Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Yummy Mummy

This weekend I went home to see my parents, something which I shamefully haven't done since Christmas, because I am a bad daughter. We had a lovely weekend with highlights including a visit to Petworth House, a morning coffee in a Tudor lodge and my mother attempting to vaccinate me against measles, yes really. My dad also held forth on several subjects close to his heart (I think he likes it when he has someone else to complain to other than my poor mother) including his hatred of seals "they're just fat lazy bastards" and the pointless nature of rugby "why don't they just ban rugby in this country, it's so pointless - I push you, you push me, we're playing rugby." He also leapt from his armchair on Sunday morning to dash upstairs and whizz off an email of complaint to the sports editor of The Times, for some perceived sleight or grammatical error. My dad has officially become a grumpy old man, but none the less charming for it. My mother rolls her eyes a lot.

On Sunday, as is traditional, my mother whipped up a lovely roast. She said that she likes me to have something good inside before I head back home. I think she's forgotten that I'm no longer a poverty-stricken student living on Kit Kats and wine, and that I have something 'good' almost every day. Still, a roast's a roast, and I know everyone says it, but my mum's really is the best. She cooked a lovely shoulder of pork, which is one of my favourite roasting joints, and served it with a cider gravy. She even let me drink the rest of the cider when I asked, and pretended not to notice when I stole little pieces of meat from the resting joint and burnt my mouth on them. Perhaps she's right in thinking I'm still a starveling student on the scavenge, I really do nothing to promote myself as a grown-up.

The best bit of my mum's roast is the 'stuffing.' I put it in inverted commas because it's actually just a bowl of breadcrumbs with fried onion and dried sage mixed through it then whacked in the oven for a bit until the top-crumbs go a bit brown. I think it's pretty much unique to our family, as everyone else in the land has proper stuffing that sticks together and has more than three ingredients, but I love it. You can sort of sprinkle it over the whole meal like a seasoning, or you can pour a little bit of gravy onto a pile of it so that it sticks together a little in a bready patty. I remember my Nana making this stuffing every Sunday, and apparently she learnt it from her mother-in-law. It's a sort of skewed hereditary stuffing; passed from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law rather than from mother to daughter. I guess I'll have to wait for an invite to my brother's wife's Sunday roast...

Mum finished in spectacular style with a world-beating apple crumble and custard or ice cream. I had both because I am a child. She uses a recipe from the Homepride Book of Home Baking, one of my favourite recipe books ever, filled with brilliantly retro dishes like mutton puffs (delish....) I really don't know why I don't go home more often, it's a great excuse to revert to being a scraps-stealing, two-deserts-please child.

Here, for no real reason is a picture of my cat, because I think he's pretty:

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