green beans
46. Leeks in white sauce
47. Pearl onions in cheese sauce
48. Steamed brocolli
49. Sausage
50. Bacon
51. Turkey
52. Gravy
53. Cranberry and orange sauce
54. Chestnut stuffing
55. Parsley stuffing
56. Yorkshire pudding
57. Cornbread muffin [Owen’s recipe]
58. Cinnamon raisin English muffin toasted with butter [scored 7!}
59. Home-made meat loaf and gravy, pureed carrots, creamed spinach and leeks with pearl onions
60. Pecan pie and cream
61. Couscous and apricot turkey tangine
62. Whole pasta, pesto, garlic, prawns [shrimp]
63. Apricot sausages, mashed potato, half a brussel sprout, leek, sweet potato
64. Savoury turkey croquettes, spinach nuggets, sweet potato, mashed swede [rutabaga] marinara sauce
65. Wholewheat English muffin with nutella Toasted!
66. Turkey meatballs, marinara sauce [with spinach] and fettucine
67. Sticky Toffee Pudding
68. Roasted pepper and tomato soup, sausage roll, crab cake, cheese quiche, mushroom turnover.
69. Cinnamon raisin toast with butter [one third of a slice!]
70. Campbells chicken and stars soup [small cup] TJ’s individual mini cheese tomato and pepperoni pizza = all of it
71. home made shepherds pie with frozen peas, much lower level of protest [apart from the poisonous peas] Half slice of home baked bread and smear of poisonous butter
72. ‘spicy’ peanut cabbage, bacon, onion, spinach scramble

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Recipes from the Fringe of the Bell Curve

To celebrate my new found ability to sign up for this blinking linking thing, I had another brilliant idea, you know, one of those ideas that strikes in the wee small hours of the night. As often as not, the next day dawns and the idea dies like a damp squid, not to say squib.

So here’s the plan. Consider sharing a recipe that your family, a family member or you, enjoy that doesn’t seem to be appreciated by many other bodies on the planet.


Ideally this should be something that you really prepare and eat. If you prepare and eat chocolate covered scorpions, all well and good, but attempt truthfulness.

Have you given it a name? If so, what is it and why?

Please offer enough detail to allow others to follow it easily. I favour piccies, but not everyone as is reliant on visual cues.

Try not to assume that everyone else is on the same page as you are. E.g a pnb sandwich may be obvious to you, but to me it refers to post nuptial bliss, which is difficult to squish between two slices of bread. I don’t want to even consider the possibility of jelly.

It doesn’t need to be outrageous nor inedible. It may be that you just have a twist on the communal garden variety of recipe that reflects your personal preferences. Here are a few tantalizing examples:-
• A grilled cheese sandwich with a smear of Marmite
• A freshly sliced tomato sandwich with ground black pepper and a generous dollop of Pesto
• Cheddar, Spring Onion, [Green Onion] and cucumber sandwich
• Tuna, Wholegrain mustard, onions and Tomatoes
• Any typically traditional sandwich where you routinely omit a main ingredient [I know who you are!]
• Butter and crisp [chips] sandwich.
• Cereal without the milk but with yoghourt instead [especially if each has to be a certain brand]
• A jam [jelly] sandwich with dill pickle slices
• Sandwiches with no filling

And people wonder why I make my own bread?

• Snacking on dried cat food doesn’t count, you didn’t make it.
• Raw cookie dough in a sandwich [please provide Salmonella warnings]
• A Big Mac:- hold the lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickle, cheese, run to the bathroom to rinse the patty under the hot tap, dry with care, return to table to eat and leave the bun on the side. Yes, that wouldn’t count either because you didn’t really ‘make’ it yourself!
N.B. if you put your dried cat food in a sandwich it counts.

A category would be helpful. E.g. side dish, in-between dish or main dish, but ‘accompaniment,’ ‘snack’ or ‘splurge’ would do just as nicely.

Please try to use useful terminology that is easily comprehensible. Terms such as ‘smidge,’ ‘dab’ and ‘pinch’ should be limited, as cookery should not be a contact sport.

Use any measurement system you like but aim for consistency throughout, as a combination of cups, stones and millimetres is likely to be messy.

A note about how many it is supposed to serve would also be useful. E.g. rabbit sized, human sized or supersized. Alternatively reveal your nationality and we can all adjust accordingly.

If you’re an American type with access to all the clever stuff nutritional stuff like good for diabetics, people with high cholesterol or high blood pressures and the like, then all to the good.

If you use uncommon ingredients, please provide a link to the product as we would like to muddle our Harissa with our Halva.

The only ‘label’ required to participate, nay, politely ‘requested,’ if you would be so kind, is a name for your recipe. If you could possibly avoid using ‘putrid’ or ‘poison’ in the title, that would be a delight, as we have someone to provide that insertion service for us already.

These are ruthless rules people.

Here’s mine.

