There is one core quality which I associate with being a mother.
Aside from cuddling, it’s the very first thing we mothers do. It’s instinctive. It’s primal. It’s raw.
It starts with milk
Milk is a non botanical which I am completely in awe about. On my very first day of being a mother, it riddled me with so many emotions. It wouldn’t come so I was distraught and demoralised. The one thing I had to do for my daughter and I couldn’t do it. How would I cope with everything else? Contraptions and massages followed with feelings of humiliation. I slept. I relaxed. It came. I cried with the pain but smiled at the calm it brought to Amber. I felt satisfied. There was nothing else this newborn child needed right then except for me. I delighted and dozed in this selfishness.
Purées and mash
Weaning came too quickly. How much complexity baby rice brought. How much waste practising the right consistency. Thankfully, the excitement wore off quickly with my girls and I was grateful. Indeed I was proud they wanted to move to more challenging tastes. It started with apples and pears and progressed to carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, peas, parsnips. Nothing acidic. Nothing complex in structure.
Herbs and spices
The part I had been waiting for. A little hint of garlic. A tiny pinch of cumin. Turmeric as standard went into everything – just a sprinkling. Basil, parsley, coriander, mint. The leaves of all our herbs were fascinating to fingers eager to work. The textures were intriguing. Hard. Soft. Crunchy. Cold. Warm.
This was a time when cooking started. The self satisfaction returned with gusto each time my girls asked for more. little portions. Big smiles. A warm glow inside me.
Learning their tastes….
The warm glow inside was as bountiful with Amy as it was with Amber. She liked different tastes. She explored the food her sister had moved on to. It was all a complex project which kept growing and developing. Flavours and matching them to a balance – Sweet. Salty. Sour. Bitter. Hot.
…and stretching their imaginations
Of course feeding was not and continues never to be about giving the girls the food they like. I want them to see and smell and most of all explore food. Where does it come from? How does it grow? How do we cook it? Why is it good for us? This is the part I am in love with. Head over heels and utterly lovestruck by.
I am lucky. They are great eaters. They are enthusiastic about everything we eat and keen to learn to cook it. And that’s the next adventure now beginning. Like many mothers cooking together starts with cake. Well why not? Because it is after all, also the role of a mother to spoil. To coddle. To love.
Happy Mother’s Day!