30 October – 5 November 2010

I hate Halloween. There, I said it. Is it just me, or does anyone else out there think it’s  strange to embrace this recent phenomenon to hit the suburbs of Australia when it essentially involves encouraging children to solicit sweets from strangers? And, what I’d also like to know is, since when did the ‘treat’ part of ‘trick or treat?’ become mandatory. Personally, I’d like to see a few tricks myself. Our Norwegian neighbour thought that the kids’ had to do a trick, and then the householder should decide whether they were worthy of a treat. I like the way that man thinks.  This was in the midst of the screaming hordes of 30 + children ranging from 18 months to teens marauding up and down our street en masse in a frenzy of sugar/food colouring-induced boisterousness (well, that’s the polite word for it). It did become quite Lord-of-the Flies-esque, so when the thunderstorm hit it was my cue to bid a hasty retreat and throw together something for dinner. Seeing as I’d accompanied my daughter to a birthday party at a ‘play’ centre the previous afternoon, followed byher going to a Halloween party with her school chums (and her dad) and there was a severe bout of man flu afoot in the house, not much had been done in the way of shopping, to put it mildly. So that’s how I found myself doing my Old Mother Hubbard impersonation while my son was freaking out during the obligatory sugar-low part of the evening. Luckily, some eggs form the neighbours’ chooks appeared and there was the makings of a salad in the fridge and the lats of the container of Dijon mustard waiting to be used up, so a sor-of nicoise salad it was.

Saturday – Barbecued lamb marinated with paprika, rigan, lemon juice and olive oil, served with zucchini and haloumi fritters, cauliflower and pecorino fritters, hummus, Lebanese bread and a green salad. As mentioned earlier, between the parties filling my daughter’s dance card for the day, there was no time to try something new, other than the moreish cauliflower fritters from Rosa Mitchell’s lovely Sicilian tome, My Cousin Rosa. Try them; you’ll see what I mean.

Sunday – the aforementioned nicoise salad, along with the lefftover fritters. My son G also got stuck into the hummus and remaining Lebanese bread. I know that there are 7 loaves in a packet, one for each day of the week, but in my house, we’ve never tested that one out.

Monday – At last, some shopping was done, so it was stir-fried sticky beef with snow peas, bok choy and Shanghai noodles.

Tuesday – I feel like potatoes, so it will be gremolata-crumbed chicken with lemony roast potatoes and sweet potato,  corn on the cob and asparagus.

Wednesday – I’m flying to Melbourne for work for the day, so they’ll be having penne with the rest of last week’s pesto, with some super sweet Romatherapy baby roma tomatoes and feta tossed through (so I say, at least).

Thursday –Cauliflower, cumin and almond soup with poppadums. Simple and soothing, after what will have been a long day on Wednesday.

Friday – Chili con carne with homemade cornbread. Tonight, at any rate, it still feels like it will be cold enough for this.

Until next week’s dinner…

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