23 November 2011

Meal Planning around your son's social life

It seems as though, having hit 13yrs, suddenly our son is taking off with a social life that involves the evenings instead of just weekends and school holidays.

For years, we've been trying to get him to go to after-school clubs (and have been a wee bit successful, in parts) and to take part in after-school events.  However, he seems to be taking after me and was happy to remain a homebody.

However, now he's 13, son & heir is finding his wings!

This week, therefore, is a case of meal planning around his appointments and a visit to my parents.

Monday (Turkey Curry night) involved making dinner very much earlier than usual, in order to get son & heir back to school to take part in "Rock School" (as in "Rock and Roll", rather than the close inspection of geological formations)Fortunately, as the curry included pre-cooked Turkey, it was simple and quick to make.  Son & heir had a great time practicing to be a rock star, whilst hubby and I sat in Macdonald's car park and enjoyed a large cup of their delicious coffee each.  We'll get our reward once he's famous, I'm sure.

By the way - how is it that Macdonalds manages to sell such lovely coffee?  We reckon they have to be putting something addictive in it that makes you come back for more.  There's no "gentle sipping" involved with a Macdonalds coffee - it's a consistent "down the hatch!" until it's gone, swiftly followed by much sorrowful peering into the bottom of the cup, wishing it would fill up again.

Here's how the rest of the week is shaping up :

Tues : Son & heir - Pizza, Adults - Pizza Tart & Zesty Beetroot Salad
Weds : Chicken Casserole & Sweet Potato Wedges
Thurs : Chilli con Carne with rice
Fri : Turkey & Bacon Pie with carrots, parsnips & tenderstem broccoli
Sat : Dinner at lunchtime, so sandwiches for tea
Sun : yet to be decided
Mon : Devilled sausages, sweet potato mash & peas.

We had the Pizza Tart last night and although the concept requires some fine tuning, the flavours were there.  The tart utilises chorizo, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese - so it's easy to tell how nice it was.  The mistake I made was not frying off the mushrooms before using them on the tart and as a consequence, a lot of water escaped from them.  I salvaged the situation and, when I blog about it, will take that into account in the recipe.

Wednesday's Chicken Casserole is one I found on the Good Food Channel's website.  It doesn't appear to be attributed to anyone - but if you recognise it as yours, let me know and I'll give you the proper mention.  In the meantime, consider yourself mentioned by proxy!

It's an interesting recipe, using sherry, cloves, green peppers, raisins and green olives.  I'm really not at all sure how son & heir is going to receive it, but it sounds good to me!
Thursday is son & heir's Jazz Club night when he plays bass guitar with the Jazz Band and which takes place immediately following school.  However, we have to be picking him up at the time I would normally be cooking the dinner - which requires a bit of forethought and planning.  This week, we've opted for a chilli con carne which hubby will cook in the day.  That'll leave us to heat up the chilli and cook some rice, which shouldn't make dinner late.
Friday is the next "Turkey leftover" night, in which I'll be making a Turkey & Bacon pie.  The cooked Turkey meat has been in stashed in the freezer and I've kept back a few rashers of that wonderful Emmett's streaky bacon.  I've also retained half the pack of chestnuts, which I'm going to include (chopped finely) in the pastry for the pie.  If it turns out how my imagination is seeing it, it should be really lovely.

Saturday is a "back to front" day, as (assuming my Mum is okay - she's experiencing arthritis problems with her knees, too, now!) we should be visiting my parents.  They live very locally to us, so we'll be able to leave the three dogs at home - which saves having to worry about muddy paw prints across their carpets!  So we'll, effectively, be having lunch at dinner time, that day.

Sunday is another weird one, as we're going to see Mike Dawes & Amy Turk perform at the Bournemouth Folk Club.  We'll be eating while we're out, so it's going to be a light snack before we go, if anything.  Both Mike (guitar) & Amy (harp) have such amazing touch and ability with their instruments, they are just mesmerising to watch - and extremely agreeable to listen to.  Mike has been such an inspiration to Son & heir regarding his guitar playing, too.

 Following all that excitement, I felt the need for something homely and yummy - so will be trotting out the good old Devilled Sausages, along with sweet potato mash and peas for Monday evening.  I reckon we'll all be flagging a bit by then and they'll warm the cockles of our hearts, without having to slave for hours over a hot stove.  Couldn't be better!


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