Saturday, November 21, 2009

No, really, your bottom doesn't look big in those!

I love the fact that my children still tell me the truth. I love the fact that there is no beating about the bush when they have something to say. I love the fact that there are no fluffy, little,white lies. I love the fact they call a spade a spade (and I suppose they would call a garden fork a garden fork aswell, but that saying hasn't really taken off). So when does the innocent, truth telling stop? After which birthday will they start to tell porky pies? When should I stop asking their opinion on my clothes,hair,boyfriends-whatever, because I know they will just be "being kind" or "buttering me up" or too embarrassed to tell me the real truth?
Children don't waste time with trying to think up excuses. They don't waste time being chummy with people they don't like. They don't waste time on faking emotions-so why do we?
Society dictates we wave and smile at people when what we would really like to do is say,
"Look, I really don't like you, and you don't like me, so lets just ignore each other from now"
Society tells us that the truth hurts-so lie "Loveit, Didn't do it,Really,I never knew, It wasn't me, Will have it done by tomorrow,I'm sorry to hear that,What a surprise!"
From early on we are told to say thank you for gifts even if they are vile or you already have 2 of them" Just what I always wanted"
We lie to parents ("I am staying at Susan's house tonight", friends (" no, really that perm is fantastic"), lovers (" yes, me too honey!"), husbands( "I bought that years ago"), children (" no Daddy and I only did IT the once to make you"), The traffic warden (sorry-I never saw the double yellow lines") etc.
I wish I was brave enough to be honest again. Don't you?
P.s There are times I wish my children were not quite so honest:-
" Mummy, that fat lady should not buy all those donuts"
"Mummy, why has that baldy man swept all his hair over to one side"
"Pooee Mummy someone in this queue has a really bad smell"
"Look, at her funny hat"
"Mummy- I need a poo"
"Mummy-is that the lady you said you didn't like"
All the above said at maximum volume!!!!
P.p.s - being honest, the following recipe is not my own creation!
5 Ingredients Garlic Chicken. (serves 4)
You will need:
4/5 chicken breasts (real recipe says legs, but I can't be bothered with bones etc)
Seasoned flour (see, even the recipe lies- seasoned flour is really 3 ingredients-flour,salt and peppper)
Olive oil
I head of garlic- broken into cloves but not peeled or cut.
White wine
Heat oil in deep frying pan. Dip chicken breasts in seasoned flour and fry until golden brown on each side (if you are side tracked and burn them slightly, lie and call it Blackened Garlic Chicken)
Add head of garlic,pour over heaps of red wine. Bring to boil,lower heat and simmer until chicken cooked through.
Serve with any veg,and mashed pototoe or crusty bread. I can not express how totally delicious this is! I am being child like honest here- but I did fib about the extra ingredients- bread,potatoes and veg; however once you taste this you will forgive me!
Have a great weekend- and I mean that from the heart of my bottom!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another one bites the dust!

I can not believe it is Friday again! What the Dickens do I do with my week? Seven days have whizzed by in a blur of children,cats,washing,shopping,cooking,cleaning etc. Ever felt like life is set on fast forward? Think about it- it seems like only yesterday it was summer and now it is nearly Christmas. We have flashed from summer sales and squishing bods into bikinis to shops being full of gawdy tinsel and frozen turkeys. My two Girls will be teenagers next year and I feel like it was only yesterday I was tearing my hair out to get them on to solids and out of nappies.

I think the problem is we are always looking into the future for something better. On Monday morning we wish it was Friday afternoon-we have just wished 5 days out of every week away (multiply that by 52 and thats alot of days!) We return from our summer holiday and immediately start thinking-where shall we go next year? Whilst still at the Christmas table we start to organise who will host the following Christmas Dinner! What is wrong with the day, the hour,the minute we are in?Why do we always look so far ahead? No use looking forward to next summer when that demon bus might knock you over tomorrow (we obviously don't think much of our bus drivers if we always say "don't think ahead-who knows tomorrow you might get run over by a bus")

We live in a world of fast food, fast cars, high speed trains and short cuts.Time to take time out and relax. Time to Gooooooo Slooooooooow. Try it.

This weekends recipe highlights my theme of Gooooooo Slooooooow.

