Fame and Fortune Awaits

Following my post a few weeks back where I considered giving up blogging a few things have occurred. I made it into the Top 100 Parent Bloggers list at number 43! Then, fellow St Albans blogger The Mummy Whisperer pointed this out to me (see image). Yes! I may not be one of the Disney 7, I may not be in the Ciscion top ten, I may not even be very good. BUT. I’m top of Google- ha ha. She does a lap of honour around the living room. Its me! Finally! Thank you all ever so much for reading and supporting me.

Elvis Spotted in Chiswell Green!

What do Elvis, the Police Force, the Fire Service and Victim Support all have in common? They all appeared together at the first Chiswell Green Community Fun Day. I’ve been to plenty of fetes but never before, have I had the pleasure to experience a Community Fun Day. I can’t tell you what the difference is, other than I failed to spot a tombola. I did spot one man who looked a bit scary, like Jaws from James Bond or something. I couldn’t help myself but say to hubby ” look at that mans teeth…”. We stood in awe, the chap must have been deaf. Either that, or he is biding his time.

The Fun day was honoured with celebrity (see image above), as Chiswell Green is the home of the UKs Jewish Elvis. Toddler boy remained surprisingly unimpressed with his tales of appearing in Holby City and humorous puns. I winced a bit, I feel a bit self conscious and embarrassed watching such things.

Anyhow, I got to go on a high speed train ride, at £1.50 for me and Toddler Boy it was much better value than First Capital Connect. It also had the added bonus of making me feel a bit dizzy when I got off, after going round and round in circles. Toddler Boy was impressed. However, the best was yet to come in the shape of one of the St Albans Fire Engines!

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the crew twice before. Once when a piece of raison toast caught fire at work. It wasn’t my fault, I was cornered by an elderly person wanting to tell me their life story. The second time was also at work, when a series of mysterious electrical surges across the galleries caused lights to blow in sequence. A bit like in Poltergeist and then the printer caught fire. That was a lovely drama, one of my more enjoyable days at work.

The local Firemen are all rather nice to talk to and to look at. So, me and Fifi didn’t mind it when Toddler Boy (AKA Fireman Sam) and they hubby wanted to climb aboard and spend hours looking at all the buttons and hoses. It was nice standing in the sunshine with Elvis to keep us entertained and a whole crew of Firemen to look at…

The day was a success, I know this because Toddler Boy had to be dragged away in tears. I quite like the idea of Community Days, keep them coming.

The Badge Collection; Part One

It’s no secret that I hardly ever throw anything away. But I have been trying to recently, honest. However, this lack of ability to throw our stuff means that I have an entire garage and a room in our house full of junk, including most of my childhood possessions. In recent years these have proved incredibly useful as local museums have genuinely started to ask me if they can borrow bits and bobs. Anyone remember George the Robot, Birthday Care Bear, the Get-a-long Gang, Roland Rat, Tiny Tears and Strawberry Shortcake? If you do, I know how old you are. If you don’t, I could provide you with the answers. It is, of course, the ultimate in meanness too. Toddler boy has my sisters old scooter and her push- along dog. With its dangerous sharp metal frame, the dog is a hit with all the kids. It did cross my mind recently to buy him a new scooter, but I probably won’t, as funds are short. So perhaps, if anyone has one they would like reviewed…. (hint, hint).
Anyway, yesterday I found my old school satchel (above) and inside was full of little treasures. Due to popular demand, I give you The Badge Collection, Part One. I like to keep my readers dangling a bit and really, you can’t have too much excitement. Here you can see the GLC Southbank music festival badge (c. 1980?), one which I presume marked the end of the Argentinian War and of course, the piece d’ resistance the launch of the Access Credit Card, no I mean, the badge that E.T gave me at Barnet Cinema.

The Contents of my Primary School Satchel

I was clearing out the garage today when I came across my primary school satchel! Now thirty years old, it’s surprisingly pristine. A museum piece in itself, I may do a little blog post about it at some point. However, the best things were inside, my badge collection, oh, yes, this has to be seen to be believed. But I couldn’t be bothered to lay it out and photograph it, so that’s for the future too. But best of all these really lovely teethers circa 1975 and still in as good as new condition. Fifi is going to be the envy of all her friends…

Review; Annabel Karmel Top 100 Finger Foods

I’m a terrible cook, but I am trying. I have to admit I took this book out of the library and thought it was so good, that I was scraping together the pennies in order to buy my own copy. Then, yet again, the gods looked down on me feeding the kids Fish-Fingers instead of prime organic chicken in order to save a few pence and took matters into their own hands. Voila! A copy appeared at the door.

Finger foods are ideal for babies and toddlers who haven’t quite got to grips with using cutlery. With Toddler Boy, I was forever making home-made Pizza, Spinach and Ricotta Pastry Parcels, Vegetarian Ravioli, Macaroni Cheese and Chips. Now I have two of them, although one does use a knife and fork occasionally, I really am trying to make a bit more of an effort.
The main problem with feeding children, is trying to make dinners that everyone in the household likes. Otherwise you end up running around like a headless chicken trying to cook separate dinners for everyone. The beauty of Annabel Karmel’s cookery is that the recipes taste just as nice of adults as the kids. Indeed, I’ve often given dinner parties using her recipes alone and the cheesecake that I often make as a treat is one of hers.

I particularly liked this cook book as the recipes on the whole were quite simple, they didn’t use millions of ingredients that I had to buy specially and they could be easily adapted. So what have we made so far? I used the strawberry and yogurt ripple cornets recipe to make the ice-cream. Hubby made the Salmon Fishcakes which went down well with Toddler boy but we thought were a little bit sweet thanks to the inclusion of Tomato Ketchup. However, the greatest success of all were the Minty Lamb Koftas which were really easy and quick to make and lovely. I adapted the recipe to the tastes of the boys in our house and made them into burgers. The addition of Oven Baked Wedges made a dinner which was cheap, reasonably healthy but perhaps more importantly was a success. The above photograph illustrates my result. Excuse my childrens table covering!

The thing that really makes a good cookery book is the addition of really nice photographs, so you can see what you are aiming for. This book is nicely presented, with lots of photographs, good descriptions of how to make the recipe and even more helpfully, the ingredients listed in a separate colour. This makes is easy to see them quickly as you juggle the baby, write your shopping list and discipline the toddler. If you have kids I think it would be a really valuable addition to your cookery book collection. You can find out more here.