The Daily Grind

Up and dressed, porridge on the stove, first load of washing in the machine. C makes me some coffee, I sip it, read my comments and see who's updated their blog.
 Husband to work, sons to school, daughter to chivvy along.
Finally ready, we walk to school.

The lady four doors down from us drives her child every day to the same school.
 So many treasures missed.

Back in my warm kitchen, slipper socks on my feet, washing hung and Stephen Fry reading me stories I begin work.
 Lunchbox fodder is needed.
 If all my children and C take sandwiches they use up around 14 slices of bread a day. That's a whole loaf of my homemade bread so I like to alternate sandwich lunches with something else. Pasties, pitta pizzas and pasta salad are frequent lunchbox fillers. The latest favourite is Spanish omelette. Nothing fancy just potato, a little onion and eggs. A big solid cake of an omelette. It keeps for a couple of days in the fridge and because I make a huge one in my huge frying pan it will do for two days of lunches plus, with  luck, a bit left for me.

A little sweet something is welcome in the lunchbox. They love these gingernuts -another recipe from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book.

A lunch of leftover soup is followed by some armchair Christmas shopping. The only way to do it.
I scribble some meal ideas for the coming week in my notebook
The children return home bringing stories of naughty boys who tramped mud all over the new carpet in the new library, of forgotten drum lessons and of annoying classmates who are 'complete ****heads with **** for brains and no *****s' Okaay.

Time to start dinner.
Vegetable cake

Some elderly root veg and half an onion.

I added a couple of spuds and threw the lot into the Magimix.

A little salt and pepper and into some hot fat it goes. Press it all down firmly to make a substantial cake.

With the help of a large plate, oven gloves and  some daring flip the cake over and slide it back into the pan so that the other side can cook. The secret of this sort of frying is to keep the temperature fairly low and to leave it alone. If you keep stirring and prodding you won't get that delicious brown crust.

And now the children have all gone to bed. Not all asleep by a long way, but all upstairs, which by this time of the day is how I like them.

I rather like my daily grind too.



  1. You don't have a spare room do you?

  2. looks like a lovely slice of daily life. gorgeous frosty leaves too x

  3. Right, my other half is lolling around on the bed reading a book. He looked up and said 'what's that'? I told him it was bubble and squeak with bacon. He's burning with envy.

    I always fancied a copy of Mary Berry's 'Winning Ways with Cheese' simply because the title makes me smile.

  4. My stomach is not feeling very well at the moment, but that food looks yum. My tummy needs pototo to make it feel better, I had a big plate of mashed pototo with garlic and some carrots and spinach for dinner last night........felt better.
    I love your day, hope today is just as lovely.
    Hugs Sandi xx

  5. How is it that your daily grind sounds so idilic?, I have two kids and packed lunch to make but always end up spending the day in a mess chasing my tail, v jealous that you have it so sorted, your walk to school looks so beautiful, your kids are lucky to have a mum like you x

  6. Your photographs are fantastic. A full day too. Lovely potato cake! Funnily enough mine had problems with ***** people as well.

  7. Lovely food, we too regularly have the omelette it makes lovely lunches and easily serves 8. It's on my menu tomorrow!

  8. I quite like it too! Yours that is! Mine is rather much more boring and a lot less fun!!!

  9. I love the 'elderly' root veg, what a great way to use up. Your veg cake looked delicious. I also like lunch box alternatives a lot of effort goes into home made bread!
    I envy your walk to school in the morning I lost mine nearly two years ago enjoy while you can.

  10. My daily grind sounds very similar and sometimes I get bored of the repetitive nature of it all but written down it sounds lovely and cosy. Perhaps I ought to look at it differently! I am a bit more lazy though. Bread in a breadmaker and fishfingers for dinner. Bad mother!

  11. Lovely pictures ! I have kind of the same routine today, but it's unusual because I'm on sick leave. But I enjoy it immensely... and I sometimes wish I could stay at home all year like this (tried to evoke it with hubby sometime and his look of horror said it all - we need my income to pay for our house). So I think next year I'll work 60% instead of 80%.

  12. Lovely photos, expecially the first sunny frosty one, just gorgeous!

  13. Anonymous2:27 pm GMT

    It sounds like a good day - I like the ideas for packed lunches. Love your frosty photos.

  14. Gosh your children sound just like mine - Boy the Elder takes great pleasure in lambasting the alleged zombies at his school - the other children aren't great either!!

    I used to hate doing packed lunches because I never had the time to put the sort of things you do into them and I always felt the boys were short-changed. I'm so glad they have school lunches now and at least I know I can trust them to eat properly.

    Your family is very lucky to have you.

  15. I too make spanish omlette/frittata as a lunchbox filler, and if if I haven't got much in too cook, I always have eggs, pototoes, and onions! OOOH must try that potatoe cake, looks yummy.

    People are soo lazy driving when its unnecessary, I enjoy my walk with my daughter, shame its only 5 mins and not that scenic...

  16. Big sigh - I wish my daily grind was so soothing.

    Nina x

  17. I bet you would make a really mean Swiss rösti when I see how nicely your friend veg came out! There is something so reassuring and sane about the ordinariness of family life and housewifing! I love days like yours too!

  18. Oh dear - that should have said 'fried veg' not 'friend veg' - sorry!

  19. Hooray!!! Someone else who has geriatric veggies in their fridge. Ax

  20. Does buttered toast go with that fried veg and bacon? Sounds hmmmmm.


  21. That is a fab idea to go into a lunchbox, scrummy for dinner too... think I'll just go and pop the pan on :O)
    Jo x

  22. How cozy and comfie your daily grind seems to me. The photos of frosty leaves are divine and your lunch prep is making me very hungry. Grind on I say!!!

  23. The root veg 'cake' looks very tasty indeed.

    I first read 'the lady four doors down' as 'the laZy four doors down' :-) We've had similar frosty leaves to marvel at on the way to school this week too.

  24. Anonymous9:53 pm GMT

    That looks so delicious. Truly a comfort food.

  25. Pati from London10:26 am GMT

    I really love your pictures of frosty leaves, Sue... and it is refreshing to see an English person cooking a proper Spanish Omelette with just eggs, potatoes and onion. I am Spanish and whenever I read the recipe in English cook books I always find that they add all sorts of weird and wonderful things inside. I'm really loving your blog. I recently tried your Imperial shortbread recipe at home and everyone loved them. Will cook your creme au chocolat for friends this weekend and will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the inspiration! Pati from London x

  26. Can I come to yours for tea? It has been such a grind here this week that I feel almost like I am watching my life from a third persons perspective. Thank you for some lovely lunch box ideas and comfort that it's not just me! xx

  27. Loved reading about your day! The hash-browns as we call them look delicious! Beautiful photos!

  28. Been following your blog for a few weeks now and you've inspired me to make Christmas cake for the first time in years - not living in England, it's never felt like a "must" but now I just felt like it!! Plus my Granny, who's 94, has only just stopped coming to see us over Christmas and bringing her famed cakes and puddings with her, so rather than be bereft... if she stays as fit as now, I hope she goes on to 102, as well ;))
    When she was 90 she brought my eldest daughter's wedding cakes over to Switzerland and then proceeded to spend a very satisfying day icing them all, as she has done for family, friends and neighbours for 70 years or more!
    Anyway, thanks for reminding me to put a bit of my English self into my international family...


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