5 Hour Lamb. (serves 6)

You will need:-

1 large leg of lamb.

salt and pepper

olive oil

6 rashers of streaky bacon

3 onions (peeled and quartered)

3 cloves of garlic (peeled and sliced)

Handful of mixed herbs

4 large potatoes ,peeled and cut into chunks

1 celeriac,peeled and cut into chunks

6 large carrots,scrubbed and halved

1 bottle of white wine

Oven on at 170 degrees C.In an enourmous pot or bug baking tray fry your seasoned lamb in olive oil until brown.Add bacon,garlic and onions and fry for 3 more minutes. Add herbs,veg and wine and same amount of water. Bring to boil and then cover tightly in tin foil and pop it into oven for 5 hours. Serve it from pot or tin with crusty bread.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food as art?

Last night I went out for dinner with one of my best friends to celebrate her birthday. She chose a Thai restaurant and the food and service were excellent. The food was tasty, beautifully presented and we felt comfortably full afterwards. We marvelled over a carrot carved into the shape of a flower. It was a simple extra that added colour to the plate, without distracting from the food itself and it was edible!

For a reasonable price (mind you, I didn't pay- thank you Anine!) we ate delicious, well presented food. We got exactly what we ordered and neither rolled out of the restaurant bursting at the seams or dived into the nearest fast food restaurant to satisfy our hunger.

What is my point, you are probably thinking! My point is what the heck is it these days with restaurant food? Why do so many eateries serve food with descriptions you need a dictionary or thesaurus to understand and the article itself would be more at home on the wall of an art gallery than on the table infront of you?

I am mainly having a go at Nouvelle Cuisine and its off shoots. I know I am a Northern Girl and we have a reputation for liking our grub basic not fussy. However, I also enjoy good cooking and fresh produce. I also like new combinations of flavours. I also like new ideas and concepts concerning food. I am not just pie and mashed potato of fish and chips wrapped in nespaper (although both the afore mentioned are delicious!). But there is a limit!

Coulis, slivers, fusion, medley, quenelle, chiffonade, mirepoix-WHAT?

Starter (sorry, I mean entrée),main course or dessert- they are all presented as beautiful works of art. Tiny weeny portions, set in the middle of a HUGE plate and decorated with various coulis, extracts, concentrates and bits that look like they have come out of someones garden. Very pleasing on the eye but not very satisfying in the tummy! I would not be happy eating food blinfolded.I would not feel satified after munching my way through The Mona Lisa or grazing on bits and bobs growing in my neighbours garden ( for health reasons I would not eat anything from my garden!) So, why should I feel privileged to eat; food the ingredients of which baffle me and miniscule portions? And at the end of the experience, what? A heart attack inducing bill and a rumbling stomach.

Perhaps I am just a Northern Heathen. Perhaps a bacon sandwich and a mug of tea are more my style, but at least I will know what I am eating, feel full after the meal and not need to take out a second mortgage to pay for it!

P.s I live close to the world renowned restaurant El Bulli, run by the famously tempramental Ferran Adrià and if anyone out there wanted to invite me there for a meal I would accept their invitation...for research puposes only!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And on a lighter note:-

My favourite recent newspaper report:-

How a bar of dark chocolate a day could cut your stress levels
Great news: Dark chocolate may not only make you less anxious, but also cut the risk of heart disease

Fabulous- We have all read that a glass of red wine a day is healthy and now I can dunk my bar of chocolate in it!!!
My daughters favourite newspaper report:-

Weekend lie-ins for teenagers wards off obesity
Teenagers lying in at the weekend might seem like laziness, but it will actually help them stay slim and healthy, claim scientists.

Silly me thinking she was just being idle!

For all you men out there:-

Sorry darling, I can't do the vacuuming. It might damage my sperm count: The best excuse yet for men not to do the housework...

Bet it was a male that dreamt this one up!

Look what I can do!

Look What I can do!

