Roasted cauliflower recipe

I’ve tried repeatedly to get an approximation of the AMAZING roasted cauliflower they do at the Salty Pigeon, and tonight I finally cracked it!

Here’s how you do it:

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Rinse a head of cauliflower and break it into small or medium florets. Shake them off so they’re not too wet.

Put the florets in a large bowl and drizzle a fair bit of oil over – they shouldn’t be greasy but they should be well covered. Mix it with your hands.

In a small bowl, blend 1 1/2 Tbsp cornflour, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp Mrs Rogers Roast Vegetable Seasoning, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Sprinkle this over the cauliflower, mixing it all up. The oil and residual dampness will make it stick. All the cauliflower should be a little bit orange from the paprika.

Roast for 15 minutes on a large oven tray, then use a fish-slice to stir it a bit and scrape off any sticky bits, flipping over most of the pieces in the process. Roast again for another 10 minutes or so. It should be turning a bit brown when you take it out to eat.

The little dude loved it, though weirdly he only ate the floret tops not the stalks and his plate at the end looked ridiculous, all these half chewed pieces.



Baby hands 

I will start with the wrists, which are clean lines, like a slice in dough. The palms, so small, so warm, so soft. He reaches up to touch my face and the hands are just the right size to hold my chin. Or he rests them on me as he feeds, like he’s trying to hold on but is too lazy to grip. 

In the bath, splash splash splash, then surprised when the water hits his face.

Grabbing things, bringing them to his mouth to chomp on, dropping them, grizzling “I had it right here, what just happened?!”

He curls his fingers into my hair and laughs. 

Lying in bed with me at night, feeding in his sleep, I take his whole hand in mine to keep it still, bring it to my mouth and kiss it. 

In the morning I often wake to him pawing my face. The cutest.


Link: You’re Doing Your Kid a Favor by Being an Imperfect Parent

I really really love this piece.

A few thoughts about why it’s great:

  • It’s important to give parents space for moral imperfections, which the article acknowledges. A lot of parents are fine with mismatched socks and snacks in front of the TV, but get anxious over occasionally speaking sternly and losing patience. But it’s good for them to see us role-model acknowledging our mistakes, and repairing relationships where there’s conflict. They can’t see that if we tie ourselves in knots trying to eliminate all displays of human failure.
  • Kids learn useful things from the times when we’re not entirely on top of their needs, too. We don’t want to give them the impression that everyone in the world will understand them perfectly all the time! If the baseline is caring, responsive parenting, the inevitable gaps and cracks don’t detract – they teach our kids how to cope with the reality that everyone falls short sometimes.
  • I really like the bit where she says that aiming for perfection leads to bad choices. All of my worst parenting moments have been where I’ve been trying to do too much.
  • I also like the focus on enjoying the relationship. This is something that my dad did especially well in his one-on-one time with us. He’d announce an activity that he wanted to do, we would be given no option but to go along with the activity, and it meant we did some really fun stuff with him. Once he took us to Cornwall Park with a whole lot of oil paints and some nice thick painting paper and we sat on the steps to paint the trees, and it was a lovely day out – because we were all enjoying it. A parent who had no interest in painting or being outdoors might not have enjoyed it, and for them, it would be a pointless activity. But for us it was great. Part of this is seeing your child as simply a person who you hang out with a lot! When you hang out, sometimes you do what they want to do, sometimes you do what you want to do, sometimes you do things you both like, sometimes you do things neither of you want to do but they have to get done anyway. That’s how life works. This is fairly obvious, but contrary to some of the ideas about parenting as the all-encompassing identity, where we’re meant to put our kids first all the time but somehow simultaneously not raise them to be entitled brats.
  • Conversely, broadly consistent with the article but also a bit contrary to the final paragraph, it’s ok to not enjoy it sometimes! The expectation that we’ll be happy all the time is harmful. I’m a better parent when I allow myself to think, well, this particular patch is a bit tedious but that’s ok, there are lots of good bits in their too.


Yesterday, Judith Collins said the problem is not child poverty, it is “a poverty of ideas, a poverty of parental responsibility, a poverty of love, a poverty of caring.”

Today, in a follow up statement to the media following yesterday’s comments, Judith Collins said “when the inference is made to me that crime is crime because of child poverty, that is totally unfair to kids and to families who don’t have a lot of money.”

