Wednesday, 12 October 2011

guilty to absolved in not many steps

So I felt really bad this morning - Blue was shaking the money out of his piggy bank when he was supposed to be getting dressed. "What are you doing?" I asked (probably in a rather stressed tone - Blue is easily distracted and we were already running late this morning). "I'm getting some lunch money" he said "Can you check what's for school dinner today?""No I can't and you can't have school dinnner - I've made your packed lunch and it will be a waste". "Ok can I have one tomorrow? I'll pay for it." Hence my feelings of guilt. The husband & I decided that we would not pay for day to day school meals any more - they are £2 each and while I don't doubt that they constitute a properly balanced meal, they just did not seem to be filling even Pink up (and she has a tiny appetite most of the time), let alone Blue. I can provide more for less in a packed lunch, and it just makes financial sense. Blue, however, feels a bit differently. Even though the dinners weren't filling him up, he really enjoyed them, and has clearly decided to take matters into his own hands, by funding school meals out of the little pocket money he gets. And I feel bad - even though I know he perfectly enjoys the packed lunches he gets, and I know it makes sense. "Well," I said "If that's really what you want to spend your money on, I can't stop you, but you will get the Christmas lunch and stuff". "It's too far away till Christmas" he said.

Secretly, though, I really want him to change his mind. So on that basis, I made a turkey & sausage meatloaf for supper, and am going to tempt him with cold meatloaf sandwiches and potato salad - a combination that in the past has been hard to beat as far as he is concerned. I used turkey mince that I got from the butcher. I had to order it in, but along with his sausages, the texture of the meatloaf was definitely superior to ones I've made before with supermarket mince and sausages. it may of course just be a coincidence, but I am going to keep on making an effort to get meat from the butcher. Anyway, I feel that meatloaf, plus potato salad (which he loves), with the promise of banana bread for pudding, may just win the day in the lunch wars.

The other reason why I feel he may just swing back to packed lunches is the sourdough success. Having made up the 'sponge' last night (the bit where you take some of the starter, mix it up with flour and water, leave overnight and use that as the basis for the loaf), I made up the loaf this morning and left it to rise all day. The dough was quite wet, but it rose nicely and by the time I'd got back from the school run it was ready to be knocked back for the final rise in the airing cupboard. 2 hours later, ready to bake, and the result is amazing - if I do say so myself.

I know it might all sound like a bit of a faff, but each little step is really quick and the bread is just 10 times better. Granted it's not the easiest thing for sandwiches, especially once it's a couple of days old. but it is delicious for toast, bruschetta and that sort of thing, and it just looks great too. I'm only writing this now to try and stop myself getting in there with the butter and the lemon curd, and making a real pig of myself.

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