My almost four year son Luka has suddenly become overly opinionated about his food - specifically what he wants to eat and what he refuses to eat. This is an attention seeking exercise that is clearly not working out in his favour. You see despite his initial protestations, and after firm and encouraging cajoling from me, he not only ends up eating his food but usually exclaims how delicious it is. This evening was a perfect example.
I made a Sunday Seafood Paella by following the recipe I posted on this blog on the 8th of June. It is based on a Karen Martini version from her excellent cookbook, Cooking at Home. The only changes I made were to omit the chicken and instead increase the prawns to 1.2 kilograms. Plus I threw in 500 grams of black mussels in the last five minutes of cooking time.
Luka announced that he doesn't like mussels or prawns covered in rice (honestly it's enough to put a home cook off from cooking!). My son has an active imagination that is currently consumed by all things to do with pirates. So I told him that pirates and buccaneers look forward to eat seafood and they catch it when sailing their ships to "Treasure Island". I also added that he MUST at least TRY a mussel and a prawn and tell me what he thinks. Well this approach worked! Luka tried these tasty morsels and then announced, "Mum, guess what? I love to eat mussels and prawns just like the pirates do." Surprise, surprise. He went on to polish off a large plate of paella, murmuring with delight and licking his little fingers.