Dinner Diary, Tuesday 22nd October

Oh. Oh, how superior I was. I politely grimaced at mid-week steak and I’m sniffy at round-cut carrots. I imagined that our Lee Family Dining Experience was far more sophisticated…we eat moules! On a Wednesday!

But the reality has turned out so different. I wanted to roll out a whole month of smug house-wife cooking, say ‘no, really, barely more effort than opening beans’, when people marvelled at how I find the time, the energy, the sheer determination to deliver three lots of veg and selected lean proteins with restrained carbs.

Was I mental? I fear I’ve asked this before. The whole month so far has been a litany of pasta, pasta, pasta, broken up by supermarket frisbee pizza and twice-a-week chip-runs. The chip man actually sees me coming and starts my husband’s scampi.¬† The freezer is jam-packed with leftovers, but even opening the door makes me feel defeated and inadequate. There’s only one bolognaise portion, so whoever gets the chicken casserole will moan, or there’s the chicken tikka, but I put too many chillis in, so whoever eats it will cry all night and be afraid of morning.

So. A lesson learnt. I’m a Country Housewife Ordinaire, not a woman who de-frills¬† scollops at the drop of a hat. In light of such a realisation, I’m going to present tonight’s dinner, with the thought that actually, it’s not too bad. It’s Fridge-Bum soup (again), but when they all groan and make sick noises, I also have a tray of home-made sausage rolls. Ha. So no huff-storming, because all three of them have a sausage roll fetish, and these ones are good.

The soup, for anyone interested, was 3 wizened parsnips, four small sweet potatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, five ridiculous (home grown) onions, 4 speckled carrots. I roasted that lot with olive oil, salt and snipped-up rosemary, for 50 min on 200, then blitzed it with a pint of chicken stock (cube), and a slosh of white wine, slosh of milk. Sounds a bit grim, but I love it. And it’s bright orange, which always cheers me up.

So, right. Tomorrow. I will NOT stagger into the chippy.

Oh! And celery. In the soup. Even the leafy bits, which you shouldn’t, because they’re bitter, but hey-ho. Crock-pot was full.

Dinner Diary: Tuesday 1st October

I found a family’s dinner diary on Twitter the other day, and was riveted. The grown ups ate steak with sauces (midweek), and the children ate Quorn fingers. They all had chocolate mousse for pud. It was fascinating.

So I thought I’d copy the dinner diary family, and start ours on the 1st October, especially as I’ll have my new kitchen by then, and can take arty fabulous photos. Was I mental? OF COURSE I don’t have a new kitchen yet, I still have the old one, where the oven door is lasciviously licked clean by a frequent-guest Labrador.

Never mind, all day long I’ve vaguely thought about making quiche, because Next Door delivered some home-grown freshly-julienne’d coleslaw, and how lovely, to start a Dinner Diary with a quiche? Love quiche. But HA! That was not to be. A crisis involving a cherry picker and a man called Dennis blew up about 2pm, and tipped me into cope-mode, which means doing anything domestic at top-speed and half-quality. At five, it was clear that the quiche was not going to happen. At about quarter past, I realised that fact.

So dinner this evening was Fridge Bum Soup or Emergency Pasta, whereby you fry 2 slices of bacon and then bung in a brick of frozen (home-grown) oven-baked tomatoes (with covert peeled marrow), then leave the eldest daughter in charge whilst you charge around the countryside looking for pony poo to scoop up in the semi-darkness. Eldest daughter dislikes cooking, even more so when left in charge of half-chopped fridge-bum soup (3 wizened carrots, 3 yellowing leeks, an onion, really quite sprightly celery and a stock cube).

Peeled soaking child from pony, rushed home (bloody top road closed, so we have to detour, literally, to the next county). Eldest daughter had done everything perfectly (just in case she reads this), but insisted on using a half packet of linguinie pasta and half packet of ancient Reginelle, which everyone hates because it’s like sucking octopus legs.

Dished up both soup (blitzed, with a few strings of linguinie and a slosh of pasta water) and pasta. On the table were also two heels of cheapo-rip-off Parmesan and Orange Cheese, which is the only cheese eldest daughter will now eat.

Smothered my soup in last of Cheddar, ate it with buttered bread. It was HEAVEN.

Emergency Pasta had lots of rolled tomato skin shards left parked on bowls, and enough left for the dogs. Posh Reginelle was declared still awful. But at least the Parmesan heels are gone, and it’s another dinner dealt with (why are there so many? Day after day after day? Why can’t we all eat bloody cereal?).

Pudding hasn’t happened yet, but I confidently predict it will be a crap wafer bar from the lunch-box-only cupboard.