Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Comfort amid the new and changing

There is so much that is new happening in our family at the moment.

Blue skies in East London
Blue skies over East London this week

C's new life at secondary school incorporates so many new experiences under just one heading.  He is walking to and from school each day rather than being driven or travelling with me on the tube.  He's doing several pieces of homework each night rather than just once a week.  He's making new friends, managing his own money and learning completely new subjects for the very first time.

G is taking up new hobbies and resuming old ones, with the spare time he has now that he is no longer training for the ironman.  His work hours have changed significantly, as has his daily commute across London.

I am starting new projects and using my time very differently to how I was a few months ago.  O finds herself in a busy whirl of birthday parties, ballet lessons, opticians appointments and new after-school arrangements.

All of this, without exception, is good for us.  I am excited and energised by the new possibilities opening up for me, C loves his new school, G and O are busy and happy.  And yet...sometimes the newness and the bustle can still feel tiring and overwhelming, even though it's welcome and we're enjoying it.  Sometimes we just want to curl up under a quilt, watch favourite, missed TV shows on iPlayer and eat pudding.

So I've stopped what I should be doing for the morning, and done some baking instead.  This bread pudding recipe, from my friend Nina, is the most comforting thing imaginable.  The children, G and I all rank it as one of our most favourite puddings ever.  It tastes wonderfully spicy and citrussy and completely hits the spot when you need a bit of comfort food.

Bread pudding underway
Stale bread, about to be transformed

Bread pudding
Butter, sugar, spices and fruit

It is not a very beautiful pudding to look at, but just like your favourite pair of comfy slippers or your child's old, beloved bear-with-no-fur, it is not meant to be an object of great beauty.  Its power lies in the fact that it can lift your soul and bring you comfort and reassurance when everything feels a little bit new and challenging.

Sink of suds
Suds in the sink

We're having our bread pudding for tea tonight, and then tomorrow we'll all be be back out there, embracing the newness once again.  That's the magic of this pudding.


  1. I'm feeling the urge to crawl under a rock this week too, for some unknown reason.

  2. I think everyone here is stunned at how rapidly the restful effects of the summer have worn off. All the children at school are tired and many are tearful. And that goes double for all us adults working there!

  3. Big Grin :o) And I so know what you mean! All 3 children have new routines and I simply can't keep up!

  4. magic pudding! just what you need to get you through the week xxx

  5. Great post, I am finding it hard to let my 11 year old have the extra responsibility for getting himself organised for school "have you done this, have you got that??" I really need to take a step back - lol. Oh we finally made it to the British Museum (beautiful) at the weekend we came down for my youngests birthday however his interest soon wained (mummies seen!) as a visit to Hamleys had been mentioned so that was it - lol - off we pootled back to the underground. However, oh has promised me a return visit on our own so I can visit places properly - hmmm we'll see!! :-) xx

  6. Lots of changes happening here too so I can empathise with you. My comfort food has been home made apple crumble two nights in a row but I think I may make your comfort pudding for a change. How is your weekly market walks going?

  7. Mmm, that recipe looks great and your description of its comforting properties is very enticing. I've never heard of bread pudding before. I'm bookmarking to try sometime!

  8. And my favourite bit is that it all gets washed in a Belfast sink- bravo!!

  9. I'm dying to hear more about your new projects.


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