AssPasta and the 27th

Today I woke up early and decided to start cooking.

Angie in Slimming World handed out a challenge on Saturday – to eat 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 evening meals in the coming week that I haven’t had before or haven’t had for a while. So far I’ve already had one of the breakfasts – ‘overnight oats’ soaked in milk and fromage frais with fruit.

I wasn’t so keen on this when it exited the fridge the following day. It was a bit ‘clumpy’ – even though I’d anticipated this might happen and added milk to the mix. The banana and apple I chopped up and threw into it tasted quite nice though – and it was rather filling thanks to the oats.

I wish I’d thought of adding cinnamon as this could have made all the difference to the apple. Maybe next time.

Actually I could try baking the apple with cinnamon before adding it… Hmmmm…

I made a variant of it again today but this time used less oats, swapped fromage frais for natural yoghurt, and switched to blueberries and strawberries as the added fruit, with a sprinkling of Stevia for sweetness.

Wow! What a difference! This was literally bursting with flavour and ended up at just the right consistency. I estimate it as 2 syns – which is a bit of a triumph.

This morning before work I also decided to try and make my favourite Lloyd Grossman pasta sauce – ‘Puttanesca’, which a cosmopolitan European colleague gleefully reminded me roughly translated as ‘whore pasta’.

I’ve made this in the past, but since it’s been a few years and as I wasn’t 100% sure I remembered the ingredients I followed an online recipe, just leaving out the 1/3 of a cup of olive oil (WTF!) that it suggested I add.

Otherwise it was pretty much followed precisely.

After eating it for lunch I had decided to re-name it AssPasta on account of it tasting like I was licking something objectionable.

It wasn’t my finest culinary hour, but thankfully it wasn’t COMPLETELY inedible and actually happened to be extremely filling. Thank goodness I thought ahead and made enough for lunch tomorrow as well so that I can endure it again on Wednesday.


Today’s third and final ‘new’ meal when I get home (I’m currently typing this on my lunch break at work) will be pork stir fry with noodles – which I’ve been meaning to do all week.

I don’t usually do many stir fry’s and NEVER cook with noodles, so once again this could either turn into an unending symphony of oral pleasure, or AssNoodles. I’ll start cooking it in a few hours, so we’ll see.

So – how is week two of Slimming World progressing?

Yesterday I found a bit tough – and maybe because of lack of sleep or a dip in my mood (it was Monday after all) I was peckish throughout the whole day and constantly thinking about snacking.

In the end I did have a blow out of sorts, but limited myself to ‘free food’. In this case I hit M&S and purchased some cooked turkey & pork with a bag of fresh garden peas which hopefully had a far less damaging impact than crisps or nuts etc.

So far so good. I’m still on track.

I’ve also been trying to plan my week out and arrange things well in advance so I’m not left with too many moments to fill.

It’s not just about filling time though – I’m arranging to meet people and trying to regularly schedule things like this with friends I don’t get to see enough. Sometimes months inexplicably pass and before I know it the seasons have changed and I’m still no closer to popping over for that elusive ‘cup of tea’ that we’ve both promised eachother over and over.

Tonight is ‘online games’ night, Thursday is ‘mate & movie’ night, Friday is ‘pop over to a friend’s for cup of tea’ night, Saturday is my Slimming World group, and Sunday is hopefully ‘go to Cardiff to see my mate’ day.

I’m looking forward to all of them – and haven’t seen the people associated for weeks – months in some cases, so it’s going to be good. Plus I have lots of positive things to talk about for a change, rather than feeling like I’m a negative nelly with nothing good to share.

If I’m honest that’s not the only reason. There might also be a part of me that’s keeping moving so that I don’t stop and think as well.

I had a text from my uncle the other day. He and my aunt have been decorating their house and getting over some recent health issues. They seem to be doing well and since we reconnected they’ve tried to keep in regular contact.

Often (as I don’t know them so well – we didn’t speak for 25 years) they’re better at keeping in contact than me. I’m trying to embrace the rekindled relationship but if I’m truthful I’m not entirely sure how sometimes – or what to talk about.

They’re lovely people and seem genuine and kind – but I don’t know how I feel about suddenly having an extension to the family. It doesn’t come naturally and makes me feel self conscious. It’s been just me, my dad and my brother (and now sister in law) for so long that anything else still feels a bit unusual.

I didn’t open the text immediately – but when I did a line from it lingered in my mind.

‘Try not to think too much about the 27th’

I wasn’t. It hadn’t even crossed my mind. 27th of what?

I thought it must have been a typo and until this afternoon didn’t click what it meant.

Tomorrow would have been my mom’s birthday. She would have been 74. This is the one day that I haven’t organised anything.

Maybe it’s right that I’m alone to contemplate what it all means.

A friend said to me recently about his own mother’s death that there were many things he didn’t deal with and placed ‘walls’ around the feelings that were associated with the event.

My approach has been more public and open (although it wasn’t my original intention – it just happened while I was writing), but I’d be lying if I said that I’d gotten over it all and the 27th didn’t mean anything to me.

Oddly in death the date means more to me than it did during her life, which because of animosity between us saw the day very infrequently marked or celebrated.

I often forgot it entirely.

I’m not sure what I’ll do to mark the occasion, but whatever it is I think I’ll try to remember the best bits of her and focus on the kind things she did in life – things like the plants she liked to grow and how she liked to sit in the garden on a summer evening.

There is a lot of good to be found in forgiveness and trying to think of the best in someone.

There is not so much to be found in AssPasta.


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