The Lockdown – Day 9: Sunday Funday!

29th March 2020 – Sunday

Doesn’t it feel like every day is the same? I don’t even know what day it is anymore … Sunday? Feels like a Sunday everyday.

I woke up late again today … it being a Sunday I thought I deserved it. Did you know that the clocks went forward in the early hours of the morning. I forgot about it until all of a sudden it was 2am and was like …what!? Well summer time has officially begun. The days are getting longer and the air is getting warmer. In the light of the current situation, we won’t know when we will get to enjoy the change in the season. They say the lockdown will probably continue for at least another couple of months.

I just want it all over by the summer … that’s all I’m asking for. Am I being too hopeful?

How have you all been coping with the social distancing anyway? I’ve seen pictures of the queues in the supermarkets and I am glad that for the next couple of weeks I do not have to make that journey. I pre-booked a couple of weeks’ worth of online grocery deliveries from Tesco. I booked them when there were slots still available a few weeks ago. Now, if you try and go online to book a slot it is impossible. No slots available … so disappointing considering I have been a loyal grocery delivery customer for years! I also registered on the government website as a vulnerable customer due to my underlying health issues … fingers crossed that gets approved and I will be able to shop on Sainsburys online (they are only delivering to vulnerable customers). All this is giving me such anxiety and stress … and have you seen those pictures of people throwing away food? Packs of fresh foods, breads and such can be seen filling up the bins around the country. People have stock-piled so much food and of course are not able to eat the mountains of food that they have bought and have resorted to throwing them away. I am speechless! That just sums up everything that is wrong with this country.

Luckily, I also have an account with Ocado and they seem to be giving priority to existing customers (they are not taking new customers). I love Ocado because their range is insane … pricier but insane. They actually have yeast in stock! That’s right …yeast and bread flour! Do you know that yeast is sold out everywhere and bread flour is hard to come by to? But my trusted Ocado has it in stock so I made sure I booked myself a slot pronto!

Today for lunch me and hubby had left over banh xeo. The kids had wonton soup. I am emphasising to my family that we need to eat the leftovers. No wastage. For dinner I made “bo kho” which is a braised beef stew. It is similar to an English beef stew, but the subtle difference is in the use of star and anise and cinnamon. It gives the stew a lovely warming flavour. It was served with white rice.

I also noticed that I had a pack of stale bread sitting in the corner of my kitchen, so I made my hubby’s favourite “bread pudding”. It is a great way to use leftover stale bread which would otherwise be thrown away. It is so simple to make and keeps in a tin for a few days. I ate it with a big dollop of chocolate ice-cream. It was divine!

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Bread Pudding and Chinese Beef Stew

Tomorrow is the start of a new week. I aim to wake up bright and early and ready for another gruesome week of home schooling. I am dreading it, but I know I got to persevere and keep it up. How are you all coping with home schooling? Are you tearing your hair out yet?

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 8: The Boredom Is Starting To Sink In

28th March 2020 – Saturday

The weather is a bit colder today. I felt the chill when the kids were playing in the garden this morning. The air felt damp and my asthma started playing up. Great stuff! Skye was particularly bored today. I decided not to do any home-schooling on a weekend as I think as a family we all needed a break from the schedule. The kids did arts and crafts today as well as playing football in the front yard. I ordered a load of arts and craft goodies from Baker Ross. From canvases, stickers, paints, bag painting, box making as well as a super cool solar system making kit for Devon. That should keep them occupied for a little while, although I did warn them not to do them all at once. Pace it out so that it lasts for at least a couple of weeks. This home schooling lark has become very expensive, from food to fun!

The lockdown is breaking the bank.

I heard Skye talking to her best friend on the phone earlier and they were both complaining about how bored they were … they didn’t know what to do with themselves. The kids of today do not know how good they have it. Imagine being in lockdown all those years ago when all you had to keep you company was a four channel television set. No facetime, no internet, no Netflix. Lockdown is so hard right?

Today was also especially eventful in the kitchen. My Tesco delivery came this morning and they have now limited it to only 80 items! Eeeeekk … I normally buy a lot more than that. I guess it will be a good chance for me to purge and plan instead of buying a whole load of things and hoping for the best.

