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Live lunchtime webchat with Tana Ramsay, 1-2pm, Monday 13 October

(149 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Oct-08 12:32:39

Tana will be online in half an hour to answer your questions about cooking and food for families, her new recipe book and anything else culinary you're burning to ask her. See you then...

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 12:38:55


MamaG Mon 13-Oct-08 12:46:23

Just culinary questions? OK grin

do you have any good recipes for cod


Carmenere Mon 13-Oct-08 12:47:26

There were quite a few sensible Q's on the other thread, perhaps MNHQ could transfer them over here?

MamaG Mon 13-Oct-08 12:48:34

I'm always looking for packed lunch inspiration - any ideas?

So no questions about Gordon then? wink

or his aubergine

PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 12:49:12

Hello Tana

How often do you cook for Gordon? And what does he honestly think of your ability?
Do your children prefer you or their Dad to cook?

MrsMattie Mon 13-Oct-08 12:50:53

Hi Tana.

Do you ever fall back on freezer food - nuggets, pizza etc - or fast food for you and the kids? Does Gordon? grin

What is your favorite family dish?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Oct-08 12:51:50

We've sent Tana some advance questions from the other thread and asked her to post the question when she posts the answer, so hopefully we'll avoid all that checking back from the answer to see what the queston was stuff.

Indith Mon 13-Oct-08 12:52:03

I want cheap biscuits. Am getting sick of fork biscuits and so is ds but anything with eggs in ends up more expensive to make than it is to buy a pack of digestives. So something tasty and cheaper to make than it is to buy please

cmotdibbler Mon 13-Oct-08 12:52:49

Why is it that recipes designed to be cooked with children are always novelty or sweet ? Some ideas on normal, savoury things to cook with small children (ie ideally that are all prepared cold, and then chucked in the oven/pan all together so that you aren't continually stopping them doing things) would be great.

Also, I'd love it if recipes had suggestions on adapting to gluten/dairy/other allergen free ingredients.

TheArmadillo Mon 13-Oct-08 12:53:40

your children are attending a party where the only food is over processed and full of additives (aka traditional party fare) would you
a) let them eat it - it's just a one off
b) try and steer them towards the less bad stuff
c) make em starve
d) take your own food aka doing a Jools Oliver.

secondly did you mind that Gordon wasn't present at any of your births or were you quite pleased to get him outta the way?

Thirdly what do you do if you get a fussy eater to tea who refuses to eat your meals. Do you let em starve or serve up something else. And do you comment on it after either to the parents or gossip with others.

How do you manage with eating on the run, on days out with the kids etc?
Many of the family oriented places we go serve pretty awful food, something with chips or a sandwich with no vegetable portion - how do you feed your kids on days out?

TheArmadillo Mon 13-Oct-08 12:54:04

your children are attending a party where the only food is over processed and full of additives (aka traditional party fare) would you
a) let them eat it - it's just a one off
b) try and steer them towards the less bad stuff
c) make em starve
d) take your own food aka doing a Jools Oliver.

secondly did you mind that Gordon wasn't present at any of your births or were you quite pleased to get him outta the way?

Thirdly what do you do if you get a fussy eater to tea who refuses to eat your meals. Do you let em starve or serve up something else. And do you comment on it after either to the parents or gossip with others.

also, how many times would you try and offer a new food to a young child if they kept rejecting it? Would you keep trying ad infinitum or give up the ghost after a couple of refusals?

Do your kids ever refuse certain foods even?

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Oct-08 12:58:58

Thanks, Tana, for coming on. Lots of questions to kick off with, so over to you...

needmorecoffee Mon 13-Oct-08 12:59:17

What recipes would you recommend for those on a very tight budget? Chefs seem to come up with such poncey ones no real people can afford.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:01:04


Thank you for all your questions, ask away!

I have been answering some of your advance questions and shall post them below to get things started.

Tana x

DonDons Mon 13-Oct-08 13:01:17

<hoping my pig question makes it>

Cies Mon 13-Oct-08 13:01:25

I posted this on the other thread, but maybe a bit late to be forwarded to you!