Beetroot Salad for the Brave [A sidling or mainette dish]
One fist sized beet per person
One ounce of crumbly blue cheese, Stilton, Roquefort or Feta per person
One tin [can] of whole anchovies in oil
One teaspoonful of garlic puree
One splashette of Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Oil
One teaspoonful of roughly ground red and white peppers combined

• Bake the beets or microwave until tender.

• Leave to cool.

• Combine all the other ingredients.

• Add cooled, peeled and diced beets.

• Chill covered in the fridge for at least one hour.

• Serve on a generous bed of salad greens with hot, fresh bread, assuming you’ve not used it all up on sandwiches.

This should make your ears steam, your nose run and your eyes bleed. If not ……
then yur doin it wrong.

Coz Neophobia comes in many forms my friends.

Cheers dears

If you’d like to join in maybe this little icon can help us forge a new route for those with oral fixations.

Get the code:-
Cut and paste
from this little
boxy thing below
so we can all link

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No dipsticks here! [*]

Please scroll down for Magic Marker Monday

We move relentlessly forward with the food campaign for the neophobic, the eater of 15 foods.

Currently my son enjoys a slime free diet, where slime equates to anything that could remotely be described as ‘semi liquid.’ In an attempt to push out the boundaries we offer ketchup, Thousand Island dressing and any other number of condiments for him to dip his Goldfish Crackers. We, on the other hand, truly enjoy guacamole, hummus and Salsa with warm pitta pocket strips.

The groans of agony from the end of the table increase in volume. I make direct inquiries:
“Is it the stink of your dips or the stink of our dips that’s upsetting you dear?”
“Evey fing is stink!”

Fair enough, I just needed a little clarification.

The family offer helpful suggestions;
“Why dontcha make em swim in dah blood one!”
“Howabout you try the mayonnaise, that doesn’t taste of anything anyways.”
“You know dey will slip down much more easily with a little grease. Look at your ribs! You need a little grease.”
“Here try a pretzel stick instead, then you won’t have to worry about your finger tips getting mucky.” He takes the proffered stick gingerly, a bit like a magic wand. He looks from stick to dip, from dip to stick and then back to us, a collective group of torturers.
“Wot I am doing wiv dis stick?”
“Stick it in the dip. Poke it. Put one end in the…..little bowl.”
“Stick is being too dangerous for me,” he wheedles, following a well furrowed path. I turn to his dad, “do you know, maybe we’re going about this the wrong way?”
“Tell me something we don’t already know.” I nip back into the house to snatch some tired old forgotten Brandy Snaps and some Maple syrup. “Here you go. How about we try something sweet instead?”
“Wot! Wot are doz fings? I am not be eating dah food wiv dah holes!” His outrage seems genuine enough.
“Curly pretzels have holes. You’ve eaten holes before!” I plead. My husband looks at me and blinks, but remains silent.

I sit back down. We don’t ignore him as such but we do not perseverate upon him. Well done us! Fortunately, like most parents, I am able to see without actually looking, through half shut lids and lashes. He dances a tentative waltz, a sniff, a poke, a little bat just to check that it’s not going to fight back, a tongue tickle, a shudder, another attempt, more of a lick, a wince and a shudder, and then finally a bite. The bite is followed by gagging and neck clutching, then mastication, a few escaped crumbs but approximately 55% of the mouthful is swallowed.


I say nothing with a face of stone. My face of stone turns to a Medusa head to warn his father to remain oblivious.

I wait for him because I want him to own it.

I wait until the third mouthful.

“Hey Mom!”
“Yes dear.”
“I am be….eated it.”
“Yeah for you! What a brave mouth. See you can eat sticks after all!”
“Er…..no…….I am not be eat sticks……..I am be eat holey snaps.”

[*] dipstick = foolish person, “slang” from “Only Fools and Horses.”

Remember at this time of year Californians, that paper “STAR”s are not a true reflection of our little twinklers.

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Special Exposure Wordless Wednesday

5 Minutes for Special Needs
Ambidextrous, mid line crisis or just plain fun?

Should you prefer a few words, I have some over here at my other site “Sandwiched Genes.”

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The cat that got the cream

“I am be like!”
“Really! What do you like dear?”
“I bin dun like dah cream!”
Oh no! Don't tell me 'bin dun' is back to haunt us again, one of this pre-emptory terms equivalent to 'er.' I look at my little neophobe and his 15 foods. Verily the child doth lie through his little wonky baby teeth.


Oddly enough he picks up on my tone of skepticism, as does his brother, who dives in to defend, encourage and elucidate.
“Yeah Mom we are have ice-cream in school today.”
So much for the 'healthy food in school policy,' that didn't last a whisker.
“How come you had ice-cream?”
“Coz it was Tim's birthday.”
“It wuz a birthday treat.”
“Nice explaining dear. Surely he didn't eat ice-cream?” I ask over his brother’s head in a need to determine the real truth of the matter.
“No….he don eat dah ice-cream.”
I thought as much!
“But he did eat dah cream!”
“What cream?”
“Dah cream dat woz on dah ice-cream!”
“Cream on ice-cream!” talk about overkill.
“Yeah an it was real cold, but he ate it anyways……he din scream at all neither but he did his shivery thing………he wuz real brave mom.”