So today I made wontons for lunch. Such a simple thing to make and freezes really well. I bought some pre-made wonton wrappers (these can be bought in most Chinese grocery shops). I then filled them with a simple mixture of pork mince and prawns. I folded the meat mixture into the wrappers and attempted some fancy folds. I think they came out great! When the kids were ready to eat, I boiled a few of them up and added them to a humble bowl of ramen noodles. They were really delicious and the kids ate loads of them.

For dinner I made “banh xeo” which is a crispy pancake filled with pork belly slices, prawns, bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Banh xeo is quite a light meal and not usually had for dinner, but lately I have been watching what I eat and trying not to overload myself with too much carbs. It was quite healthy as we had it with a side of fresh salad.

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Wontons and Banh Xeo – crispy pancakes filled with pork and prawns

The coronavirus is still going strong. They are transforming the Excel Centre in Docklands into a temporary hospital to house around 4,000 patients. The government is preparing for the peak to hit us in about two or three weeks time. They are also transforming similar buildings in Birmingham and Manchester. In China during their worst period they build hospitals within 10 days! That’s right … 10 days! That’s just crazy to comprehend. They build around 16 of them, but apparently now that China is over the worst of it, they are slowly closing all of the temporary hospitals. China are slowly getting back to normal reporting low infection numbers lately. Now they can sit back and watch the rest of the world panic!

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 7: 7 Is A Lucky Number Right?

27th March 2020 – Friday

So it’s been 7 days already. 7 days self-isolation. 7 days of being stuck indoors with my husband who is finding it really difficult to stay motivated and is just falling asleep all over the place … and he’s been eating non-stop too … he is literally eating me out of house and home. And to think that it was the kids I was more worried about feeding!

Today was a good day (under the circumstances). The weather was great and the kids spent most of the day in the garden. Devon was making a cardboard costume which was super cute. He looked like a transformer. Skye spent the day painting. She loves arty things and told me she wants to be an art teacher. I don’t have a massive garden and at the moment it is a bit of a mess … overgrown weeds, empty plant pots and a rusty bbq set in the corner. I was supposed to have the window-glazers coming out during the Easter holidays to replace all my windows and to install lovely bi-folding doors in my kitchen. It’s been postponed until … well I don’t even know when. I’m a bit bummed by it because I was supposed to be decking out my little garden too so that it could be ready for the summer. Damn you coronavirus … you really know how to put a spanner in the works!

I sent the hubby to the Chinese cash and carry today. I needed more supplies so he popped down to Hoo Hing in Leyton. He said it was quiet in there and not a lot of stock on the shelves, but he managed to pick up most of the things on the list.

Today I was craving dim sum. As a family, dim sum is one of our favourite things to eat. So today I made Skye’s favourite dim sum dish. These beauties are called “Ham Siu Kok” (not sure of the accurate spelling or translation) and are a type of dumpling. The dumpling casing is slightly sweet and sticky and the filling is a savoury minced meat mixture. When you first bite into it you get this instant crispy texture … then the stickiness touches your teeth before the savoury meat filling fills your mouth. It tastes amazing! This is the first time I’ve tried making these so they were not restaurant standard. Although they looked a little oddly shaped, they did taste great. My husband ate the whole bowl full with a side of chilli oil. He loved them!

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Mince meat savoury croquettes

News update … Boris Johnson has got the coronavirus. He made the announcement today. I’ll just leave that right there.

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit! We need each other now more than ever before.

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 6: Thank You NHS!

26th March 2020 – Thursday

My phone has been super busy lately. Since we’ve been on lockdown everyone seems to be on their phones, keeping up to date with the news, texting each other and sending each other memes, jokes and such.

I received word today that my local park (Victoria Park) is closed to the public until further notice. Specifically, Tower Hamlets council have decided that because of some selfish people who still do not know what it means to social distance themselves, they have closed the park to everyone. This makes me so angry! I don’t understand what it is that some people don’t understand? Now, because of their selfish deeds, other people have to suffer. I feel sorry for the parents who live in flats with young children. Where are they going to take their child to get some exercise and fresh air now? It makes my blood boil.

