I knew that half term would be the eye of the storm.
The week has been crazy, absolutely crazy. The weekend is more of the same.
Lovely things, but busy, busy, busy all the time.
We have guests this weekend. We have been to an open day for a prospective sixth form college for Tilly. We have been out to lunch. We have been shopping. We have done homework. We have remembered to buy fireworks for Wednesday.
I have also managed to pack in helping Tallulah with a short story competition entry she is writing, cooking a dinner (LLG’s – pork, chorizo and white bean stew – very nice indeed) and having a migraine and having to go to bed for a while when the pills weren’t quite cutting the mustard.
Finally, everyone has gone to bed and the house is quiet. There is only me and the cat stirring, and she is cowed into submission by the fireworks. I cannot settle to my books, even though I am now behind with everything, and I cannot be arsed with the television, so I have baked.
I have made a meringue, ready for LLG’s Patriotic Pavlova filling for tomorrow’s dessert. I am currently making her apple streusel cake because I have some apples that have seen better days and I didn’t want to throw them away. I am making mine with ground almonds instead of the recommended hazelnuts. I have it on good authority (the book’s) that it’s a fair exchange.
I am in one of those periods of my life where not only am I intensely interested by food (like every waking moment of my entire existence to date), but I am also interested in cooking properly, and thinking about what we eat and when we will eat it. It has coincide with a bumper harvest of cookery books being delivered. Not only am I still very happily cooking my way through Sasha’s, Friends, Food, Family book, but I am dipping in and out of Anjum Anand’s, ‘Quick and Easy Indian’ as well.
I think I mentioned that I made her beef rendang earlier in the week. It was beautifully full of flavour, and because I cheated and put everything in the slow cooker and left it to its own devices, devilishly simple.
Yesterday we had the black-spiced chicken and whole grain rasam for dinner. It is a kind of hearty broth which incorporates a mixture of grains like spelt to give it a nutty flavour that contrast really well with the spices you use with the chicken. Again, I cheated, being absolutely squeezed for time at the end of the day. I prepped all my ingredients and stuck it all in the slow cooker at 8.00 a.m. and left it on low all day. By the time the children got back from trick or treating and Jason picked Nanna up from the station for her visit, we could sit down to delicious broth with warm bread and I could collapse with a much needed glass of wine after a hectic few hours, but a hectic few hours in which I didn’t have to think about what the hell to feed everyone.
Tomorrow I do believe we are out for lunch once more, but I will still have to feed everyone at dinner time. Jason makes me laugh. He has a belief that if the children have a hearty lunch, they will not possibly want more than a wafer thin mint at dinner time. I cannot understand why he still clings to this idea, despite the fact that it has never, ever happened. The children may look and behave like him in most respects, but in their massive appetites and insatiable desire to be fed every waking moment of the day, they are very like me.
I am glad I have passed something on to them, even if it will require them to think about industrial levels of corsetry in later life.
As I wait for the streusel to come out of the oven I am flicking idly through Anjum’s book, mulling over what would work nicely for tea. I’m thinking about Parsi poached eggs on potatoes. It looks delicious.
I’ll let you know.