I'm going to lunch at GR at Claridges in a couple of weeks. What should I wear? Don't want to be too glam or too casual.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:01:55

By Cappuccino on Mon 13-Oct-08 12:09:50

I would like to know

how to make children stop sitting in front of their delicious home- made meal and saying "I don't like it" before they have had any
Tana - Be consistent and don’t cook anything else, children will never starve themselves! It makes mealtimes a bit of a battle field for a while but carry on and it makes it so worthwhile! Goodluck!
I would like ideas for meals I can make for the children which I can then dolly up for nights when I want to eat with dh and he is working late
Tana - This is something I do all the time – things like bolognaise become chilli con carne (always have tabasco, Worchester sauce etc in your store cupboard ) but the majority of meals, especially one pot dishes become better when reheated.
Alternatively, make extra marinade and then simply have fish to pan fry to complete a meal.
I want to know what to make for lunches at weekends - I mean snack lunches, not roasts, can do roasts - because I never have any idea what to have and we all end up having poached egg on toast
Tana - We do lots of things like pasta salads, eg tuna, mayo & sweetcorn with cherry tomatoes, cucumber & little gem lettuce or soups made from all your leftovers are always a good winter warmer with cheesy toasted fingers.
I would like to know if she actually gets any time to herself in the evening and if so, does she fill it with edifying pursuits or does she have a glass of wine and some bits of chocolate and watch CSI really.
Tana – I love that time when kids are in bed and chores are all done – a glass of wine and either girlfriends over or quite TV time – usually big bag of crisps instead of chocolate and if I really want to spoil myself some salsa dip.

Playmobil Mon 13-Oct-08 13:03:02

Not culinary, but any ideas for creating a montessori type environment at home for my children on a budget please?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:03:06

Tana, how do you answer critics who claim you aren't a real cook? Was Gordon joking when he said you couldn't cook? What's his favourite meal?
Tana - Gordon always says that and it terrifies him to see me chopping with his sharp knives because I am a domestic cook and have never been trained – I cook everyday for our children and give them a varied diet but do not spend all day stressing about exotic dishes! Big difference in our style of cooking and I think that makes me a real cook!
Gordon’s favourite meal is steak and salad – sometimes chips for a treat!
What do you eat when you are at home by yourself in the evenings?
Tana - I will eat the kids leftovers or if there is none beans on toast!
What's your best make-with-the-kids chocolate cake recipe? And what's your favourite method for making yummy icing?
Tana - I love making icing with orange juice or freshly squeezed lemon juice – is great with a plain sponges to give them a citrus twist. Favourite cake to make is boys birthday chocolate cake from Family kitchen, the kids always put their action figure into the icing when it is still gooey!

cocoleBOO Mon 13-Oct-08 13:04:30

DO you ever think sod it I'm not cooking and order a chinese?

and which chinese do you order from if so?

BlackEyedDog Mon 13-Oct-08 13:06:18

If you had a fiver (arf) and twenty minutes and four hungry mouths to feed what would you do?

do you really make your own blasted ketchup?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:07:15

Hi Playmobil

You don't need a huge budget for this. Simple things like keeping kids plates or cups at a low level so they can set the table themselves, have coat hooks at low level, lay clothes out the night before with your children so they can dress themselves - all help towards making an independent child.

Also, having timetables and charts so that your son/daughter can see ahead for the next day - everyone laughs at me but I have timetables up and downstairs as my memory is appalling and having four kids to co ordinate I have to rely on them.


dizzywitches Mon 13-Oct-08 13:07:22

hi Tana!

are you a MNer in real life?? you don't have to reveal your MN name if you are smile

cupchar Mon 13-Oct-08 13:09:00

What do you think about this packed lunch? Salad (with a balsamic dressing) and cheese sandwich, yogurt and an apple from the garden?

BlackEyedDog Mon 13-Oct-08 13:10:20

har har cupchar grin

Rhubarb Mon 13-Oct-08 13:10:56

Sorry, I know nothing about you Tanya, or your dh. I have just read on here that you have 4 children - did you plan to have 4? And what do you think of the argument that large families are now only for the wealthy?

Rhubarb Mon 13-Oct-08 13:11:32

Sorry, Tana.

Oliveoil Mon 13-Oct-08 13:11:32

how in God's Holy Name can your son eat a pigs tail (iirc he did on Gordon's tv thing) when my two turn their noses up at 'bits' in sauces?

it is not fair

I do all the things I am supposed to - cook with them, we all eat the same, yadda yadda, yawn

and still they are fussy

aged 4 and 5

is there light at the end of the tunnel or am I doomed?

needmorecoffee Mon 13-Oct-08 13:12:04

do you think there is a place for ready meals? Such as the elderly who are unable to chop and peel?

MerlinsBeard Mon 13-Oct-08 13:12:36

That's a good question BED.

TANA (SOrry its caps so you can see!)

can you feed your family for a fiver?

Oliveoil Mon 13-Oct-08 13:12:37

also, your dh is a bit of a hearthrob on here

do not search on his name or you will be shocked shock

Rhubarb Mon 13-Oct-08 13:12:55

Ah Oliveoil - you take 'em to France where they are fed rabbit and mussels for school dinner. They soon learn not to be fussy when presented with rabbit ears floating in their stew!

