Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jig

It’s been two weeks, hasn’t it?  Oh dear.  It has passed in a blur of busy, then drunken, then hungover (and repeat four or five times), then EXHAUSTED, then STILL EXHAUSTED, and now STARVING and, yes, EXHAUSTED.

We skipped out of town, away from the beasts, for a few days last weekend to my dear friend’s wedding.  Instead of doing what any normal, exhausted parents would do and take it a bit easy, at least for an hour or so, we went hog-wild, ate and drank and then drank some more with gay abandon, and said Oh Fuck It when people suggested that we might want to sleep a bit, and had another drink instead.  By the time we came home, four days after we’d left, I calculated that I’d had 21 hours sleep.  Yikes.  And so I did what any good parent would do, and waited until the kids had gone to school before sneaking into the house and going to bed for a couple of hours.

Then I placed self on my guaranteed-to-get-you-knocked-up detox diet (but not before I sent the Man off travelling for at least a fortnight) and set about trying to repair the damage to my organs. Have I mentioned this diet thingy before?  Basically you eat like a vegetarian cave-woman for as long as you can stand it – no meat / fish, dairy, sugar, wheat, alcohol, blah blah blah.  It is TORTUROUS. However, 7 days of it will clear your skin and get you pregnant (or at least it has done for me, every time I’ve done it in the past.  This time I’m just looking for clear skin.  ARE YOU LISTENING, GODS???) It will also do strange things to your brain.  (For example, as I write this, I am making home-made peanut-butter (what do you mean, cave-men didn’t have food processors?), which is bonkers in itself, more so given that I’ve just realised I didn’t roast the peanuts.  Which may be why it looks like cat-sick, and tastes like leaves. However I have also made something DE-LISH-US, as the Boy would say, which I will jump to in a minute.)

On top of all this, the children have decided to wake up many many times every night, and the usual gaggle of early-hour walkers up and down our street have gone from being just slightly-mad, to all-out-insane.  The third time I was woken up on Monday night (out of a total of 6 times), it was to the caterwauling of someone who was clearly being murdered – slowly - outside my front door.  I considered sticking my head out the window to check it out, but it was so warm in my bed and so cold outside, and anyway, the sleeping pill I had taken earlier – oh yes, as if my night couldn’t get any better – wouldn’t allow me to move my legs;  and anyway (2), the roaring and hollering started to disappear up the street, and I figured she couldn’t be that murdered if she could walk and howl at the same time.   (When I told the Boy about this the next morning he refused to leave the house until I’d done a reccie and confirmed there was (a) no blood and (b) no body.)

Apart from their night-wakings however, they have been utterly delightful since our return.  Clearly we need to go away for four days more often. (Weekly?)  I’d like to think that they just missed us and have been on best behaviour ever since, but I suspect that in fact 4 days of eating sugar, and potatoes in various forms, has put them in a good mood and made them realise that life can be fun, if you take home-made flapjacks and peanut-butter and “ice-cream” out of the equation.

So, back to the good recipe.  I don’t have a photo.  Well, I have this:

Which is a photo of the pan which, as you can see, I have licked bare.  Yes, I am starving and would eat almost anything, but actually even if I wasn’t being all Gwynethy, I’d make, and then devour, this. It’s easy and delicious. 

Sweet-Potato and Coconut Mess*
You need (for 2, or one self-flagellating detoxer):
  • Splash of mild oil
  • Small onion, finely chopped
  • An inch or so of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • Tablespoon of curry powder
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • I can of coconut milk*
  • 1 lime
  • Handful of red lentils (optional – throw it in if you have them to hand)
  • Handful of spinach leaves, chopped
  • Handful of coriander, chopped

Heat the oil, then add the onion, and leave to sautee for a few minutes. Add the ginger and the curry powder, stir, and reduce heat to low.  Cover and leave for a few more minutes.

Add the sweet potato and stir to cover in the oily-onion mixture, then leave to sautee;  check after a couple of minutes, and add a large splash of water if it’s started to stick.

When the sweet potato is tender to bite, add the coconut milk, the juice of half the lime, and the handful of lentils (if using.  You can sub a tin of chickpeas, drained, instead if you like.) Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about ten minutes.

Add the spinach, coriander, and the rest of the lime juice (depending on the taste).  You might like to add a splash of soy sauce at this stage if it’s too sweet for your liking, or a pinch of salt.

Eat with brown, red or any other colour rice, AS LONG AS IT’S NOT WHITE.

*I made up the recipe, so I get to make up the name.  So-called because it’s not very pretty to look at.
*A quick note on coconut milk.  Lots – most, in fact - of them have added preservatives and stabilisers and other things that neither Gwyneth nor I would ever put in our bodies.  If you’re feeling similarly virtuous, check the ingredients labels, and go for whichever brand you can find with least added.


  1. Great post! Yes, you've just got to go hard when you can with kids, when mine were that age we used to do that regularly, it just feels so good to be free of that 24/7 vigilance you have to adopt. Funnily enough now they are older (11,13) we do it less, maybe it will be time to pass the baton to them soon. They already want to stay up later than us on a Friday night....

    1. I think that's def what's going on. it's a constant pull between wanting to get smashed, and knowing that the fallout of smashdom makes it just not worth while. maybe the trick is to start drinking at tea-time, so that you can be (a) drunk and (b) in bed by 9pm?

  2. Sounds like a fab few days away. Detox sounds goop-fabulous.

    1. The only noticable effect the detox has had on me is to make me unbearably smug and holier than thou ("You're eating THAT?" [points in disgust at a croissant]) Oh, and I'm in a constant horrible mood, which I put down to lack of daily alcohol.

  3. Strictly speaking, even brown rice is not OK for a detox. I know, I am such a bore. Quinoa, anyone?

    1. Maybe *that's* why I'm still covered in welts and look like Yoda's older sister. Brown f*cking rice... Who knew??

  4. Fox? The murder victim, I mean.

    Ps be careful with the getting pregnant diet, even with the Husband away. According to my dating scan with L, I managed to get pregnant while B was in Amsterdam...

    1. More likely, in these parts, the MURDERER. South London foxes are mean mofos.
      I took "precautions" while they were lifting the Baby out ("um, while you're in there, could you just, you know, tie a few loops...") but that doesn't stop me from being CONVINCED that I will be the 1 in 20,0000