I can plan my whole weeks’ activities to the exact minute.
I can draw up the weeks’ meals menu and never deviate from it.
I can have the lunch table set and the food prepared as soon as the breakfast dishes are cleaned away.
I can have Supper ready to be heated up as soon as lunch is over.
I can write all my reminders in the same colour pen and stick them in exact, straight lines on my fridge.
I can keep everything in its EXACT place.
I can never have ironing waiting to be done.
I can make sure there are never shoes or coats lying around.
I can organize so that my childrens’ school snacks for the next day are put in their bags as soon as they walk in the door.
I can organize and tidy my fridge at least twice a day.
I can have the weekend planned by Monday evening-one plan for good weather, one plan for bad weather.
I can brush my teeth at the exact same time morning and night.
I can see that my cats always have a clean litter tray and my rabbits’ cage is immaculate.
I can book all my years’ holidays in January.
I can have the suitcases packed days in advance.
I can send Birthday cards and Christmas cards weeks too early
I can wake up every night, at least 3 times, to make lists.
I can have a panic attack if there is a change to my plan.
I can make very bad, impulsive decisions.
I can make a decision and must do it immediately.
I can never ask for help.
I can start to shake if a job takes longer than the time I allotted it.
I can have a severe headache if I have to reschedule.
I can stay up late to finish all the jobs on my list.
I can never say no.
I can fall totally head over heels in love over night.
I can fall out of love in the blink of an eye.
I can ruin every relationship because they upset my routine.
I can tell you I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Now before you all start thinking I am feeling sorry for myself or that I am having a good moan and whinge- let me tell you that 90% of the time I consider my Obssessive/ Compulsive Disorder a blessing! For my work as a teacher I am super organised with lesson plans. Bringing up twins I always had bottles, clothes,bags etc at the ready. My nightwaking sometimes results in the most brilliant ideas and my girls and I never miss appointments or are late. How many of you ,by Monday morning, have the weeks meals planned, shopped for and most of the time prepared? This obssession with planning means I always have heaps of extra time to worry about other obssessions!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No internet all day today.....rabbit sneaked in to house and took its revenge by chewing through a cable or two! So just a quick thought for the day:-
Handle every stressful situation like a dog.If you can't eat it or play with it,Just pee on it and walk away.
Anyone got any good recipes for rabbit pie? Just joking (I think!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feeeeeeel gooooood food.

Anyone else out there hate Mondays? For as long as I can remember I have hated the first day of the week. I think I inherited this from my dad, he was a firm loather of Mondays. Whether I have had a great or a naff weekend, Monday morning arrives and I am plunged into depression. Infact the Monday morning blues actually start mid Sunday afternoon. They start as a annoying niggle (what is a niggle?) in the back of my mind-my weekend is nearly over. By Sunday evening I am a miserable, bad tempered grouch. Sunday night I always sleep badly, so I start the new week a wreck. By Monday evening all is great again- not long until Friday!!

Monday needs special feel good food. Monday is a day for comfort food. Monday is a day for easy to prepare food. Monday is not a day to start a new diet. Here are my 5 favourite Monday foods, in reverse order:-

5. Soup- homemade or from a can (depending on how miserable you are) with fresh bread and lashings of butter.

4.Sausages, mashed potato(with milk and butter) and gravy.

3.An enourmous bacon sandwich. Don't trim the fat off the bacon, don't use turkey bacon, do use white bread, do use butter and do use brown sauce.

2.Beans on toast,with lots of freshly milled black pepper and if you are feeling really down-a poached egg on top.

1.Definately my favourite- a HUGE bowl of cornflakes,swamped in ice cold, full fat milk (back to skimmed milk on Tuesday) with sugar sprinkled liberally over the lot!

Go on- you have almost survived another Monday.....treat yourself!

Anyone out there want to share their favourite feeeel goooood food? I am willing to try most things!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Mothers Ten Commandments.

Inspired by a fellow blogger-UberGrumpy.

1. Thou shalt not curse,swear or beg for pain relieving drugs during labour.

2. Thou shalt breast feed your child for as long as possible and not be so vain as to be concerned about the state of your breasts after. Thou shalt not take the easy option of formula milk.

3. Thou shalt not feed your child ANY food containing artificial colours, preservatives or processed fats and sugars-EVER. Thou shalt deny your child chocolate, fizzy drinks, tasty salted snacks and anything else yummy.

4. Thou shalt make all your own baby purees from organic fruit,vegetables and meats and thou shalt not be frustarted or angry when baby refuses to eat the puree.

5. Thou shalt not put your child infront of that machine of Satan-The T.V ,to distract them whilst you have 5 minutes peace.

6. Thou shalt not use the word NO to your child. Thou shalt seek other ways to let them know their behaviour/ requests are not suitable. (Have you ever tried this? Soooo difficult!)

7. Thou shalt let your child express him/her self freely- even if this includes drawing on the walls with your favourite lipstick.

8. Thou shalt always have the patience of a saint with your child and thou shalt not get cross or raise your voice- even if afore mentioned child is behaving like one of Lucifers helpers and your partner is being as much use as a chocolate teapot.

9. Thou shalt always agree with your partner infront of your child (what you do or say once chlild is asleep is up to you!), thus showing your child a stable,united family. Thou shalt not think wicked thoughts whilst putting on this show.

10 Thou shalt not have a nervous breakdown attempting the above commandments.