Squash: It’s what’s for breakfast

Sunday was one of those days.When every minute seems to end with somebody in tears. When, after the third or fourth round of crying, you look at the clock and realize ‘it’s not even 9 yet!’ and you can’t help but think the rest of the day is going to suck. A lot.

At one point, fearing the house was going to float away on a river of tears, I summoned the Hen to my room. To discuss the matter of his displeasure.

He began listing his beefs with the world; all the things that had made him mad in the course of an hour and a half of being awake. I nodded sympathetically until he said: ‘and the cereal Dad gave me is gross and I don’t want to eat gross food for breakfast.’

I mentally inventoried the contents of the cereal cupboard. There wasn’t anything in there that he hadn’t eaten in the previous days without complaint. I chalked it up to the four year old’s fickle palate: one minute something tastes good, the next it doesn’t; and continued with my morning.

Several minutes later, I ventured out to the kitchen area to remind the boys to get dressed and there at the table sat my two youngest boys. A plate of the squash, onion and feta tart I’d made the previous night, before them.

‘Gross cereal’ indeed.

‘You gave them squash for breakfast?’ I shouted to the professor who had sought refuge in the shower.

To make matters worse, I noticed the other boys had pieces of the [much more palatable for the Johnson men] bacon and roasted tomato tart I’d also made the previous evening. I say ‘worse’ because the Hen is currently suffering from acute awareness that he is a ‘middle child’ and is prone to bouts of extreme displeasure when he does not get exactly the same thing another brother gets at exactly the same time the other brother gets it.

A few weeks ago, the boy jumped up in the middle of a bath and yelled ‘I don’t want to be second’ after the professor lifted young Percy out of the tub first. A few nights later, as I carried glasses of milk to the table during dinner, he asked ‘why do I always have to be last?’ When I served his brothers milk before handing him a glass. ‘Because I can’t carry three glasses at once?’ I answered-asked in an attempt to assure him that my action had been entirely without motive.

All this to say, a serving of squash tart when everyone else got servings of bacon tart seemed like a recipe for middle-child-itis. So I sat down with the lad and traded his uneaten squash for some bacon, and then he realized he actually liked the tart and ate an entire slice of the cause of his unhappiness.

The professor explained later that he had offered the bacon tart to everyone, but our Hen had opted to boycott all things tart; refusing to put a bite of anything with a crust in his mouth. Even if it was laden with bacon.

If, however, you aren’t suffering from a bout of middle-child-itis and would enjoy a slice of savory tart, then do give this recipe a try. It’s somewhat time consuming but people will think you’re fancy. But whatever you do, don’t serve it for breakfast and certainly not to your children.

[I got a little obsessed and made three different tarts in the same weekend. One with squash, bacon and caramelized onion; another with bacon, basil and roasted tomatoes and another with squash, caramelized onion and feta. Instead of vast amounts of eggs and whipping cream, I somewhat-followed this recipe and used a combination of sour cream and whipping cream to mimic creme fraiche along with 3 eggs. Most likely it’s a case of tomato-tomahto since neither version is what you might call ‘healthy fare’.]

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