Only half a day of home-schooling today. The reason being is that the kids Kumon work had arrived in the post today. Kumon is a Maths and English programme which the kids do on a daily basis. They are supposed to do one booklet a day and once a week they go to the Kumon centre to hand in their books and get new books. Since almost everything is closed now, the Kumon centre has decided to post two weeks’ worth of work at a time. They have been waiting for work since Tuesday but now three days later they have to do three booklets to be up to date. After their Kumon marathon the kids did some slime making in the garden. Devon found a bag of sand in his room so made a little beach scene using a little bucket and his Pokémon figures. It was actually super cute.

The weather has been really great during this lockdown. Sunny and warm – the irony of it!

Today I made doughnuts. I don’t make them very often because it is quite a long-winded process. I haven’t made them in a while so last night I prepared the dough, let it rise for a couple of hours then popped it in the fridge overnight. This morning I knocked back the dough, cut the dough into round balls and let the dough rise again for about few hours. See what I meant my long …

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Doughnuts filled with blackberry sauce

So I deep fried the dough in some oil, only a couple of minutes on each side … and voila! There you have it! These doughnuts are super light and fluffy.  I made about 20 of them and decided to give some to my neighbour. I know that if I left them at home I would just devour them all. That would not be great for my ever-expanding waistline.

Today something special happened. For the past few days a request had been circulating around social media. The nation should come together at 8pm tonight and applaud in honour of the NHS. A lot of people in the UK take the NHS for granted. I know this to be true because I hear the negativity from friends and family all the time. They take it for granted that they can just go to their GP and see a doctor and get a prescription for some pills. They complain that they have to wait 2 weeks for a non-urgent appointment and that waiting times for operations are abysmal. The NHS is not perfect … yes you may have to wait, but for what you get it is pretty special. The NHS (National Health Service) has been around since the 1940s and was a result of the governments idea that everyone should have access to good medical services. The NHS is funded by tax-payers money and it is a service that is very expensive to run but it works. People think it is a free healthcare service, and technically for those who do not work and pay taxes, yes it is free. During this period of unrest and the coronavirus going on a mammoth rampage around the country, the NHS staff have been tirelessly working around the clock helping those that have been affected by the coronavirus.

I didn’t think this “national applaud” was going to happen to be honest. The way the nation has been behaving lately has made me lose a little faith in humanity. But at 8pm on the dot, I could hear some of the people on my street clapping and cheering, banging pots and pans and shouting “thank you”. It was a nice gesture … some people are asking “what is the point?” The point is to show support and solidarity. Have you ever heard of the saying that “manners don’t cost you anything?” There’s my point right there.

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit! We need each other now more than ever before.

~ The Cake Lady (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 5: Has It Only Been 5 Days Already?

25th March 2020 – Wednesday

Skye woke up early this morning. I can always rely on her to get her cute butt out of bed early. Devon on the other hand was still in bed at 10am. When I went upstairs to go check on him, he was lying in bed with the hubby talking about the scariest places they have visited.

Hubby says one of the places that really freaked him out was the castle dungeon tour at Warwick Castle. We spent the weekend there a few years ago during the cold November month. Me and the kids attempted the tour, but the kids cried in the first 5 minutes so we left and hubby stayed. Devon said the spookiest place he had visited was Dover Castle. Read all about out trip to Dover Castle. He was talking about the Annexe – The Underground Hospital tour that we went on. The hospital tour relived the period of war in the 1940s whereby wounded soldiers were treated. It was a military hospital and as you walk through the seemingly endless tunnels, you are immersed in the stories of the wounded soldiers being treated, you can hear the screams of pain as the soldiers had to endure painful procedures and operations whilst the bombs can be heard overhead. It was a really interesting experience and we highly recommend a visit.

I suppose the place that made my hairs stand on end was Bodmin Jail in Cornwall. It was an 18th century prison and is hailed as one of the most haunted buildings in Britain. It was quite chilling there to be honest, something not quite right and very cold. It gave me goosebumps to say the least!

