Day 223

Level 2 Chi Kung.

Although it was never discussed, I think Nick and I both assumed that part of the deal with my career break would involve me cooking his dinner. In fact, from my point of view, cooking dinner, and cooking in general, was one of the parts that I was most looking forward to. So it has been a surprise to discover that, although I enjoy the cooking in general, I’m less interested in the getting-dinner-on-the-table part. This is partly because Katie now does so many after-school activities that I am out every evening except Wednesday, and partly because, by the time Nick gets home, I will generally have already made three different meals (one for each of the three children) and often given in to temptation and joined one of them if whatever they are having looks good. My solution to this – in order to feel like a good provider without forcing myself to cook when I don’t feel like it – is to make sure that the fridge is always stuffed with food that can easily be transformed into a meal. So, for example, I will often boil up a big pot of new potatoes, so that there are always spuds in the fridge to be quickly warmed through or fried up as required. I do little jobs like this throughout the week, whenever I have a few minutes to fill, but for larger projects, Wednesday, when I don’t have to go out again after school pick up, is my big chance. Today, I really got a bit industrial. I was desperate for soup, but we didn’t have much in the way of veg in the house, so I sauteed some carrots and onions in the soup pot, then threw in a couple of jars of passata, and a big pile of green lentils. When it was nearly done I threw in a big bunch of coriander that was needing to be used up and hit it with the stick blender. Yum! While the soup was cooking, I made a double mixture of Nigella’s Rapid Ragout. These days I increase the healthiness quotient a bit by using less pancetta, adding lots of fresh onions (as well as onion marmalade) and upping the quantity of lentils. It still tastes fab. Kept a few portions out and stowed the rest in the freezer. And for once I also managed to get a proper dinner (roast chicken) on the table for Nick in time for him to eat it before taking Katie to swimming. Yes!

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