I'd like to think I'm not one to moan too much - that I can at least reflect on the lighter side of whatever the disaster was. Disasters usually offer the opportunity for comic observation, but a run of little 'things' offers less humour and more moan fodder. So I'm going to try and keep things light, but I'm warning you now, it may spill into a bit of a wallow. In which case, I'm enticing you to keep reading with the promise of the meal that lifted all our spirits this evening.
We had a fantastic bonfire night at school, Saturday. The skies cleared, the mulled wine flowed, the BBQ sold out and we sold more glowsticks and strawberry chewits than you could believe possible. I was looking forward to Remembrance Sunday - church parade followed by friends for lunch. I love Remembrance Day. Regardless of your views of war - both past and present, I firmly believe that it is important to remember those millions of people who have died in the course of war.
Sunday dawned blue and clear, but I spent the day in bed, crippled by some foul 24 hour sickness bug. For anyone that thinks this is a euphemism for hangover induced by too much mulled wine, let me tell you that the Husband was also struck down early evening on Sunday resulting in the kids getting rushed through the bath at 6 p.m. and told to turn their lights off at 7.30. It was that bad. Come Monday, the weather reverted to miserable drizzle. The Husband was still suffering, so being 12 hours ahead of him on the bug front, I had to get up, sort the kids and get them to school. This morning, to put the final nail in the mood of the day, we had to say goodbye to the Husband who, now recovered, is spending up to the next week in Crete. I'm not sure if I'm more upset that he's gone and I'm missing him, or that he's getting some sun. He travels a bit, and never for very long. Linking back to the Remembrance Day theme, I have friends whose OHs are away in far more dangerous places for far longer, so I can't complain, but the kids find it very hard (I do too, but he was in the Army when we met, and I've had the best part of 20 years to get used to it) - even for one night. This trip is worse because we don't actually know when he'll be back - it could be the weekend, could be next week...
I collected them from school today, and they were both pretty flat. Pink's having 'friends' issues which seem to be getting her down - she's been creeping into our bed of late, which is very unusual, and being generally needy. After we'd done homework , she tearfully asked if we could do something fun together "...like play Operation, mummy". I could hardly refuse. Blue is knackered, despite half term, and I couldn't get the new TV to work in the way he wanted it too... What to give them for tea? Well, the answer in these circumstances is often pasta, and so today was no exception. The Husband had cancelled the Sunday lunch party on account of my being indisposed, and had frozen most of the food that we'd prepared, for Sunday lunchtime, but not the cream to go with the pudding. Spaghetti, cream, pancetta, some frozen peas. A recipe for comfort food par excellence, and easy to make while playing Operation.
Pancetta and Pea Carbonara
for 3 gloomy souls in need of cheering up
220g spaghetti, 100g pancetta cubes, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons double cream (well, I didn't eat anything for 36 hours, so it's fine), 50g grano padana, parmesan or other hard cheese, 2 eggs, 180g frozen peas
Cook the spaghetti in a big pan of boiling, salted water. Fry the pancetta in a pan with a crushed clove of garlic till cooked and crispy. In a bowl beat together the eggs, cream and cheese along with a good grind of black pepper. When the spaghetti is nearly cooked, tip in the peas - they need 2-3 minutes, then drain the spaghetti and peas, return to the pan and put back on the heat. Tip in the cooked pancetta/garlic, then tip in the eggs/cream/cheese mixture, stirring till cooked and coating the spaghetti.
Serve immediately - this is not a meal to keep sitting around. Watch the mood improve with the consumption of delicious carbs.