Thursday, 21 May 2015

Just a thought

I’ve watched the last couple of episodes of Born Naughty on Channel 4.  The premise is parents whose children are exhibiting unwanted behaviours.  The programme brings together experts to analyse the children and parents to determine whether the child is undiagnosed with perhaps autism or a psychological disorder, or whether the parents just need a bit of help to do the job of parenting a little better.

There have been lots of programmes covering the task of parenting and often the general response of the great viewing public is to criticise the parents.

My conclusion is somewhat different.  I think all of these shows demonstrate that parents need help and support.

There is very little guidance for parents.  You have the child and that’s it.  A few visits to a doctor with a smattering of early trips to see a health visitor and it stops.

The focus, as the child grows up, seems to be the child.  I recognise the child is important but the parent needs to know how to support their child.  Parenting is all too often inherited.  If your parents didn’t have to deal with anything out of the ordinary then you’ll never have seen how to deal with a psychological diagnosis or the news that your child is on the autistic spectrum.  If you’ve never seen it then who’s going to show you what to do and how to deal with it?

I wonder whether the offer of no strings support for parents who’d just like to know how to get their child to eat more vegetables or stop getting into fights at school or whatever, would make everyone happier and probably stop some issues from building and becoming bigger, more expensive issues to manage.

Just a thought.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Smoked Haddock Chowder Recipe

I made this today and it’s delicious which is why I’m sharing the recipe.


  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 400g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 725ml fish stock (I used vegetable stock)
  • 200g natural uncooked smoked haddock, skinned and flaked
  • 75ml single cream
  • cayenne pepper - I used about half a teaspoon

Garnish if required:

  • 1 egg, hard boiled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps finely chopped fresh parsley


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan, add three-quarters of the onion and 225g of the potato, then cook gently for 5 minutes, without browning
  • Add the stock, cover, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender
  • Blend until smooth and return to the pan
  • Add the remaining vegetables, cover, then simmer gently for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender
  • Remove from the heat, add the fish, stir in the cream and add cayenne to taste.
  • Reheat gently for 5 minutes, then serve with garnish, if required.