Thursday, 8 September 2011

Things are not always as they seem...

...and so there was a perfectly good reason for me to be buying red wine and chocolate at 9.45 this morning. The woman on the till in the Co-op looked at me a bit strangely, and when I said "Honestly it's not that bad" she looked at me again, asked me for my Co-Op card, and when I said I didn't have it and scrabbled round in my pocket and handed over a tenner from among the debris (2 dog biscuits, a couple of old receipts and a furry cola bottle), she said "Are you sure? Looks quite bad to me!".

I maintained a dignified silence and left the shop.

In truth, the reason for the chocolate might seem rather weak, but I'm giving blood later today and I tend to have low iron levels which can stop the Blood service taking my pint. However, after the 8 pints that George had during his first year of chemo, I feel that this is something really important to do, so in the run up to donating, I take measures to boost my iron levels. "Dark chocolate, though" I hear you muse. "Sounds like an excuse to me". Well, there's a thing. When I was discharged from hospital 5 days after having Blue by emergency c section, with low iron levels, I was advised by the hospital not to take iron tablets or eat spinach. Oh no. The advice was very clear - red meat and dark chocolate. I had the best steak of my life that evening - huge, rare and bloody. Unfortunately, that advice also fueled an already frightening relationship with Green & Blacks which only ended when Pink was about 1 and I realised I had put on over 3 stone (to be fair, the circumstances were exceptional, and the choc wasn't the only thing to blame, but even so...). The 3 stone has gone, but I use the opportunity of giving blood to sneak in a few cheeky bars of the good stuff. This morning, it was a bar of co-op dark choc with spices and orange oil, and very delicious it was with my cup of coffee.

You see, although I know you want me to say that red wine works with dark chocolate to increase the absorption of iron, the truth is that the wine is for the chilli this evening. But as I am giving blood and then hopefully going on a rare night out to the cinema this evening, it all needs to be cooked in advance and ready to go. One of my pots of braised mince is out of the freezer ready to be transformed, once I've finished working, the it iwll be a matter of frying some onions and garlic, chucking in the mince, kidney beans and some tomatoes along with some spices and I will have a delicious meal ready for all the family to enjoy. I feel like I am living in some 50s lifestyle show about how to be a good wife and mother. Pass the gin someone.

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