My darling son has just come to that age where he likes to be independent and doing things for himself. He no longer needs a mama to help him. He’s got this. He’s grown. After all, he is one year old now.
This new attitude is most visible at dinner time, where he wants to be eating what everyone else is eating. This was fine when we were eating shepherd’s pie, stew, cottage pie, risotto etc. The winter foods that you can easily share with a curious boy. However, now that the weather has realised that it is meant to be the summer and we are getting some sunshine, the adults want to eat salad and steak, or salad and chicken, or even just salad by itself. This is much harder to share, because try though he does, it is clear that he thinks eating lettuce is like eating some grass flavoured paper.
So I had a conundrum as to what to do – I needed a summer dinner that the whole family could share. The solution … fish!
Yes, I was surprised as you probably are, and from here I can see the raised eyebrows and furrowed brows from here and the ‘really?’ hovering on your lips, but actually, yes, it turns out there are some fish he loves – go figure?
The two which have been most well received were oven-baked salmon and hake.
Smoked mackerel was point blank refused (and I know, present it to him twenty times in a row and eventually to curb the starvation he will eventually accept it, but, sigh, sometimes it’s just too much effort at the end of a busy day.) While the cod I bought had too many bones to be safe, so I plan to buy that better in future and try it again. From the little I did give him, he seemed to enjoy it.
To prepare this meal is incredibly simple. I put one curious son in his walker and while he chased the dog around the kitchen calling ‘Good Boy’, I wrapped the fish in a tinfoil envelope, placed it on a roasting pan and into a pre-heated 180 degree oven for 20 minutes.
While that was steaming away, I quickly chopped salad that the whole family (including a little boy) could eat – that was cherry tomatoes halved, cucumber into chunks, pepper slices and some previously-boiled-now-cooled baby potatoes. The adults’ dinners I dressed with a vinaigrette.
Little boy was placed in his high chair, bib on. Dog in the back garden because the little boy’s new favourite trick is to give any new food to the dog to lick first to ensure it’s not poisonous before popping it in his mouth. Disgusting.
The fish now cooked, I removed the flesh from the skin, called the family to the table and served.
Start to finish, including preheating the over took 25 minutes, leaving plenty of evening time to play before bedtime.