We finally got home from hospital on Wednesday – a week to the day after I’d first brought the Grubette in to A&E. All things considered, it wasn’t that bad a week really. Once I accepted the fact that I was going to (a) be there for several days, and (b) probably not get a huge amount of sleep, I relaxed and actually began to enjoy it. Mind you, having health insurance and being in a private hospital – with our own room, a laptop, a tv, nurses, doctors and room service on demand – helped. It was a little cocoon of safety, away from the horrible world, and more importantly, my house. For seven days – give or take a couple of times when the Man took over and I went home – I didn’t cook, clean, or even think about the washing machine. I avoided all media reporting on the cannot-bring-self-to-even-mention-let-alone-think-about-it horror in Connecticut, and found space to breathe and be grateful for what I have. Christmas cheer indeed.
But now we’re home and typically, both the Boy and the Girl are horribly sick, coughing and hacking and whinging non-stop. High temps, Christ-knows-what coming out of their noses, and germs-germs-germs at every turn. I’m trying to
put up with take care of
them, entertain them (nothing worse than house-bound toddler) and keep them
away from the Grubette (the first thing the Boy did when he saw her was cough
in her face), while possibly getting self slightly organised for Christmas. It isn’t going terribly well, to be honest. (Although thankfully, I have
successfully maintained an almost total shut-down on the part of my brain which
processes tragedies and carnages - because on the couple of occasions when I
started to think about the parents of the children killed in CT, and the children
– God, the children - themselves, the room started to spin slightly. Like
it's doing right now in fact. Some horrors can’t be adequately verbalised, let
alone absorbed. And so, in my typical
head-in-sand manner, I have decided not to even try.)
I had great intentions of starting lovely (or indeed, any) Christmas traditions – so that in years to come the three of them could Skype each other from various corners of the world (where they’d gone to escape their mother) and swap stories about the ridiculous things they were made to endure, all in the name of “enjoying themselves”. I’m not even sure what I was thinking of – Christmas panto, maybe? A carol service? (Which – on a complete tangent – reminds me of the Boy’s latest obsession. God. “What’s God, Mummy?” “Um... God is like a ghost. A good ghost. Who isn’t a man or a woman. And no one is even sure if there is even such thing as God. But some people think their definitely is, and some think there definitely isn’t.” (Christ, I’m so fucking middle-class-right-on it embarrasses even me). “Oh MUMMY! God is Baby Jesus’s father, and he loves everyone”. And there I was thinking we were spending all that money for him to go to a non-denominational nursery.)
Anyway. Christmas traditions. Can I pick your brains? Can anyone recommend anything which a 4 year old and a 2 year old might possibly enjoy, which isn’t going to be
AT ALL too much hassle? Christmas
eve we’re planning on bunking down with a Christmas movie, so likewise, any
age-appropriate film recommendations would be much appreciated.
In the meantime, I bring you tidings of comfort and joy – in the form of scrambled eggs. Yes, I know, old dogs, new tricks etc. However...
Firstly, it is the perfect comfort food, and seems to be the only thing which sick children will eat; secondly, throw in a glass of Champagne, and you have the perfect Christmas breakfast; thirdly, it’s ridiculously quick and easy; and finally, I have a secret scrambled-eggs trick up my (snot-encrusted) sleeve to make it a one-pot-stop of delicious loveliness.
Fool-proof scrambled eggs (Just call me Delia...)
You need (per person)
- 2 eggs (or 1, for the small people)
- A heaped tablespoon of butter
- A dash of milk (any type)
- Salt & Pepper (Pepper is optional, salt really isn’t)
- Buttered toast
- Optional goodies: a couple of tablespoons of grated cheese or some slivers of smoked salon (compulsory for Christmas breakfast I think)
Put the butter and one splash of milk per egg into a saucepan (not a frying pan. Honestly, it all goes pear-shaped when you use a frying pan to make scrambled eggs. Frying pans are for FRYING. They give too much heat over too wide a space, so the eggs cook too quickly, and end up dry and diner-esque) and put the heat on medium-low.
When the butter has melted, and just before the milk starts to bubble, break the eggs directly into the mixture. (I know! For years you’ve been unnecessarily dirtying a bowl / jug with your egg-whisking nonsense...) Whisk well with a fork, so that the yolks and whites are completely mixed.
Turn the heat up a bit, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. (I don’t know why, but the wooden spoon seems to make a difference.) As soon as it starts to set, turn the heat off and keep stirring. This is crucial. The eggs will continue to cook in their own heat, so if you keep the heat on until the eggs are at a consistency you like, you’ve already over-cooked them.
Add any additional ingredients you want – the cheese, or smoked salmon – and stir again.
Season with S&P and
into your toddler’s mouth eat immediately, while reminding yourself that
turkey really is overrated...
And finally... On the off-chance (ahem) that I don't get around to posting again before the 25th, I wish a very very happy Christmas to all of you, my lovely readers. Thank you for indulging me for yet another year. I hope you have song and cheer with your loved ones, the germ-bunny keeps away, and if you are parents, that you get a solid 8-hours’ stretch of sleep at least once over the holidays. [To which end, might I suggest asking Santa for wax ear-plugs? If they can block out the sound of a hospital – I actually slept! - they might just work against the sound of over-excited offspring...] Happy Everything to you all.