Devon again was complaining he was tired after about an hour of studying. I feel that I don’t want to push them too much in this first week. It’s a big adjustment for them and for us as a family. Being home schooled is difficult, trying to keep them interested is a big problem. I guess I don’t have the skills and training (as teachers do) to really engage the kids and make them enthusiastic about learning. It also doesn’t help that have two children at different ages with different curriculums. I also don’t really know what they have learnt and what they haven’t. Yes, I have a curriculum guide from the school but in terms of topics, where do I start?

So for today, I just let them do just a couple of hours of studying then let them hang out for the rest of the day. I think it’s exhausting for all of us at this point, and because we have at least another couple of months of this I guess I’m just going to take it slowly.

I have been particularly productive today in my kitchen. My family were wondering what has gotten into me … all this baking and cooking. I don’t normally do so much in one day but my hands are feeling restless. It is also a great opportunity for me to get stuck into cooking and baking as I don’t often get the time to do so.

I’m actually really enjoying the time off work and I hope to expand my recipe book, so I am going to make the most of this lockdown time.

Today I made “Lo Mai Gai” which is sticky glutinous rice with marinated chicken and Chinese sausage. I wrapped them in bamboo leaves although you don’t have to. I was being particularly fussy today and wanted to make the little parcels. I found it tricky tying up the parcels but it looked authentic enough. The flavour is there but it just needed more sauce I think. But apart from that I think I did ok! No complaints from the family.

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Glutinous Rice Parcels

I have spent most of today in the kitchen and now I am exhausted. Not only was I making the glutinous rice parcels, I also watered and fed my sourdough starter and I also prepared my doughnut dough ready for tomorrow. I really feel like eating some doughnuts but I haven’t made them in a while. After dinner I left the washing up to the hubby … make himself useful. He is feeling really bored … he doesn’t know what to do with himself as on a normal day he is alway out and about. When he’s at home he gets really lethargic and is constantly falling asleep.

My back is hurting from being on my feet most of the day so I’m going to have a nice long bath, then into bed with a herbal tea and my book. I’ve just started the third and final instalment of Jojo Moyes book “Still Me” centred around the quirky but loveable character Louisa Clarke. Louisa Clarke is now starting a new job in New York … I wonder what trouble she gets into in the Big Apple?

An update on the Covid-19 … well it is reported that the global coronavirus deaths has now passed 20,000. How upsetting is this to read? Also, Prince Charles has tested positive for the virus but he seems to be doing fine. The death toll in Spain has now surpassed that of China considering that Spain is a fraction of the size of China and a quarter of the world is currently on lockdown. That is alot to take in in one paragraph right?

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit! We need each other now more than ever before.

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 4: When You Just Can’t Be Bothered

24th March 2020 – Tuesday

Well the morning study session didn’t go as planned. We woke up late … or should I say I woke up late. My bed was too comfy and warm and the thought of another day of homeschooling wasn’t appealing. Study session didn’t start until 10:30am … an hour and a half after my preferred scheduled time of 9am. Ambitious I know, but I’ve got to try. I’m not a morning person anyhow, I’m a night owl … when the rest of the family are asleep you will often see me pottering around the house cleaning or organising something at almost 2 in the morning.

So, an hour into homeschooling the kids were tired and had had enough. They wanted a break so I gave them cake and custard and allowed them some free time to do one of their favourite things … stalking places on Google Maps. To be honest, I couldn’t really be bothered today. It’s that time of the month, my asthma is playing up and I’m feeling super tired so you know what … I let them off. After lunch I let them do their own thing which involved coding, playing out in the front yard and generally annoying the hell out of each other. Great stuff!

Tomorrow I will do better.

There Will Be Food

I asked Skye how she was feeling about the lockdown so far. It’s been four days for her and Devon and she is in good spirits under the circumstances. It was really sunny and warm outside today and she was a little gutted that she couldn’t go out somewhere nice. The front yard is as far as I will allow. She did say that she is loving the food that she has been eating so far at home. Since we have a lot more time on our hands, we have been cooking a lot more and experimenting with dishes that we always wanted to try but never got around to making. Usually, both me and the hubby work so by the time we have finished work and picked up the kids from school, I would quickly rustle something up. But so far so good…we have been eating well!

