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I’ve recently become a Humble Tart Kitchen Blogger, a food representative for a fantabulous food website. I might have bent the truth slightly about my cooking know-how, but obviously they recognised my skills as a … tart. Here’s my first post for them:

Possibly THE MOST SOUL-DESTROYING comment any mother can hear after hours of labour and justified resentment in a hot kitchen, and after dishing up a homemade feast of chicken and vegetable soup is:

Is that dinner?” *sigh* from the males in the family.

Which is why the image above is so ridiculously unrepresentative of mealtimes in our house. Where are the sullen, sulking faces? Why is no-one carefully trying to conceal anything vaguely healthy under a mound of something else?

Admittedly, the soup was what my kids commonly refer to as ‘Gross Soup’, (and what I secretly think of as ‘leftover’ soup), but in my defence, it was fashionably ‘clean’, tasty, full of goodness and surprisingly filling.

And I had made it with love, and from scratch. Sort of.

The problem is, the boys in my house don’t count certain meals as ‘proper food’.

Such foods include:

Soup

Vegetarian food

Fish (unless it’s battered, deep-fried and fully exorcised)

Omlette

Sushi

How do we rid the male population of their ‘meat and two veg’ mentality when it comes to food?

We live in Sydney, a wonderfully cosmopolitan city where the fusion between Australian and Asian cuisine is a marvel to the taste buds. There is Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Malaysian food on offer in our hood, yet my son gags at the mention of a prawn Tempura or the sight of rare meat.

The meat my boys choose to eat has to be so over-worked, over-cooked and seasoned beyond it’s life that it metamorphoses into little more than an unappetising lump of leather on the plate. I have shed tears of grief over fillet steaks that have been fried to half their size.

The old man’s ongoing dad joke in a restaurant is, ‘I think I’ll go for the burger this time,’ because that’s what he orders EVERY FUCKING TIME we eat out. The man is an intelligent, fitness fanatic (excuse the oxymoron), who spends much of his free time in the gym, yet he has somehow managed to avoid reading any recent articles on the subject of diet and healthy eating.

It took me five years to get Fajitas over the line. Curries are still a work in progress.

So…want to pay your family back for being ungrateful little shits, here’s my alternative menu for Gross Soup:

Scoop out all crawling, out-of-date vegetables lurking at the bottom of the fridge drawer and chop haphazardly. Finger nails optional.

Sip wine.

Rescue any leftover chicken before the dog or migrant teens (who now seem to be living with you) get to it.

Sip wine.

Make your own bone stock…jokes…buy a packet of ready-made stock and cook veggies in it.

Sip wine.

Add liberal amounts of garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and chilli flakes –anything that will disguise the wholesome taste of healthiness.

Sip wine.

Add shredded chicken.

Sip wine.

Dish up and wait for the inevitable cacophony of groans.

Finish bottle.

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