Cos we are fam-i-ly
Remember my plan? The once-a-week candlelit dinner with Mr H and the trying out of new recipes for the family? My cunning plan was publically announced so that I would feel accountable. I would transform into a Nigellaesque kitchen goddess. I would ensure an endless flow of lovingly cooked dishes whipped up in flash with giggling rosy cheeked children playing around my feet. I would become the giver of love and life nourishing their bodies and souls. I forgot a few facts:
1) The reason I don't do enough 'fun' cooking is not because I am lazy (I'm writing this at 6am Monday morning) or not motivated (I am, in things I don't even need to be motivated about).
2) The reason I decided to do more fun cooking was because I wanted to make time for it.
3) Wanting to 'make' time and 'finding' time is not possible when the aforementioned time is not momentarily missing like some lost toy behind the sofa. This is theoretical time that never was, never is and possibly won't be until I stop working 7 days a week and having 3 little kids.
4) I forgot that REALLY.....I don't have time! All the will in the world last week was not going to miraculously afford me time to cook like Nigella or even Mrs Ping Ding dinner! You know what? When someone makes something legal I can take to avoid sleep (and prison) I will be their first customer.
I won't bore you with the details of what a busy week I had but let's just say the date night meal was referred to as "the fu**king blog meal" (think the 'point' was forgotten momentarily!) and I was heard shouting "we'll have to have what's in the cupboards for tea - mustard, tuna and breadcrumbs" as I ran out for another class. It's funny (in a I'm not laughing way) - I spend all week at cooking classes but don't get chance to cook what I want to cook at home. I have a bag of flour, dried fruit and bourbon etc that have sat unloved in a carrier bag for over 2 weeks now waiting to be turned into Christmas cake. The cat used it to sleep on earlier....it has become part of our home.
Thankfully Mr H has come to the rescue all this week and has fed us very well. I can't remember how we used to cope when he was out the house for 13 hours working away. I know it was not easy though and life now feels a lot calmer now he's working from home (even though it's still utter chaos)! Mr H is an excellent cook, he loves cooking as much as I do. In fact, I think it was this that made me fall for him, and the fact he beat me at pool and could drink me under the table-I had met my match! Do you remember those first few blissful months of falling in love? You meet someone and everything about them is new, exciting and interesting and you spending hours talking utter nonsense? Actually, do you remember days before kids when you actually had time to talk....about anything more interesting than how nice the new disinfectant smells (true story). Anyway, I remember us spending literally hours talking about food.... oh and music. I suspected he was the one for me when he told me how much he loved Guns n Roses. I KNEW he was the one for me when he had been telling me about how he had just tried making tournedos rossini for the first time (he can be a bit of a toff) and then in his next breath about how he loved a dirty kebab from chippy alley (and he can also be a yob....). Anyone not from Cardiff - dirty kebab is a delicacy not for the faint hearted - you must be drunk, you must be in fight or flight mode for the inevitable scrap that will break out at any moment.... and you must not be bothered about potentially eating dog.
Anyway, I digress......so at the moment, Mr H is still in the honeymoon stage with working from home. He is loving being home to see the kids and is loving being around to cook their tea. Being home for him is still novel and he even enjoys all the ferrying around to the after school clubs. We all know this will change....the swimming run will bring him to tears one of these days, it gets to even the strongest of us.
I have looked back at the week hoping for something I can write about and actually I have not cooked.....not once! Please don't think I've been sat on my backside, I have been working and doing lots of cooking bit not at home! The kids have cooked though and Mr H has made some lovely meals : gammon and parsley sauce (my request after remembering about this from my primary school days!), jambalaya, fajitas, noodles, cabonara 'a la Dom'. On Friday, Mr H made a stunning beef curry with an amazing chickpea and cauliflower side curry (served with a huge glass of red). I LOVE cauliflower in curry and had been thinking and talking about it for a few days ....now that is true love right there! Or did he just want me to stop going on about it?! By the way, does anyone else spent an inappropriate amount of time dreaming about food?! Saturday was pizza (shop bought - not homemade because this is the real world and there isn't always time). Yesterday was roast chicken, which we have a lot, we all love it, it's cheap and it's easy . Lily wanted to make pudding last night so her and daddy made an amazing chocolate sauce pudding....OMG. Try this. This is all I have to say on the matter (recipe below).
So all in all, another week goes by and I've put on a few more pounds despite not cooking any meals at all (they are feeders my family, the lot of them!). The thing is though, I am not wonder woman (or Nigella) and I've decided not to beat myself up about not being able to complete 'the mission' this week. I used to try to do everything and I got into a right old pickle, so I'm not going kill myself over trying to do things that aren't possible. We're a team me and my little gang and we all muck in and make it work between us....even if a little chaos ensues along the way and we end up eating dog kebabs and cat Christmas cake.
Chocolate Sauce Pudding
250g dark chocolate pudding
50g unsalted butter
150g light muscavado sugar
25g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
Break up the chocolate and put this along with the milk into a pan and heat until the choc has melted.
Beat together the sugar and the butter until nice and creamy.
Next mix in the egg yolks, cocoa powder and chocolate mixture until smooth.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Using a big metal spoon, fold in the egg whites into a chocolate mixture.
Put the mixture in a 1.5 litre pie dish and put the dish in a roasting tin. Pour a 2.5 cm depth of boiling water into the tin.
Bake in a pre-heated oven 180oC / Gas mark 4 for 30 mins until the pudding has a crust but is still soft underneath.
Amazing with vanilla ice cream!