Tent City Made Way For Dinner

An afternoon making tents lead to all kinds of squabbling yesterday. Thankfully we do not live in an HMO (house of multiple occupation), though sometimes it does feel like we do. The weekend sped by and is now catalogued in my mind as but a memory, one with which to ponder on today. As you can see, Remus and Gracie are always participating in what we all get up to.

The day finished with bath time. It was all a bit screamy, leaving me vowing to never participate again! Of course next Sunday I will back John up and help out with the hair drying, but for now I will let them believe they pushed me just a little too far! They were marginally better behaved at dinner time. A roast dinner event comprising of roast leg of lamb, roasties cooked in lard (lamb fat has too strong a flavour), mashed swede, glazed carrots, peas, sautéed Savoy cabbage and just a few, for Tara, Amritsar, Aaliyah and myself, Brussel sprouts. The first time for this indulgence this year! I was very surprised that Aaliyah piped up and said that she absolutely loved Brussel sprouts. I had cooked them for Amritsar and Tara primarily, but it seems that I will be cooking them for 4 out of 7 on Xmas day! So, we have a majority on the sprouts then this year! It’s the small things isn’t it…?

Nothing To Report

This morning found a frosty start here in ‘The Shires’ and the icy chill made way to a very rainy day indeed. This week has flown by. The children are all well as are Daddy and Dadda.

Just thrown another log on the fire as you can see with tonight’s picture. This is also a first of the season – a real fire.

Everyone is calm and watching the television. Though there were a few crazy moments earlier on. I really must get that white board in order to make notes on the various goings on that are reportable. Hence, nothing to report tonight. Let’s see what happens tomorrow then!

On the Jammin’ front, a new amazing combo was dreamed up earlier in the week. How does ‘Peach Amaretti’ sound? It blew my head off at any rate, the children too as a matter of fact. My piece of toast was elevated to the flavour sensation of ‘Dadda’s Baked Well Tart’ with none of the cooking. Now that can’t be s bad thing, don’t you agree? The full recipe to follow next week.

Well Into the Week and What Did We Eat?

Well into the week now, the weekend seems a while ago! The ‘foodie’ offerings over the last days consisted of salmon (with lobster bisque) on Thursday, an Italian trio on Friday (the party), lobster Thermidor on Saturday, roast lamb with torn potatoes on Sunday and chicken and chips on Monday. All very tasty and all on our usual family ‘foodie’ rotation. We had the added bonus of a pizza lunch at pizza express on Sunday as we felt the children had deserved a tryout in public to show us (and all) their very bestest table manners. How did that go you may ask yourself?

Before we entered the restaurant I asked John “are you sure you want to do this”? He confirmed he was and we entered the pizza restaurant. I was apprehensive, but followed our not so famous five in. Thor was at the front of the group. The waitress was about to show us to our table and all of a sudden, not two minutes in, Thor let out an almighty shriek, spontaneously followed by a change in pitch and a loud aaaah followed. Scowling at John, “I told you so” was my initial thought, but I bit my lip and made my way to the front and comforted Thor, rubbing his head for him as he yelped. He had bent over beneath a thin bar / shelf that was running he length of the wall to the right of the door, stood up and smack wallop. I told everyone to go to the table and Thor and I went outside, head rubbing as we did and sat on some seating. I calmed him down and soothed him. We talked a little about behaving well when we were out. Tears wiped away, we re-entered the restaurant and joined the others. That incident aside, the pizza lunch went very well, no screams, no fighting, only well behaved children. Do you know what? I was so impressed with all of the children, so a BIG well done to them all.

Yesterday saw three of our ‘seasonal’ pumpkins cut, washed and boiled, then strained, mashed, cooked and bagged. I tried to pour off any excess water that was released from the flesh as I mashed the pumpkin. They really do hold a lot of water. But remember my earlier trick to bag and freeze the pulp and the excess water will be released on thawing out before making a scrumptious Jam with it.

The plums that were left over from the party were washed, cut and boiled down to a pulp also. Sugar was added and then cooked on a rolling boil for around 20 minutes. This resulted in a most flavoursome plum jam. The addition of a good volume of calvados (pear brandy) and this humble jam was elevated to manna from heaven. The full recipe I will publish a little later, but for now, just imagine this heady marriage of flavours – a very grownup jam indeed.

