Children that wake at 5:30am does not bode well for much besides elaborate breakfasts.
Brown rice with dates, sunflower seeds and soy milk. And a cup of ‘Be Happy’ tea. (I need all the help I can get that bloody early.)
Be busier than is advisable for a person who only gets 4 hours sleep a night. Have tiny mouths that requiring feeding. Remember that if the tiny mouths are full then the chances of them being able to make so very much noise is ever so slightly reduced. Feel ever so slightly buoyed by this. Try not to think too much about Sisyphus.
Stand before your pantry with a large bowl. Conclude that you are simply too tired to walk to the refrigerator so this evenings meal must be able to be sourced without you having to move more than your arms. Open a can of cream corn you have had since you brought your house. 5 years ago. To this add 2 cups of the only flour you have enough of to fill 2 cups. It will be Wholemeal. That you brought in a frenzy of virtue that sometimes catches you, usually after reading some kind of printed-on-recycled-paper Wholesome Holistic Sustainable Living Magazine for people who make more money than you. Which isn’t hard. Throw in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil (this combination essentially equals 1 egg in Veganism) and season liberally with salt and pepper.
You are too tired to chop an onion, I understand. If, despite your exhaustion, you are able to make it out to the garden, a handful of finely chopped chives wouldn’t go amiss.
Use all the energy you have left to mix that thing until it’s combined. That is your upper-arm work-out done for the day. Look at you! Multitasking!
In a frying pan heat a drizzle of oil and place generous tablespoon sized scoops of this ugly duckling mixture into the pan at medium temprature, turning once the underside is golden brown, to produce a beautiful swan of a thing. Makes 6 huge fritters or 12 tiny ones. Maybe 9 medium ones? It’s not an exact science. This mixture can also be used for muffins! I know! Just add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and cook at 175 for 30 minutes. Two things, one recipe! We’re like pioneers!
Serve with (one of the 50 jars of ) tomato relish (your Mother made you for Christmas.) And maybe some steamed vegetables? Look, just slice them up an apple and a carrot, call it a day and a half and send everyone to bed.
Get swept up in New Years Resolutions.
Somehow commit to doing only things that will guarantee to bring with them an abundance of stress and washing up. Vow ridiculous things that, perhaps, in the haze of champagne and idealism, actually made sense.
Pledge to get more creative about breakfast! Be resolute; mostly that little good will come from this. That now, instead of flinging toast at the children as they sit, dazzled by whatever electronic entertainment you allow until you are rightly caffienated, you will torture yourself to create an opportunity for Wholesome Family Togetherness. But that’s parenthood for you.
The reality of this lofty goal will see you storming about the kitchen in your undergarments; bleary-eyed as you bang all the pots and pans together, as if trying to cast a spark from the rubbing together of two sticks. You will fall over the cat and shake your fist at the toaster, that haughty bastard. You will yearn for the days when breakfast meant a coffee and a fag.
Then you will brush the hair from your eyes, drink a cold cup of tea with three sugars and smash out something delicious and beautiful, because you adore your children and they deserve the very best. Even though it is taking years off your life.
Polenta Three Ways (Hello, freaky google searchers. And welcome.)
Have no idea how to cook polenta. Place a pot of water on the element until at a rolling boil. Then unceremoniously dump a serving of polenta in there too. I went with a 3:1 ratio, water to polenta, because it felt right, you know? It worked out okay, I think. Look, I have no idea. Stir with great vigour over heat for 10 minutes or so, until the polenta has combined and scrapes freely from the side of the pot. It should be like a single substance now, a beautiful combined entity. It will taste like nothing. It’s consistancy should be like that of a very smooth scrambled egg, though, which as a Vegan is exciting (our lives our dull, but our karma is good).
Polenta with button mushrooms, black beans, tomato and coriander.
Season the bejesus outta that thing. I added a heaping tablespoon of Olivio and got liberal with the salt and pepper. Listen, polenta is never going to be the star of the show. But it will hold its end up if you treat it right.
Pro-tip: Serve this as brunch to those who mock your Veganism. This shit is delicious. And won’t leave you feeling burdened like porridge.
Polenta with brown sugar, soy milk and bananas.
Pro-tip: The children will love this. A great option for gluten-free baby breakfasts.
Pro-tip: Natural pink food colouring can be made by grating a fresh beetroot and the pressing the juice out through a sieve! The taste is undiscernable, but the colour is POW!
Wrangle your disinterested children away from the television. Ignore their bitter cries for Bob the Builder and bloody boring old bloody jam on bloody boring old toast. Lay before them a sumptious feast; prepared with love and minimal expletives, considering the conditions. Stand over them expectantly, awaiting the appreciation you so deserve. Keep waiting. Keep on waiting, sister.
Weeks later, yearn for a sweet thing after a tedious day at the coal-face. Stare longingly into your pantry, willing a treat to materialise.
Remember your multitude of frozen bananas. Do a happy little dance.
Into your blender place sliced frozen bananas. You will have to cut off their skins and your hands will freeze into claws, but it will be so deliciously worth it. 2 bananas is equal to one serving. Do maths. Be greedy. Let’s say this recipe for for 2 servings, for continuity. So, what’s that? 4 bananas. Maths, ho!
To the blender add 1/2 a cup of water OR the mock milk of your choosing, if you are fancy like that. Turn blender onto lowest setting. Add 4 heaped tablespoons of cocoa and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. A pinch of cinnamon? A little chilli? Get loose, you know? Make it once before you go buck wild though. We’re very poor this year and there can be no wastage.
Taste test. Be blown away be how delicious that shit is. Add more of anything that may be missing. The trick is to blend it for just long enough to make the bananas a creamy consistancy, but no so long as to melt them into a soup. Of course, you can just refreeze once you have combined all the ingredients, but let’s be honest, you’re not going to. So time is of the essence, my friend! Your stories are about to start and you have been waiting all day to sit in silence and watch various costume dramas. Enjoy.