Friday, 15 June 2018

Peak frazzle







I've reached peak frazzle this week, somehow, despite being determined to be organised and accomplish much. It occurs to me that I might hang on to what's left of my sanity if I drafted other people in to do the odd thing as well.

The dog has done his share of pushing me to the brink. He has been naughtier than ever in the past three or four days. Not sure why. He broke his cone on Wednesday evening, so we marched him along to the vet's and got another one. I am trying to minimise plastic consumption, but Bert really isn't on message. Within 24 hours he'd broken the new one, by pelting down the garden at full speed and cranging into something. Now I know I should have been in the garden, diligently holding his lead while he gently strolled about, but see I Have No Time above.

I tried mending the cone, but he thought it was some sort of chewing game I'd invented, so I left the cone off. Overnight he pulled off a scab, so we are back to cone life again now. Sigh.

The biggest boy was off school today with the sort of illness where you're okay to sit on the sofa eating and watching the World Cup but you couldn't possibly go to school, you know the sort of thing.

I got my half-finished cross stitch out the other day. And horror of horror I found I couldn't really see it well enough. As I already wear contact lenses for short-sight it is adding insult to injury to start becoming long-sighted as well. Although if I'm short-sighted I don't think that I can be called long-sighted, because I don't have long sight, if you see what I mean. Maybe I'll just end up being classed as blind as a bat. Anyway, I've stuffed the cross stitch back in its lovely pouch and put it away to think about another day. Anyone who comes here regularly will know I'm a big fan of the head in the sand approach to life.

Cricket has overwhelmed our lives completely at the moment. It seems to be on every day except Mondays, it's dizzying. Enough to make me wish for rain.

I am tired of preparing food. Tired, tired, tired. It's unrelenting. I think it's because of all the early teas before cricket, all prepared and eaten in a tearing hurry. If I was Nigella Lawson I'd be cheerily throwing together some amazing spread whilst entertaining guests, helping children with homework and looking ravishing. As it is I'm shoving half-washed salad into bowls (the middle boy had a bit of snail poo on his the other day, much to his brothers' delight), heating up oven chips and yelling at anyone who gets in the way. All while looking like goodness knows what. But I'm not complaining really, although I should like to be the Queen for a couple of weeks and have a footman bring me a perfectly boiled egg of a morning and walk the corgis for me.

If anyone has any excellent meals that can be put together quickly I shall be very happy to hear about them. Pasta is wearing a little thin in this house. Wishing all a good weekend. CJ xx

31 comments:

  1. Well, I'm of no use whatsoever in the 'quick meal' department...I all to quickly default to toasted cheese and tins of soup. Or some frozen concoction that only children will eat. I should be ashamed to admit that on the internets, but I'm past caring. :)

    There must be something in the air...Emma-dog has apparently misplaced her knowledge of house-training this past while, preferring to whiz on the carpet. We're doing remedial toileting and trying to resist the urge to throttle her. :)

    Another thing I'm almost ashamed to admit is that I would find your extra-curricular schedule completely un-doable. Honestly, a few days with consecutive appointments finds me needing to spend an entire day Doing Nothing. My capacity for bustling activity seems to have decreased at an alarming rate.

    I would love someone to bring me breakfast...but only if they went away straight after and left me alone to eat it in peace. :D

    xoxo

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  2. I recognise that oyster catcher....

    Noodle stir fry? Quick as, filling and healthy.

    Oh dear. The cone of shame. Hopefully over soon.

    Here’s wishing you a footman and a boiled egg for the weekend at least.

    Xx

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    1. I knew you would. It's on my shelf of Lovely Things. They won't eat stir fry when I make it, I think I must be doing it wrong. Maybe I should look up a proper recipe. CJ xx

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  3. Hello!
    Sorry about the puppy!
    Our little Mocha was so small when she had her surgery, she didn't have a cone. She wore a little baby outfit instead!
    Summer has just begun here in Pennsylvania.
    We are grilling quite a bit.
    And making fresh pasta sauce with herbs from the garden. : )
    Have a cozy day!

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  4. Hi, we are in netball season in NZ and are having lots of 'early teas' at weird times to accomodate practise too. Bacon and egg pie?

