In a few days I will be coming to you live from Bali, Indonesia. Drew has a conference he has to attend and I’m tagging along for the tropical weather, the massages and the awesome food. And with so much to look forward to I shouldn’t be so anxious and nervous and stressed.
But I’m all of those things because the young adults say they don’t want me to get live-in help while I’m away. That would cramp their style. They would like to run the home themselves. And they have never shown me they have any ability to run a home. And what about the little guy. ‘He’ll be fine’, they say, ‘We’ll look after him’.
Now Archie is useless and Arabella’s crippled. What sort of a team is that!
I’ve been up until all hours typing up lists and notes, letting them know the night the garbage has to go out and the fact that the next morning, the bins don’t bring themselves in. That Arabella can’t drive and so Archie has to do all the errands. That Arabella can’t pick things up off the floor so Archie will have to do that for her, nor can she hang washing out on the line so that’s another job for Archie (useless) and as she’s on crutches (crippled), she’ll need help in the kitchen with the cooking.
And then there’s the little guy. He has a pretty packed schedule that, as no one else can understand it, you’d think was written in code. I don’t know why I’m the only one who knows when and where he needs to be. There’s cross country training one afternoon a week, there’s sea scouts on another afternoon. There’s five swim squads, two in the morning and three in the afternoon at two different swim centres. There’s maths coaching one afternoon a week and a saxophone lesson, choir practise and band practise. Fridays he has to wear his sports uniform to school and have his soccer uniform packed to go with him for inter-school sport. Archie doesn’t even know he plays soccer and I’m not even sure he’s aware there’s a tenor sax in the house.
He needs to be dropped off at school at different times on different days. This is another part of the schedule you’d think was written in code as again, Useless and Crippled haven’t got their heads around it. Three different start times over five days isn’t that challenging to understand.
Besides his schedule that no one understands, he needs food. I’ve organised his school lunches because these can be ordered on-line so that’s sorted. He just needs a piece of fruit in his bag every day for ‘munch and crunch’.
But he also needs breakfast. I usually get this for him while he’s getting dressed. And when I told Arabella, instead of saying she’d make his breakfast, she said, ‘See mum, the problem is you do too much for him’. My fault again.
Regardless of the fact I’m parentally flawed, I would like him to eat. So over the past few days I’ve been whipping up meals all three will enjoy. I’m storing them in containers and in zip lock bags and freezing them so enjoying a meal only requires, thawing, heating and serving. I do not want to come home to empty pizza boxes stacked floor-to-ceiling.
And then there’s Rosie. She will rotate around the beds at night and in all honesty, will probably fair better than the little guy – her schedule isn’t written in code.
So while I’m sunning myself in Bali, with Useless and Crippled at the helm, things may not be all that sunny on the home front. Prayers please!
This is one of the meals I’ve stashed away for while I’m gone. It’s a complete meal that’s cooked in one dish which is easy and convenient. The chicken is cooked with a range of vegetables so there’s lots of nutrition and with the potatoes, it’s a complete meal that doesn’t need anything else to accompany it – just thaw, heat and serve.
- 1 tbspn butter
- 2 tbspn olive oil
- 750g kipfler potatoes, halved length-ways
- 1.5kg chicken, cut into 8
- 2 Spanish onion, sliced
- 1 leek, rinsed and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 red capsicum, sliced
- 1 yellow capsicum, sliced
- 800g tinned crushed tomatoes
- handful oregano leaves
- handful parsley, chopped
- half cup stuffed green olives, halved
- Pre-heat oven to 180C (375F).
- Rub half the butter over the base of a large roasting dish then sprinkle with a little of the oil. Place potatoes cut-side up on the bottom of the dish. Season.
- Heat remaining butter and oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Brown the chicken pieces then remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the potatoes. Season chicken.
- Turn down the heat and add onions and leeks and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add capsicums and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the vegetables over the chicken.
- Pour over the tomatoes and sprinkle with oregano.
- Cover dish with foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes. When cool, freeze if desired or when ready to serve, sprinkle with parsley and olives.
And sorry about the images. ‘Someone’ fiddled with my camera moving the focal point. I’ve spared you the images of cooking this dish as they were too awful and these are the best of a very bad bunch.