Oliveoil Mon 13-Oct-08 13:13:50

mine have been fed mussels in good ol blighty


and went hungry


cocoleBOO Mon 13-Oct-08 13:14:34

<<covers LLapins eyes>>

PestoFangsLookGoodOnMeMonster Mon 13-Oct-08 13:15:19
pucca Mon 13-Oct-08 13:15:47

My dd would go hungry believe me! she is so fussy it is unreal. She will not eat any veg at all, yet loves all meat.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:17:21

To cmotdibbler

Involving the kids in cooking is very important. In reality I only cook with the kids at weekends or school holidays but tend to do pasta salads, let them peel veg, letting them use knives is scary so i still tend to avoid that. They really do the stirring, add ingredients to the pans and of course love rolling pastry etc, but it doesn't have to always be the dessert.

rough chopping of veg with a table knife if you are making soups or stews is always a good one, you can then blend it so their chopping can be erratic, making sandwiches and other simple jobs is the best way to start.

Hope this helps,


needmorecoffee Mon 13-Oct-08 13:17:28

eating mussels is like eating snot. Yuck. Or maybe slugs. ick.

TheArmadillo Mon 13-Oct-08 13:17:33

pucca mine is the opposite. He will eat any veg (and fruit) but has never eaten meat or fish.

I love the 'no kids will starve themselves'. It makes me ROFL.

Rhubarb Mon 13-Oct-08 13:17:53

Don't make it an issue Olivey. Just take the dish away then and get their dessert. So long as they don't get offered something else.

If you act like "bovvered?" then kids will discover they no longer have that attention of you cajoling them to eat and they'll start to get curious about the foods they see you eating.

But would YOU eat a pig's tail?

needmorecoffee Mon 13-Oct-08 13:18:34

How old are your kids Tana? When mine reached grumpy teenage years they stopped eating what I cooked and insisted on the junkiest crap they could find as a type of rebellion!

pucca Mon 13-Oct-08 13:20:01

I have to sneak cauliflower in her mash, last night she rumbled me though and said "Mum, this mash tastes like broccoli!" BUSTED! she is a nightmare. If she doesn't like the look of something - she won't eat it, point blank refuses.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:20:10

Olive Oil,

Yes I was shocked at Jack eating that, rather him than me. My kids are all slightly older, 7,8 + 10 and are now at the stage where they like to shock me with how adventurous they can be - also it goes without saying they are encouraged to shock me by Gordon....


needmorecoffee Mon 13-Oct-08 13:20:13

For Tana, and any others MN - I need a blender that blends real food down to proper liquid. Only one I know is the vita mix from the US but its got a US plug and costs lots of money. Are there any here? Its so tube fed dd can have real food rather than that processed crud. Any bits will block the tube.

BlackEyedDog Mon 13-Oct-08 13:20:16

nothing on god's earth could persuade me to eat a pig's tail.

No question, just that really.

Nicky1313 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:20:54

Hi Tana,

Do you ever phone up for a takeaway meal, Indian, Pizza etc? Do you always eat as a family?

Oliveoil Mon 13-Oct-08 13:21:46

lol, yes, agree on pigs tail

well I will keep on trying then hmm


GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Oct-08 13:21:46

just so you know, Tana's web connection being a bit temperamental, but fingers x'd it will behave from now on (or no pudding!)

Megglevache Mon 13-Oct-08 13:22:35

Tana- forget cooking

You always wear lovely shoes, from where do you purchase said footwear?

(lick, lick fawn fawn)

cmotdibbler Mon 13-Oct-08 13:23:05

Thanks Tana - we already do all those things, was just seeing whether I'd missed some fab idea that DS (2) could be doing.

DS loooooves mussels, squid, sushi, octopus etc, so thats not a problem for me

Gobbledigook Mon 13-Oct-08 13:23:43

dON'T THE answers come very slowly on these guest threads

when I'm on for a solid hour I can answer 10x as many questions

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:23:49


with the elderly it is essential that they have a balanced healthy diet and ofcourse they are not always able to get out shopping or indeed cook for themselves so they have to rely on people to cook for them. If they have no family or friends to help then it is a necessity for them to eat a good hot meal and ready meals would be the only way to go.
I know Gordon's mum does a lot of cooking in her local community for the elderly but I think living in small villages they are able to help more whilst in big towns this is not the case.


mankymummy Mon 13-Oct-08 13:23:53

Tana... what in your view is the most difficult thing about being a parent?

Oliveoil Mon 13-Oct-08 13:24:36


Saturn74 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:25:14

Hi Tana.

As a child who was brought up on bulk-buy minced beef crispy pancakes from Leeds market shock, I always try to buy fairly decent versions of things such as bread, cheese, minced beef and orange juice, even though we are strapped for cash.

I think the cheap options of some foods are false economy.

Which items would you recommend never to skimp on unless absolutely necessary?

mankymummy Mon 13-Oct-08 13:25:16


Rhubarb Mon 13-Oct-08 13:25:27

I'd eat one. It's only like pork scratchings.

