Same S@*t, Different Year

“Stop flapping about and flinging raw octopus juice everywhere!”Me

“Can I put my hand inside its head?”Ted

Ted stirring fish stockI’m kicking off 2013 with a rebooted devotion to expressing my motherly love through the medium of seafood cuisine. So, I’ve got my hand up an octopus’s arse.

I know, I know – they don’t really have an arse. Actually, I can point you to the beak, funnel, suckers and eyes like a pro. I’ve had to get clued up, as Ted’s brain grows bigger and he thirsts for more knowledge to stuff it with.

After washing the octopus, I wanted to run screaming to a Swiss clinic and decontaminate myself with a raw juice diet, but instead I let Ted do some sharp knife cutting, stock-mixing, garlic-crushing and whacking in of broccoli and pasta. How hands-off, am I?

I like to think I’m a non-smothering, all-round good motherly egg, but – in reality – the sooner he can do this s@*t himself, the sooner I don’t have to hose down a cephalopod.

As he chewed delightedly through a mass of rubbery tentacles – hope I’m not on bog duty when that resurfaces – the table talk focused on hen and stag parties and what they consisted of.

He’s a long way off finding a life partner, but Ted’s decided on a key celebratory element already: “For my stag do, I’m gonna go with my mates to a seafood restaurant and eat all kinds of fish.”

Same Shit, Different Year_2If Ted’s Best Man of the future is perusing this blog for merciless wedding speech jokes, take note of his wishes. (And no poor taste jokes about the groom’s mother and her false teeth…)

Miss-Da Crabs

Dressed crabIf ever you think you’ve got a kid into a groove – you’re certain to find yourself sadly mistaken (the little buggers really love to keep you on your toes).

Take crabs – the kind you catch and eat, not catch and itch.

Ted’s been bit-champing keen to try crab and I’ve been equally eager not to cook one. My Grandfather was mad for crabs and we always had to bring him back a fresh one if we went within sniffing distance of a seaside.

Grandad was a skilled cook of traditional Yorkshire fayre. Many times, he demonstrated the prepping and cooking of crab. But, as I’ve always been a pussy when it comes eating seafood, I only ever watched – wincing – through one half-open eye.

On a recent trip to Anglesey with friends, Ted and I headed to Stanley Butchers in Beaumaris and bought a dressed crab. “The crab box will be ticked without me having to even touch it,” methought. Methought wrong.

Child eating crab clawWe unwrapped the crab – I saw what was coming, but hoped against hope. The brown meat of a crab is mushy soft – an unacceptable texture on Ted’s list – and there was way more brown meat than white.

God, that boy tried harder than I’ve yet seen him try to like something. Usually one lick of the tongue on a green bean and it’s straight back out. But four or five, hard-fought, mouthfuls in, Ted confessed: “I only like the claws and the meat, not the mush.”

So, poor Mr Crabs languished largely uneaten, though his claws were greatly appreciated.

I’m rueing the day I told Ted that Great Grandad Jack showed me how to cook crab – the pestering’s started already. I’ve just looked up crab-cooking on Delia – frankly, I’m bricking it…