Things that boil my blood (and eggs)

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Grab a cuppa….we could be here a while!

I should tell you now that this post includes a recipe for some delicious baked eggs, if you would like to skip my moaning and jump straight to the food (I wouldn’t hold a grudge) then click here to go to the lovely Rachel Khoo’s original recipe.

Now, you know me, I’m not one to moan BUT….!

Having been on a rather long journey towards motherhood I’ve managed to tot up a disturbing number of gripes about the subject before, during and after my eggs have finished baking (tenuous food link!).

So, Mr T and I have been married for 8 years this May and have just welcomed our first little bundle of joy, Little Miss T joined us in October and (just FYI) was conceived completely naturally dispite the fact we have been a child-less, married couple for quite a few years.

This childlessness was partly by design and partly due to nature.

My mother passed away (you will know the details from previous posts) the same year that Mr T and I got married. This left us with a huge amount of healing to do but also with a house to sort (hoarder!) and sell on- it eventually took almost 5 years to get through (the house that is) and was such a tiring  process that the thought of going through it pregnant/ with a young baby was hard to contemplate and so we kept putting starting a family off until the house was sold despite half-heartedly trying from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, if it had happened for us during this time then we would have been over the moon but it just didn’t.

Even once this obstical was out of the way, making the final decsision to whole-hartedly commit to staring a family took us some time. We love holidays and socialising so we spent a while giving it a go and then when it didn’t happen we just went on holiday and thought ‘oh well, at least we can drink and spend whatever we want without a worry’.

This all changed New Year 2015. We were in Las Vegas living the highlife, sipping beer at 9am whilst popping dollars into the BlackJack machines and we both agreed, that whilst living said highlife was mucho fun, we both wanted more and so Little Miss T’s journey into this world began and my long list of annoying comments began to grow! Continue reading

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9 months later

No this is not a confession of an impending sprog having been getting in the way of my blogging nor is it the title of my new French film! It is simply a confession that I am a useless blogger who abandons her page and doesn’t even check to see if anyone has read the damn thing for over 9 months!!!

In truth, life has gotten in the way- work has been hard going this past year with lots of staff reshuffling and a visit from the dreaded Ofsted (all good thanks for asking!) and outside of work every spare moment has been taken up with clearing my Mother’s house (remember the hoard?).

The house I grew up in and which holds a sentimental tether to the memories of me and mum has now sold (STC)- yep it’s been hard but I know that the people who are due to move in will create many, many more and fill the house with love and laughter again.

Me? Well…I am trying hard to look forward and make many more memories to live alongside those of the past. Nostalgia is a funny thing isn’t it? Take Christmas for example- we spend years harking back to the cosy glow of ‘what we always did at Christmas’ when in reality we are thinking back to that fuzzy time of about 5 years between the start of our living memory and the discovery that Father Christmas isn’t real (What?! Says who?).

So, whilst I have been boxing up my history and nostalgia from the attic (Popple, Star Wars figures, 3rd Birthday cards) I have also been putting a lot of thought into my future. I am 32 (That’s not old I hear you gasp!), rapidly approaching 33 and seriously planning my own future as a parent. It seems to me that there has been a shift amongst my generation towards becoming first time parents in your 30s.  I realise I am commenting on my own zone of proximity here but, whilst my Mother was classed as ‘geriatric’ when having me at 32, this now seems the norm. Don’t get me wrong, I know many, many wonderful people who became parents much younger and I am in no way passing judgement here but simply making an observation. I overheard a conversation in Saino’s the other day where 2 girls, well…women of about my age (yes, I know I’m not 16 anymore!) were chatting about someone who had just had their first child at 23 and they were horrified ‘Oh you haven’t even had a life at 23!’ one of them exclaimed and it got me thinking- is this the reason people are waiting until their 30s to become parents? Is there some measure of how much ‘life’ we have to of had before children come along and have I fulfilled the quota yet?

Realistically, I do wonder if the down turn in the economy and the realisation of the cost of living has something to do with people waiting to become parents although, I would guess, that like myself and Mr T, for many it is the lure of  Long Haul, adult only holiday destinations and establishing grown person carers to pay off our student debts that are more than likely responsible.

Surely there is no set amount of ‘life’ you must live before having children (taking life to mean hangover inducing nights out, backpacking across numerous countries and passing judgement on those with children in the way only childless people can) before parenthood descends? Certainly if I base my thinking on my mothers rather soppy musings that becoming a parent is when your ‘life’ really truly begins (hey she did have the wonderful Me to be thankful for!) then the 23 year old girl who was the topic of convo in the bread aisle is going to of ‘had a life’ far sooner than her 2 so called friends.

When the time comes for Mr T and I to become parents, I would like to think that we will still do the wonderful things we do now and that they will be all the more amazing for the little one at our side- just like my lovely Alibongo has managed with her gorgeous little froggy and that we will be living a life that is all the more richer for having created one.

Of course I am not naive and totes understand what to 2 women were meaning but…

What are your thoughts?

Does having children mean your life is over?

Did you cram in life before having children?

Do you live life with children?

Or both?

Much love

Mrs T x

Marmalade fit for Paddington…if he also loves cheese!

Tadaaaaa!!! Behold, the most perfect preserve! I’m also loving the cute tags made using some of the Kirsty Allsop range.

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A while ago I blogged about meeting Jill of ‘Jill’s Jams’ fame and how she had inspired me to try and make my own preserves and this follow on post has been a long time coming but you know what they say…

‘all good things come to those who wait’

After searching for inspiration and a method which required little of the normal jam- making paraphernalia (cheep is the way after all!) I decided that chutneys were the way forward. I was a bit down hearted as I was really hoping to make a yummy marmalade to spread on my toast for breakfast but at least this way I could fulfil my aim of making or home enhancing all of my Christmas presents this year (oooo I bet you lot can’t wait can you, you lucky ducks!)

As I said last time, the ‘Pinterest’ research commenced and I stumbled upon a recipe I liked the look of just as I was about to drop of to sleep! (anyone else spend hours once they have tucked themselves up in bed, glued to ‘Pinterest’ or is it just me?)

Now, I know Paddington Bear looooves marmalade like I love cups of tea as he was a huge childhood hero of mine and so I jumped for joy when I realised the chutney I was aiming to make was, in fact, labelled as a ‘marmalade’! I was able to feel joy at the prospect of making something I really wanted to whilst also…ahem…selflessly making a gift for someone else.

The recipe pinned from notquitenigella.com was easy to follow, required few ingredients and I was very pleased when my ‘try-hard’ efforts looked as though they were paying off and quick! 

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Due to the citrus juice (I’m no scientist but I think this is a pretty reasonable guess!) the mixture began to break down and ‘ferment’, not sure if that is the correct term but again, I think it’s a decent guess (you can tell I’m an expert at this!) before I had even put it on the heat!

Although it has been sat in my fridge for a over a week now, I finally got the chance to try some of it at the weekend as I had been holding out for a strong cheese worthy of my delectable ‘Orange and Carrot Marmalade’ and it was mighty fine indeed!

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If you like a chutney to have a sweetness and a hint of spice to it then this is the one for you! Click here if you fancy giving it ago yourselves, it is very tasty and has a subtle Christmasey smell about it as it is fragrance with cardamon and ginger- perfect for this time of year!

I would like to say that Mrs Try-hard has, in this case, succeeded!

What have been your latest triumphs?

Have you tried to make a preserve and think I should have a go at it too?

If so then leave me a comment or link and I’ll certainly ‘try’ to give it at go!

Until my next, ahem, success!

Mrs T x