Thursday, 5 March 2015

Just Keep Digging

Today was the most beautiful day, there were white fluffy clouds in a crisp blue sky, it was cold but not that biting cold where your fingers and toes are numb within minutes. I decided its time to start digging the main front bed again, our soil is heavy clay and we have had a lot of rain so it was all rather sticky and heavy going.

Towards the hedge the Ivy seems to be going mad again, all I seem to be doing is trying to dig out ivy roots. They are my Arch-Nemesis at the moment, ivy along with brambles dominate a lot of the garden, could say I am an expert in growing them both. I spent most of the time not just digging but pulling these roots out. I am very pleased that our front garden is not too public, on several occasions ended up on my backside, did not mind when I had a large root in my hand not so happy when I thumped to the ground empty handed.

I have been talking with people on twitter mainly the wonderful Team Woolly about non dig gardening and it sounds very interesting and I have a area I am going to give it a try. I am a little concerned our soil is so bad that I need to be traditional and in the words of Dory from Finding Nemo "Just keep Digging Dig Dig Digging" then once cleared add lots of organic matter. I have been investigating well rotted manure on line and think it's best I buy a larger amount and have it delivered to the house.

As you can see these are the roots I am battling with, it can be rather disheartening at times, but its doing me more good the gym ever has. I was outside for around an hour today which felt like five mins, as I fought with the weeds, said a few choice words to them under my breath I did not once think about Autism, Type 1 or new jobs. My fight with these roots and how I can make this a beautiful space had concentrated my mind. As I walked into the kitchen lungs full of fresh air, my face tingling from the cold and yes a rather muddy pair of jeans I felt relaxed and happy.

I know that I need to get this sorted if I just plant now its going to come back and haunt me.... so if you have any Ivy advice I am all ears and a rather muddy backside.....

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Meal Plan 2nd March 2015

First week of the new job in London, not sure how this is going to work. Some very simple meals this week

Monday - Jackets Potatoes Myself and the boys Baked Beans and Cheese Mr MC&W Tuna Mayonnaise

Tuesday - Frozen Chicken, Mash and Homemade Tomato sauce for all of us

Wednesday - Courgette Lasagna for all of us

Thursday - Mr MC&W is out with friends, myself and the boys will have special fried rice

Friday - Spiced Beef Mince with Pitta

Saturday - Again Mr MC&W is out, tonight with the Dads of the Autism Massive. The boys and I will have Puff Pastry Tarts

Sunday - Chicken on a bed on Mediterranean veggies

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Food for Thought

As of Monday 2nd March Mr MC&W will be starting a new job in London Town, for some reason I always want to sing the "Windy City" song from Calamity Jane when I think of the new job, now you can all sing it in your head or google what I am talking about.

We have been lucky for the last 3 years he has only worked five miles away from our home. But Mr MC&W was head hunted, after a lot and I mean a lot of talking (and a few bottls of wine) about short term losses and long term goals we decided to go for it. With two young children one who is Autistic and a Type 1 Diabetic there was a lot to consider.

With this all in mind I know that I am going to have to reconsider how I cook. We need food that can either sit in the oven for an hour while I put the boys to bed and if the trains are running late will not ruin or that I can put in the slow cooker in the morning or something that can be made in twenty mins that I can pre prepare veggies for etc.

Step one is to research slow cooker recipes. I have a love hate affair with my slow cooker as I was discussing a while ago on twitter. Everything I cook tastes kind of the same and I have had some hilarious disasters do not mention slow cooker lasagna or soup I should say.

Step two to look at recipes in a different way, can I prepare before hand and cook quickly later on. Can I freeze it and make batches. I know that it takes me ages cutting veggies up so pre preparing will aid the speed of a twenty min meal.

Step three love my freezer this will be in two ways. One will be batch cooking, I have never really done this other than when our first was born and I had some time. Such as batch cooking of Bologniase sauce and freeze as it can be used in a huge variety of meals. Again I will read recipes and think can I freeze this or part of this. I have some test fish cakes in the freezer to see how they come out then I can pop them in the oven while I prepare the rest of the meal.

The second part of love my freezer is to freeze things I use all the time and need in handfuls such as onions, garlic, peppers, boxes of mashed pots if I can just grab what I need a handful of I am, sure its going to make everything simpler.