Ok, here's one. You know how Jamie Oliver is conquering (in his dreams!) Rotherham with his holy quest to get them all cooking? Do you think that is the right approach? And what are your thoughts on mums who only feed their children pizza and chips using the argument that it's cheaper?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:26:04


I have got very good at streching meals, when you fill a basket with veg and a pack of mince meat it can go a long way! think of leftover soups, risotto etc and never allow any waste.


needmorecoffee Mon 13-Oct-08 13:26:09

Why is Gordon so rude about vegetarians?

SpandexIsMyEnemy Mon 13-Oct-08 13:26:36

no questions, but WOW! love Gordon on the F word.

ahem sorry, er what's he like in your home kitchen? (if that questions' not been asked?)

PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 13:27:40


What, never the chicken and bacon variety? Not even for birthdays?

Grublin Mon 13-Oct-08 13:29:06

Hi Tana,

Did you co-sleep with any of your children if so, how long for?
Were they good or bad sleepers?
Did they used to come into your bed at stupid 'o' clock or did you return them back to their beds if they woke in the night?

Saturn74 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:29:06

PuzzleRocks - I used to dream of the chicken and bacon variety. grin
<<drifts off into Charlie-Bucketesque moment>>

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:30:23


I think you need to concentrate on meat - not necessarily buying organic as it is so expensive, talk to the butcher behind the counter in supermarkets and if you are slow cooking ask for the cheaper cuts that will tenderise with slow cooking. The under used cuts are always cheaper and you only learn this from talking to butchers, thats what I do!


whoops Mon 13-Oct-08 13:31:57

ds is underweight, very fussy and also now needs to have a low salt diet, what sort of thing would you suggest with him being so fussy, he'll eat fish fingers and sausages and not much more than that!

PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 13:33:03


When can we come round for dinner? grin

Tana, what do you and Gordon eat whilst marathon training?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:33:19


I was guilty of falling asleep with a baby (or two with the twins) feeding as I breastfed, but did often wake up terrified of rolling on them. It is not advisable but when you are so exhausted sometimes you just have to sleep.

Now they are older still they will wander in after a bad dream but we are quite strict on them going straight back after a cuddle to their own beds. I am not good if I have not had a good nights sleep!


pucca Mon 13-Oct-08 13:33:33

Tana, Are you a mumsnetter?

mankymummy Mon 13-Oct-08 13:34:02

What is the trashiest thing you eat?

and er... does Gordon have an unattached twin brother please?! blush

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:35:11


Lots of pasta, chicken and anything we like as you burn it off! I find I am hungry all day and constantly want to pick at things.
Most importantly you must eat breakfast and the best for energy before a big run is porridge.


Saturn74 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:36:31

Thanks, Tana.

DS2 is 10, and is on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.
He would like to know if you can please give us a suitable recipe so that his birthday cake "doesn't taste of plasticine, like it did last year!".

(That's the last time I spend two hours hand piping chocolate icing onto a Scooby Doo cake for the likes of him).

Grublin Mon 13-Oct-08 13:37:23

I used to bf DS2 and fall asleep with him in bed with me!
Need to be stricter with returning my 2 back to bed. Unfortunately having a cuddle and returning them ends up in a long running battle and I end up sleeping on their floor or the 3 of us coming downstairs. They're 3.8 and 2.2 yrs.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:39:52


Most difficult part of being a parent... Needing the patience of a saint! Trying to split myself four ways and have quality time for my husband let alone myself - sometimes I could scream!

The guilt you feel if you have not helped all with homework or done reading/spelling or forgotten a games kit is horrible - no one ever tells you that before you become a parent. Having a ten year old now who is getting to that sensitive age is like stepping on egg shells - you have to know when to listen!


Thanks Tana, Ready Brek rocks! grin

Rhubarb Mon 13-Oct-08 13:42:25

I'm a lost cause on breakfast. I make sure my kids eat well, but it's the one meal where I don't eat with them. I cannot stomach food in the morning. A cup of tea is all I'll have, then I'll be starving by 10am. But I really don't like cereals and cannot, just cannot face cooking, even if it's a boiled egg. It takes me up to an hour to recover from getting up!

Wags Mon 13-Oct-08 13:42:48

Tana, did you take the kids to eat out a lot when they were little? Any London recommendations for young kids? Mine are 5 & 3. They both eat well but its really hard keeping DS (3) occupied. I am fed up of child friendly places but with shit food.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:43:14


Try cheese sauce, always finds that works really well as it coats the cauliflower and crispy pancetta on the top adds to the disguise! Don't get in the habit of hiding it though, if you confess after a few occasions they tend to be quite proud that they have eaten it and will try it alone.


TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:44:20


I LOVE a takeaway, Indian is my favourite closely followed by Chinese. A treat is always allowed and so nice not to cook sometimes.


pooka Mon 13-Oct-08 13:44:30

Good luck with that one Wags! wink

Rhubarb Mon 13-Oct-08 13:45:29

I love it when we deepfry parsnips with the chips and wait for one of the kids to munch the lovely long 'chip' in delight, only for their faces to scrunch up in horror when they realise what it is! Gets them every time!

muppetgirl Mon 13-Oct-08 13:45:37

Hi Tana

Can I ask what your favourite colour is?
We love the leek and fish pie recipe from your first book and also spag bol + Chilli. My 11 month old will eat these too blush

Wags Mon 13-Oct-08 13:46:00

I'll be taking you and yours with me Pooka don't you worry grin

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:47:00


Really only started going out with the kids when our youngest was the only one in a highchair as when the twins were also in highchairs it was like a mobile play group.... We would take them to most places and just take colouring books and pens with us as that always keeps them quiet - also take a bonus surprise of pack of stickers to bribe if they become restless!


pooka Mon 13-Oct-08 13:47:03

childrenofthecornsilk Mon 13-Oct-08 13:47:22

Tana - what do you eat (and drink) on christmas day?

Wags Mon 13-Oct-08 13:48:26

Thanks Tana. Might take enough stickers to stick DS to his chair. Maybe that would work?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:49:04


Very nice pack lunch, wish I had an apple tree!


muppetgirl Mon 13-Oct-08 13:50:36

ooo can I also ask.. Tana, how would you incentivise a child that doesn't like stickers, will say 'oh, I won't have the chocolate bar then' and is sarcastic about the naughty step...?
My ds 2 is 4.7 and knows his own mind

DonDons Mon 13-Oct-08 13:50:37

Tana - please please tell me that the pigs, chickens et al messed up your lovely garden and caused you no end of rows with Gordon. Otherwise DH will get his own way and we will be swamped with livestock.

PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 13:51:29

Where is cupsoftea? She'll be sorry she missed this.

Playmobil Mon 13-Oct-08 13:51:46

Thanks for the reply Tana.

ladytophamhatt Mon 13-Oct-08 13:53:02

Ohhhh bum!

I could soooooo do with some help with Ds1, I've run out of idea now and have tried everything!

Gutted I missed this.

traceybath Mon 13-Oct-08 13:53:59

Loved your girl's birthday cake - have made it many times and its delicious.

And are you regretting your fringe - i too had one cut and hated it blush at silly question.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:54:01


I have battled with foods, most memorable my son and his dislike of peas! I continued serving them to all four kids and never made a huge issue out of it but would always put some on his plate and he had to eat some, but i did not make him eat all.
Eventually it got to the point where he just began eating them.

So don't give up but at the same time don't make a huge deal out of it. I think the important thing is to continue to serve the item and don't always say "no, he or she doesn't like it".


TheArmadillo Mon 13-Oct-08 13:55:38

<sob> my questions haven't been answered yet even though I accidentally posted them twice and once on other thread.

Do you let your kids eat shit food at birthday parties?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:56:18


Thank you, I love that cake too.

I did regret my fringe very quickly, really irritated me! I have now cut my hair into a bob and have the fringe to the side and LOVE it! So much that I now have the fringe (that is longer) cut to keep this length but not over my eyes. Side fringe is the way to go!


GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Oct-08 13:56:55

Webchat has to end in about 5 mins. Thanks for all your questions and to Tana for coming on.

matildax Mon 13-Oct-08 13:57:00

can i just say, i think your husband is brill on tv, and you have a very beautiful family smile
my other half loves to eat, but wont cook,he is just not interested.
i try, but im not very good. i suppose practice makes perfect eh?

ImNotOnline Mon 13-Oct-08 13:57:21

Do you use any cookbooks?

If so whos?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:57:50

Sorry Armadillo, I was getting to you! I take the view that I can obsess over my kids diets at home and in snack boxes but have to relax about parties, they are not every week and I do not want them to be the odd one out not able to eat party food. So yes, they can eat the crap!


ladytophamhatt Mon 13-Oct-08 13:58:18

if you have time to answer I'd love to knwo what you do with a child who argues about everyuthing.

Every minor detail of everyday things.

I choose my battles. I don't retaliate. I talk to him, I ask him not to argue I've tried everuthing.

I'm at my witts end TBH.

He genuinely doen't seem ahppy unless causing conflict somewhere in teh house.

Any ideas?

I really have tried everything

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 13-Oct-08 13:58:25

Who proof reads your books?

I have 2 of them and there is a mistake or two.

Some of your recipes are really delicious and some are very interesting. grin

cupchar Mon 13-Oct-08 13:59:02

Thanks Tana!

