I wonder, in how many households did a husband say to a wife, You might want to come out and see this…
That certainly happened in our household. Anne, like her mum, enjoys a bit of Strictly, and we were getting dried and dressed after a shower when Neil called me into the living room. There was definitely a bit of WTF, but I was amused.
(I preferred Luke, anyway, still do.)
Also! Also! I was showing Anne how to do the Charleston and she started stamping her feet, which was brilliant to watch.
“She’s being taken away from you because you don’t deserve her. Don’t get too attached.”
Those were the thoughts that flashed through my head when I was watching Neil try to revive Anne after she collapsed in the shower. Her eyes had rolled up in her head and she just keeled over backwards. I caught her before she hit the ground (I actually thought she was just playing) and when she wasn’t responsive, yelled for Neil. He checked in her mouth to make sure she hadn’t swallowed her tongue while I dialled 999, and she didn’t look like she was breathing. She finally came to when the dispatcher told us the paramedic was on his way.
I swear, I think my own heart stopped waiting for her to breathe.
So we spent the night in the hospital, first waiting in Emergency for a doctor, then a paediatrician, who decided that she should be admitted for observation as at no time before or after the fit did she have a high temperature (i.e. not a febrile fit). They didn’t say it, but they did check if she was showing symptoms of meningitis, and she isn’t. It’s a mystery.
I must, deep down, still think that things can and will go very wrong, all based on that ovarian ectopic pregnancy in 2011. I thought the fatalism would go away when Anne was born, healthy and happy, but I guess now that she’s mobile, adventurous, and inquisitive, the subconscious dread must be greater. Stranger danger, bolting out into the road, all those fears that every parent has. And if the worst happens, it’s my being her mum that means she was doomed from the start.
Well, if this ‘having a baby and becoming a hippy mama’ thing hasn’t turned up yet something new. My fingers have always been far, far more black than green, I’ve never been able to grow or keep anything herbaceous alive. I’d be a shit illegal marijuana farmer. No profits for me.
But this. Me. I have grown these little coriander seedlings. They could still die from neglect or over-watering, but I’m flabbergasted. The compost didn’t simply turn to a mouldering, mossy mess before the seeds even germinated.
Then again, my primary school science experiment misadventures did just involve a plastic cup and soil, while these miracles of nature have a pot with drainage, and proper compost. I’m so proud.
Is this what my life’s become?! Holy fucking crap.
The origins of the financial crisis sums it up pretty well. I won’t pretend to know the workings of all the financial instruments talked about, but suffice to say laxity, over-confidence, and greed amongst bankers, central bankers, politicians, and the great unwashed (i.e. almost everyone) were to blame.
The first thing I have to say is, if I can make this, anyone can. It’s a combination of two recipes (about.com and Cooking Channel). The second thing I have to say is I never knew 狮子头 existed until we moved to Xiamen and Neil, of all people, introduced it to me. It’s one of his favourite Chinese dishes.
(And, with a wee one to cook for now as well, making a large quantity and then using the chopped-up leftovers to add to rice porridge the next day works really well.)
450g bok choy or Chinese cabbage
3 dried Chinese mushrooms
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
350ml chicken broth
2 spring onions, sliced
White pepper, to taste
2 spring onions, minced
1 tsp ginger, peeled and grated
1 large egg
450g ground pork
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Dash white pepper
2-4 tbsp cornstarch or flour
Cut the vegetables crosswise into 3-inch strips. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ground pork with the green onion, ginger, salt, sugar, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, and the egg, using your fingers to mix together the ingredients thoroughly (I throw everything in and break the egg in last, then mix up the egg carefully before plunging my fingers in fully). Add as much cornstarch as needed to make so that the mixture is not too wet. I test it by making a ball and dropping it back into the bowl — if it breaks apart, it’s too wet.
Using wet hands, scoop a large mound of the ground meat mixture, and mould it into a ball (about a golf ball). Transfer the meatball to a plate and repeat with the remaining mixture. You can make them bigger, but we prefer them smaller.
Heat the oil in a wok on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs. Cook for 3-4 minutes until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook the other side (adjust the heat if needed).
Add the chicken stock to the wok. Arrange the vegetables over and around the meatballs, then add the mushrooms (tuck them in), and soy sauce. Bring everything to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce its heat, and cook gently for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle over the spring onion slices. Serve with steamed rice.