Week 5: Padded shorts, the new snack rules and the missing raspberries

Hello everyone, how goes it? Zoomed out, TV’d out, Lockdowned out… but hopefully still safe and healthy 😊.

Courtesy of Gabriella Papworth

Apologies for the delay. There has been high drama in the kitchen already this morning. No milk for my morning PG tips tea. No I don’t want almond milk but thank you for asking. I also don’t want a black tea or even a black coffee; you know I don’t drink coffee! You should know that both the hubby and the student use alanine and oat milk so for once I have only myself to blame; I am the official shopper. So toast and water it was. At least my sugar intake for today will be lower. Stop rolling your eyes, yes, I still take sugar. Anyway, moving on to last week.

The student had some fabulous news this week. She got her place to do a Masters in Public Health at Kings College London. How could I not mention this?Jumping on the current bandwagon you say! We think she will certainly be studying Covid 19 so will surely have plenty of study material. There will be a point when the student will earn her own money, but not just yet – a gap year, three year degree and now a masters. The bank of mum & dad and stepdad are ready and waiting, of course we are! The student also decided after many years to declutter her room. Eighth wonder of the world. And then last night, possibly because I had been on a cooking fest again, she declared that because we are getting treats and good home cooked food (that’s a ‘Thank you’ in disguise) there should be no snacks purchased. So check the list. We are allowed carrot sticks & hummus, nuts and home made popcorn. The hubby and I met early this morning and planned to hide some “snacks” in our bedroom and then I declare that as long as we get rid of any evidence we can eat what we want before lunchtime. Phew!! Message me if you need any advice but don’t judge me for eating junk.

Student at work

This leads me nicely into the kitchen adventures for this week. After being in the housewares industry for many years I have a well equipped kitchen. And because I’m Indian, my spice and ingredient cupboard is well stocked; the intention has always been there. Those that know me understand that I am never far from food; preferably cooked by others .I have now developed my favourite bits of kit and one day I will share these. On the menu this week were some old favourites and some new recipes shared by friends. The good old spring veg quiche always goes down a treat. I cooked with frozen okra for the first time; but the hubby still finds them slimy. The student and I look at him as if he’s a lost cause. I made shahi paneer for the first time; this is the calorie laden rich creamy dish; subbing coconut milk may have helped slighted. Aubergine bharta from charring them on the hob for a smoky taste; note open windows. I successfully made bhaturas, which is a type of deep fried Indian bread. Then I made Gulab Jamuns for the first time (mummy will be looking down wondering what has happened to her daughter). These are the sweet dumpling dessert in sugar syrup that are just yummy. One error and I was left with big brown balls. I recall many years ago embarrassing my father in a restaurant and asking for them to be heated and served with icecream. Now this is the norm; I was ahead of the times.

Cakes , brown balls and restaurant at home
It’s ok we freeze and spread the load

Because of the new baking laws that are now in place I bake one day in the week. Thursday came and the two family favourites- one Lemon Drizzle and one Almond & Raspberry were on the agenda. Oh, and second Gluten Free Almond & Raspberry once I got the GF flour for a friend. All ingredients ready and bowls filled. The lemon drizzle is baked in the morning and then I go off to do the weekly shop. Raspberries are on the list – plans could be ruined if I could not get them. Back in the kitchen a few hours later, I mixed and listened to music. All cakes in the oven just before 8pm, result! Do our clapping and relax. The student is looking forward to her treat as these were for her to celebrate her success. Actually she had asked for banoffee pie but who’d have thought condensed milk would be out of stock? Roll onto 9pm and there is no waiting for cake to cool and hubby cuts into it. I stare at it and then look some more…I then shout, “there’s no raspberries.!” I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry (not a sad sort of cry, don’t worry). The student warms up a few raspberries , places them next to her slice and just carries on….Too traumatised to make the second one that night I left it for Friday morning. And remembered to use GF flour and raspberries.

The DIY efforts form the hubby have been puny this week. He varnished the wooden step at the front door and the one at the back; only to have the student and myself to step on them! I really need to find some other jobs for him. Our small garden is looking lush for April. The sunflower seeds are no longer seeds and embracing the world. The coriander is coming up nicely. I have planted out seeds on trays for broad beans, spinach, daisies and dahlias. A random bunch you may say but you should know me by now. The blackbird has been trying to take over the shed. She is obviously upgrading from a nest. Oh and I’ve ordered a bloody veg trug but there is no delivery date . Like many around the country we have gone garden crazy. I will admit it: I like Garden’s World. I have warned the hubby that the trug will require his handy woodwork skill. Well, he has some time to get used to the idea. I just need to allow for extra time and leave him in complete isolation when the time comes.

All green and yellow

On the keeping healthy front, I continue with my yoga efforts through the free online classes our teacher is running. The phrase “if you want a little more” will haunt me. No thank you, I think, I am happy in this current position and can’t do more. The 5.30am starts four days of the week is the norm now; and it’s not even to beat the traffic on the M1,M25,M3 or the bloody M6. I have had the pleasure of commuting. We are now on number 20 morning Strength and Sculpt class. For those mathematicians amongst you that is 5 months worth of weekly classes 😳 🧘🏽‍♀. The benefit of these early mornings is that there is more time to fill. I won’t mention that on the remaining 3 days we have evening classes (confession I have not made all the Friday evening ones). But then last Friday the hubby took the day as holiday and suggested a bike ride. And for him a bike ride is long and fast, but he knows that he’s going out with me and managed his expectations. So clad in my (all the gear no idea) padded shorts, helmet and sunglasses. But no panic on the hairy legs front with this 2m social distancing! Great result on ride as no injuries, great weather but I will be requesting a gel seat!!

Bedford at its best

Top tips from papa “you must exercise every day and keep to a routine and if a recipe doesn’t come out right first time, you can correct it second time.”

As we head into week 6, stay calm. Learn to carry on and the art of patience. Learn the art of letting go and accepting this time as a gift. I’ve rediscovered some of the music I used to listen to as a student. Hands up for Genesis and Terence Trent D’Arby!!! And not forgetting my love of Bollywood songs. And as some of you assumed I wasn’t a sloth I’m having to prove you right by not sitting in the sun or even having a nap here and there….

Some of my faves

Continue to be grateful and especially on the fact that I am not a US citizen !



Will be clapping extra hard on Thursday as it must be hard to stay focused and energised and protecting and caring for the vulnerable. The country is behind you. 💕

2 thoughts on “Week 5: Padded shorts, the new snack rules and the missing raspberries

  1. Lovely photos Seema, you should take up food photography. I love the pan lids placed at strategic angles – very professional

    Liked by 1 person

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