Annabel Karmel, you make my life hard. As a Mum, not only am I meant to be devoted to my little people with no regard for my own sanity, but I am also expected to cook; to a decent level no less. Every week I peruse the recipes on the ‘Made for Mums’ website to get inspiration for what I am going to batch cook that week for everyone in the house. Every week results in a different style of disaster. This week is fish pie.
A ha! I think when I see the recipe. I already have a frozen fish pie mix from my over-excited visit to ASDA. It’s all so cheap. ‘Only a paaaannnnd’ I keep saying to myself as I pile the trolley high. So high in fact that the girlies were able to reach back from their seats and grab whatever took their fancy. Generally squishable items. Bread is a firm (but maliable) favourite.
So, I’m looking at my ASDA frozen PIE mix instructions. Except there’s no mention of pie. You cook it in a tin foil parcel with strict instructions not to reheat. Okaaaay. Look at Fish Pie recipe for toddlers. No mention of frozen fish. Agh! What now? I’ve got to rebel – figure out my own combination of recipes. I have done this many times in my past. My ‘A La Lucinda menu’ I call it. But in those days it didn’t matter too much if I gave myself food poisoning. A day off work and a little closer to my target weight isn’t such a bad thing. Could be worse. Bit different now mind. If I give myself food poisoning I STILL have to look after my 18 month old twins. If I give THEM food poisoning I’m up to my sinuses in bodily fluids…and solids. Far less appealing.
I put Classic FM on (makes me feel a bit classy like ‘Hannibal’ (Annabel Cannibal?!?) but without the human organ consuming) and I cook the frozen fish as per instructions. Turns out it’s not actually cooked. This is a good thing right as the recipe requires fish that is neither cooked nor frozen. Now it matches. *punches air* Make the roux. It’s a bit pink (instructions said shallot and I went red onion). One day one of my executive decisions will pay off and everyone will wonder why they never followed my ideas.
Mashed potato is a bit lumpy. I ignored recent advice to use a potato ricer. It’s just adding a whole load of washing up to my day. Put fish in ramekins (another irritation Annabel – go big or go home.). Pour roux over the top. Spill the roux…obviously in the 2mm gap between the cooker and the worktop. FFS! Plonk mash on top. Break egg into bowl (bits of shell fall in too, obvs). Brush pies with ‘lightly’ beaten egg. How do you know if you’ve lightly or heavily beaten it?!? Bake for 25 mins. Meanwhile pour a glass of Prosecco and nuke myself a Weight Watchers microwavable Chicken Hotpot. It only takes 7 minutes, it’s now 8.20pm and I’m famished.
It’s finished!!! Girlies, you lucky little tikes. Look what you’ve got for dinner tomorrow. I can’t get too cocky – it’s 50/50 if they’ll eat it. Plus, there are two of them, so it’s 50/50 TWICE. So that’s, erm… Oooh, that makes my head hurt. Perhaps another glass of Prosecco would help.
Just want to point out that the recipe is called ‘Family Fish Pie’, but it is actually for 4 small pies (plural). Got that wrong didn’t ya Annabel! Tired and frazzled twin mum – ONE. Incredibly successful entrepreneur Mum of 3 – NIL. 😀 Although she does actually seem quite lovely. Perhaps I should have chosen Martha Stewart – bit easier to be critical of someone who has ‘done bird’…and I don’t mean a roast chicken.