Going back to work after Christmas/New Year has been a shock to the system.
Racing to the office each day while juggling parenting seems trickier than usual, despite the lack of school lunches and the eldest sleeping until 5pm the other day (5pm!) because I wasn’t around to wake them up.
Ironically, I’m doing battle with insomnia, which means I start the days tired.
I’d like to blame those factors for a cast-iron frying pan falling out of an over-stuffed kitchen cupboard onto my foot, but the truth is I’ve always been an over-stuffer, regardless of workload and weariness levels.
(It was a little freaky to revisit a blog post I wrote five years ago called ‘Bitchin in the kitchen’ and realise I’m still making all the same mistakes. Old dogs/new tricks …)
Every now and then I do a massive tidy up and arrange everything beautifully in the cupboards and feel a giddy sense of satisfaction when I see the order inside, but it never lasts.
I get time poor and start shoving things in and the contents start resembling found-object sculptures again … and they slide out on my foot …
I have a nasty bruise. Poor me.
Actually, the kitchen accidents have been coming thick and fast. I also cut my finger last night because I couldn’t find the veggie peeler in the mess, so I hurriedly started slicing the skin off potatoes with a sharp knife.
So much blood! Ouch!
Then the lid came off a tub of cream in the fridge and gooey white stuff went EVERYWHERE … because I apply the same stacking method to the fridge as the kitchen cupboards … and I felt like having a major toddler tantrum.
But I couldn’t, because I was halfway through making the most complicated pot pies on the planet.
I must remember not to attempt recipes my ex-husband-turned-gourmet-chef makes. It was 8.30pm before I got those pastry bastards on the table.
The youngest had requested her dad’s pot pies for dinner because apparently they’re the bestest ones.
They come from a beer cookbook she gave him, which was my first hurdle. I spent 20 minutes in BWS during my lunch break agonising over which beer to get because the recipe required an obscure Belgian one or an equally obscure local crafty one. My ex had messaged to say that if neither were available I needed to go for a wheat one to get the right flavour.
The BWS at my local train station didn’t have either of the obscure beers and as far as I could tell from checking all 50 other beer brands in the fridge, none of them were “wheat” beers. Google was no help either.
Anyways, I finally gave up and went for some $6 fancy thing.
And then there were the 500 steps to make the pies. Chopping and sauteing chicken. Chopping and sauteing endless veggies. Making a veloute sauce. Farking veloute sauce. It kept getting too thick, so I blithely ignored the bit in the recipe that said “add 250ml” of beer and poured the whole can in.
When those pies were finally ready they were more bitter than some of the ex-wives I’ve had the misfortune to encounter in recent years.
The kids were mindful of how hard I’d slaved over those pies and the injuries I’d sustained making them, so they insisted the pies weren’t bitter at all and politely tried to eat them. But they were an EPIC FAIL.
And then it was time to clean up the outrageously extensive mess in the kitchen, slum on the couch briefly for an episode of The X-Files and go to bed before Groundhog Day rolled around again.
We’re having leftover spag bol tonight. Bugger creativity.
Song of the day: Kids in the Kitchen “Current Stand”