Image by Holly Bell
It's Lawrence here again, Holly's son (17 months old now, and yes 'it seems like only yesterday I was a baby', but actually it was over a year ago; you adults come out with some crazily factually incorrect stuff). You may have seen my last takeover of Mummy's writing, anyway, I'm back. She's busy on her phone pretending to work when really I know she's on facebook, looking up people she used to know but didn't like well enough to stay proper friends with. Mothers are funny like that. If I don't like someone I just throw a plastic brick at them. Or bite them. I like to be clear.
Anyway, I want to talk about clothing. To be specific, winter clothing. I think my mother is confused. I'll bullet point my issues to make it easier for her (and the rest of you adult lot) to understand.
- I'm not keen on shoes. I thought I'd made this clear by repeatedly taking them off and throwing them into the boot area as soon as I'm safely out of reach in my car seat. But no, still she persists. It's getting worse. She now expects me to wear wellington boots when it's wet. These are ridiculous attire. They are uncomfortable, cold and chafe my sensitive calves. (Other toddlers, listen up, I have found the best way to make your feelings clear about wellingtons is to cry until you're bright red and then soil your nappy just as your parent/other person your parent has palmed you off on whilst they 'work,' has dressed you in outdoor attire. It teaches them a lesson).
- Socks are similarly irritating. Mother thinks she's gotten round my sock hatred by buying Gap socks with roll down tops that apparently 'stay put'. Well, I have news for you mother, these 'intelligent triple roll socks' are no match for my newly developed fine motor skills. I am on a crusade to free my toes of sock constraints. So into the boot they go along with stupid shoes. Hurrah!
- I don't like hats. Not sun hats, not swimwear hats (who on earth thought a wet hat were a good idea? I don't see any adults wearing wet hats in the pool) and certainly not wooly hats. They impair my hearing and also, at times, my vision. I like my ears being cold, it means I get to tug on them and sometimes if I cry enough, the adult person in charge gives me that pink stuff on a spoon. I like that. It tastes of strawberries and induces dreams of halcyon days.
- Gloves. Gloves are bad. They itch and they taste bad. They make picking my nose tricky too. Covering them in woolen cars and buses doesn't make them 'fun', it just makes me disrespect the adult who chose them even more. Their low expectations of what amuses me only lead me to believe they are of substandard intelligence and creativity.
- Coats can be interesting, but only for gnawing purposes. I find the best coats to gnaw on are the ones from Boden or John Lewis. You need a really expensive coat to illicit the best sign of desperation from your care giver. My older brother managed to gnaw all the way through to the lining on one £35 duffle coat. This is the kind of greatness I aspire to. Currently mother has me in a second-hand eBay coat, so I am saving my energy for when I outgrow it and she upgrades.
- I've left the best 'till last. Or moreover, the worst. All in one wetplay suits. WHO INVENTED THESE? The point of jumping in puddles is to primarily get everyone else around you wet. Sometimes, in the line of duty, you have to take one for the team and get soaked yourself. This is okay, I can live with it if enough adults are soaked through too. These all in one 'splash suits' are the opposite of fun; they signal that the adults are okay about this splashing endeavour. Listen up and listen good: refuse to wear one. Scream, shout, cry, run, do whatever you have to do. If you fail and are wrestled into one, simply jot the moment down on your internal list to be used once the adults are reliant on us. I'll put it simply for you: I will not be taking either parent any wine when they are in a care home. It's a long game to play admittedly, but revenge is a dish best served cold, or rather dry.
Back to mother. She wants to tell you about this soup. I refused to eat it but she says it was 'yummy'. I'll leave it up to you to decide.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available exclusively in Iceland stores and through their website).
- 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 500g peeled and sliced sweet potato (about 5 small potatoes)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 litres warm vegetable stock (either homemade or using a stock cube)
- 430g peeled and sliced carrots, (about 4 large)
- 30g coriander, stalks and all
Warm the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion, potato, pepper and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the stock ans carrots, cover with a lid and turn up the heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until a knife passes through the carrots easily. (They take longer to cook than the potato). Add the coriander and blend using a stick blender or liquidiser.
This soup freezes well and keeps in the fridge for 3 days, well covered. It's especially delicious served with some fried crispy onions on top.
NB: If coriander seems like a strong flavour to you (I think some people are very sensitive to it) then add a quarter of it, blend and taste before adding any more.
Holly blogs at Recipes from a Normal Mum