In the last few days I have done a lot of cooking.
Well, being the adult in the family not in paid employment, I always do a lot of cooking, but the last few days I have noticed my cooking, experimented, pushed myself and enjoyed myself (especially the eating, yum). Inspired in part by impulse buying a new cookery book on Thursday. (Veg Every Day if you’re interested.)
I knew we were going to be busy after school on Thursday, so on Wednesday I explained the Quaker collaborative business method to the smalls and we reached a consensus that dinner the next day would be lasagne, which I minuted on the whiteboard.
In our partially vegetarian household, that means cooking 2 lasagnes. Normally I make 2 pasta sauces one day and then use the left overs with a freshly made white sauce the third day. However, I spent a busy hour on Thursday afternoon making all 3 sauces from scratch to leave 2 lasagnes that just had to have the oven turned on when my husband got home from work. Just managed it in time to pick the kids up. I even added a asparagus to the veggie version (on top of the last layer of pasta, under the cheese sauce, yum).
On Friday, we had friends round for tea and I took the opportunity to cook a chicken (not normally worth it around here) – I cooked it in a saucepan, and made mexican green rice, cheating (but lovely) cauliflower cheese, green salad and an avacado, grapefruit and chilli salad. My friends brought cake and my son insisted we bought icecream on the way home to have with it, so by the end of the meal we were all stuffed!
Saturday was leftovers day, leftover Friday dinner for lunch and leftover lasagne for tea.
Sunday we had my in laws visiting, something which both my husband and I find stressful. I cooked 3 soups for lunch, a mexican bean soup, some chicken and noodle soup (to use up the chicken) and tamarind and lentil soup. Oh and I boiled eggs and let my soup adverse daughter make egg mayonnaise.
I hoped we’d eat out Sunday evening, but I was vetoed, so I rustled up some more green rice, flatbreads, refried beans and sweetcorn fritters. An almost vegan meal (which makes me smile as my in laws are committed carnivores) and all bar the fussy girl were satisfied.
We did manage to eat out Sunday, although I was so busy trying to help my kids choose I picked something at random when the time came to order (turned out not to be a great choice) and the meal itself was stressful as the kids were tired and hungry and my father in law was particularly grumpy and muttery.
I planed to serve the leftover soup for tea, but then realised that the in laws, who were staying in a hotel and on a slightly different timeframe from us, had just had soup for lunch (having not long had a cooked breakfast), so as well I made macaroni peas. The tired children were not impressed. The visitors were stony silent but ate it up, although didn’t answer my query about seconds. I gave them soup as well and ended up having 2 helpings of the chicken one to use it up when they chose the lentil version . Then everyone else had some homemade cake I’d made (I was too full on soup, don’t worry, I had my cake later) – finally people perked up.
Today both my daugher and I set off with the rest of the egg mayonaise in homemade rolls.
This level of cooking is probably unsustainable and partly hormone fuelled (anyone else get an urge to make things when their period comes?). But I realised this morning, it’s such a stark contrast to a while ago, when I struggled to cook at all. I wouldn’t start until my husband was home from work, struggled to think what to cook and it was all things from the freezer.
I want to celebrate what I’ve cooked the last few days. To revel in being well enough to do all of this. But there is the nagging voice of Bitchface in the back of my head telling me it all sounds a bit manic, that it won’t last, that pride comes before a fall, that I’m sure to crash back to the depths soon.