Today we made “Gao Tang” which is a traditional Chinese steamed rice flour savoury cake topped with mince pork and soy sauce. It’s one of the kids favourite Chinese foods and they call it “Chinese Pizza” … well it does look kind of like a pizza. It’s lovely and light and is not so heavy on the stomach so it is a perfect lunch.

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Gao Tang aka Chinese Pizza

How are you all doing today anyway? I hope you are all keeping safe and well, looking after each other and staying positive through all of this.

I saw a picture in the news today of the situation on the Tube (London Underground). The Tube carriages were packed full of people. It was like a game of sardines … people crammed in the carriages, shoulder to shoulder breathing on each other. I know they have reduced the amount of trains and buses running and due to staff shortages, they have a limited service, but it was a shocking sight! This comes after the Bojo speech about social distancing. They all can’t be keyworkers, can they? Are people still not taking this situation seriously? I don’t know what to say anymore.

I received news this evening that three people have died in my local hospital … Homerton Hospital in Hackney. That has shocked and scared me to the core. What the hell is going on? The virus is on our doorstep now. My husband had to pop to our local high street Mare Street this afternoon to pick up Devon’s glasses. He said that Mare Street was empty and was a ghost town. He said it felt eerie … there were a couple of food shops open but most of the shops were closed and there wasn’t many people on the street.

I guess I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, keeping me and my kids indoors, safe and away from people. That’s all I can do. That is all any sensible parent can do right now.

I have been a little more active on my Instagram stories since the lockdown. I guess I still want be connected with my family, friends and followers. To let you know that we are still here and showing you how we are coping with the lockdown.

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit! We need each other now more than ever before.

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 3: Home Schooling Is Harder Than It Looks!

23rd March 2020 – Monday

Good morning guys!

Hope you are all safe and more importantly at home. I give so much credit to those who still have to work. All the key workers particularly the NHS staff and teachers, our delivery guys, shop workers, those who work in the civil service amongst others. They are the heroes of our country and deserve so much more recognition and thanks! They put their lives at risk to make sure we are fed, watered and safe.

Boris Johnson, our Prime Minister made an official speech today regarding our nation not listening to the social distancing advice. People can still be seen going to the park and the seaside. It’s ridiculous! Why are the British people so difficult? First they stockpile and then they don’t listen to the advice to stay at home? I don’t get it? Also, the street food markets are still running, like Broadway Market and Victoria Park Market. Why are people still going to these things? It is actually unbelievable!

So Boris is announcing that from midnight tonight all non-essential shop will be closed, like clothes and electrical shops. I’m not sure about the markets though. The only shops allowed to be open are supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and funeral parlours (obviously). People can only go out if they need to get food and medicine, exercise once per day only amongst other things. I still think it’s not strict enough but what do you expect from “BoJo“? And even this advice will fall on deaf ears!

Today was the first day of home schooling. I thought it was going to be a breeze but damn …. it was such hard work! In my head I thought I could just leave them to do the worksheets and I could potter about and do some chores. It was impossible … especially with them asking me questions every 5 minutes. I bet teachers all around the country are laughing at our poor attempts at home schooling! I wasn’t sure what I was doing so I just printed off a whole bunch of worksheets from The School Run and Twinkl and just gave it a go.

My daughter said the work was boring but my son enjoyed it. I think I’m being too hard on myself. This is the first time we’ve even done a whole day of learning … from 9am to 4pm (including an hour of Kumon) actually, so to be fair they did good. They didn’t complain and just got on with it. I think I just need to get organised and plan our days. They speculate that this could go on for at least 12 weeks! Eeeek …. three more months of this.

Skye feels sad that she didn’t really get to say a proper goodbye to her school friends. She is in year 6 and in her final year of primary school, heading to secondary school in September. She believes that she won’t be going back to her primary school, that she will miss her end of year disco and she won’t get her personalised sweater that each child in year 6 gets on their last day.

