Friday, 24 February 2012

Another weekend away. Tut tut...

Listen! Can you hear it? No – neither. It’s very quiet! That’s because there’s only me at home. Yes, really, 6 p.m. on a Friday evening and it’s just me. Not even the dog – he has already been dispatched, as have children and Husband, and I am taking just a little moment before I too head off to the station for a much looked forward to weekend away with my lovely school friends.

It might be suggested that I am overly keen to spend time away from my family, given that hot on the heels of half term, when I packed the kids off to Allotment Junkie’s for a week, I am now about to head off again, but that would not be true, oh no. Half term was a necessity, enabling the Husband and I to decorate Pink’s bedroom with minimal disruption. It is true that it also neatly resolved the need for a weeks’ childcare, and allowed the Husband and I a night away, but that’s by the by.

We retrieved Pink and Blue as planned at Kings Cross last Saturday.  Blue seemed bright enough, but then Allotment Junkie had dealt with the sick on the train down from Leeds. To cut a long story short, he then went downhill again to the point where I panicked and took him in to hospital for a blood test. I spent the rest of Monday and Tuesday running away from the big, black monster that had managed to escape from his box in the naughty corner and rampage round my brain, shouting RELAPSE! Bear in mind that this is the third virally type illness that he’s had in not quite as many months, and he’s never quite seemed to pick back up properly. My brain was in overdrive, and when the results of the blood test came back, I couldn’t quite believe that the low platelets and neutrophils could be 99.9% certainly down to viral suppression.  By Tuesday evening, Blue had started to pick up and I’d managed to get a grip and at least reduce the monster to cartoon proportions. Blue actually ate his supper – the last of the swede and potato pasties which I’d stashed in the freezer. I once read somewhere that it’s psychologically quite useful to serve up food that you’ve prepared on a different day and frozen because it removes the link between the effort you have put into preparing it and their rejection of it, and makes you less likely to take it personally. Anyway, I had no need to fear, because both Blue and Pink ate them again with gusto (and not too much HP). Definitely no ‘one hit wonder’. I have plans for bulk production.

Had another Veg Everyday success with twice baked potatoes on Wednesday – always a busy evening as the Husband has scouts. Pink wasn’t happy with the idea of mixing everything (cooked potato, spring onion, sweet corn, cream cheese - the recipe says sour cream or creme fraiche, but true to form I didn’t have either - and grated cheddar) together, then piling it back into the potato skin for another 15 mins – have you seen ‘When Harry met Sally?’ She is such an ‘on the side’ kinda gal – so I gave her the component parts and she was happy enough. She did try some of mine though, and having decided that she liked it after all, proceeded to negotiate with the Husband to have the rest of his in exchange for her potato skins. Canny. Blue loved it too, and he’s not one for warm cheese, so I got above myself and decided that the time was right for spinach and penne ‘Spouffle’, a recipe again from Veg Everyday that I’ve been eyeing up since I opened it.

Actually, I should have known I was pushing my luck. For a start, the tea making slot was severely compromised by the fact that Pink was making her Rainbows promise yesterday, so my normal 45 min slot between dropping her off and picking her up was reduced to 30  mins as I had to go back 15 ins earlier to witness said promise. And this is basically a soufflé. Who in their right minds would attempt such a thing without a clear run at it? Apparently I would. Despite the fact that I had to spend some of the time I had between getting in from the school run and back out again to Rainbows repairing Pink’s ‘make up’ so that she looked slightly less Alice Cooperish, I managed to get most of it prepped before walking her down to Rainbows. I should say that I in no way condone the wearing of makeup for Rainbows promise making – or in fact at all at the age of 5 ¾  - but I have a theory that if she can get it all out of her system now, while I’m not worried that she’s on the prowl for boys, then it won’t be an issue when she’s a teenager. I expect I will be proved horribly wrong, but frankly there are more important battles to fight.

I got back home and managed to finish the final mixing together, whipping the egg whites and getting it all into a dish for the oven. My only option was then to set the oven on timer and hope that it would turn out OK. It did work out pretty well, and I enjoyed it, but Blue and Pink both struggled. Ho hum – some you win etc. To be fair, Blue said it was better than cauliflower cheese, so that’s something, I suppose.

Anyway, finally made it through to Friday. We had chilli – straight out of the freezer, and tomorrow, the Husband is fending for himself with the kids. I have left him cottage pie and frozen peas, so all should be well. Tomorrow, for me, no day of swimming lessons and general running around, but a day at a Spa followed by cocktails and dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Italian in Covent Garden. Get me on that train.

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