Thursday nights dinner:

One of Friday nights Pasta sauces:

The king of the Foodie kings on Saturday:

Sunday’s roast lamb with Dadda’s deep fried ‘torn potatoes’.

Monday’s roast chicken thigh (better taste than breast) with Dadda’s triple fried chips.

And what’s on the menu for tonight I wonder…

The Hallow – Fawkes Party

All pumpkin’d out after these last few days! I am now listening to Bach in the kitchen! It’s Saturday morning. The earlier noise has finally subsided now that the littler three of the not so famous five have left for Charlie’s Birthday Party (a friend from school). The girls and I are going to enjoy some treats in their absence, as I always do with those not invited to any of the numerous Birthday Parties that are on the family agenda. Last nights ‘Hallow – Fawkes’ Party went down well. Things went smoothly, though I spent rather too much time in the kitchen. I believe everyone had a great time. Thank you Sindy and sister Sally who helped out – Sally’s spooky cupcakes were well received. Sleepy Hollow was a big success and the 4 litres of hot chocolate that were consumed whilst toasting marshmallows on the bonfire also went down extremely well.

It’s now 3pm and the he little ones have been maraudering around the house from their sugar highs from the earlier party. Thor has been shouting louder than usual and has just collapsed with sheer exhaustion from his ballistic behaviours!

The girls and I had chapatti and pea curry for our lunch, but not before chocolate coins were consumed and a toffee apple to boot. More sweets were had to rival the sweetie bags that returned with John and the little ones from the party.

I just snook upstairs in order to finish this. The volume is subsiding slightly downstairs. Everyone loved the dogs last night, though the rapscallion pair retired upstairs and onto Dadda and Daddy’s bed for a snooze after stealing several of the children’s hotdogs – rolls and all. The Puttanesca was enjoyed as were all of the other Italian dishes.

Did I say thank you to all that made it. Well, if not – A very big thank you…

Yesterday’s Mid Week Roundup

I thank Worldpress for the delay in today’s (yesterday’s) update. I advise you to never use bullet points on your blog if you have one – I’ve been back a thousand times to try and rectify every paragraph post bullet points…

Enough of the dwelling on yesterday. And here’s to today! It was late when I crawled into bed last night. In fact, 1pm. John and I had been to the cinema and we weren’t back until late, then some food, a glass of wine etc. Bubble and squeak, that was the the late dinner, not the movie title! We haven’t enjoyed that for some time. Home made cauliflower cheese too!

Well, so far this week I have mentioned preparation for tomorrow’s ‘Hallow – Fawkes’ party, done a little Jammin’ and compiled a video of some of our Instagram favourites.

The not so famous five are presently pacified besides the television watching ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ for the umpteenth time. I am now sat at the kitchen table finding the time to write this, in between making a potato and watercress soup (for lunch) and two lots of devilled wings for tomorrow’s party. Home made barbecue sauce of course! Chinese five spice and a garlic and chilli one. Have you ever made your own? It’s so simple. It’s basically making your own tomato ketchup! A mixture of vinegar, sugar and tomato purée will make the basic ketchup with a little seasoning. Okay at this point you could of course just use shop purchased ketchup and add soy sauce and a teaspoon of five spice mix to half the sauce and Garlic, chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauce to the other half. Just roast the wings (or drumsticks) with your sauce as you would normally.

Wow, five paragraphs in and I have barely mentioned the children. And they’ve been on half term since last Friday! And we’ve done lots! They’ve been on outings, eaten more than a battalion of troopers, I do like cooking a main meal for them again daily and we’ve had a good old sprinkling of fun too. Plus the occasional outbursts from the little ones. Damn I think I am going to get a whiteboard for the kitchen and note memorable moments. That way when I do an update after a few days – I can give it to you in a time orderly fashion.

The sound of the track ‘The Old Bamboo’ is wafting through the air. I takes me back. Lol

Did I say we’ve been preparing for a party tomorrow? I did? More on that later then…