Brought to you by Coles
I have a teenager. Hold me.
Actually as far as teenagers go, I think we have had it pretty easy... so far. I mean he’s not even fourteen yet (and yes I know it gets worse) but he is hardly ever home these days.
It’s all about the sleepovers people. Hanging out at mate’s houses and staying up all night watching freaky movies, eating way too many of those ridiculously sour lollies they like, texting girls and then sleeping in until lunchtime.
Wait, that actually sounds pretty good don’t you think?
When he is not at someone else’s house, they are all at ours and our living room is invaded by gawky teenage bodies sprawling themselves over what I once thought was a pretty large couch.
They make it look small.
I guess it is just all part of growing up. The kids like a little freedom and sometimes they choose spending time with their friends over spending time at home with us.
I get it.
I’m cool with it.
Wahhhhhhhhh I’m so NOT!
This post was supposed to be about how I was road testing some of the latest recipes in the Coles Magazine... and it kind of is… but it’s also not. You see it turns out that it is also about how I want to put a big fat bolt on the front door and keep my kids all to myself for the next five years... maybe ten.
OK it’s not really about that.
Well maybe just a little.
The other day I slaved over a hot stove ALL day trying out different recipes from the latest Coles Magazine. I wanted to do a bit of a trial run to see if I thought that the males in this house could manage to pull off this menu for me on Mother’s. Were the recipes easy enough? Were they semi fool proof and all that?
So I promised the family a big slap up Roast dinner that night, complete with Indian Cauliflower soup for starters, a Caribbean Roast Chicken and Pear Coleslaw for mains and some fancily named Pear & Caramel Tarte Tatin with Heston’s Salted Caramel & Pistachio Ice cream for dessert.
I thought they would be chomping at the bit to sit down and eat my feast.
I would have even bet my rainy day shopping money on it.
But then halfway through cooking the soup – one child informs me he doesn’t like Indian cauliflower soup.
“You’ve never even tasted Indian Cauliflower soup” I declared.
“But I don’t like cauliflower” he insisted.
“Do you like Indian food?” I asked, ready for my ‘aha’ moment.
“Yeah but I don’t like Indian Broccoli” he said with a familiar stubbornness.
“It’s Indian Cauliflower” I snapped
“Whatever, same thing. I don’t like it from any country” he said and disappeared outside to rip up the grass with his skateboard.
So the soup is bubbling away, the chook is roasting in the oven and I am knee deep in pear, wombok and fennel - when the phone rings.
It is the teenager calling.
“Hi Mum, I won’t be home tonight cause I’m staying at Tasman’s house”
“But I’m cooking all this special food for us” I wailed a touch too desperately. I had his interest though.
“Oh yeah, whatcha making?” he mumbled down the line.
“Well for starters there’s Indian Cauliflower Soup and then….”
“Yeah, nah I’m not really that keen on cauliflower thanks Mum. Besides, Tasman’s Mum is making chicken Schnitzel. I’ll come home before dark and grab some clothes. See ya. Love ya” and the phone went dead.
“ooooo no thanks mum, Tasman’s mum is making chicken schnitzel” I mimicked.
I looked at my last ray of hope who just so happened to be lying on the couch clutching a sick bucket. He had conveniently come down with a tummy bug just as I started cooking.
“I’m guessing you don’t want any of my yummy soup then either?” I asked.
He looked at me with his sad green face before disappearing into the bathroom.
So I made the soup anyways and do you know what I did then? I sat myself down and slurped my way through a whole big sympathy bowl of the stuff with not one but TWO papadums… and damn it, it was good.
Like a totally brag worthy best soup I have ever tasted kind of good.
Now here’s where the major eye rolling commences.
The soup is stewing away in the kitchen and the teenager arrives home and says ”phwoar what smells so good mum?”
“Oh just the cauliflower soup you don’t like” I reply as I smugly pull the chook out of the oven.
“I’m hungry” whines the sick one from the couch.
“And I’m even hungrier” states the grass masochist dragging front lawn in on his shoes.
“Yeah?” I reply sweetly before stabbing my finger in the air at each child.
“ Well you’re not here for dinner” I point to the teenager.
“YOU’RE clearly too sick to eat” I sniff at the sick one
“And YOU… well YOU don’t like Indian Cauliflowers” I snark at the skateboarding lawn terrorist.
“And I’m guessing no one will be interested in any of this either” I add as I pull the piece de resistance out of the oven.
Needless to say, they were totally interested.
Of course they were.
OK maybe not quite enough for the teenager to cancel his sleepover, but to be fair he did ask me to save him some and besides, why should two mothers who had slaved over hot stoves cooking dinner be shattered on the one night.
Melodramatic enough for you?
Clearly I was suffering from a good old dose of Martyrdom at the time.
As we all sat down to dinner that night (minus one teenager) I realised that I don’t really need them to cook me any fancy meal for dinner on Mother’s Day. Heck I’d even be happy to spend all day cooking it myself – all I want to make it the perfect Mother’s Day is for everyone to be home eating any old meal and spending some precious time together whilst we can.
They are growing up so quickly, and I am becoming so aware of the fact that before I know it - I will have three teenagers coming and going and Carl and I will probably need to move into the garage so that the house can accommodate all the gangly teenagers camping on our couches and living room floor.
My point is you only get so many years that you can expect your kids to sit at the table and eat a meal with you.
Only so many meals you can tell really lame jokes and get a genuine laugh.
Only so many meals where you can grill them for information on who they have crushes on and actually get an answer.
There are only so many meals that you can insist they list all of the things they love about you and all of the things they think you are like really awesome and actually have them fight over who’s turn it is.
I want to have as many memories of family meals as I can possibly cram into my head to last me for when they eventually grow up and move out.
I’ll take what I can get, whenever I can get it and I am certainly not going to be picky about what kind of meal we share on Mother’s Day.
Of course kids, if you happen to be reading this, I won’t argue if you decide to nip off to Coles for a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates and a tub of Heston's Pistachio and Caramel for me.
And there is always that new lampshade in the window at Swish. Ask Sammy about it. He knows which one I mean.
The Cole’s pears and cauliflower are all 100% Australian Grown and gave good availability at the moment so they are perfect for baking and soups. Of course the Coles chooks are RSPCA approved and don’t forget that Coles has that fabulous Coles Finest range, and the Heston’s for Coles lines which are ideal for easy Mother’s day breakfasts, brunches, lunches and dinners.
What are your plans this Mother’s Day?
How would you like to spend it?
This post has also been featured on the Local Guide to Mother's Day, so head on over there you guys for more ideas and articles to make it the best Mother’s Day ever!