My bridges over troubled water: 1st −7th September

posted Sep 11, 2012, 12:36 PM by Dinner Lady   [ updated Sep 11, 2012, 12:37 PM ]
This week started with a culinary bang. One of my girl friends, a mother I met on the school playground, had organised a ladies' dinner party at her house to celebrate the end of the summer holidays and reconvene before term started.  We were treated to the most delicious vegetarian banquet: bruschettas to start with followed by a mezze of chickpea and spinach curry, green salad, a sweet and salty cucumber salad, fried halloumi and then perfectly rounded off with fruit salad and ice-cream.   I am excited that the recipes have found their way to our house as I am most keen to eat them again. Soon.

I had not seen most of these lovely ladies for six weeks because our weeks at home and away were not synched.   For once, therefore, Mrs Doubtfire was unable to cast doubt over the need for us to meet. Usually when I go out with my girl friends Mrs Doubtfire wonders what we could possibly have to talk about.  And it is true, sometimes we chat after dropping the children off at school, we might meet for a coffee with the preschoolers during the day if we are not out at paid employment, natter again while we pick the kids up from school, and then we might think nothing about meeting up in the evening for conversations more suited for the over 18s.  And we chat nonstop.
Apart from during school drop off and pick up, most conversations are centred around food and drink. Every couple of weeks it is a lunch or brunch at someone's house, each Dinner Lady friend sharing one of their delicious recipes, each friend holding and feeding each others' babies as required. Then there is the odd weekend dinner party where husbands are allowed to join us.  If someone is feeling flush, we girls might treat ourselves to a coffee and biscuit in a cafe, but then I tut about the wasted sugar sachets which are given out as a matter of course; the paper napkins that are put underneath the cake, which then have to be thrown away whether one uses it or not.  And it is less relaxing as the children are clambering to run, jump and climb as soon as they have finished their drink.  So more often than not we liaise and share a flask of coffee or squash, depending on the weather, while we sit in the playground as our children all play together.  Last year Herman, the German friendship cake, made a regular appearance, devoured by children and grownups alike, and it felt almost healthy with apples and raisins as ingredients.   And on a Friday afternoon a flask of something slightly stronger, slightly more medicinal, occasionally finds its way to us: Friday afternoon's "whine and wine", as my friend so elegantly put it.  

Waste not want not

rotten or gone off - none

left on our plates - 9 tbsp off TNK and PB plate 

left overs I have forgotten to use up - none!

This all seems very little, and so I am suspicious. I suspect that NP, Mrs D and I have not been recording all that we have thrown away....


Supermarket:           £99.17

Vegetable box:         £22.50

Cafe/ restaurant:      £83.63

Total Sept so far:     £205.30

Not much left if we are going to stick to budget this month. Eating out twice has used up more than one week's worth of budget. Fun, easy and convenient: was it worth it?