She won’t have the teary farewells, the hugs, the promises of keeping in touch. I feel for her, I really do.

I made lasagne for dinner today. It is one of Skye’s favourite meals that I make. I’m using my kitchen a lot more these last few days, baking and cooking. It’s quite refreshing – albeit hard work when you make meals from scratch. I love making food from scratch. It’s much more satisfying and nutritious … particularly for my children. Don’t get me wrong, we do splash out on takeaways usually every Friday night, but with the lockdown in place I don’t think we will be getting takeout for a while.

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Homemade cheesey lasagna

Oh and my manager from work called me today to check in on me and update me about life back in the office. Our office is still open and has to remain open because we are part of the civil service. He told me that alot of staff were being sent home even if they have minor underlying health issues. He also said to me that due to my childcare issues and my serious underlying health conditions, he doesn’t think I will be in work for the forseeable future. Eeeeek … that could mean after the summer holidays! I am one of the lucky ones though because I do have a good job (I’ve been there for 12 years) and I still get full pay for not working during this uncertain time so for that I am grateful to where I work. I am grateful that I will still have a job to go back to when all this is over.

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit! We need each other now more than ever before. Stay  home … please!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 2: Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls In Session

22nd March 2020 – Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day to all … I hope all you amazing mums celebrated this day in the best way you could have today … and I hope you all STAYED SAFE!

The best Mother’s Day present right now is health. Stay healthy so that you can still celebrate Mother’s Day next year with your babies!

I slept quite late last night, I guess almost 3am. I was reading Jojo MoyesAfter You” the sequel to “Me Before You” which I really loved. “After You” is not as good. It didn’t pull on my heartstrings and make me cry like its predecessor did. I guess someone has to die [spoiler alert] to make me shed a tear. Oh dear.

Devon woke up at 6am this morning. Like seriously, there is no school so why is this dude awake and watching YouTube so loud?

My Tesco grocery shop came this morning. My fridge was a little bare and yesterday’s dinner involved defrosting unidentifiable meat from the freezer and hoping for the best. It worked out ok … the meat turned out to be lahmucun (Mediterranean pizza) meat that I made a few weeks back. I had left overs so just froze it to be use on another day. I just fried that up with a side of eggs, sugar snap peas and my MIL homemade Vietnamese ham – with rice of course. My kids were fed and happy with it and that’s all that matters right?

We always get excited on a weekend because that is when our grocery delivery comes. I’ve been ordering online groceries for years … I just can’t face supermarkets. It’s too much hassle and a waste of valuable weekend time. I either buy from Tesco or Ocado, it depends on what I need or feel like eating. Tesco is good value and you can get all your basic foods at fairly reasonable prices. Ocado for me is a splurge. They are not cheap but their range of foods is unreal! I just love it there and don’t mind spending that little bit more for something a bit special. I only buy groceries once a week usually … maybe pick up one or two things during the week … but I do plan and budget my weekly grocery shop. I am super organised like that I guess. How much do you spend per week on groceries?

So today I spent most of the day in the kitchen. The kids wanted chocolate cake so I made them one with some cherry coulis. Devon doesn’t like coulis so I ended making him his own cake just covered with chocolate ganache.

My Ancestors Would Be Proud

I took on a challenge today. The challenge was to try and perfect the ultimate Vietnamese recipe. The dreaded “Banh Cuon”. It is super hard and one of the most trickiest techniques to master. It is steamed rice rolls filled with meat. It’s tricky … you should check it out on YouTube … it’s too tricky for me to explain. It is actually harder than it looks. This is one of my favourite dishes though. My mother-in-law makes the most amazing banh cuon and she kindly let us borrow her equipment. I did pretty well to be honest for my first try. There is a cheat version … instead of steaming, you could just just “fry” the batter in a pan. It’s quick, easy and pretty much fool-proof. But I prefer a challenge and wanted to make it the traditional way. It tastes so much better!

I think I’ll do a recipe post on it soon … what do you think?