(Puzzlerocks - cupchar is not missing anything )

DonDons Mon 13-Oct-08 13:59:07


TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 13:59:22


Yes, I love cookbooks, Nigella, Jamie, Gordon, Hugh, all of them, but Love Nigel Slaters as he cooks from what he has left in the fridge and store cupboard whilst buying one main ingredient and that is how I like to cook.


muppetgirl Mon 13-Oct-08 13:59:44

pick me! Pick me!

I'd love to be able to say
'I know Tana Ramsay's favourite colour....oh yes I asked her this afternoon'

<<<preens in anticipation>>>>>

whoops Mon 13-Oct-08 14:00:13

what about me!
ds is underweight, very fussy and also now needs to have a low salt diet, what sort of thing would you suggest with him being so fussy, he'll eat fish fingers and sausages and not much more than that!

whoops Mon 13-Oct-08 14:01:38

but I would like to feed him wider range of foods too

ImNotOnline Mon 13-Oct-08 14:01:45

Thanks for answering my question

Do you have to hide any of them from Gordon?grin

PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 14:01:49

Cupchar - Oh it is you! Glad you didn't miss your celebrity endorsement. smile

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 14:01:49


Oh no! Just checking you were reading them. Sorry about the mistake (or two,) will blame my editor as she deals with the proof reading. English never was my best subject...

Glad you like the books though x

PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 14:03:03

Cupchar - oh it is you! Glad you didn't miss your celebrity endorsement. smile

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 13-Oct-08 14:03:08

OMG Tana spoke to me!!! grin

TheArmadillo Mon 13-Oct-08 14:03:40

ta for answering grin

Good for you. I like it when people don't overobsess being careful about your kids diet is one thing, being obsessed is weird.

pucca Mon 13-Oct-08 14:04:45

Iamnotmamagbutshelovesme...You even got a x on the end grin

ImNotOnline Mon 13-Oct-08 14:05:42

I didn't get an x sad

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 14:07:04


I think they are all capable of going through this stage, one of mine spent a good few months being so confrontational and I really had to be firm but fair. Sometimes they really push out all the stops but you have to remember they all find comfort in boundaries and need to know the limits.

Whilst understanding their frustration you have to be firm and not come across as a pushover - it does eventually end and you will get your son/daughter back to being the one you enjoy being around!

Hope this helps,


PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 14:08:07

I didn't get an answer sad. Tana hates me! I'm switching to Jools Oliver.

Dear lord did I just say that? Shoot me quickly someone.

Tana - your hair is fantastic. I have a curly haired daughter, what product do you recommend?

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 14:08:40


My favourite colour is purple x

muppetgirl Mon 13-Oct-08 14:10:04

Thanks Tana

You're a good sport....x

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 14:11:11


I cook for Gordon everyday like I am sure you have to for your family! Do think I am lucky in the fact that he loves the kids leftovers - He LOVES my cooking of course x

Curly hair product - anything from TIGI, I love their stuff, and blowdry straight with a small brush x

mankymummy Mon 13-Oct-08 14:11:19

Tana you didnt say whether Gordon has an unattached twin brother for me?! grin

PuzzleRocks Mon 13-Oct-08 14:12:41

Thanks Tana. smile

muppetgirl Mon 13-Oct-08 14:13:26

ooo can I also ask..

Tana, how would you incentivise a child that doesn't like sticker, will say 'oh, I won't have the chocolate bar then and is sarcastic about the naughty step...? My ds 2 is 4.7.

TanaRamsay2008 Mon 13-Oct-08 14:13:41


Cod recipe, as it is such a meaty fish great for pies and goujons - as it is slightly over fished Hake is just as good.

Also, Favourite family dish of the moment is Lasagne, but could change by tea time tonight....

Tana x

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Oct-08 14:44:21

Tana actually answered a few more questions but couldn't post them cos BigTech broke everything so Gerry'll pop em up in a minute.

Thanks to all for their questions and thanks very much to Tana for coming along and staying so long.

Saturn74 Mon 13-Oct-08 14:46:16

Thanks, Tana.
You did good. smile

ladytophamhatt Mon 13-Oct-08 15:44:55


I'm such a dooofus.

I totally got the celeb wrong.

I read the name as Tania wotsit, the child taming woman.

Ohhhh the shame.

Thanks anyway though, it goo dto know even celebs have annoying kids.

Aha LTH, I thought it was nice that you kept asking her about her children, she probably enjoyed talking about them rather than her cooking grin

Saturn74 Mon 13-Oct-08 16:52:29

I heart you, LTH.
Nothing to be embarrassed about. smile

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Oct-08 17:08:59

Hi, those of you who were around for this will know it came to an abrupt end because Mumsnet went into a mini-meltdown.

