The children too are eating vast platefuls of food and sleeping a great deal. They are growing almost in front of my eyes...Cam is now within a centimetre or so of being taller than me, and Olivia already taller than her grandmother. Teenage appetites have arrived in the house with a vengeance.
And so suddenly I find that my years of experience in cooking for four people don't count for much. My previously precise quantities are all out of kilter, and what used to feed us all comfortably with second helpings and leftovers now barely feeds the children.
|Toad in the hole|
|Potatoes - ready to be roasted for a corned beef hash|
|Would you like some porridge with your syrup, Olivia?|
|Cherry and almond cake|
I have gone back to doing a big brunch on Sunday mornings, which gives me a break from what sometimes feels like endless cooking and feeding of squawking baby blackbirds. While Graham is out on a run, the children can lollop on the sofa watching tele, and I can leisurely potter about in the kitchen listening to Radio 4 in peace while I cook and bake. I try and make at least three big, filling dishes that everyone can help themselves to, and come back to during the day if they feel hungry. I don't bother making anything for lunch, and then we have supper a bit earlier than usual. It makes the whole of Sunday feel lazy, indulgent and slow, which is just what I want.
Here's what has made it onto the brunch menu during January:
- corned beef hash
- herb omelettes with spicy tomato sauce
- Amish baked oatmeal (recipe here)
- banana and apple muffins
- huevos rancheros
- lemon and raisin pancakes
- savoury bread-and-butter pudding (grated cheese and bacon instead of the sugar and raisins)
- soda bread
- breakfast pizza (homemade pizza with breakfast-like toppings eg. mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, eggs)
- spicy burritos
- oat and raisin muffins