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Traditional steamed banh cuon

Day two of lockdown and Skye said she is getting bored already. At least another month to go girl. Devon has had a good day. I bought him a new football and he has been playing with that most of the day. Just give him a football and he is happy! I’m actually enjoying the time off to be honest. I love being at home so it doesn’t bother me too much (right now). The way I see it is that I pay so much for my mortgage I might as well spend as much time within these four walls as possible! Haha! My hubby keeps falling asleep on the sofa. I think he’s suffering from some kind of narcolepsy … he sleeps standing up sometimes. It’s true!

The kids played football outside in our front yard this afternoon. It is the perfect place for them to play because it’s away from people and it is right outside my door so it’s supersafe and all my neighbours are lovely too and don’t mind them making a little noise outside their doors. This is the only place I feel safe for them to run around and play for a while whilst we are in lockdown.

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit! We need each other now more than ever before. And please can we all just stay home (unless you have to work obviously) so that this pandemic can be over? I had to cancel my Easter holiday roadtrip and I am super mad. The way this situation is going I may have to cancel my August holiday too!

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx

The Lockdown – Day 1: Anxiety and Bread

21st March 2020 – Saturday

It’s been almost 3 months since the first case of the coronavirus (Covid-19) was noted in China. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been infected and thousands of people have died around the world. There is a lot of fake news out there which is hard to control and causes panic and anxiety in those particularly with mental health issues. What we do know is that it is a very infectious virus and currently there is no known vaccine for it.

For the sake of my mental health, I have decided not to read the news too much. The constant bombardment of new cases and deaths on a daily basis has started to trigger my anxiety. So I am going to stay ignorant in my bubble for a while. [Hackney has recorded 52 cases so far … check your area on the BBC website if you’re curious].

So I thought I’d create this mini blog on what the day to day life is like in our household during our lockdown. An online diary if you will … a record of the pandemic that will (hopefully) only happen once in our lifetime. I hope it provides some comfort to you knowing that you are not alone.

The Beginning

We live in Hackney, East London UK. My husband has been on lockdown from work since Monday the 16th March. He works for Transport for London and they have closed his office, he is now working from home. I have been on lockdown since Wednesday the 18th of March. I work for the civil service so our doors will remain open throughout this pandemic, but I have underlying health issues so I was sent home on medical grounds. My kids, Skye who is a super mature 11 year old girl and my adorable 8 year old boy Devon finished their last day of school yesterday. Their school will be closed until further notice, but their doors remain open for the children of keyworkers and those who are entitled to free school meals.

For the purpose of this blog I am going to count today as Day 1 of our lockdown. So far there have been no tears or tantrums. Skye usually has gymnastics at Little Socks Gymnastics today but it has been cancelled until after the Easter school holidays (at the earliest). Devon usually has a piano lesson at East London Piano School but they are now carrying out their lessons via Facetime or Skype. I had to stand there holding my phone trying to film the lesson in my son’s bedroom. It went well but my wrist was achy after a little while.

By the afternoon Skye was getting restless and I can see in her face that she wanted to go out. She loves going out and this will be a challenge for her. Devon loves home and is happy to stay home and chill out so I think he will be ok. We have a little garden where he can go outside and practice his kickups.

Food Shortages

This morning I noticed that we were low on bread and I couldn’t be bothered to pop out to go get some at our local cornershop. The last time I sent my hubby he said there was no white bread and he came back with brown bread which the kids hated.

So I had flour and yeast in my cupboard so I thought I’d whip up this beauty, a crusty white cob loaf. I haven’t made bread in a while because it is time consuming, but it is worth it. Crusty on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside. It was delicious and my family devoured it.

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Crusty white cob loaf

I guess this will be our life for the forseeable future. I am fortunate enough to have the equipment and knowledge to bake so you will see alot more homemade yumminess.

Head over to my Instagram page where you can see what I have been up to in my kitchen. Don’t forget to hit that follow button below to get alerts on new blog posts and leave me a comment to let me know you popped by. I love receiving mail!

I hope you are all staying safe wherever you are. Stay safe and look after each other and remember this pandemic won’t last forever if we all do our bit! We need each other now more than ever before.

~ Boss Mum (and family) xxx