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    1. Thank you, I've just looked it up, it sounds perfect. CJ xx

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  5. Poor Bertie and his numerous cones. Here's to rapid healing. Welcome to the world of bi/varifocals! I have a friend who wears a contact lens for distance vision in 1 eye, and one for near vision in the other; apparently, the brain adapts quite quickly. I'm not sure that I could cope to be honest. It took me long enough to get used to my bifocals, although I do love them now - they allow me to switch between looking down at my knitting/sewing and glancing up at something mindless on the TV! I wouldn't go harbouring any feelings of inadequacy - there's probably a white, powdery reason that Ms. Lawson can multitask so effortlessly! xx

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  6. I spent one afternoon cooking for the freeze so we can grab something quickly when we are late home from the plot. I also spent some tome the other week sorting through recipes from BBC Good Food formeals that take about 30 minutes to prepare.

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  7. I hope Bertie just leaves the cone of shame alone and heals himself quick. Honestly my husband does most of the weekday dinners. We keep it simple. We often do a dinner earlier in the week or late weekend that is roast veggies and the starch is rice. Following day it's dice mix together w/an egg and maybe a a couple slices of bacon and it's fried rice. Or we have puff pastry or pizza dough int he freezer/fridge and we have leftover night topping pizza/tarte. Great with salad. Mini quiches for sure make excellent on the go breakfast as well, roast potato wedges and roast chicken, next day quesadillas with leftovers for lunch or dinner. Never underestimate the comfort of a rice, bean and cheese burrito.

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  8. Our pup jumped onto the couch on the first night from surgery, got this ferocious deep purple bruise, which scared me half to death, thinking he'd ripped out everything and we'd have to rush him back to the Vet. He healed thankfully by being placed immediately in his crate area (dog carrier with a bit of fencing to expand it) with a cone....such a sad sight but for his own good. Poor thing had to stay there for a few days, with small breaks for potty/gentle play time...it will pass and you'll be happy its over knowing it is best for pets to be neutered when they aren't for breeding.

    I do what Sue said...cook and make a huge mess for one day and stick it in the freezer...it's so welcome on a rushed day, when the last thing you want to think about is whats for tea. It's wonderful to just reheat and it almost feels like take away but you know its good for you ;)

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  9. Poor Bert.. I hope he heals up fast and can get rid of the apparatus. We had our German Shepherd, Meeka, spayed a few weeks ago and instead of a cone, she got a blue jacket. Someday you'll have some daughter-in-laws to cook for you all. :-) Have a lovely weekend, here's hoping a footman shows up ready to serve you. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  10. We had a quick supper last night and it was very tasty. It was salmon with rice and peas from the Waitrose magazine. Marinate 4 prices salmon in 2 tbsp S soy sauce for 30 minutes then grill for 3 mins each side. Fry 2 chopped cloves garlic with a chopped “thumb” of ginger in 1 tbsps of oil. Add 200g froz peas and 2 tbsp water for 2 mins. Add 2 pouches microwaveable brown rice cooked as per pack. Amalgamate for 1 minute then stir in some chopped coriander and a tbsp soy sauce. Very good and very quick apart from the marinading.

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  11. ps. Should have been pieces of salmon!

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  12. Awwwww...poor Bert. He's obviously upset that he can't easily get into the trouble he normally does. To be honest, my friend, you'll reach a mid point where he isn't as mischievous, and before you know it, he'll be getting old, you'll feel your heartstrings tug, and have a hard time remembering what he looked like as a pup.

    You do so much---I hear you. I hated watching my kids in any sort that required me sitting on a cold bench freezing my little fingers off. I'm not a sports person, though I love a good Chicago Cubs game right at the park, where I have an excuse to drink a lot of beer and eat copious amounts of peanuts.

    I was taken out of the meal routine when I had my surgery. I was so in pain and out of my mind with the meds that I didn't care if I slept through six meals. My hubby can't cook to save his life, so we lived on McDonalds and any quick takeout...burgers, pizza, beef sandwiches, sub sandwiches, Mexican food, Chinese...you name it. I hate the thought that all of these foods get their flavor from fat. I'm slowly working my way into cooking again, which I've always loved. I like to get as much started early in the day when I have the energy. I may cook up the veggies and side dish, chop up a salad, and then just make the meat before dinnertime. Pasta is my time saver. Boil the noodles, then make a quick red sauce with canned tomatoes and some chopped veggies tossed in, or a quick cream sauce, with some frozen peas and carrots. Lots of salt always makes things tastier. :))

    Keep up the good work. And yes, I too think I've completely lost my eyesight for any cross stitch or needle work. How did our pioneer ancestors do it without nothing more than a kerosene lamp????

