Marta is away at a conference and so I’m in charge of “the chicken”. This strikes fear into the heart of “the mother” who wanted to organise a host of helpers to relieve me of every possible duty but I bravely stepped into the breach using the opportunity to make another dent in my 40+ days holiday this year. This will give me a break and keep the accountants at work happy (they can reduce my ‘staff cost’ if I take holidays) but is unlikely to make “the mother” think this is going to be anything but a complete disaster.
Judging by the warnings and notes I’ve had I think the main concerns are that;
- The chicken will not get to school or do her homework because I’ll forget.
- The chicken will not be fed properly – if at all
- The chicken will be sick when the mother returns for all sorts of reasons but mainly because I’ll send her outside wearing no clothes.
- The chicken will not get to tennis lesson because I’ll either forget, get lost, or both.
Well so far we’ve managed 1. pretty well. Not surprising because getting her to school is my job anyway but I even managed to collect her as well and judging by the number of other mothers there it was pretty much the right time to do that.
I can claim particular success with item 2. feeding.
I’m slowly working my way through a carefully crafted menu, consisting of all the nutrients an eight year old needs and more or less in line with Jamie Oliver’s own recommendations. Yesterday we had McDonalds, today we had baked beans on toast and who knows, tomorrow I might even cook some spaghetti although I’m actually tempted by homemade burgers with oven chips. I know this might not entirely meet with everyone’s idea of perfect food for kids but we all know there is no such thing. What’s good about my food is that she actually eats it all, which is more than can be said for some of the meals that would be better for her – if she ate them, which she mostly doesn’t.
A classic trip down memory lane for me, this advert. Loving the way the accents have been engineered – mother appears to be the daughter of Lord Snoot whilst her son is a ‘cheeky chappie’ from the East end and the daughter somewhere in between. :-)
I’m especially proud of the baked beans as they serve a dual purpose. Firstly nutrition but also and perhaps more importantly education, putting her in touch with her cultural roots. Nobody eats baked beans in Poland. You will find the odd tin looking lost and slightly embarrassed on the shelf of a good supermarket sharing its tiny portion of shelf-space with fasolka po bretonsku but if you check the sell by date you’ll find they expired in 1990. Fasolka po bretonsku (Brittany beans?) is the nearest Poland gets to baked beans and nobody eats them either. I’m not saying that for dramatic effect. I’ve been here more than 10 years and I’ve never, I mean never ever, seen anyone eating them, seen them on a menu, seen anyone buying them. If you ever do see anyone doing these things it will be a desperate Brit who can’t find a shop that sells baked beans!
So this is why, for a child who is 50% Brit it is so damned important to teach her the traditions of her nation. To instil in her a true appreciation of all the important culinary nuances the island nation has to offer. We’ve already scored successes with fish & chips, bacon baps, cheddar cheese and now baked beans but failures with anything involving sausage meat, Christmas pudding and pork pies. There’s a long way to go!
Regarding item 3. – we shall just have to wait and see. I think I’m doing alright and so far no signs of sniffles or general deterioration of health.
Item 4. – put a big tick in that box. Sorted.
This is easy. I don’t know what everyone is complaining about!
[hides behind sofa]