Slummy Mummy Abuse

Poor Anna May Mangan appears to have totally missed the point in her attack on so called ‘Slummy Mummies’. Not that anyone really attaches much credibility to anything written in ‘The Fail’, but she’s certainly riled a few thousand people.

The reason that there are such a lot of parents out there talking about how hard it is to stay sane whilst caring for small children is because, well it is bloody hard and that’s just the reality of it! People need to feel like it’s ok not to be a perfect parent all the time. We all love the little buggers with all our hearts but that’s old news. How boring and sick making would it be to just see posts and stories from people going on about how amazing their children are and how brilliant each day of their perfect life is ? Errrr vom.

Anna’s biggest failing in my opinion is that instead of supporting and encouraging other parents she’s committed the ultimate sin of being all judgey and aloof. Not a way to make friends but given the number of hits the article has had, maybe naming all the super popular bloggers and authors in the ‘Slummy Mummy’ pack might just have been a clever ploy to boost her own exposure.

As the Unmumsy Mum points out in her bang-on-point response to The Mail article, Anna’s book  The Pushy Mothers Guide sounds absolutely delightful!! At least all the perfect parents out there have a figure head to follow now.  Meanwhile, I’ll carry on with bashing out the easiest family friendly dinners that I can and telling the truth about life as a mum of 2.5 sleep snatchers whilst dreaming about when i can get back on the gin. I know that on those bad days when things are tough there will be the Slummy Mummies out there to let me know that I’m not alone.

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Mmmmmm gin.

 

A Summer Bump…

So, now that I’m ‘out’ I could do with some advice. I’ve never had to dress a summer bump before. Both my girls are late winter babies so i’ve been able to swathe myself in snuggly layers of leggings, woolly jumpers and dresses and chunky coats.

This time around i’m trying to work out how to keep cool and comfortable. Luckily I’ve got lots of friends who’ve had babies fairly recently so I’ve been loaned and given quite a selection of maternity clothes. It still takes me about an extra 30minutes to get dressed each day though! Most mornings/ events/ activities require two or three outfit changes to find something that looks acceptable. I’ve grown bigger much quicker this time around and so i’m having to learn fast and adapt quickly! 

My skin has become really oily which is great for avoiding stretch marks on my tummy but not great for my face! I’m not even going to bring up the fluffy hair issues.😠. So seeing as I can’t really control those issues it would be nice to almost get clothes sort of right and look ok.

I’ve never liked ‘throw away fashion’ preferring to buy items that will last and get lots of use. It’s pretty difficult to do that in pregnancy which is why I’ve maintained a loan bag of maternity clothes which I offer out to friends. I got the idea from a very thrifty friend and stuck with it – much to my husband’s dismay each time the bag comes back from its temporary owner. 

I’m all ears for ideas and suggestions. This was me yesterday trying to round up my girls to leave the house. The dress is by Seraphina and is on loan from a dear friend. My sandals are by Palmira Sandals. I bought them hesitantly last year but instantly fell in love with them. They go with everything and were comfy straight out of the box.

Food food family food: Chorizo Macaroni Cheese

There are a few evenings each week when one or both girls do activities so we need pre-prepared or super fast dinners. This can do both. You can make it the day before and heat it up in the oven when you’re ready for it or you can make it and have it on the table in 20mins. It also has the bonus effect of inducing a bit of carby sleepiness in my two as well which is handy for encouraging a bit of ‘calm down time’. The fact that the ingredients for this are all things we tend to have in as staples all the time just seals it as a ‘Winner Dinner’ as my eldest calls it.

This is one of those throw it together meals so it’s not really about exact quantities.

I put a pan of pasta on the boil. How much varies by family I think so it’s really up to you. I would probably do about 350g/400g

While that is cooking put medium sized saucepan on the hob on a low heat and slice your chorizo. I’m sure I’ve said before that we’re all meat fiends in our house so I would use a whole chorizo ring like this

Put that all in your saucepan and let it sizzle. Keep an eye it though because it can burn really quickly.

Once the chorizo is cooked and realeased lots of tasty oil add two tablespoons of plain flour and stir for a minute or two before adding a splash of milk. It will instantly thicken but don’t panic, just keep stirring and adding milk a bit at a time until you reach a consistency you like. I like mine quite thick which tends to use about 1/2-3/4 pint of milk.

At this point I take the sauce off the heat and check on the pasta which should now be cooked. Drain the pasta and leave it in the pan with a lid on. 

Turning back to your sauce grate in as much of your favourite cheddar cheese as you like. I tend to use about 250-300g of mature cheddar and throw in a large chunk of any blue cheese I’ve got hanging about. You should now have a thick cheesy chorizo sauce. Add in your pasta and combine thoroughly. 

You can serve it straight away or if you like a crunchy topping you can sprinkle with breadcrumbs and pop in the oven on 220’c for 15mins.

Slower cooker doner kebab

There are a few recipes floating around out there for this. I tried a some and then tweaked a bit to get what i felt tasted just like an authentic doner meat.

Ingredients
Lamb mince                                       500g
onion powder/granules                  1tsp
Garlic powder                                    1tsp
Dried Oregano                                   1tsp
Salt                                                        1tsp
Black Pepper                                      1tsp

Method

Throw all the ingredients except the lamb into a big bowl and give them a good mix. Then add the mince and with clean hands give it all a good mix and a squidge.

I shaped the mixture into a long oblong, and then placed it into my slow cooker which i had lined with foil (this makes for minimal washing up!).

Set the heat on the cooker to high and leave it to cook for 3-4hours. Perfect for while you’re out at the pub!!

I quite like roasted peppers with mine so i thickly sliced some red pepper wrapped them in foil and tucked them down the side of the foil in the slow cooker so that they didn’t get full of lamb fat.

When we were ready to eat we thinly sliced the meat and served it in naan breads with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced onion and a homemade yoghurt and mint sauce.

Yum!!!!

Slow cooker Lamb Hotpot

First attempt at making a Lamb Hotpot in my slow cooker. Given that I slow cook it in the oven normally I figured that it should work out quite well in the slow cooker. 

I know some people slow cook almost everything but I only like to use it where the results are as good as or better than the conventional method. For some recipes you just can’t beat the heat of an oven.

Fingers crossed this turns out well…..

Breakfast Helpers

Lazy weekend mornings with hearty family breakfasts make me a happy girl. 
My favourite breakfast is pancakes. Not The fat, fluffy, American sort but the skinny, eggy, French crepe sort. I like them soo much that when we were on holiday last summer I had one – or maybe two – for breakfast every day!

I don’t mind the classic lemon and sugar filling but my number one filling is a thin smear of mayonnaise along with sausages that have been cut in half and grilled until they have a nice crispy top. My husband and friends tell me this is odd but anyone that has tried it has been surprised by how much they like it!

Thankfully my two little beans are also pancake fans who appreciate my mayo and sausage filling so they now get involved in our monster pancake sessions.


I certainly find that cooking together hugely encourages children to try eating different things. The first time I made pancakes and served them to the girls they weren’t keen to even try them but now that they get involved in making them they can’t seem to eat enough of them.