25 September – 1 October 2010

So it’s been another busy week, involving a flying visit by my MIL, S, an AFL Grand Final result akin to that of the election, a surprise visit by N’s friend H, who lives in the UK, and sick kids. All of which has meant that menu planning has been a bit of a daily proposition.

Saturday (try something new) – well, with great intentions to try a recipe for South-western pulled beef with homemade barbecue sauce and flour tortillas, this ended up becoming rosemary and thyme pot-roasted beef with dutch cream potatoes, baby carrots and shallots – blame it on Mad Men, but I’ve really been wanting to trial a pot-roast for awhile, to go with our retro table. The barbecue sauce started in the morning while I made the caesar salad for our next-door neighbour’s annual AFL Grand Final bbq was WAY too sweet, even after halving the brown sugar and molasses in the recipe, which meant that it gate-crashed the party. I also didn’t get started till 4, after two solid hours of watching 14 kids in the pool and too much excellent hummus and smoky baba gannouj. And now we have to go through the Grand Final again with my two least favourite teams in contention.

Sunday (cook once, eat twice) – that was blwon out the wondow. My MIL arrived first thing and no sooner had she landed than N and I rushed off to Leichhardt to see The Father of my Children. We had grand plans for a date night (hell, it was even our wedding anniversary that weekend), but we went out for the afternoon instead (okay, I just didn’t want to miss Mad Men) and left S with the kids and to cook.  So we had her upside down pie (a pie with a savoury cobbler-like topping that the kids adore), mash, roasted sweet potato and steamed beans.

Monday (take two of Sunday) – givent that there was not a skerrick left form Sunday night, and we had the Anne of Green Gables picket fence of my dreams built that day (too bad about the house, oh yeah, and Gilbert) and had to rush off to Bunnings after work to confirm the paint choice (an epic in itself), this meant that Tuesday night’s stir-fry was bumped up a night: Miso chicken, snowpea and asparugus with udon noodles.

Tuesday – We ate Tuesday night’s planned dinner the night before, plus N’s friend H called that afternoon, then came over for an impromptu bbq of steak, field mushrooms, Cypriot-style sausages, roasted kipflers and a mustardy-vinaigreet caressed green salad. Hell, it was only planned about an hour before his intended arrival and I only just beat him home.

Wednesday (protein plus) – it was S’s last night so she cooked us her specialty, meatloaf with mashed potato, roasted sweet potato and steamed greens. Another menu that would have fit on Don and Betty Draper’s table.

Thursday (pasta) – after a crazt day of dealing with stressed out phone calls at work from panicking stylists (plus N, working out the invitations to our daughter’s party), and a huge typesetter deadline, I bumped pasta up a spot. I used the last of the pancetta and organic pecorino bought for the Grand Final caesar salad, plus our neighbour’s eggs and made spaghetti carbonara.

Friday – I feel like felafels tonight, so we’ll see.Until next week’s dinner…

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