    Jane xxx

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  13. How about cold sausage .roasted vegetables .cheese onion pie .potato wedges .I used to pop these in the oven early morning while everyone was getting ready for their day .batch of rice mixed with veg and cold baked potatoes .i used to make Cornish pasties and freeze..you do a great job c j keep trucking on .xx

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  14. I hate the cooking aspect too. Master Clicky is either playing cricket all weekend or doing nets/batting practice the rest of the week, so it’s hard for us to eat together. I had the same problem with my sight, (also wear contact lenses) so I am now wearing bi-focal lenses. One eye does distance the other up close. They are amazing, and I have stopped getting cross and frustrated. So much better. Have a good weekend. CN x

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    1. My eyes do that naturally - one long one short sight. However now I am older with cataracts looming I find I have to resort to all sorts of glasses!

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  15. I sympathise as I sure don't like feeling frazzled. Poor Bertie, I wouldn't like that round my neck.
    Thanks, and you too. xx

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  16. Sounds like Monday is the day! I sympathise about vision. I’m into wearing glasses for sewing and glasses for distance. All very annoying. Have you discovered Orzo. It’s pasta shaped like rice. Dead easy to cook and is like risotto. Can be done in numerous ways. Takes about 15 mins start to finish. Hope next week is better. B x

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  17. Oh....I feel your pain, Bertie in a collar, endless cooking and no time! Another week and Bertie will be back to just being naughty, collars are an utter nightmare! Sam almost killed me when he had his, he popped it over my head trying to lick me when I was asleep, almost garroted me he did, I had a scar for years! As for cooking, I wouldn't, it would be sandwiches and anything from a bakers, pasties, flans and the like until life calmed down. I had the same problems with my eyes and had to go down the bi-focus ones which worked out well for everything. I do hope you get a bit of you time, maybe just go on strike! Ha!xxx

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  18. Ah real life always pops in doesn't it? I feel I can't help on the meal front, I am a horrible cook and frankly like it that way as no one expects much of me. Life is so busy with three busy boys, well four if you include the furry one. You made me laugh about the cone, when my two had them on they kept bumbling into everything and frankly would not go potty with them on, so it was a constant battle getting those cones on and off so they would just go to the bathroom. Plus they were still able to lick each other! It was a nightmare.

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  19. Sounds to me like you're in melt down, and it isn't surprising as you're doing many things. I recognise the symptoms Oh CJ, I wish I had an answer for you. The truth is you'll have to find ways to make things work more in your favour, which is no easy task as you've probably already done many of them already.

    Do you buy your food shopping on the internet? If not that would free up quite a lot of your time. I've used Ocado for many years, and find their service invaluable even now.
    Can you cut any corners around the house? I stopped ironing twenty years ago because something had to give and quite honestly no one noticed.
    As for meals, I find a slow cooker invaluable, there are so many meals that can be cobbled together, dumped in the slow cooker and left all day.
    Jacket potato with beans and sausages used to go down well with my tribe too. I'd microwave the potato for quickness and finish them off in the oven for 5 minutes on high. Omelette and baked beans was also another favourite and it feels them up with protein and keeps them full for longer.
    I also used to buy those chickens you roast in the bag, and I'd serve them with some steamed vegetables.

    Hopefully, you'll find more ways to save you time.
    Keep smiling. x







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  20. Hey CJ,
    I have to say that the first picture of Bertie did make me chuckle.
    I'm sorry to hear about your frazzle peaking. I had a similar state of affairs last week, but I'm thankfully over the frazzle hump and hoping for quieter days. I noticed that you have nemesia plants in your garden too. Do you have the Wisely vanilla one? it's scent is just perfect to restore calm and order. I'm afraid I can't be much help on the food for all suggestions. My boys all eat slightly differently. I didn't mean for it to happen. I'd quite rather they just sat down and ate what was given with gratitude. But there you go. And I'm afraid it's pasta that works here. I rarely eat it. I have a baked potato.
    Wishing you less frazzle, dear friend.
    Leanne xx

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  21. We've adopted the Ploughmans for our earlier-than-usual evening meal on the day that Little B goes swimming, inspired by our expensive lunch out the other day. The kids love it! All you need to do is plonk some cold ingredients on a plate - we went for some cheese - tasty cheddar and stilton for the adults and smoked or edam cheese slices which the kids love, some cold meat (bits of cooked chicken, ham, salami), cherry tomatoes, slices of apple, a dollop or two of pickle, some teeny cocktail gherkins and plenty of buttered french bread. I can highly recommend it - low fuss and minimal washing up.

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  22. Our other fave meal is slow roast pork shoulder cooked in the slow cooker all day, then shredded and mixed with a good BBQ sauce (we use a shop bought one for ease). Pile it into a brioche burger bun with homemade coleslaw and a bit of salad (my kids will eat lettuce if it's buried under bbq pork I've discovered!), serve with roasted potato wedges. I find my kids really like food that they can eat with their hands rather than the faff of cutlery!

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  23. I feel your pain CJ. Toasted cheese, baked beans on toast, fish finger sandwiches. Goes well with a quick salad and a slice of melon. Ikea meatballs and veggie balls? I also like curried cod (piece of fish dipped in curry powder, pan fried, 7 minutes max). Works with salmon, too. I hope next week is less frazzled! I am lucky, I'll miss the last week of school because I am travelling for work... quite glad to leave Richard in charge. No doubt he won't even be slightly stressed. xx

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  24. When Hector had his op he ate his cone and the destroyed a second one. As he could still reach his scar we decided it was a waste of time trying a third... and then he removed all his stitches! I remember those sort of World Cup football fuelled sick days from when my eldest was at school! I'm with Christina, nothing wrong with beans on toast or a fish finger sandwich. Baked potato with beans and cheese is a good standby too!

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  25. Oh poor Bertie and poor you. Like Gina says, baked potatoes with different fillings- filling and tasty! Hoping that footman turns up ... or maybe some rain. x

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  26. Dear CJ, You poor darling. I'm flying to Britain in 8 weeks time for a holiday, but would be glad to come and help....... I do love cooking and often spend half a day cooking for the whole of the next week. It's so nice to just heat up something quickly when you come home tired. I love frittatas - leftover cooked veges combined with a milk and egg custard, topped with lots of cheese. They can be quite different depending on the veges used. I also love tomatoes, onions, capsicums fried up with some garlic, and served hot with cold meat or cold roast for a quick meal. Also left over veges can be mashed together and a few beaten eggs hold them together so that you can fry them as vege patties; if you cook a fried egg and perhaps a half tomato or sausages it also can be a sustaining meal. I use a fresh vege salad of broccoli, carrots, green beans or peas, corn, zucchini or cucumber - all cut up and then combined with brown or black rice with chia seeds, chick peas or any tinned beans. My recipe is different every time and I season it with some mayonnaise and a Balsalmic Vinegar salad dressing which I buy in Aldi in Australia. It gives a nice flavour. This salad is quite filling with the rice and chia or else beans or chick peas. Now to comment on the beautiful Bertie....... I understand his frustrations, as it is three months since I had two spine operations on my neck within five days. I have many bone grafts which are now just about healed, but I had to wear a disgusting collar for ten weeks. I swore I would have a ritual burning when I was finally allowed to take it off. However a well meaning friend suggested that I keep it as she thought that as my husband's driving deteriorates with age (he is 80) I may find it useful to wear it when he drives....... he was not impressed. I just love your Bertie. I understand his frustrations. Regards, Robyn

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  27. I get so brain dead over meal ideas - with my son at home I need instant food, and lots of it! I sometimes wander the aisles of the supermarket just to get inspiration. A good tip is to cook double (or triple!) quantities of rice and freeze it in portion sized tubs - I recycle those takeaway tubs. Rice defrosts quickly so it's one less pot to wash if serving chilli, or mix with bacon/sausage/peas, etc/chicken/soy sauce for a quick nasi goreng. Otherwise I make lists of meals that worked so that I know in the morning what I'm cooking that night - by the evening I'm too knackered to think clearly!
    PS. My niece has just found a book called the ChickPea cookbook, says its full of good ideas and vegetarian to boot!

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  28. I'm coming to this late, but my favourite thing for quick but wholesome meals is couscous - ready in five minutes with a kettle of water and a few herbs (or you can buy the ready flavoured ones). If you have time, it's good with a quick veggie sauce (made with courgettes, onion, tomatoes, whatever you have), but when I really needed to be quick I used to use tinned ratatouille, which is not bad. You could add a tin of chick peas or cannellini beans or similar too.

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