Mothers; Know your limits...

>> Friday, 17 May 2013

I love to cook for my kids.  It's part of my internal template of 'being a good mother'; scratch cook where I can, and always have home-made cookies or cake in a tupperware container on the counter-top.  What can I say?  I blame my own mother for being the ultimate domestic goddess.  Well, that and the fact that living with two children with allergies means that many pre-made and processed foods are - literally - off the menu.

So, in a moment of madness, I actually kept the chicken carcass from yesterday's (shop-bought) roast chicken, thinking, 'Ooh - I can make stock with that!  We can have chicken noodle soup, and... chicken noodle soup, and... some other stuff I can't think of right now.'  Then, I realised I couldn't remember how to make chicken stock, so looked up a recipe.

I reached the part where it said 'simmer the bones over a low heat for up to 3 hours' and was suddenly assaulted by the memory of the smell of our kitchen 9 years ago, when I was making chicken stock whilst weaning Boy #1 and following the lovely Annabel Karmel's advice to the letter.  Most of her recipes were wonderful.  Chicken stock, however, proved a bridge too far.  The house stank, I stank, the streets outside were tumble-weed central. I swear the whole neighbourhood was on lock-down because of that ruddy stock.

You know what?  I think I forgot that very simple recipe - the chicken bones, cold water, a few veg, a bit of salt & pepper - for good reason.

I will do many things for my children, but it seems that here is one that I won't.  Life is too short to make my own chicken stock.

And I never much liked chicken noodle soup, anyway...

What is your parenting limit?


MsCaroline 17 May 2013 at 13:50  

I make my own stock occasionally, but I draw the line at sewing. I can do buttons and maybe a patch if necessary, but that's where it stops.

Jen Walshaw 17 May 2013 at 17:18  

Now stock I can do. I just bung it in the slow cooker overnight will the leftover veg off cuts and water

Iota 17 May 2013 at 18:41  

Oh, I LOVE making stock! It always turns out well (not like cakes), and it makes me feel all earth-mothery, and part of a long line of women who've made stock down the centuries. I agree it can be a bit stinky...

What's my limit? Ironing. I only iron school shirts and nothing else. And I don't tidy my children's bedrooms. They have to do that, or live in a mess (and guess which one they choose).

Mrs. Munchkin 17 May 2013 at 19:16  

I'm one of the crowd and LOVE doing home made stock! Portion it into freezer bags and use it for soups as needed. I know one mom who freezes it in ice cubes trays. Places them in a mug to warm up with noodles for kids after school snack.

My limit....bed time. When the mr is home, he does bed time! By then I have reached my limit. When he is gone, the older child puts himself to bed. And if the younger one wasn't so young, I'd have her do it too. Terrible, I know! Oh....and I don't read with them. Shsh! I know, I know....the mr does that too.

Gee, I sound like a horrible mom. You can have a pass on the stock now....

nappy valley girl 17 May 2013 at 19:34  

Funnily enough I have a pot of chicken stock on the boil at this minute! I'm not a fantastic cook, but that is one thing I always do. I use the stock to make risotto.

Baking is my limit - after many attempts to make the boys birthday cakes, I have pretty well given up and now buy them in. Luckily they don't seem to mind at all...

melissa 18 May 2013 at 11:22  

I'm with you. Stock stinks. And never seems to taste as good as the stuff I can buy. Apparently I never knew this until yesterday, but pastry is my nemesis. I made some. I thought it looked good. I baked it. It looked good, except for the huge crack in the middle of it which would mean all the filling would leak out and give it a soggy bottom. So I patched it. It looks god awful. Mary Berry would be keeling over in disgust. So I think I have found my limit in the art of pastry making.

Michelloui | The American Resident 21 May 2013 at 19:26  

I actually nodded and SMIRKED when I got to the part where you kept the carcass for stock... and then nodded knowingly when you didn't do it. Because I too have started this process with good intentions and then made the realisation that yes indeed life is far too short to make chicken stock!!! Funny post :)

But I have to say that Jen has a great tip there about the slow cooker that I *might* try sometime...

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