Don’t hate me: my kids are good eaters. They love meat, they love fruit, they love home baked, they love dairy, they like herbs from the garden and they like veg a fair bit. Fortunately for me, their natural competitiveness with each other only increases their individual lists of desirable food. For example if eldest is learning how to make smashed eggs…they all have to have it in their own personal cookbooks (you are NEVER too young to start your own cookbook). The ‘Me Too’ factor is a tool I have long learned to manipulate for my (and their) own good when it comes to food and the eating of it.
In my own personal cookbook, started in my teens upon leaving home, I have a recipe that I love. I probably love it because I remember getting it…writing it down, slightly drunk, whilst on a marathon phone call to my oldest friend in the world. But it is rich, tastes naughty and is easy to make from the pantry and it is a vegetable – all great things when you are 17 and fending for yourself and possibly living on a diet of toast, berocca, beers and Dolly-van Mexican on a day to day basis. Ouch. I know, I find it hard to believe myself. My kids are staying home till their 30’s.
It was my greatest thrill when, after serving this particular dish to various moans from the children, my middle child returned from the toilet to announce that his wee smelt funny. ‘ That’s the asparagus,’ I told him. ‘ When some people eat asparagus, it makes their wee smell like asparagus too and it doesn’t happen to everyone, I don’t know why,’ I added pre-empting the inevitable why’s.
Their little faces were entranced. And as a single unit they each dished the asparagus mornay remains onto their plates, gobbled it down, and spent the rest of the night giggling in the toilet. Yeah, WAY more than you needed to know, but that’s kids. Possibly very bored kids, but kids nonetheless.
When I bring this dish out of the oven now, they are excited. Cool! That’s my favorite! I love this! Give me the most! No me!
I’m not just bragging. Well, I am but the next bit should take the annoying factor out of it. This recipe is not a glamorous asparagus recipe from Donna Hay, or Jamie. It doesn’t use fresh asparagus and would probably not be as good if you tried to convert it. This recipe probably originally came from inside the can label. From the 70’s. But I’m going to give it to you anyway. It’s nice with roasts, especially chicken. And it is written in exactly the way I wrote it down, Chinese whispers style, half pissed on the phone. I seem to recall giggling fits writing and saying as-paaar-aaa-guuuus, over and over. As you do. It’s clearly feelgood food. Enjoy.
Rach’s Mum’s Asparagus Mornay
1 tin asparagus
1 – 2 tabs butter
1 1/2 – 2 tabs flour
* Seperate and keep both asparagus and juice. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put asparagus in ovenproof dish. Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour – until almost crumbly-like, stir in reserved asparagus juice, add pepper and handful grated cheese. Stir, stir, stir. Pour over asparagus. Sprinkle over more cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly