Brunch Club

Amongst the endless stream of chores, bills and responsibilities that come with adulthood lurk some rather lovely perks: Not being forced to eat your vegetables; choosing your own clothes; having brunch. As a teenager I would roll out of bed halfway through the day and just lay around in a fluffy pink dressing gown eating jam on toast and regretting my life choices thus far. My initial years of adulthood were largely spent doing things that I’d never had the financial freedom to do before such as going out for dinner and planning lovely holidays. Nowadays, I’m happy to accept the fact that my favourite place in the world is home and I love nothing more than being in my kitchen in a comfy t-shirt making friends and family something lovely to eat. I’m very comfortable with being an adult and to celebrate I invited my equally adult friends round for brunch expecting us to have very adult conversations whilst sipping tea from China cups with our pinky fingers sticking out. What followed, however, was nothing short of chaos.

It turns out that a host who isn’t actually that good at adulting, three friends with varying skills in both parenting and cat-parenting, a toddler, a newborn baby, an angry cat, a playful kitten and a really tiny dining table can create absolute carnage.

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I got off to a good start by setting the table with some nice cups and saucers for the tea, cute bottles with straws for the smoothies and champagne glasses for the water because frankly they’re the only type of glasses for which I have a matching set of four. Jess (expert mother of three children and three dogs, very little cat experience) got to work making everyone tea and quickly realised that the inept host (me) hadn’t thought to check the date on the milk and we were now faced with a dilemma. Jade (surprisingly good with children despite not being a parent, hates cats) drove to the shop that is a 30 second walk from my house with her Louis Vuitton handbag and tried to use a credit card to pay for a 90p bottle of milk in a cornershop that looks like it hasn’t changed since World War 2. Milkgate eventually involved Jade driving the 2.8 seconds back to my house, me begrudgingly having to go outside in my Ugg slippers to deliver change all in 10ps that I had scraped together from the back of the sofa, Jade going back to the shop looking like a tourist and finally bringing the milk back. All for Jess to never actually finish making the tea.

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We had smashed avocado on toasted rye bread with crispy streaky bacon and poached eggs to start. Normal bread wasn’t on the menu as Jade imposed her allergies on the rest of us but actually the rye bread was delicious. To make this most-basic-bitch-on-instagram brunch dish for yourself, just mash two avocados with a good pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime juice and spread this onto 4 slices of toasted rye bread. Top each toast with two slices of crispy bacon and a poached egg. I poach my eggs by bringing a pan of water to a gentle boil, adding a dash of cider vinegar and gently dropping the eggs in one by one from a ramekin. Cook for three minutes then transfer to kitchen towel to remove the excess water. You can drizzle the toast with some hot sauce to be extra hipster.

As we ate, Maggie (Jess’s youngest) decided to play in my vegetable trolley and throw my onions around the kitchen because that is of course the most fun one can have with onions and Bear (my kitten) took great pleasure in terrorising Jade. We’re all quite OK at this point and having a giggle about life before children and cats. Jess picks Bear up for a cuddle and drops him clean on his head. They say cats always land on their feet. That’s a lie.

The next course was a green smoothie. I made this by blending together 2 pears, one apple, a chunk of cucumber, two balls of frozen spinach, half an avocado and some apple juice until it was smooth with a vibrant green hue. We drank this out of dainty milk bottles with star patterned paper straws because I like to waste my hard earned money on shit.

Lulu (my older, grumpier cat) spends the entire time licking the cellphone wrapping of a gift that Jade bought round for Ellen (brand new human mum, experienced cat mum) because that’s her most favourite thing to do.

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We moved on to our final course, a rainbow fruit salad with honey orange dressing. I mixed together blueberries, green grapes, halved strawberries and chunks of mango and poured over a dressing made from a heaped tablespoon of warmed honey and about the same of orange juice. We had this with shop bought coconut macaroons and more chats about nipple pads, smelly nappies and cat poo. Bear decided this was the perfect time for cuddles and joined us at the table trying to eat a strawberry as it travelled from my bowl to my mouth. My friends decided to never come to eat again.

Brunch turned into a chilled afternoon involving the trivia game on the Google Home Mini, a selfie stick (yes they still exist) and a game of ‘put that where Maggie can’t reach it and the cats can’t lick it’. My house ended up looking like Changing Rooms had been in, with everything below hip level in a different place and onions in unimaginable locations. Teddy (Ellen’s baby: cute but does the smelliest farts) had some lovely cuddles and managed to leave with all facial features in tact despite Lulu’s best efforts. I had a mountain of washing up and a lot of gone off milk to dispose of but it was worth it for a lovely day of fun, friendship and food. This is adulthood at its most special and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Speak soon,

Tania x

 

 

 

 

February Roundup

February is always the month I dread as it’s the time of the year I most associate with cold weather and the dreaded snow. I hate the white stuff. Whilst others are gleefully building snowmen and sledging down hills, you can find me hidden away in my nice warm house having a panic attack at the prospect of eventually having to leave and slipping over. Thankfully, there’s been none of that this month and the weather has been rather mild. Windy, for sure, but I can deal with that even if my hair isn’t best pleased.

So what I usually anticipate to be a bad month has actually been fairly decent. Nothing particularly exciting has happened but does anything exciting happen at this age really? I’m at that stage in life where I’m in a longterm relationship so no funny first dates to report on, we don’t have kids so I can’t fill you in on how hilarious it was when the little one peed in my face whilst nappy changing and I don’t have any sort of jet setting job where I mingle with celebs. My cat played fetch with me recently if that counts as exciting news. Like she brought the toy back to me and everything. It was pretty exciting if I’m honest.

Here’s some other top notch stuff that has got me smiling in February:

  • Clubbercise. Move over Zumba, you are so 2012. I’ve been going to a local Clubbercise class and I really like it! It’s an aerobics class but with a twist. Glow Sticks! I’m not usually one for humiliating myself in public but the beauty of this is that the lights are off so no-one can see you making a complete twat of yourself as you sing along to Justin Bieber and do all the moves wrong.
  • Loungewear. I have always been one of those girls who changes into pyjamas the second they get home. And I have no shame in that. But I recently decided to buy myself some proper loungewear so that I can make a distinction between chill out time and bed time. So I’ve been loving wearing tracksuits and hoodies around the house, keeping me all cosy. I’m not quite at the stage where I find this acceptable outdoor attire but give it time.
  • Snickers. Who doesn’t love a Snicker’s bar? It’s got everything you could possibly want from a snack; chocolate, peanuts, caramel, nougat, tons of sugar and fat and all those things we should generally avoid. I love all chocolate but have times when I don’t really eat it at all, but then will become transfixed on a certain type for a short period of time. I remember a particularly vivid addiction to KitKat Chunky bars that actually lasted for a shameful few months. Let’s hope my Snickers fetish comes to a halt soon.
  • Hot lunches. It’s been so cold in the office that I’ve been really enjoying taking something hot for lunch to keep me warm throughout the afternoon. Leftovers are always a great shout for lunch the next day.
  • Diet Coke. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve been drinking fizzy drinks, I never had them as a kid. Lately, though, I’m quite addicted and I hate myself for it. I know that these drinks are just a bunch of chemicals and they can’t be doing my insides any favours but I love having a can of Diet Coke as a sweet treat at work, or a cold glass with my dinner at the weekends. I still don’t have it everyday, but have it more than I probably should. I was going to give it up for lent but forgot on the first day so then it was all a bit pointless really.
  • Sweet potatoes. Nothing new here really, I’ve always loved sweet potatoes but have been eating them lots this month, especially roasted and added to rice bowls.

If you missed any of my posts from the last month you can find them all below. You can also follow me on Instagram if you so desire @ taniaadrianne88

What I Ate in a Day #3 / Recipe: Superfood Salad / My Thoughts on Valentine’s Day / Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake / A Period Drama / What I Ate in a Day # 4 / Recipe: Almond and Sultana Granola / Cookbook Review: Deliciously Ella Every Day / Recipe: Fully Loaded Sweet Potato Fries / Recipe: Chicken Burgers¬†/ A Spring in my Step

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A Period Drama

Food and menstruation….oh what a lovely combo. Boys, leave now as feminine shit’s about to go down.

