Teaching The Girl to Speak (AKA choosing a competition winner)
“Say ‘Poop’. Poop! Poopy-poop-poo-poo...”
“Ba. Gwalla? Wellagoo. Heh-heh-heh-heh.”
“Ok. How about... ‘More’? More? Moah?”
“Baaaaaa.” (Discovers toast on the floor). “Oh, WOW!”
“RIGHT.” (Getting tough now. And annoyed.) “Say: ‘No’. No-No-No-No...”
“Mmmmmmmmm raghhhhr mmmmmmm nyummmm nyuuuum.”
(Ignores order, and lies down on teddy in quite an obscene manner.)
“Bear! Good Girl! Now try “Uh-oh”. Uh-ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh!”
(Sees me eating a bag of crisps). “This!” (Pointing, in case there’s any misunderstanding about what she wants). “THIIIIIIIIIS!”
“Oh for Chrissake...” (Once again demonstrates complete lack of spine in parenting)
“Mmmmmmmmm raghhhhr mmmmmmm nyummmm nyuuuum.”
Picking a Competition Winner (AKA resorting to Plan B)
“Boy! Pick a number between one and seventeen.”
“No, a number. One-two-three...”
“Not eighteen... Arghhhh. Forget it.”
“Forget it! Forget it Mummy, you stoooopid stoooopid nimcaboop. (Pause, while an adjacent injustice manifests itself...) WHY SHE IS EATING CRIPS? ME WANT CRIPS! MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE....”
(Deep tortured sigh) “There you go.”
“Thank you Mummy. Your hair looks VERY nice.”
Randomly Picking a Number from bits of paper rolled into balls.
9. Felicity – (bet you NEVER thought you’d win) come forward and accept your prize (email me on email@example.com and we’ll sort delivery)
Wiping Shit from an Arse (AKA Life as we now know it)
“What’s that sm.... Uuuuugh.... AGAIN?? Forfuckssa... Oops, sorry - FLIPSAKE”
“It’s really not that funny. How can dry toast and milk make such a mess? Right. You’re off milk. Jesus - what is that? Oh. And crisps.”
And that, really, has largely been it. Apart from the, by now, boring and interminable, nursery-run (what a pain in the arse that’s turning out to be). And an Ikea-run. (Think that going to Ikea is painful? Try going with a Swede, and having your pronunciation of Ikea-cack corrected). And a Farmers’ Market-run. (Not very friendly, the Farmers in our ‘hood. They make you buy the things that your toddler licks. Bastards.) And laundry – forever laundry. (The Girl managed to get shit on the soles of her socks as she slept. Which makes me wonder exactly what she gets up to during the night.)
Documenting your week is a not a great exercise if you feel – somewhat correctly – that you don’t actually do that much with your life. Although I did make this – it being autumn and all – which made me feel ALOT better. Tho’ that could have been the 2 bottles of Rioja we drank with it.
For 4, you need:
· 250g Risotto / Arborio rice
· 1 onion, chopped
· 1 carrot, finely chopped (optional)
· 1 stick of celery, finely chopped (optional)
· 2 red / yellow peppers, chopped.
· 1 large courgette, diced (optional)
· A glass of white wine (optional)
· 1 tin chopped / plum tomatoes
· Couple of knobs of butter
· A couple of handfuls of grated cheese (preferably parmesan, but anything gratable which you need to use up)
· A tablespoon of pesto (optional)
· Some olive oil
· 400 ml of stock (Any type. Veg is best. Or chicken. [Not for the chicken, obviously].)
Note: You’ll see there are lots of “optionals” above. This isn’t precision-cooking – it’s a guide using whatever you have to hand. I like to use the carrot and celery because (a) I always have them lurking in the fridge, (b) it gives a better flavour to the finished dish, and (c) it’s a way of sneaking some vegetables into the kids’ food (mature as I am about these things). I also generally have a courgette dying slowly somewhere, and like to pretend it’s the 90’s and we’ve gone all “Mediterranean”. It goes without saying that there is inevitably a glass of wine to hand, and again, it adds to the flavour. But don’t be put off if you don’t have some of these ingredients. It’s a fantastically easy recipe, and impossible to fuck up. (Unless you don’t have risotto rice. In which case Google “baked tomato soup, recipe”.)
Heat oven to 200c / 400f / 6 gas
Fry the chopped onion in the oil in an oven-proof pot for a few minutes, until soft.
Add the carrot and celery, if using. Leave for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the peppers, and put the lid on the pot.
Open the wine. Pour a very large glass. Drink some of it.
Add the rice to the pan, stir well to mix with the vegetables, then add the wine (if using. Or if you haven’t drunk it all.) Stir occasionally, until the wine has been absorbed.
Add the courgette, then the tin of tomatoes and about ¾ of the stock. Stir.
Bring to the boil, then stick the lid on and bung in the oven. Look at your watch.
Drink more wine. Send some emails. Set up a blog.
After 10 minutes take pan out of oven, stir through a large knob of butter and half of the cheese, and add more stock if it seems dry. Add a tablespoon of pesto if using. Put back into the oven and look at your watch again.
Go to your blog and check the stats. Set up a Twitter feed to link into your blog. Come out on Facebook as a blogger. Feel clever and important, until you Google “How Many Blogs Are There”. Realise you have no imagination AT ALL and reach for the wine again.
After 15 minutes of self-loathing, take the pan out of the oven. Stir through another knob of butter, the rest of the cheese, and leave to sit in the pan for a few minutes while you assemble bowls and spoons etc.
Dollop into said bowls, add more cheese if you want (or if your children went bonkers with their tongues at the Farmers’ Market cheese stall) and gobble up, pausing only to remember to take a photo for your new blog.