A night to remember: 26th May-1st June

posted Jun 6, 2012, 1:26 AM by Dinner Lady   [ updated Jun 12, 2012, 6:35 AM ]
The highlight of this week would have to be attending the Observer Ethical Awards 2012 party on Wednesday night, the climax of a real adventure.  Mrs Doubtfire, Princess Baby (who is still firmly attached to me) and I said an excited farewell to the boys who were left in the more than capable hands of trusted grandparents.

The venue itself was spectacular, the new St Pancras hotel, where the architectural design seamlessly mixes old with new.  It has a wonderful function room with terrace attached, perfect for that balmy May evening.  Needless to say my memory of the evening is contained within the most magical bubble, and I still pinch myself to check it had actually happened to us.  The Ethical Awards are dubbed the Green Oscars, and that is certainly how it felt, mingling alongside familiar faces that we had never and would never meet, sipping on freshly bubbling champagne and being tempted to try a range of stunning canapes (apparently all ethically sourced).  I felt even more "Oscarish" in the minutes leading up to the announcement of who had won the Blog category. My heart was pounding so much, I am sure the boys would have heard it all those miles away. And then my heart stopped beating when the winning name, Hannah Ryder, was announced. No, I had not died, but there was suddenly an odd feeling of relief, as the pressure was off.  Since being shortlisted I had been worrying about how I could possibly keep the blog up to increasingly high standards on a weekly basis to be worthy of winning while at the same time starting back in paid employment.  Congratulations to Hannah Ryder, who writes the amazing winning blog on the DfiD website. It is interesting, informative and well written. Read it.  I will be.  
And then of course, I felt disappointment that the blog had not actually won, but had come a runner up.  But the biggest disappointment would have to be when we got back home and Maths Geek came running up to me asking "Mummy, Mummy, did you win?". While I know that I have won so much just by being shortlisted, for a five year old, one is either a winner or not.  

We met such a lot of interesting people at the awards, some famous, some everyday people like you and me, some heroes of mine, such as Lucy Siegle who had created the awards in the first place, had chaired the judging and was hosting the party.  We had such interesting conversations with clever people who were nurturing fantastic ideas.  Such as the guys from Fungi Futures, runners up of another category, with whom we shared a glass of bubbly and put the world to right as the evening faded into night.

Our success turned into a culinarily nose dive as we returned home exhausted but buzzing on Thursday evening, having taken in the sites of London all day and still suffering from the after effects of our bubbly celebrations. With no energy for cooking and absolutely no ingredients in the fridge, we "treated" ourselves to a ready meal of shop bought Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni.  Oh the irony that we should eat such stuff on the week of the Ethical Awards ceremony while the boys ate "junk" for two nights of the week, as their grandparents treated them to edible treats banned by the challenge.  But if anything, the pasta was the right food to choose. It was so bland, empty of all nutrients, that it reminded me why I am choosing to spend all my spare time cooking from scratch, reading about food choices and writing the blog.

Waste not want not

rotten or gone off - 1/2 slice burnt toast

left on our plates - a few tsp of PB's meals every so often

left overs I have forgotten to use up - 1 tbsp Mexican bean stew from a few weeks ago - because there was very little left, it was put in tiny ramekin which hid and I forgot about it...excuses excuses; 2 tbsp baked beans that I did not put into fridge and were too dry to resurrect.


Carry forward          £411.41
Local supermarket      £22.35
Vegetable box          £21.25
Sausage shop           £9.31
Total May              £464.32
I have gone over budget by £100.  Thank goodness I am only accountable to my own conscience, as I would otherwise feel I should resign for gross financial incompetence. Looking over the month, it is obvious that there is no scope for picnic rubbish (crisps, biscuits etc) or a couple of cheap lunches out when on such a strict budget.  Will try harder next month.