What do you do all day anyway?

I’m trying to work towards handing in my tax returns ahead of the ATO’s deadline of June 30 (looming ever nearer) but progress is eluding me.  I’m not sure I’m to blame.

This morning Arabella had an appointment with the doctor but at the eleventh hour she asked me to cancel because she really wanted to go to school to work on her HSC group drama performance.  So having dropped her at school I celebrated my spare time by doing some exercise at the local pool.  When I finished my swim and went to dry myself off in the change room I saw four messages on my phone.  And they were all from Arabella who was at school only for the second time since being diagnosed with The Glange four weeks ago.

Breakfast Beans - Fuel for the day!

The first text message said she had finished drama and would now actually like to go to the doctor so could I pick her up and take her.

The second was letting me know the school would like an updated medical certificate so could I organise one immediately.

The third was letting me know she has a sore shoulder so could I make an appointment with the osteopath.

And the fourth was asking me why I wasn’t replying to her messages.

Dripping wet I texted back that I couldn’t take her to the doctor because we’d never make it to the appointment on time, that we would fix up the medical certificate at the next doctor’s appointment, that we’ll deal with the osteopath in the holidays and that I’m clearly a let-down for not being available 24/7.

Once home, I just sat down to return a few calls when the text messaging started again.  ‘Can you pick me up now because I’m really tired and I want to sleep for a bit and then go back to school for an assessment’.  When I didn’t immediately reply she forwarded me the message again.  I texted back, ‘I don’t want to.  I don’t have time.  Sorry.’

‘Do you want me to walk home then?’


‘Well why can’t you pick me up then and I’ll walk back later?’

So I picked up my injured dog with the fractured pelvis and went to pick her up.

Back home, I tried to start some work but she said, ‘Mum, you know I need that doctor’s certificate’, and, ‘Mum, when are we booking me some driving lessons?’ and, ‘Mum, we should really book my driving test because they get really booked up’, and, ‘Did you know it’s only three months until my 18th?  We should probably start organising my party’, and, ‘I need some new stockings for school.  Can you buy me some? and, ‘That yoghurt you bought is really high in sugar.  Why didn’t you buy the one I showed you?’ and, ‘What’s for dinner?  It’s not meat is it?’ and ‘I’m probably going to fail this assessment.  I was away for that whole unit of work’.

A vegetarian breakfast

And I’ll just put aside the tax for another day because that’s my ‘uninterrupted time’ over with, now it’s time to pick up Alfie and take him to his afternoon activities.

And do you know what Arabella says to me sometimes?  ‘What do you do all day anyway?’

And a big thank you to everyone who has expressed their concern for my little Rosie.  We’re not sure how she did it but we think she must have fallen off Alfie’s bed in the middle of the night and somehow ended up with a hair-line fracture to the pelvis.  She was in a lot of pain but is now on a great combo of pain killers and bed rest.  She’s taking her medication well but bed-rest seems to be difficult to comprehend.  We’re working on it!

When you have a time-extracting teenage daughter and an injured dog confined to bed-rest, you need to start the day with an energy-loaded breakfast.  Here’s something I make to give me that fuel.

Breakfast Beans on Sourdough

Breakfast Beans on Sourdough

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Quite minimal.  This would have to be the best breakfast for the least expense.

  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tinned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 8 x poached eggs
  • 8 slices sourdough toast, buttered
  • seasoning

In a medium sized saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until transparent and softened.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 min).  Add tinned tomatoes, cannellini beans and basil and stir to combine.  Bring to the boil then simmer until thickened (about 5 mins).

Meanwhile, poach eggs and cook sourdough toast.

Serve on warmed plates.

(Note:  This versatile dish doesn’t just have to be a breakfast.  It can be served for dinner on rice instead of sour dough and some chilli flakes can be added with the garlic if desired.)

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  1. Oooh, that looks yum! Glad Rosie’s ok

  2. What a fantastic breakfast. Soon that child will be old enough to use the phone to make her own appointments, it is only a matter of time. I remember being a shuttle service for mine and the novelty wore off fast! In fact one of them took himself to the hospital when he broke his arm for the fourth time. he knew the routine and told the teacher i was meeting him at the hospital and could someone drop him off.. he was 12.. the only call i got was to pick him up after he was done.. laughter.. c

  3. It’ll be nice for you when Arabella gets her drivers license and you don’t have to chauffeur her around! That breakfast looks wonderful, I’d love to curl up with that and a café latté and the morning paper on a weekend.
    I do hope Rosie is better soon.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

  4. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    “A time-extracting teenage daughter.” You nailed it with that phrase, which can probably be applied to a lot of teens. Some days it’s a challenge to be the parent of a teen, isn’t it?

  5. I had something similar to this breakfast in a restaurant recently and I’ve been dying to reproduce it. This sounds soo good!

  6. Hi,
    You certainly are kept busy, not a lot of spare time at all.
    Looks like a very nice breakfast, and I agree, it also sounds like it would be nice as other meals as well.

  7. i think we come from the same school of mommyhood haha. my daughter is here right now visiting and she saw how my day went and told me outright that i never stop… i told her that’s an understatement.
    glad you could still write and blog where i find amusing stories such as this… you are a blessing to me.

  8. Oh Charlie, I guess this is the bigger picture of being a mom with teenage kids..
    I love this breakfast, like you said, fuel for the day!
    I hope little Rosie will get better soon..

  9. yummychunklet says:

    I’ve never had beans for breakfast. This looks tasty!

  10. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Saints. Mothers are saints. I’ve always thought that and now I know for certain.

    If I am truthful, though I lived in London and in some very British communities elsewhere, I just never could wrap myself around the idea of beans on toast, especially for tea. But then, I was never exposed to any so appealing. These look wonderful!

