Competitive Parenting – I’d rather not…

A good friend commented that she remembers me making one of my Nosh recipes a few years back (see, I do make them). I remembered too, it was for a group of girls from my first time mother’s group. I started to reminisce, it’s a weird old time for new mums. You get thrown together with all these women who could be your polar opposite or kindred spirit. You don’t bond through shared ideology necessarily, but by virtue of the fact they are going through the same, often nightmarish, scenario as you… and misery sure loves company.

It got me to thinking about how fraught it all was. On one hand you’ve got this tremendous mother’s guilt, a well recognised phenomenon that my mother says didn’t even exist in her day, which tells you that nothing you do is right. And if that’s not enough, there’s also this weird made-up competition going on. I say weird and made-up, because it wasn’t like there was any talent involved. One Mum would say something like “Well, Olivia sat up today”. “Wow, she’s only 5 months old” I’d exclaim valiantly, looking at my little chubster in his Bumbo. For the record, the only thing my boy ever did before anyone else, was to make enough noise so we had to leave first. Everytime.

Pays not to dwell, but I went into this weird overdrive trying to out cater everyone at our shared morning teas. It wasn’t a conscious thing, it was just something I could do. The spreads became outrageous, a proliferation of more pastry, chocolate and homemade trophies than we could possibly eat, no matter how long we sat around singing “Postman Pat”. Perhaps that one-pack-o-wine-biscuits-between-twelve-Mum (you know who you are), had the right idea after all. I think it might explain why I try to keep things simple these days, why I don’t tend to invite people over as much. What if I relapsed and got trapped into creating an 8 course degustation menu? Try this for easy.


Beef, Bacon and Blue Cheese Burger – Serves 4

450g lean ground topside beef

1⁄2 C spring onions minced

1⁄4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground

1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

4 hamburger buns, toasted

Toppings (optional)

8 rashers bacon, grilled and crispy

8 slices of good quality creamy blue cheese

4 large sweet gherkins, sliced

4 leaves lettuce

4 T japanese mayonnaise

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, scallions, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, and mustard. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat  your grill to get high heat, while you gently form the burger mixture into 4 patties. Grill patties to your desired doneness. Serve on toasted buns with the toppings of your choosing.

Screenshot 2016-07-12 20.17.00

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