Dinner Time Cheating

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I’m not a food snob exactly but I love to cook and because of that I’ve always made my own sauces, peeled and chopped my own veg, and added my own spices and herbs. Using premade packet things just never entered my head.

This was all well and good until I had a child. Not just a child but a child who eats at the same time as us AND is both mobile and determined. Suddenly having a heap of things to chop and several hot pans all simmering on the stove became near impossible and certainly dangerous. Quick and easy whilst still interesting and healthy became the name of the game, and it was a game I often lost. Healthy? Usually. Interesting? Rarely.

On Saturday, whilst out shopping with my mum for the weeks food, I was on my knees with exhaustion after a bad night and an early start and was dreading getting home and trying to cook a meal for us both whilst she whinged and cried and tried to climb my leg. She suggested a bag of microwave rice and a jar of masala sauce. Into it went some tinned potatoes, tinned sweetcorn and a bag of spinach. Bam. Dinner. She hoovered it.

This week I bought bags of mixed frozen veg chopped into convenient baby mouth sized pieces. Suddenly with her meals my baby is happily eating an assortment of peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and sweetcorn. She loves it. She has it cold at snack time, hot at dinner time. She has it with curry, jacket potato, pasta. She eats loads of different vegetables with loads of different meals, all of which I have a little bit of assistance with courtesy of mr supermarket.

I feel a little ashamed at times, but then I remember veg is veg. Does it matter if it comes out of a freezer, a tin, or from the fresh produce shelves? No. Yes fresh is ideal, and home made things are better and tastier, but dammit I don’t care. I don’t feel guilty anymore as she tucks happily into her dinner. Indeed it’s said that tinned and frozen veg often contains more vitamins than fresh as it is sealed before they have time to deteriorate.

Photo credit Con Design

Photo credit Con Design

So I advise others. Cheat. Cheat with pride. In time i will get back to the real cooking I so enjoy, and I shall proudly serve my girl some beautiful home made meals that she will have helped me prepare. Until then she will eat, I will eat, and we will enjoy it, because if it is healthy and tastes good that’s what matters!

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!


2 responses to “Dinner Time Cheating

  1. No need to feel quilty at all. It ahppens when children are little and sometimes samity come first so you can enjoy the happy moments of them you can snatch. Definately no need to overdo the fresh n healthy past partially occasionally is not a problem. I am with you. Don’t feel quilty. Sweet smiling faces and peace and happy filled tummy is important. I miss those moments. I wish I was a bit more relaxed when my children were growing up..Enjoy. Love the writing.



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