Essential Food Group

One of Bear’s favourite places is the Larder, the café near school in the opposite direction from home. He’s been known to dig in his heels and refuse to move unless it’s towards the Larder (a ploy that doesn’t work!) Most of the time, I say no. We are often doing something else, or I can’t justify the expense. This afternoon he said, ‘Mummy, please can we go to the Larder?’ I was happy he’d asked nicely and it’s been a while so over the road we went.

Bear had a smoothie and a chocolate-bean-biscuit. I went for a flat-white. The Larder do the best coffee on the High Street (which is saying something!) and the most elegant milky-coffee-leaf on top of the flat-white. I was also desperate for chocolate. I haven’t had any in the house for days and I haven’t been near a supermarket due to a food-glut. The stuff you can buy in the newsagents doesn’t come close for me. So there we were, just the two of us indulging in our favourite treats and catching up on Bear’s school day (another caterpillar has turned into a chrysalis – I seriously hope they make it to butterflydom. Bear expects.)

Anyway, I feel loads better now. The moral of the story – never run out of chocolate. Never let the secret stash be completely depleted, especially when there isn’t even as much as a mint chocolate at the back of the fridge.

Food with a Face

A couple of days ago Bear shook his head to dippy-egg for breakfast, until I pointed out that his egg had a face. Incidentally, permanent marker doesn’t come off even when boiled for five minutes! He requested dippy-egg again this morning. This time we drew ears and hair too. I secretly want to draw long hair and curls and plaits, but I know I have to settle for spiky hair, glasses and moustaches unless I do one for myself too (certainly not on a school-morning.)

We had pizza today. Bear decorates puts his own toppings on. That way, he can eat a whole pizza as big as his head. It works for stuff he has grown too, like broad beans and herbs. But why does his pizza always have a face? In these days of special dietary requirements, ‘nothing with a face’ is a common theme. Not for Bear. Now I’ve never fancied myself as an Annabel Karmel type. I’m in awe of her, I’m just more of a ‘Come on, eat it up, or you can’t be that hungry!’ type of mum. So why am I imagining ways of serving sausages and mash to look like a face with peas for hair and strips of courgette arranged as spectacles? I guess it’s because we eat for pleasure as well as survival and the way food looks is part of the package. And arranging it for himself gives him a chance to test the feel of the food as well as smell, taste and look of it. I hope he’s developing a lifelong love of food and a healthy relationship with it. I think I can feel a yoghurt and summer berries session coming on – nothing like strawbs, raspbs and bluebs for a smiley face!