I have it on good authority that ‘Flangiprop’ is a distant relative to ‘Conglomerate Soup’. Conglomerate Soup was the term my husband created to convince my veggie resisting children to get vitamins into them. My boys did suspect he was putting them on, but the darlings were young and trusting, back then and no match for the inventiveness of their desperate dad.

The term, Flangiprop is mentioned in a little known dictionary-cookbook called ‘Having fun with gobble gums and sprouting Brussels’, by Gordon Fishkettyle. Mr Fishkettyle, a father of two, spent years collecting anecdotes and recipes from family and friends to put this little gem together. It’s been out for two decades now, an open secret kept from the kiddies it is passed down by kindly veterans to clueless new parents.

The book is available at any good bookshop, but don’t expect to find it on the shelves. Staff keep it under the counter, out of sight of inquisitive toddlers so you will need to whisper the password, ‘at my wit’s end’ before they will bring it out of hiding. ‘Having Fun’ has tempting recipes for fussy eaters with inviting names like Batman brocco-burgers or Dorothy the Dinosaur-pea soup that parents can use to fool their children with. Before the children’s rights brigade come out in force and cry mental cruelty let me point out that all’s fair in love and war and good parenting. It’s a hard enough gig as it is, and we parents do what we have to, to ease the heavy load.

But there’s a mystery to be solved here. How has it come to this pass? Having dined exclusively on mother’s (or cow’s milk) for months, the introduction of pumpkin and mushy peas is a baby’s idea of ambrosia; the darlings can’t get enough of it. They suck their veggies down the gullet like there’s no tomorrow. So, what happens after that? How come spinach is top of the pops one day and the next our children make noises that translate as ‘eeuw,gag, spit, I’m not touching that with a barge pole’?

I’ve had a few years to examine it and I’ve come to some conclusions, all of them my own so take them or leave them. As children are introduced to more solids the exhausted cook is tempted to stop cooking separate meals. If the parents have Pizza Mondays and Fish and Chips Fridays then good luck getting the child back to broccoli. If the family doesn’t recognise a vegetable unless it’s incorporated into Conglomerate Soup or Flangiprops what hope has the youngster got? What hope, in fact has that Pizza eating parent got who says, ‘eat that carrot, it’s good for you!’

Aren’t those first birthday parties adorable? Balloons and streamers and hats and lots of sound and colour. Lots of excitement, too. At that stage the food is aimed at the parents rather than the children. The exception being the frosted birthday cake with one candle in the middle and one to grow on, on the side. That’s traditionally where the child is encouraged to shove a hand into the frosting and feast on it. After that it’s other birthday parties and other cakes, and jelly cups and hundreds and thousands sandwiches and sausage rolls and party pies and chocolate crackles. It’s all downhill from there, as children are introduced into the wider world of crèche, day care, kindergarten and school.

Sometimes I feel that there should be a special place in hell reserved for people who sell take away food, but it has its place in our take-away, throw-away society so we have to turn the disadvantage into the occasional treat and minimise the harm.

You can pack nutritious lunches for school, but you’re not there to see who they swap their lunches with or what happens to the things they can’t rid themselves of. There are people who pre-prepare lunches a week at a time and put them in the freezer. I would get up half an hour earlier so my children could have a fresh lunch each day. One of them, a vegetarian now, would toss his lunch on the way to school. The laugh is on him now, he has to eat his broccoli. (Actually, he likes it, eeuw.)

What do you do from there? I don’t know. This isn’t a ‘How To’ story. Buy the book and make Brocco-burgers or Flangiprops. Better still, introduce vegetables to your children that haven’t been disguised. If you do it early enough you might have a chance. And stay away from Maccas and their ‘Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – all on a sesame seed bun.’

9 thoughts on “Flangiprop: having fun with gobble gums and sprouting Brussels.

  1. Pingback: She is such a FLANGIPROP | Beyond Beauty Tips

  2. Those are some interesting flavors for little ones. I don’t see myself making these for me and Rich, but think my sister might like the recipe for her daughters with young children. I’ll pass it on. Thanks!

    • Maddie, there’s something strange happening with my notifications and stats. I try to respond but seem to be writing to myself Am giving my original response another go:

      Maddie, it’s so nice to see Susan’s lovely face in my notifications box. I appreciate it more, knowing that you’re mostly hard at work.
      No, don’t give that recipe to your sister, I made it up whole cloth (trying yet again and not succeeding in being funny.) But it’s true about the soup.
      There’s a Charlie and Lola book where Lola won’t eat her veggies and Charlie calls each one by a special name. It good her hooked and it got my granddaughters hooked when they were little.
      Still, it’s not a bad idea mixing compatible vegetables and flavouribngs together and using a cookie cutter to shape them and calling them something special sounding.
      I think I’m going to go and add a disclaimer to that recipe. Hugs.

      • LOL! Mary! You have to remember you are in a different country, and there are just some things that I can’t imagine people eating, but they are staples elsewhere. Like Vegemite sandwiches. The recipe made perfect sense, and I thought coriander and cumin were a bit odd together, but maybe the recipe as a whole would be good. … I’m still laughing. I was going to have my sister try it first and give me a report. 🙂 No wonder this wasn’t on your recipe page. 🙂

      • You’re so right abut that, Maddie. That’s taught me a lesson. I keep forgetting that though I’m smiling no one can see it.
        I’m going to check out some of my old recipe cheats and maybe send some real recipes out into the ether.
        In the meantime, (I’m smiling) can I just add (I’m smiling), you can do anything, but lay off my blue suede vegemite. ::) 🙂

      • I’ve been influenced by an Elvis movie that was on tv recently. I liked the elvis songs, especially some of the gentler ones later on but not the movies.
        I bet you were absoluely awsome in that blue sued pantsuit..

      • I’m off to bed, but wanted to say that I, too, like the more tender Elvis songs – Crying in the Chapel, Love Me Tender, etc. I don’t know how awesome I was in the pantsuit, but they were trendy, and I felt like a million dollars because I had a suede one. 🙂

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