I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I have to whisper, because you know I wouldn’t like to jinx it, but I wanted to share something with you, the week just past, because this is the weekend when we can share secrets, if we share them very quietly, so that you know who doesn’t get wind of it.

Here’s a few things:-
1. California shrimp sushi rolls
2. Pot stickers one shrimp one pork
3. Fish sticks, peas, corn, mashed potatoes and one micro dot of tomato sauce
4. Home made [white] bread
5. Egg and potato curry with coconut milk carrots, onions and celery
6. bread and butter pudding with marmalade [a bit like French toast]
7. wed – 10/12/08 chicken corn enchiladas, peas, sloppy joes with lentils and tomatoes, spinach nuggets
8. thur – golden carrots, mashed potato, sausage, tomato sauce, sorrel
9. Fri – white fish fillets [breadcrumbed], red chard, rosemary potato chips, salad, avocado sushi rolls
10. Sat – wholewheat pizza with pepperoni, mozzarella and spinach, bean burrito……….

……these are some of the things that entered my son’s mouth and were swallowed, only a teaspoonful of each one of course, but I suspect, although it’s too soon to say with any certainty, that I may have lost my neophobe, possibly. They remained in his digestive system. The screams were more habit than painful, you know, the lowest common denominator, if in doubt ‘yell your head off,’ but he stayed in his chair. As he chewed, sort of, he examined his biceps waiting for them to grow, which they surely are? All in all, I think we are entering an entirely new phase of life, growth and change. To date none of the ‘new foods’ has rated anything higher than a 3 out of 10. Most are zero, or minus infinity, but all the same……..what do you think? He’s nearly 8. We’ve been at this for five years. Is it really possible? Is that how long it takes for some people? Every day exposure for 365 days times five? To desensitize them? So now I’m wondering, maybe, just maybe, in the future, say in…….what?......five years, perhaps food might be a source of pleasure? Am I jinxing him? Am I getting ahead of myself? Will I have to delete this tomorrow? Oooo pushy parents! In the meantime, please send emergency supplies of toilet paper, urgent!

Fun with Messy Play by Tracey Beckerleg – a book review

Available from "Jessica Kingsley Publishers" and "Amazon UK."

To save you time and money I shall cut to the chase so that you can determine if this book would benefit you or someone you know. Consider the three following questions carefully:- firstly, are you now or have you ever been a parent? Secondly, do you believe that you are an average parent, one well within the bell curve rather than on either end of the extreme? Thirdly, during the period of parenthood, if you were or are one, did you ever clean your kitchen floor more than once a week?

If so, this book will definitely help your children, and may even help you as a parent, vicariously.

I love this book. It is a no nonsense down to earth approach to helping children learn and grow through play, specifically messy play. Ms. Beckerleg is an experienced mother, and teacher of special needs children. The book is divided into helpful chapters that address areas of need common to many of our children such as ‘sensory stimulation, language and communication, social development and motor skills.’

To be frank, I could have done with this book about 6 years ago. Instead I had to trundle about on my own, adapting mainstream guides to suit my own particular children. Because one of my children is a sensory ‘seeker’ and another is an ‘avoider,’ especially when the tactile defensiveness issue is dominant, I would have welcomed any additional tips and tricks. Anyone who is already familiar with sensory diets will also be familiar with many of the suggestions in Ms.Beckerleg’s book but there are lots of additional useful suggestions and ideas. I also like her chapter on ‘Things to remember.’ This in part addresses what can occur when you have a group of children with differing needs. Her students were in the classroom, mine are all at home with me. Her ‘real life’ anecdotes and examples are heartwarming and hopeful, and we can all do with a dose of that.

Don't worry, the exchange rate is laughable at the moment and if you ever need any translations, just give me a tinkle.
Cheers dears

Please scroll down for Smiley Saturday and SOOC

So here are the details of a "couple" of outstanding recipes:-

Outstanding = late, not particularly wonderful
Egg Nests
One and a half pounds of Duchesse potatoes
4 eggs [if you’re feeding four people or have two very hungry people]
That's from the recipe book, not terribly helpful? Let me fill you in on how to make the "Duchesse" Potatoes.
Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7 / 425 degrees F
People the potatoes, cut into equal sized pieces so that they’ll all cook evenly. Simmer until tender in boiling, lightly salted water [remember = simmer to glimmer, boil to spoil!] Drain the potatoes. Add gloibule of butter and a slosh of milk. Mash together until smooth. It should have a soft consistency. [do not whiz in magimix/Cuisinarte, there are no shortcuts] Spoon the potato into four oven proof dishes. [or do as the recipe says and find a forcing bag with a no.10 star nozzle and pipe into the individual bowls……maybe you have more time than I do and like doing extra washing up?] Break eggs carefully so as not to break the yolk. Make a well in the centre of each potato bowl and gently sploop one egg into each. Place butter shaving on each yolk and place in the oven. The recipe calls for baking for 10 – 15 minutes, but with my oven it’s more like 7 minutes or the eggs will turn in to tyre rubber, so experiment because you probably don’t want runny whites either = yuk! If you are also washing up averse, you can build little mountains of mashed potato on a sheet of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet, then make little wells for the eggs, add the eggs as above and bake. After baking you can lift off each little mountain with a fish slice [if you have a thick enough bottom!] without breaking the egg, and toss the paper!

Because they are dishless / bowless they cook faster too.

Peculiar but tasty "Naans"

Four and a quarter cups of bread flour
3 tsp of salt
3 tsp of fast acting dried yeast
1 and three quarter cups of water
Tip into bread machine on ‘dough’ setting for a couple of hours or knead together by hand [not recommended] or toss into mixer to churn.
If you’re doing this by hand, set aside covered with a damp cloth to rise [double in size] and repeat [once.]
Meanwhile make yummy stuff to put in the middle of your Naans as this may encourage people to take a bite on the promise of something more interesting inside.

One pretty safe bet is to sauté a medium sized, finely chopped onion. Leave it in the pan with a heap of garlic and olive oil until it caramelized.

Use lots of flour to stop yourself and your dough becoming one. Divide the dough into four. Divide each fourth into two equal sized pieces. Persuade each piece into an oval shape. Place a quarter of the onion mixture in the centre, spread it out to leave an inch margin and squish the two ovals together around the outer edges. Place all four ovals on a baking tray, cover with damp towel, leave in warm place to double in size.

Heat the griddle / hot plate / frying pan to 425 degrees. Put one teaspoonful of olive oil on the hot plate and wipe over the entire surface with a wad of kitchen paper [do not burn finger tips] Plop Naan onto hot plate an leave it there for 2 to three minutes on one side before you flip it over and cook the other side. Do not poke it, leave it to cook. Lift off onto a warm plate, cover with the tea towel and cook the other naans in turn.

Other fillings that work well =
A bunch of chopped sautéed green onions / scallions
Finely chopped Coriander [cilantro]
A cupful of raisins previously plumped in boiling water, mixed with desiccated coconut and a tablespoonful of chutney or pickle

If you put the Naans in the oven instead of the hot plate, then they puff up like rugby balls, which means that you will now have to eat something that is the same size as your head. This is useful information because if you eat a whole flat Naan because you were good and cooked it on the griddle, then once it is inside your tummy it will then expand to something the size of a rugby ball – you have been warned.

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