A month ago, in Parliament, Anne Tolley said “I find it offensive that the Opposition is suggesting that just because you are poor you beat your children.”

There’s a certain similarity between these statements. Let’s break it down:

  1. It gives those opposed to further cash transfers a perverse moral high-ground as champions of the parenting powers of the poor.
  2. It puts those in favour of alleviating poverty in twist. We don’t want to be labelling income-deprived parents as child abusers or as raising future criminals. But, on the other hand, one rationale for alleviating poverty is because doing so can prevent associated bad outcomes! And the data is mixed. It is complicated to disentangle the effects of poverty.
  3. It appeals to people who have no idea how bad poverty levels are in this country. It rests on an image of poverty as a family that gets by OK, so long as they’re careful with money. The image of a family who eats budget brand bread and buys second-hand school uniforms but can still afford to heat the house properly and pay the power bill every month. That’s not a current image of poverty, and it hasn’t been for a long long time. The current image of poverty is kids with rheumatic fever because their houses are never ever warm or dry.
  4. In co-opting the moral high-ground, it prevents the left from picking up the rhetoric of the government’s preferred “investment approach” to solving social problems. Spend more money early on to address poverty, it will solve all these things! Fiscal responsibility! Yay us! What, how dare you suggest those problems are linked to poverty? Aren’t you meant to be on the side of the poor, not blaming them for their derelict children?! You’re just an elitist patronising latte drinking bourgeois tosspot aren’t you?
  5. It frames the conversation around blame and personal moral obligation (i.e. parents whose kids grow up to be criminals have only themselves to blame. There is no societal obligation to all children.)
  6. It removes the impetus for change by suggesting that good parenting can counteract the effects of poverty.
  7. It sets up the whole deserving poor / undeserving poor dichotomy, where we can disparage one group of society endlessly and wash our hands of doing anything about it because *shrug, they should spend money better*.
  8. It means that the conversation is no longer about what the government can do, but what the government should do. Classic distraction.
  9. Finally, because I happened to do a lot of research on this many years ago, there is an important way child poverty is linked to adult crime and it’s an area which is of major concern in New Zealand. Poverty, and specifically a lack of financial support for single parents, makes it much harder for primary caregivers to leave an abusive relationship. When studying the effects of childhood economic deprivation on adult outcomes, it is common to adjust for exposure to relationship violence. Which means that this particular interplay – while obvious as soon as its pointed out – isn’t always at the forefront of our minds when considering the effects of childhood poverty and the linkages between economic deprivation, abuse, and criminality. Or at least, it’s clearly not at the forefront of the minds of those two Ministers.

We should definitely fund ECE better

List of people who are adversely affected by lack of funding for childcare:

  • Parents who work longer hours than they otherwise would, to be able to pay childcare costs and make working worth it financially.
  • Parents who are short on money because childcare is so expensive.
  • At-home parents who can’t afford childcare and don’t get a break.
  • At home parents who want to re-enter the workforce but can’t afford the upfront costs of paying for a few weeks’ care in advance, or can’t find good care in short notice when they find a job.
  • At home parents who want to retrain for a career that better fits in with being a parent, but can’t afford childcare while studying.
  • Anyone who has to cover childcare costs on one income – single parents, or two parent families where one parent is unwell and can’t do a paid job or look after kids full-time.
  • Parents paying off student debt while also paying for childcare, leading to a low net gain in income from being in paid employment.
  • Children whose parents are financially stressed as a result of childcare costs.
  • Children whose parents work long hours to be able to cover other expenses while paying for childcare.
  • Children in low quality childcare centres because their parents can’t afford good centres.
  • Children who aren’t in childcare and whose parents start to snap and become inattentive because they really need a break, but can’t get a break because there’s no-one to look after the kids.
  • Children who aren’t in childcare and whose parents don’t provide much in the way of interesting activities at home.
  • Early childhood teachers who would be paid more and respected more and receive better professional development if the sector was funded better.
  • Employers of parents who are trying to manage childcare in the most cost effective way, which might not be the best fit for their work responsibilities (for example, cramming 25 hours work into three days instead of four or five because that means only three days of paying for childcare).
  • Babies with older siblings who aren’t in childcare because it’s too expensive for under threes, and so who miss out on one-on-one time with parents.


… written while the little dude is at creche.