So let me tell you what happened last week. Driving to work Tuesday morning and I have a sudden, debilitating¬†craving for Heinz tomato soup with crumpets, spread thickly with both butter and Marmite. Now, I can’t say that I have ever eaten this combination of foods before but I just knew that I had to and that I would love it. So I spend my day in the office dreaming of soup and crumpets, telling anyone that would listen about my fascinating craving. I had it that night and let me tell you, it was a complete triumph.

Wednesday starts like any other, smoothie for breakfast, a nice salad for lunch and a couple of satsumas to snack on. Then talk in the office turns to food. This is not unusual and as such we have set up an office ‘fat club’ in a bid to save the building from collapsing under our ever expanding weight. We discuss old school dinners, agreeing on chocolate cake and chocolate custard as a favourite. Anyone who grew up in Britain in the 80s and 90s will surely agree that this was the highlight of the week. Then one particularly devious colleague decides to bring up cheese and potato pie. If you don’t know what this is then you are missing out my friend. It was something we both had at school and was a bit of a staple at home too, simply mashed potato with a tonne of cheese mixed in, more cheese on top and baked in the oven. We used to put slices of tomatoes on ours as, you know, vegetables and that. This discussion brought back so many memories of childhood and having my mum cook for me everyday that I wanted to recreate it as soon as I got home. I was too hungry to wait for the real deal so I made some mash, stirred in a shameful amount of grated cheddar, sat, spooned and slobbed. Just that, for dinner. And it was worth every calorie.

At this point I think nothing of my sudden comfort food cravings and get on with my life. Thursday again feels pretty normal. I start my working day with a bowl of Shreddies and have a nice rice bowl planned for lunch. The rice bowl never quite makes it to lunch though as I suddenly feel ravenous and start munching my way through it mid morning. I then start to feel a bit out of sorts. I’m hot, flustered and my patience levels drop through the floor. Then, it happens and suddenly the past two days make sense. I start my period. Not a big deal you might think….well, let me put this into perspective for you. I haven’t had a period for years (I’m fine, don’t worry, all checked, just a particularly welcome side effect of the contraceptive pill I take) and this has come completely out of the blue. I feel scared for a bit thinking I’m like really dying or something, then I’m angry (why would you do this to me after all this time!?) and then I’m really, really, REALLY hungry. Not hungry. Hangry. That’s what you call it when you need food so bad it makes you mad. I have an all encompassing need for a Snickers and I need it now. I force one of my colleagues to go to the shop. I would threaten with dismissal if I had to and would use all tools in my armoury to ensure I got that Snickers. And fast. She delivered, and swiftly returned with a Snickers Duo and some packets of crisps. ‘Taking one for the team’ she called it. By this point I had told the entire office (sorry lads) of my woes and even my boss was aware of my womb-based situation. Everyone was starting to feel the wrath of a menstruating woman. During the next few hours I managed to eat 3 packets of Walkers crisps, 1 Snickers Duo, 1 normal sized Snickers and the Dominos Winter Survival deal which consisted of a large pizza, wedges, garlic pizza bread and 4 cookies. I was the raging woman rocking in the corner, foaming at the mouth with wild eyes ready to attack anyone who dared cross me. And then it was over. My period finished and I resumed normal life.

Now you may think that this was an over-reaction to what was effectively a 5 hour period. One is absolutely entitled to think that but psycho-hangry me will totally punch one in the face if they dared try to tell me that.

So what did I learn from this harrowing experience?

  1. It’s a bloody good job I don’t have regular periods if this is how I react. I would be friendless, possibly jobless and weigh about 25 stone.
  2. Comfort food is clearly the route I take when faced with troubling times.
  3. Heinz tomato soup with crumpets and Marmite is ridiculously underrated.

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(Honestly, try the whole soup and crumpet thing. If you wanted to send me a thank you card or a gift of gratification or anything really just contact me for my address.)