Tana asked us to post the following:

Thank you so much for all your questions – can’t believe there was a technical hitch and I did not get to all of you, would love to do it again. Tana x

and sent through some answers to earlier questions.

Mabanana: Tana, does Gordon want more babies still? Are you planning to oblige?
Tana: He would love more – never say never...

Mabanana: What's your favourite restaurant (not one of Gordon's!)?
Tana: Dexter’s on Bellvue Rd near home – great for the kids on a Saturday lunch and right on the common so they can go on their bikes. Fab burgers and milkshakes.

tortoiseshellWasMusicaYearsAgo: Does it REALLY REALLY annoy you that you aren't allowed to use your husband's really expensive cooker? And does he ever actually cook for the children?
Tana: I think he may have said that for the hype. "His" kitchen is actually our family kitchen and used by me everyday! Yes, weekends he loves to cook for the children.

ahundredtimes: I bought Real Family Food in Sainsbury's one week as I am sick to death of the food I've been cooking for years now. Lots of the recipes were a bit ambitious I thought, for the end of the day after work and a bit ambitious. Does your new book have simpler fare? We all loved the honey mustard chicken.
Tana: The new book has recipes that are a little more advanced for the children - introducing different tastes etc, but still easy to prepare. Many can be marinated/partially prepared in advance. Hope this helps x

TheUnsinkableMB: Tana, how quick are you at chopping veg? Cos I get annoyed when Gordy and other sleb chefs say cooking from scratch is quick and easy, it takes me ages to chop a load of veg! So being a single parent...2 min microwave rice...done!
Tana: No, I am SO slow at this and Gordon always covers his eyes when I am chopping as it always looks unsafe! Takes me an age as well x

Miyazaki: Did you have ANY involvement with writing the cookery book bar the photo shoot and your name on the cover?
Tana: Yes, they are all devised at home by me, when I need inspiration my mum is a great home cook and we will discuss different ideas. I cook every evening for my children and the three books contain recipes they always enjoy. Hope this helps.

Cadelaide: Hi Tana, I would really like to know whether Gordon swears around the children like he does on TV.
Tana: Of course he doesn't – home is a relaxed environment - work is busy and stressful and he is under pressure.

ahundredtimes: Tana, sometimes I feel that cook books like yours - and others - make me feel bad because I haven't time to whip up some eggy bread and yoghurt dipping in the morning, or make my own bagels. What do you think to that?
Tana: I think you are a normal mum who is busy and has full hands – don’t beat yourself up over it – we all have our guilt concerning our kids be it time / cooking / whatever it may be! Mine is lack of knowledge on homework front – thank goodness for the internet, I have forgotten all I ever learnt at school!

Cadelaide: Hey Tana, what are your kids' birthday celebrations like? Do you do it yourselves? Is the food all themed and arty or do they get party rings and sausages on sticks?
Tana: They get sandwiches, crisps, sausages, typical party food with variety to cater for all the children there – the only arty bit is the cake! I love their parties and the cakes are the best bit to make decorated depending on the current favourite theme x

*The OriginalFabio*: Tana - how did you really feel when Gordon decided to put a load of livestock in your back garden? Did you have to look after them youself or did somebody else come around and see to them? Did they smell?
Tana: Yes they did smell, thank goodness for nice neighbours. Was a great project to do and the children really loved it and learnt about where meat really comes from (not just appearing on the supermarket shelf) and how to look after animals. Would not want it full time!

cupoftea: here's a question - what would recommend for a packed lunch?
Tana: Wholemeal sandwich with ham / cheese & salad, fruit, muffins/ flapjack, chopped veg, yoghurt, or if you have time a pasta salad.

LittleBella: My question is, why does Gordon not change nappies? Is it because he thinks cleaning up shit is women's work? Do you agree with him?
Tana: I was more than happy to change them – I was lucky enough to be able to stay at home as a full time mum when the children were babies. I was totally regimental with the kids' routine (having 4 of 3 and under I had to live by routine) and loved the fact that when Gordon was home he could totally enjoy the fun side.

Dinny: Can you confirm how tall Gordon is as dh thinks he is 5 foot 8 (after dh was interviewed by him in the street for F Word) and I am sure he must be taller. thanks!
Tana: Gordon is 6ft 2” – hope that clears up the discussion!

whomovedmychocolate: Okay here's a question. Do all the other kids want to come home to tea with your kids and if so, have you ever given them Gregg's sausage rolls and fruit shoots?
Tana: The kids always have friends home for tea – they eat whatever is on the menu that night and yes it is home made!

