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The Domestic: Sophie White contemplates getting a self-stirring pot for her comforting risotto

She has always avoided gadgets, but her third baby, aka the 'Sleep Resister', has finally driven Sophie White to throw money at the problem


Risotto with grilled peaches, pecans and blue cheese

Risotto with grilled peaches, pecans and blue cheese

Risotto with grilled peaches, pecans and blue cheese

Three kids in, and I have finally succumbed to a parenting gadget. With the first two, I resisted gadgets mainly because I was worried that they would complicate the already very complicated babies that I was dealing with. I did try soothers, but eventually abandoned them, reasoning that the effort it was taking to introduce them was funnelling precious energy away from my other main activity of early parenthood: googling 'four-month-old won't stop crying'.

With the latest baby, I've been doing my usual nap routine, which consists of essentially being in perpetual motion with the baby for the first six to 18 months; rocking, jigging, swaying and pleading with the conniving child to just please go the hell to sleep. It's an incredibly physically taxing method that requires my full engagement at all times.

There seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel recently when my eldest took an interest in jigging the baby to sleep, but he soon realised that the euro I'd offered to pay him was not sufficient compensation for such prolonged physical labour, and he quit. I was irritated - I'm not even getting paid, mate - but I think his having this much self-respect at six is perhaps something to be admired and something I, at 35, should aspire to.

One day last week, I was stirring this delicious risotto - which manages to be both rich and comforting, while still retaining a summery vibe - and noticed the other upside of the risotto dinner is the fact that I can stir it and rock the pram at the same time.

What a sad indicator of where I'm at in terms of #self-care and #me-time that I am mustering excitement over a dinner I can make while pushing a buggy back and forth with the other hand.

Also, it's a poisoned chalice in that my kitchen is so small that should the baby finally be lulled, I've effectively snookered myself in the most cramped space in the house, unable to slip past the pram and flee, for fear of disturbing the volatile child.

So I opt to remain in the kitchen, held hostage by a tiny baby who is liable to crank up his trademark screaming - it's the type of newborn cry that literally sounds like someone is running a chainsaw in the corner of the room. The kind of cry that sometimes, when it's hitting a fever pitch, I would gladly gouge out my own eye if it meant he would stop.

Luckily, that's a choice that's unlikely to present itself, especially since I spotted a nifty gadget called a Rockit Rocker on the pram of another baby. It appears to be a vibrator for babies and will do the jigging for you. Finally, something good comes out of all these technological advances. Now I just need to get one of those self-stirring pots for the risotto.

Risotto with grilled peaches, pecans and blue cheese

Serves 2

You will need:

1 tablespoon oil, plus a little \u0009\u0009extra

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely \u0009\u0009chopped

200g rice

1.2L stock

2 peaches, sliced

1 tablespoon butter

60g Parmesan cheese, grated

50g pecan nuts

60g blue cheese


1 Heat the tablespoon of oil and the butter in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the finely diced onions and cook them gently until they are soft, then add the finely chopped garlic and the rice and stir. Next, begin adding the stock — add about 200ml at a time, allowing each lot to be almost absorbed before adding the next. This takes about half an hour.

2 While the rice is cooking, heat a little oil in a griddle pan over a high heat. Add the sliced peaches and grill them for about five minutes until they are soft and lightly charred. When the rice is tender and all the stock has been added, stir in the butter and the grated Parmesan cheese. Divide the risotto between two bowls and top with the charred peaches, and the pecan nuts. Then crumble the blue cheese over the top and serve.

Sunday Indo Life Magazine