There is a parachutist in my dishwasher


One gets used to slightly surreal happenings when you live with a lively and imaginative almost 5 year old, usually they perk up the day such as discovering Eeyore, Pooh and Piglet models lined up on your computer or an Arabian warrior by the bedside light as a small persons attempt to look after Mummy when he’s not there. Sometimes they can be slightly worrying like finding a gun in your purse just before you donate to charity (Plastic and about 1cm long from playmobil) or the time I moved the duvet and found a horses head in the middle of my bed…

Most of the time Spider and I get on. This last month however we have perhaps spent slightly too much time with each other and we are both showing our irritation – I’m also suffering from major league grumpiness from too many early morning visits from Spider –  my attempt at an early night last night was shattered when he came down with the runs at about 11pm and needed to be stripped and showered…

Fortunately, although we do have some problems with playing together (he insists on telling me what I should do and how I should play) we are now getting the hang of cooking…and when it comes to dough he’s getting better than me…cooking with Spider however has a very Spider type angle to it…when I was small I made gingerbread men…Spider refuses to be quite so dull, and fortunately for him has relatives who will indulge him with more his sort of cookie cutter…

Appetite for Noise


Kitchen still in a state of chaos. Cooking has been happening but we’ve mostly been using up leftovers and trying to use up things in the fridge before they go off. We have been eating well this week as a result and most meals have been planned (although not yet got around to writing a menu plan, just announce at the beginning of the week what we are happening…hi light of the week was Husband’s lasagna and an unseasonal cream tea on thursday… Anyway here’s something we did much much earlier (november 2008 I think)

Tender: Nigel Slater


Tender came out in October 2009. I have, from time to time fondled it in various bookshops and admired the usual beautiful photographs, carefully chosen paper and print style and of course his wonderful wonderful words…I didn’t admire the price though (£25 full price – amazon currently have it half price). So thinking carefully about it I resolved, no more recipe books. I have enough. Maybe in the future if I see it secondhand…

Mum, thankfully, ignored my resolve and for that she had a special hug on Christmas day…which surprised her as she was in the middle of taking the turkey out the oven !

Thankfully since Christmas we have been living on leftovers which has given me plenty of time to hideaway with my beloved Nigel, pouring over his beautiful prose and planning the vegetable garden. Maybe this year I will get it off the ground – last year my seedlings withered in the kitchen when we were let down over the promised allotment.

It’s timely too as one of my plans this year is to get more vegetables into our diet…I have a sneaking suspicion that it may lead to less colds and a general feeling of well being.

Despite the fact that the kitchen is currently our of commission (see previous post) I do have a vegetable soup on the go (The usual end of life fridge soup, loosely based on a Covent Garden caramalised root vegetable recipe (because I have turnips in the fridge)…and a vague plan to stop at a Farm Shop on the way back from Banbury later today.

There is a problem with this however, as by and large I cook for a family and my family are not really into vegetables – although Spider is getting better – he ate the maple syrup parsnips (p383) I did with the roast beef.

My impressions on the book though are that it is beautifully written but not that it makes me want to get into the kitchen – this is not because Nigel hasn’t served up his usual selection of fabulous ideas but because everytime I read something part of me is thinking “oh so and so won’t eat that” – what is does make me want to do however is get out into the garden and plant things !

Current plans however involve the chapter on Sprouts (Husband oddly, does eat sprouts) and all the Soup recipes which are in season. The book is, unsurprisingly, rather short on cake recipes, and of the 3 there are I have already made 2 of them as they were previously published in the Observer – however in view of the drastic need to reduce calorie intake in this house, this lack is no bad thing…

But first I must finish off painting the kitchen, otherwise we will be living off pizza and cheese on toast for the next few days.

2am and more…


I went to bed before Spider. It’s amazing how tiring putting 3 coats of paint on the kitchen ceiling is – guess I’m out of practice (spent a large part of my 30’s doing DIY) but was up again by 11pm…and then of course couldn’t sleep… and then slept fitfully waking at 2am…

Not sad enough to fire the laptop up at 2am tho’ so had a cup of tea and vaguely planned the garden. When Spider woke me at 7.45 I was unfortunately grumpy – I suspect if I could get this sleep thing under control I would be a much nicer Mummy to him.

Today not looking good though, ceiling still needs a final coat and I have to repaint the walls…after a dash to Wickes when it opens at 10am…the general opinion  of yesterdays efforts is that we bought the wrong blue…it’s the blue equivalent of Barbie Pink.

Chaos will rule for a bit longer in this house as it’s unlikley we will have finished before work starts again tomorrow – have to sand the worktops down and clean the floor before we can put things back where they will live – guess its pizza for tea then…

New years resolutions…can wait


Happy New Year. Happy New Decade.Pinch punch first of the month and all that jazz.

I have spent today “away with the fairies”. We babysat last night for the neighbours who were doing event photography down in Cheltenham and didn’t get home until gone 2am. So despite having a lovely long lie in (thank you Mum for offering a sleepover to Spider  – that was a genius idea) I have spent the day not capable of sensible thought or the usual planning and organisation.

Well that’s not quite true I have vaguely cleaned the house (bought a new vacuum cleaner in the sales, so much more enjoyable (!) when you are not constantly stopping to rebuild your cleaning equipment) and Husband has been busy putting various bits of IKEA (swedish for “you will spend”) furniture together in our traditional yearly attempt to keep the clutter under control by finding different ways of storing it.

Tomorrow the kitchen is closed. Again part of trying to bring some order to the house. Husband and Spider are off to Homebase or some such place to buy paint and tiles to finish the kitchen off. We’ve spent 2 years trying to agree on tiles for the kitchen and finally decided the easiest way would be to paint over the red with something that gives us more options on tiles. My job is to go through the cupboards and decide what gets tipped or car booted, in between watching paint dry (because the plaster wasn’t quite dry when we moved back in, we never actually got around to painting the ceiling)…when the kitchen reopens it will mostly likely be making soup rather than cake as a) we have lots of leftovers to use up and b) we bought a new pair of bathroom scales when we went to IKEA. Cake is off the menu until February…if not longer !

Right I am off to bed. Hope the new year brings you all you all you dream it will….I love new starts…