Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Children can be so strange sometimes!

Not too much on the schedule today - though I decided, mid-morning, to nip down to Aberaeron and get some liver from the butchers' shop. I want to make some pâté tomorrow and freeze it, ready for James' post-christening buffet in a few weeks. I've also got to make his cake soon. I've got all the ingredients, now I just need to find the time (ha!). It's not difficult to make a fruit cake, I know, but it does need a good stretch in the oven and the evening doesn't really allow for that as I need my bed too much.

This is a lovely midweek meal, using mainly ingredients that we always have in the storecupboard or fridge. I have used frozen broccoli in the past, which worked OK too, but I don't normally have it in the freezer and, if I'm buying it specially anyway...

I use mature cheddar to make this, but any cheese with a good strong flavour will be fine. Half gruyere, half parmesan is anyway more correct for a Mornay sauce, but I prefer cheddar to melt on top and grating three different types of cheese for a quick weekday meal is too much for me.

Tuna & Broccoli Mornay

large head of broccoli, cut into florets
400g tin tuna chunks in spring water, drained
40g butter, diced
40g plain flour
1 tsp English mustard powder
600ml milk
150g strong cheese, grated

Steam the broccoli florets for 6-8 minutes, until just tender, and then place it in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Meanwhile, put the cold milk, butter, flour and mustard powder in a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking (pretty much) all the time. Turn the heat down and simmer, still whisking for a few minutes until the sauce is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 100g of the cheese. Scatter a layer of the tuna chunks evenly over the broccoli in the dish, and then pour over the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the surface and season with some black pepper. Bake at 200°c for about 20 minutes.

Tonight I served some brown rice alongside, but we just as often have a bowl of steamed potatoes to go with, especially if we’ve got some small new potatoes.

James had some cooked spiced lamb, set aside from last night's dinner, mixed with some mashed potato and carrot. I've been putting him a 'day behind' our dinners lately, as he tends to start howling for his supper while ours is still in the oven. He still eats (most of) the meals that we eat, just a day later. On that note, tomorrow night he will be dining on - you guessed it - tuna and broccoli mornay.

For the last few days, I've struggled (unsuccesfully) to get him to drink out of his cup. The same cup that he's been drinking out of for ages. I was getting rather worried that his breastfeeds alone weren't going to give him enough to drink. He's been really ratty, which I suspect has been down to thirst, but shrieked even more, arching his back away, when 'confronted' with his cup. . Tonight, in desperation (after giving him juice from a spoon, which was never going to work long-term, was it?) we tried changing his valve cup for a simple Tommee Tippee First Cup, free-flowing with just a small spout. I'm relieved to say he's drinking again - and not terribly surprised that he guzzled down his drink as though he was just back from the Sahara.

I don't have any idea what was up with him - and I don't suppose I ever shall...

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