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Healthy cooking....with a toddler

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The plan was to cook a potato and pea curry that I had cooked before. So, it wasn't a new recipe and I had a good idea about how to do it. I had also done it before with the toddler running around, so I felt fairly confident I could accomplish it again.

I got the oil heated up, added the first spices to get them sizzling and began chopping the onion. Toddler wanted me to sit down with him on the floor and watch him play with my spice rack. So, I sat down and continued chopping (don't worry, the onion wasn't on the floor!!) Toddler then wanted to help chopping, which, of course he could not do, so he took the onion and put in the spice rack. It was then that the onion reacted with his eyes and he started crying.

So, I took the onion, the toddler came and sat on my lap for a cuddle, and continued chopping.

Finished chopping and went to put it in the pot only to see that the oil had burned!!! (Toddler is still in my arms at this point - so I'm explaining to him that we've burnt the oil and will need to start again, and not to touch the pot because it is hot!!)

Fortunately, I have another pot, and this time, at least, the onion is chopped. So, we get to the point where the onion is in the pot frying. Toddler seems occupied scrubbing the burnt pot clean (he was scrubbing for some of the time, he was also delighted to be playing with water). I begin blending the tomato, garlic and ginger. Toddler is, of course, fascinated. So, he wants "up" to see what is happening. (Usually he is happy to stand on a set of steps, but last night he wanted to be held instead). This was okay as he didn't touch anything. I finished blending and added the sauce to the pot where it very quickly started burning (I have since read that the recipe calls for a medium heat - not high heat, which I shall bear in mind in future).

Desperate not to have another burnt pot, I put the toddler down and begin stirring frantically, trying to save the sauce. I throw in the water and potato's (which I had fortunately already chopped) stirring viciously, while the toddler is pulling at my legs having a very good moan and, suddenly, he manages to pull my trousers down!!! (I kid you not).

This gets my attention.

No! I say, trying to pull up my trousers whilst still stirring the pot. Toddler looks at me, realising that this wasn't a light hearted "no", this was an angry one, and slowly moves away.

I return to the pot, eventually deciding it will be okay and then leave it to simmer. Finally able to give the toddler the attention he needs.

It is one thing to plan to cook for healthy meals. It is another when a young child is added to the mix. It can become quite stressful and pots can get burned!

The food turned out really nice after all, and my pots will be cleaned. But the amount of energy that went into one night of cooking makes the idea of doing it all again tonight not all that exciting. It is understandable why so many mom's turn to ready cooked meals.

I know there is the option of pre-cooking and freezing. I have already frozen one meal that I cooked earlier in the week, which I will defrost and try out on Friday.

I have planned a schedule and I will stick to it this week. But I see why I have shied away from this. A recipe that should have taken half an hour to cook took much longer, which of course affected bath time and bed time. I will bear that in mind in future cooking episodes. I can also understand why ordering in is so much easier in my mind, now. Cooking is not the relaxing experience it once was!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yeah. I see why families order in and/or eat out. Not easy.

    When I was 9 years old, I distracted my mother while she was cooking. I wanted her help with a sewing project ... NOW!

    The house caught on fire. I kid you not!

    I was terrified. My mother was calm as could be ,directing me to get my siblings out of the house and next door to call the fire department, while she battled the fire. By the time the fire department arrived she had the fire out.

    The house had just been painted prior to the fire and the entire interior had to be repainted due to smoke damage. If I remember correctly, there was some repair work needed for the kitchen cabinets, the stove, and the ceiling. Otherwise, my mother did a fantastic job of getting that fire out.

    I commend you for being a mother.
    1118 days ago
    Oh it is difficult indeed to do most anything with a toddler. But you did get it done. **SIGH***
    1118 days ago
    Yes, it is challenging! Nice he understands the difference when you really want him to stop.

    When my kids were small, they used to sit on top of the kitchen counter, and somehow they knew they had to stay out (probably I put them down if they tried to stand up)
    Our kitchen is tiny, so I could chop and cook when they were small, but in a few years there was hardly any place to do the cooking : )
    Now they cook for themselves, sometimes for the entire family.
    1119 days ago
    Planning, prepping and shopping go out the door with small children. I understand. When I take care of my grandson without his parents around, we eat out. Cooking is not an option. Taking care of the little one will go fast.
    1119 days ago
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