MARGOsBeenPlayingWithMyNooNoo: Tana - have any of your children developed fussy eating stages (like only eating orange food) and how did you get through it? (we're currently coping with a rice with everything saga at chez margo). Also, you bake with your little ones, don't you? Do you have to bite your tongue when they make a mess in the kitchen? (I find it very hard to get enthusiastic about cooking with my children for this very reason and for the lack of a dishwasher too.) And my last question... what's your favourite kitchen utensil and why?
Tana: Favourite utensil is my microplane grater. Yes, I find the mess hard to deal with too and tend to only do it at the weekend. They did all have fussy stages but we got through it by not giving up! It does come to an end.

Tillyscountsmum: I read that GR didn't want to be at the birth of his dc's because he was concerned that it would put him off having sex with you in the future ? Is it true ? If so, did you mind? Who was your birthing partner/s instead of GR ?
Tana: I did not want anyone other than essential doctors/ midwifes there and was more than happy to do it on my own so no, I did not mind!

ladytophamhatt Mon 13-Oct-08 18:03:39

Humpf, I actually blushed in RL when I realised my mistake.

I could feel my cheeks burning....hwo mad is that??

Still, its pretty cool to get parenting advice from Mrs Ramsey. I'll tell all my friends that Gordans wife said XXXX to me.

ladytophamhatt Mon 13-Oct-08 18:04:25

XXXX =what she said, not any four letter swearwordgrin

MamaG Mon 13-Oct-08 18:15:14

LOL at LTH grin

Gobbledigook Mon 13-Oct-08 18:52:25

ROFL LTH! You are funny!

muppetgirl Tue 14-Oct-08 10:10:21

Alice - I learned to crochet whilst heavily pregnant with Hen and became a one woman blanket making machine. You can do it whilst watching telly, listening to the radio etc. Crochet would be the best girlie to help as to which books, patterns ect as all I can do is rows!

If she likes psychology I have all the Ou's last years books for my introducing psychology course (dse 212) if she fancies them. She can do a bit of learning whilst in bed. (I realise this may not be her bag but they are there if she'd like them x)

I like floria's ideas though, she has the voice of experience grin Sorry to hear of your rubbish night's sleep floria. I agree with the moving Alex back into your room. If dh complains then maybe he should go and sleep in Alex's room!!

Well, having the family round was lovely but they do have a completely different routine to anyone I've ever met. My nephew is 3 (4 in Jan) and goes to bed around 10-11pm this is so he sleeps in till 9-10 the next morning as my sil doesn't like to get up early hmm great when you're at home but when you stay at someone else's house I though it was etiquette to join in with whatever the house routine is? Ollie was being crippled by the late nights as he goes to bed at 7pm everyday (including Christmas day -blush nasty mummy!) he still got up at 6am in the morning as he's just wired that way. We took both boys to Warwick Castle -Nephew hasn't ever seen a castle - and it was a bit of a trauma as our nephew doesn't turn round to his name (at all -how weired?) so you have to go and chase after him as he doesn’t seem to even acknowledge you're there and he won't hold your hand, all of this we didn’t know till we got there!! I got firm and gave him choices 'Hold auntie Muppet's hand or we'll leave the gift chop, oh you won’t? Right, off we go....' and funnily enough he held my hand! He doesn't eat regular meals as my brother and sil don’t have a routine so he can get up and have 2 mouthfuls of muesli and that will last him till 2-3 in the afternoon. He’s certainly changed a lot since the last time we saw him…

Lovely boy but never been told no and has never had expectations in terms of his behaviour, eating etc so he does what he wants, when he likes. Have to say though, they had great fun and got on like a house on fire. Ollie loved him in his room and was sooooooooo excited when he arrived. Will go over to see them next year.

My brother looks well but is stressed about a deal with his company but then he’s always like that so nothing changes grin

Just off to study in the tidy kitchen whilst Henry naps. I am looking at the Strengths and weakness of the three theories of identities…..

Love to all

Ps I know Tana Ramsay’s favourite colour as I asked her on mnet yesterday you know!!!!! I did act like donkey from Shrek as I said ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ in a bit of a desperate way blush here is the link if you fancy a giggle

[[http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mumsnetliveevents/626346-live-lunchtime-webchat-with-tana- ramsay-1-2pm-monday-13 here]

muppetgirl Tue 14-Oct-08 10:11:40

whoops, wrong thread
sorry all



TheDullWitch Thu 16-Oct-08 14:37:02

God, that was boring. She doesn't have an original thought in her head, about food or anything else!

matildax Thu 16-Oct-08 16:44:27

i disagree thedullwitch,
i think she was very pleasant, and answered peoples questions accordingly.
imo she is just a everyday 'normal' mum similar to all of us.
can i ask, what exactly were you expecting??? hmm

ItsAllaBitNoisy Sat 18-Oct-08 09:44:55

Seems like a nice lady. smile

Lol at LTH getting her mixed up!

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