I smile as I think. Is cream really a food or merely a condiment? Does anyone eat a whole bowl of cream? Can you count cream or would that be like counting mustard as a food?

I look at my boys. The retrieval of the words has the effect of making him relive the experience. I watch as the little one judders involuntarily at the memory and the big one puts a steadying arm around his bony little shoulders.

Bravery awards all round [and rats to the theory of mind.]

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The Food Police


I am a great believer in 'isms.'

They fit neatly into my own prejudice and bias.

You could say, 'by their isms, shall ye know them.' For me, the world of food, was my own political platform, running a close second to my eco warrior existence.

I’m reminded of this when I watch a programme on BBC America, which mentions the words “aduki bean.” I immediately lose the thread of the story and whiz back in time to when I was a real cook that ate real food.

I was a follower of the 'your body is a temple' institute for the ever so slightly deranged. Those were the days where Miso soup and home made flapjacks were the order of the day. No salt, no sugar, no harmful fats. If it didn't have the word 'whole' in it, then it would never pass over the threshold into the house of pure. My kitchen was filled with bean sprouters and home made yoghourt fermenting on a pilot light. Just say ‘no’ to the contamination of British youth. I had one perfect daughter on the perfect diet.

My idea of fast food and a culinary treat would have been a handful of dried apricots, almonds or a smattering of yoghourt coated peanuts and raisins, knocked back with a glass of Lassi. Convenience food was a banana. No food was too obscure not to be tried at least once. Bombay mix and Tamari sesame seeds, quinoa and couscous, anything to tickle those taste buds. Health food store heaven.

Then, a couple of decades later, the other lot came along to rattle my silver cage and shatter my glass house. It was about the same time that I fell of my pedestal with a splat. The purity of the nutrients that my children imbibed, were of an entirely different order. My holier than thou attitudes were swept aside with one hearty tug to the table cloth and the whole food pyramid came tumbling down. After I'd swept up, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was dealing with food issues of an entirely different magnitude. The magnetic force of my culinary skills turned to rust and plans to dust. My ivory tower had been vanquished by neophobes, the most mighty of conquerors for the average middle aged mum.

It is with a heavy heart that I follow the occupational therapist’s advice. My youngest son is to be introduced to meat, in the form of little hot dog sausages. Flavourles and textureless. We have ploughed through social stories, all leading up to this momentous moment. I ensure that they are room temperature to give him the best possible chance of success. They glisten in the bowl. They do not look particularly appetizing but I am assured that this is the first step in the long road towards ‘hot dogs on the 4th of July.’

The desensitization campaign commences.

“Are you ready dear?”
“So we’re going to look at it first with our eyes. Can you use your good describing words for me?”
“It is be brown and huge and it is being a wiener.”
“Excellent! How about we smell it now? What does it smell of dear?”
“It be smell like poison!”
“Hmm. How about you lick it now.”
“Um o.k. how about you just touch it with your finger instead.”
“I am have dah M & M if I touch?”
“Yes. Touching it would be very brave indeed!”
He extends a tremulous finger tip, the baby finger, the least sensitive of all his digits. I watch, silent as I don’t want to jinx him. As his finger tip makes contact he lets rip with a blood curdling howl and a 30 mph exit screaming “my wiener is wet!”

Maybe I should revise the campaign date? 4th July 2009 perhaps?

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St. Valentine

“Ooo I am love!”
“Are you? Er,….. I mean what do you love?”
“I am be love deez!” he shakes the packet of Marshmallows.
“Rubbish! You hate Marshmallows.”

I recall our long programme of desensitization to textures, ongoing. Part of it included making stick figures with Q-tips and baby Marshmallows. I was never that keen on them myself anyway, a heathen American invention if ever there was one, but 35 minutes of that particular exercise, more or less finished me off. I was quite deafened by the whole experience and the desensitization programme was designated an unmitigated flop.

“I am be love now.”
“Really why?” He squeezes the bag to his chest in little vibratory movements.
“Coz dey are pink and pink is being my favourite colour.”
“Ah yes, I'd forgotten that. So you'll eat pink ones but not white ones?”
“But you just said that you like them!”
“I like em because dey are…… puff…….I mean…..dey are soft.”

He gives the packet another little hug.

“Well that's……good. I'm going to use them to decorate the little heart shaped cakes for your class tomorrow.”
“Yes. I'll put one marshmallow on each cake, glue it in place with icing…..er…..frosting. Do you think your friends might like them?”
“Do you think you'll like them, like them enough to eat one perhaps?”
“Er no……”
“You could try?”
“It be bad to eat dah fings you love. If I eat em, then I can't hug em.”

Here are a few picture links to more mainstream or traditional Valentine themes.

Not really “Hearts” and flowers.

Much more my kind of hearts and “Flowers.”

Just in case you dipped out, here is a “Bouquet.”

Or a “green” alternative.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

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