When we moved into our bus back in December we went from two fridges, two freezers and two pantries to essentially one shelf and a bar fridge with enough freezer room for two ice trays. As we were emptying the fridges at home we discovered something: most of the stuff we were throwing out was condiments.
Which is odd, because if you ask me what sauces we use I could maybe list half a dozen: the staples which we use to prepare most meals for the family.
When Fountain asked me to chat about their sauces and sent me a list of their range I was a bit spoilt for choice, but decided on a roast lamb with their mint sauce. I have a love of roast lamb with mint which goes all the way back to my childhood, and I hadn’t cooked it up in ages.
Plus, every time I douse my slices of lamb in mint sauce I think about the origins of the sauce.
Apparently, Elizabeth I decreed lamb or mutton could only be served with a bitter herb in order to dissuade people from eating the wool industry into bankruptcy. I was looking forward to imparting this little lamb’s nugget of smarts to my children over dinner and pretending I was helping with their homeschooling.
But then I went to the supermarket to buy the sauces and discovered something which changed my plans – the words ‘gluten free’ on several of the Fountain labels.
Once you have someone in your family unit who is gluten free it changes everything. A simple sandwich is no longer simple. It’s not just that you have to take out a loan for the GF bread, you can’t prepare the sandwich using the same utensils or cutting board.
So the easiest way to deal with the whole GF thing is to essentially convert the whole household to a mostly gluten free diet.
At first, I was a little hesitant about this.
“No,” I said to Tracey, making my well reasoned argument against changing my eating habits. “I don’t want to. You can’t make me.”
Turns out I was wrong about that.
All our spaghetti bogs are now made with gluten free pastas. Initially we made two lots – one for Miss7 and one for the other four – but the kids quickly decided they were missing out on something special so we jumped on that quicker than Trump on a TicTac.
Other things we’re doing is eating a lot more rice instead of pasta, because it’s naturally gluten free.
Thanks to clear labelling by companies like Fountain, this isn’t the minefield it used to be.
There were five sauces I could see which fitted the bill: Spicy Red, Steak, Soy, Sweet Chilli and Soy & Honey.
Right there I decided, instead of a lovely roast lamb with trimmings, to tell you about a simple but tasty leftover dish we make: your basic fried rice.
A whole chicken from a supermarket for lunch usually has too much meat left on the carcass to warrant throwing it away but not for another round of sandwiches the next day. It’s nothing spectacular, but it is popular with the kids – although not spag bog popular, obviously. Spag is Oprah Winfrey to fried rice’s Rosie O’Donnell.
So now we’ve got our condiment selection on the bus. Simply put, we’ve no room for anything which doesn’t pack a fistful of flavour. There’s tomato and BBQ sauce, and now Fountain Soy Sauce (which has now earned its place).
To be honest I can’t even remember what the other three common ones we use are.
Which is probably best. We just don’t have the room anymore for stuff we don’t all enjoy eating.
Our Family’s Fried Rice With Leftover Chicken
You Will Need:
chopped up leftover chicken from lunch
two whisked eggs
1/3 cup of white rice per person
chop up vegetables, like beans, capsicum and broccoli stalks (the best bit because crunchy) – again, about 1/3 cup each person you’re feeding
one chopped onion
one teaspoon each of minced garlic and ginger
two tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup of Fountain soy sauce
STEP ONE: Cook your rice. Fluff with a fork then set aside in fridge to cool. I’m saying to do this because that’s what all the recipes say but sometimes we just use it straight from the rice cooker. My kids haven’t watched enough MKR to care.
STEP TWO: When rice is cool (or not) prepare all the other ingredients. Once you start you don’t want to be chopping away or things will go south quickly and you’ll have to pretend you were cooking a cajun BBQ dish which no one will like because it tastes like burnt rice.
STEP THREE: Heat one tablespoon of oil in the pan and make an omelette of the eggs. It won’t take long for them to cook. Remove omelette and, in blatant contradiction to the instructions in step two, chop up and put aside. It’s okay because you haven’t started cooking the actual dish yet.
STEP FOUR: This next bit all happens quickly so I’m putting it in as one step. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add onions. Chase around with a spoon until they just start to soften, then add garlic and ginger. Chase a little more, then add the vegetables and chicken. More chasing. Note, you don’t want the vegetables to be soggy, just warm.
STEP FIVE: Add the rice and mix the whole lot together. Toss in the omelette and toss some more. Add the soy and give it a final mix before announcing dinner.
STEP SIX: Serve and be amazed the kids are eating vegetables.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
Thanks to Fountain for supporting our family and sponsoring this dish – check their range out.