No time to scratch.
But I’ll just take a few minutes to fill you in on why I’m running around like a blue-arsed fly.
The day started early. Alfie needed to be at school an hour earlier than normal due to being bussed off to an all-day choir rehearsal for a concert he’s soon performing in at the Opera House. He has very much been looking forward to this day of rehearsing and last night when I put him to bed he said, ‘Mum, I’m so excited for tomorrow; it’s like going to sleep on Christmas Eve where you just can’t wait for the morning’. Yes, he loves his singing.
After that I was off to the shops and when I went into the butcher’s he said, ‘You’re off to an early start, Charlie’. And I said, ‘I know, Tony, I’m cramming in a lot today’.
Then it was off to swim squads because you can’t cut that out of your schedule because it’s therapy. That’s what I was hoping for, a bit of therapy. But alas, a professional triathlete who’s also a personal trainer and has one less decade on her than me, turned up to lead the lane. I have to swim five seconds behind her and not let the gap widen. I said, ‘Catherine, I’ve just come for a bit of therapy; do you mind if we just take it easy?’ She doesn’t know the meaning of the word.
Puce in the face, I emerged from the swim centre and rushed down to the local cafe to meet my parents who’d just flown in on the red-eye from Tokyo. We had a caffeine hit to help stay alert and then it was home to make these sausage rolls.
Once you’ve made the mixture it’s easy to get on a roll (bad choice of word I know), and have trays of sausage rolls on rotation heading in and out of the oven. These aren’t difficult to make but yes, your hands get messy. I made quadruple quantity so I had three trays going in and out of the oven at different times and trays on rotation in different positions in the oven so once started, I couldn’t really leave the kitchen. But of course you don’t need to make quadruple quantity – it’s just I have an event coming up so these are going into zip lock bags to be frozen until party-time.
Then it’s off to school to pick up the little guy and then we’re off to the mall to try and buy him some black pants. He has a gala performance tonight at the school and he has to wear black pants. The pants I bought him for last year’s gala performance are riding high above his ankles. Not a good look. Please Lord, let there be some pants in his size at the mall’.
I have to drop him back to school at 6pm and then I’m going to queue up outside the hall to try and get a seat closer than the back row. (Haven’t achieved that in the last five years but hoping my luck is about to change). Alfie will play the tenor saxophone with the Training Band and then the other bands will play, and there’ll be some drama performances and then the choir performs.
Alfie is the soloist in the choir and will sing Danny Boy. I really think the mother of the soloist should be given preferential seating but that thought hasn’t occurred to the organisers. That is why I now need to queue for a seat and once the doors open I may even need to sharpen my elbows in my haste for seat up the front – wish me luck!
The gala performance will finish at about 8pm and then we will take the little guy out to the local Thai for a congratulatory dinner. (Because I don’t know when I would have had time to cue the roast).
These sausages rolls are a lovely snack, they are good for a light lunch, and they are also perfect party food.
- 500g sausage mince
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup spicy chutney or relish
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 x sheets of puff pastry
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- black sesame seeds
- For the Sauce:
- 1 x 400g tinned crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- handful chopped basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 220C (430F)
- In a large bowl, combine mince, breadcrumbs, onion, chutney/relish and thyme. Season then mix together with your hands.
- Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Cut pastry sheets in half.
- Divide the mince mixture into 4 portions and shape each portion into a 25cm log. Arrange sausage logs along the centres of pastry sheets.
- Brush 1 long side of the pastry with the egg. Roll up to enclose the filling. Cut each roll evenly into 5 pieces. Place rolls, seam-side down, on the lined trays.
- Brush the rolls with the remaining egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve with the homemade tomato sauce.
- For the Sauce:
- Place tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and basil in a small saucepan. Season. Bring mixture to the boil then reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.