  11. Minnie Gupta says:

    Charlie, that breakfast looks yummmmm!!

    “What do you do whole day anyway’……….hahahahhaa! Such a regular question, isn’t it?!!!

    Btw Charlie, did you get to read my reply on your Question about not being able to post comment on my blog? Please let me know if you are still facing difficulty.


    • hotlyspiced says:

      No, I didn’t get your reply! But I’ve been to your site today and I can post comments. Yeah! xx

  12. InTolerantChef says:

    With a year off, I get asked that question constantly at the moment. I tell them I am at home working on my character….. Its very discouraging work sometimes!
    Mums are priceless, teenagers though are a dime a dozen 🙂

  13. ChgoJohn says:

    When it’s a small, active dog, it’s always the bed rest that’s the problem. It’s just not their nature.
    Your breakfast brings back some memories, Charlie. Beans are a rarity for breakfast here but as you well know, they’re common Down Under and in the UK — and I enjoyed them whenever I had the chance! You’ve got me thinking that I should make this for my own breakfast some day soon. It sure is cheaper than airfare.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I didn’t realise until I cooked this for the post that beans aren’t eaten in the US for breakfast! But you should try this because it really was a great start to my busy day and it is so inexpensive to make. (And a lot easier than making mozzarella – thanks for raising the bar!) xx

  14. I’ve never had a dog that understood, “swallow this pill” or “you must rest, no chasing the ball.” I feel for you and poor Rosie.

    I worked full time as a single mum when my children were teenagers and there was never enough time. I used to get, “Why can’t you [insert activity here] with us, you can do [insert chore here] tomorrow.” In my best, not quite Tennessee accent, “I wanted to snatch ’em bald headed.”

    Never have had beans on toast for breakfast but this looks very good.

  15. WOW Charlie that is totally Cafe standard looking and tasting food 🙂 I wish I could make food like that at home then i’d save so much money and lol probably lose some weight!!!

  16. I’d say you need this breakfast and a very strong cup of coffee (or tea, I suppose, if you don’t do coffee – but I’d recommend the coffee!) before a day like that one. I would have loved to hear your answer to that “what do you do all day” question…if you held your patience then you have the patience of a saint!

  17. justasmidgen says:

    A lovely meal… yes, our little pupster is sooo much easier to take care of than two children… paws down he’s the easiest!! xoxo Smidge

  18. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Beans for breakfast, what a great idea! It’s amazing how full a day can be even when “nothing” gets done.

  19. Oh Charlie what a day. At least you got it off to a good start.

  20. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    Wow! When it rains it poors :/ Im so glad Rosie is ok. These beans look FAB 🙂

  21. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Rosie! I’m currently house-sitting for my parents and cleaning up accidents from our dog at least twice a day, because the poor dear isn’t very good at recognising she needs to go outside these days, so I sympathise with the pet-care-sadness-love-hope. As for the time-extracting daughter… yep. I’m not ready for kids. 😉

  22. Fracture in the pelvis does not sound pleasant, ouch! BTW that is a really good breakfast

  23. I am going to have to stop reading your blog – I start to hyperventilate which I don’t think is good for my blood pressure!! And I am only reading….or maybe I just need a good brekky. Those beans sound good!

  24. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Good to hear that lil Rosie is ok. I do think you are the world’s most patient mother too!

  25. You my friend, deserve an award no doubt! Keep smiling and keeping your chin up as you always do supermum!

    Choc Chip Uru

  26. That recipe looks amazing. I love a savory, protein-packed breakfast like that. I hate to say that I acted like that with my mom as a teen. Couldn’t understand why she wasn’t available to chaufer (butchered the spelling) me around whenever I wanted to go somewhere. Then I got older and watched her do it for my little brother, get so stressed trying to juggle it all, and receive no thanks from him! It’s too bad that teens tend to learn these lessons later on. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were born knowing them? 🙂 Props to you, mama.

  27. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    What do you do all day anyway? I’m still laughing. You should go into hiding in an undisclosed place with no electronics…for a few days. It would be total confusion without you, I’m sure. Mothers just don’t get the proper respect.

  28. I hope the dog gets better and as for the taxes hahaha i’m sure you’ll get them done in time


  29. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    Freaking awesome breakfast Charlie, one that can power you through any day…well perhaps any days that doesn’t require one to do taxes!

  30. A great & invited breakfast for champions! MMMM! I hope your lovely dog gets better soon!

  31. Quite a savory breakfast – yum! Don’t you love the questions, what do you do all day anyway. One day they will understand. 😉

  32. SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) says:

    I LOVE the look of this breakfast… only I HATE eggs. Could replace the eggs with slices of avo. Good on you for trying to focus on the taxes… that’s a job I am happy to pass off to anyone else!

  33. I always try and do my tax returns as soon as I receive the first request – feels good to get the damn thing out of the way and not have to worry about it anymore! I love beans – reminds me that I had a big bean salad last night for dinner and there’s loads left over!

  34. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    These beans look delicious! I dread to think how I treated my Mom at that age.


  35. You need all the fuel you can take in every morning, Charlie! Oh dear Arabella! She just makes me laugh! But at the same time, I’m not the one running after her dictates! One day when she is older and reads your posts…oh boy! What will she think. Too funny! I love this recipe. I really do. And I wouldn’t have thought of the lovely beans for breakfast, but why not!! Debra

  36. tania@mykitchenstories.com.au says:

    poor little Rosie and poor you. I love the beans though I am sure that you dont get to make them very often

  37. “What do you do all day anyway?” … Classic 🙂

  38. Good to know the pestering and urgency of the request don’t stop as they get older!

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