Well, for a moment there, it was touch and go, but we made it through to the end of term with only the toothpaste down the dress and missing cardigan buttons incident, and a forgotten trumpet (which I didn’t post about because frankly it was too distressing for all concerned. I decided that it was a good moment to teach resilience, and refused to go back and fetch it. Maybe if I ever feel superior enough about how I brought up my children to write about it, I’ll include the anecdote as an example of good parenting, but I’m not so sure a parenting guide is ever going to be on my list of things to write.)
But my mission to reduce our meat consumption has fallen by the wayside as I battled my way through the organisational bloodbath of the last week of term with the aid of whatever was at the bottom of the freezer, and whatever else was lying around – not only was it the end of term but also the end of the month...cottage pie, cold roast chicken, bonus sausages (sausages are always a bonus in our house!).
Anyway, yesterday a very chirpy young man (you can tell I’m nearly 40 can’t you – good grief!) delivered some shiny bags full of new food, the sun was shining and the kids had eaten a school dinner for lunch which was my cue to head to the park with some half-hearted excuse for a picnic and a bottle of wine to share with some friends. A lovely way to celebrate the sunshine – I thoroughly recommend it.
Kids fed (although Pink had mainly eaten crisps so had to be topped up with some oatcakes and cheese. It would have been apple and cheese, which she asked for, but this week I managed to forget to order ANY fruit WHATSOEVER so we will all die of scurvy. Anything but actually step foot inside a supermarket) and I realised I would have to do something to feed the Husband and I. The garden is just starting to yield some produce and there was a whole picking of swiss chard waiting for me so I toddled off. Now I’m going to sound all Felicity Kendal, but it’s really exciting after the winter – especially the last few weeks when all there’s been is some tired sprout tops, the last of the red cabbages which basically rotted, and the trough of flat leaf parsley – to get a decent helping of something green out of the garden.
I had planned a Hugh meal, so had the wherewithal to supplement the chard and turn it into new potato and chard curry out of Veg Everyday. It was really good. I would recommend it – and although I didn’t give it to the kids this time round because I was worried that the addition of the chilli would make it too hot for them, actually it wasn’t hot, just delicious, so I think I’ll try them with it the next time we have enough chard.
It uses a paste of garlic, green chilli and ginger, and some dry spices too (garam masala, cumin, turmeric and mustard seeds plus some cardamom pods) and is very easy to put together. In fact having picked the chard, a friend dropped by to pick something up and so we had another glass of wine, just because. Then it was definitely bed time for the kids. And the Husband got home. But I managed to get the curry on the go while skilfully (ha ha!) managing all these events into a seamless display of domestic harmony. And only a little bit of irritated, and slightly squiffy, chivvying.
The chard and potatoes cooked in about 15 mins, then you stir in a yoghurt/tomato puree/cooking liquid mixture and top with some toasted almonds and coriander. I suppose it wasn’t quite Veg Everyday because I had retrieved a container of chicken curry (another Hugh one – from River Cottage Everyday) from the bottom of the freezer just in case I didn’t get round to making the veg curry. But having made the veg curry I didn’t need to worry about rice, just about where I’d put the rest of the bottle of wine...