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Celebrations! March 2013

posted Apr 11, 2013, 12:14 PM by Dinner Lady   [ updated Apr 14, 2013, 11:34 AM ]
It started as a squeal at 9.15pm when I realised, just as I was about to crawl into bed, that I had forgotten to buy the 30 packets of sweet treats that The Noble Knight wanted to take into school the next day to celebrate his birthday.  I looked at my watch and realised that our local shop was now shut. I looked out of the window and realised that walking or driving to the nearest supermarket was not an option, given the blizzard that was striking the south coast.  And so it ended at 10.15, an hour later, as I pulled out the last of the baking trays from the oven, 35 little shortbread men and ladies all in a row, all buttoned up and blinking, ready to celebrate The Noble Knight's birthday.  The irony of it all, me appearing to be the virtuous home baking mother, perfect smile, starched pinny and no hair out of place.  In fact the reason for my tray of home made edible goodies was my disorganisation and frantic scrambling for an idea to save me from being berated by my middle son for forgetting to buy sweets. And then the double irony of it when we woke up the next day, snowed in, no chance of anyone, let alone the 35 little shortbread men and ladies, making it as far as school that day.  And no butter left to spread on our toast.  
Food is central to celebrations around the world.  From birthday cakes, using up precious fat, sugar and eggs, to pinatas stuffed with sweet naughties.  From succulent meat roasted as a rare treat to intricate, delicate confectionary fancies.  And this month was no exception for we Four and a half bellies. A joint birthday cake for Gigi and The Noble Knight whose birthdays are very close. We broke our vegetarian pledge several times, all in the name of family celebration.  The Noble Knight chose a Chinese takeaway as his birthday treat, specially requesting "those yummy pancake things, Mum" (peking duck).  A very delayed Christmas celebration with Mrs Doubtfire's family at Easter involved both a lamb and a turkey, so relieved were we all that his sister had recovered fully from being hospitalised at Christmas with severe pneumonia.  And only months earlier my family met up at a fine classic restaurant in London to celebrate my father's turning a special 0.  Encouraged by my mother to read the menu from left to right we had gorged on delicate canapes, the most tender of steaks and a delicious pear tatin.  

  Worst of the waste

- pot of gravy that was covered by a bag of curly kale for too long

- half a pot of double cream that had gone slightly green

-little pots of left overs that have languished for too long - my waste watchers challenge has not been going well.  

Best food saves

- used up 3 aubergines in a matter of days: aubergine Thai curry and Poor man., busy lady's moussaka.

- finally, we have bought and managed to get through tubs of humous and taramasalata - I usually forget to use them up and end up throwing them away.