So here we go my next meal plan I am sure will be just salad and jacket potatoes......

The Dad Network

Monday, 23 February 2015

Meal Plan Monday 23rd Febuary 2015

Wow it's Monday again and as always my meal plan is late, it been done for days on a scrap of paper in pencil that I can hardly read.....

Monday - Omelettes and Chips for everyone

Tuesday - Caribbean Peanut Chicken in the slow cooker. The boys will have Carbonara

Wednesday - Bacon, Mushroom and Potato Gratin. The boys will have a simple Potato Bake with carrots and peas on the side.

Thursday - Mushroom and Courgette Lasagna. The boys will have cheesy pasta

Friday - A Chinese in a box for the parents the boys will have Fish, Chips and Peas

 Saturday - Spag Bol for everyone

 Sunday - Roast Gammon with all the veggies.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Well, Well, Well and Digging

Its half term this week, this means the front is near impossible to do as the boys get bored in the front garden and drive area, so I have moved over to the the back garden to do a spot of tidying up.

This is our well, it's 50ft deep and when we brought the house it had a fake wishing well surrounding it and a few old wooden planks. As you can imagine that rather filled us with horror, luckily at that point our eldest was only 8 months old and we had a little time. We got a wonderful company out who made this cast iron topper and fitted it for us.

I must admit the other half would like a feature made of the well however I hate things like that, if it was to be it would have to be brick and not cute. I would rather do it with a toughened glass top and some lighting so it's modern.

But these dreams I can come back to another day, today was about digging. I have already done a lot of work on this area last summer and I was thrilled that my hard work had started to pay off and the weeds were really coming out easily.

As you can see the well has a concrete lip which is a pain as it sits high, the weds are so awful here I have decided I am just going to remove the soil and either replace with top soil or leave the concrete lip or buy some spangly new top soil.

I have a mission to go and buy me some manure, I need it for the front border and this one so I am considering a bulk buy as our soil is clay and needs a lot of work.

My next though is planting, I think maybe some bedding plants for this year or something to provide colour as I think about the planting moving forward.

Monday, 16 February 2015

D Day

I very rarely post about special needs and type 1, I found that I needed the garden and food writing to concentrate the mind away from day to day life. Today though was a big day in our household and something I felt I needed to write a short blog about it as it may help someone else come to terms with hearing the diagnosis.

We were officially told our eldest OB was on the Autistic Spectrum, most parents of children who are autistic know deep down this is the case, however when a doctor sits you down after doing all the tests and tells you it's different. You know whatbthey are going to say, it's not changed anything, he is still the same child, but inside your fighting back the tears of something you knew deep down was coming.

I am sat here with a large glass of wine trying to get my head around everything and how we feel. It is a combination of relief, we have the diagnosis, I was not going mad imagining that something was just different about his development. But also he now has that label what does that mean in the long term?

It has in fact reignited our fight for our little man, we want him to have a successful life, to be happy and independent. We are damn sure we are going to do everything we can do to help him find his path in life.

So here we go again, to fight the battles and make sure that all the relevant parties are coming together to do what's right for our man. We have discovered he has a love of numbers and learns in his own way so let's celebrate that and move forwards and upwards......

The Dad Network

Brilliant blog posts on

Friday, 13 February 2015

Meal Plan Monday 16th February 2015

Can not believe its half term already, we have some simple but as ever tasty meals this week and for once the boys are having similar meals to us.

Monday we have yet another paediatrician apt so there is no way i am going to want to think about food

Monday - Freezer Meal and I mean Freezer will be Crispy Chicken with Mash and a salad we will all have the same

Tuesday - Pea and Tuna Fishcakes I am using the Madhouse Cookbook for this one from the fab Jo Pratt

Wednesday - Homemade Veggie Pastry's - a made up meal but should be tasty if this works will write it up

Thursday - Broccoli, Mushroom and Parmesan Gnocchi again from Madhouse cookbook by Joao pratt

Friday - Posh Sausages and Onions in baguettes the boys will have fish and chips with peas

Saturday - Tacos the boys will have this but no too spicy

Sunday - Roast Chicken