When life hands you yesterday's chicken stew…

Make soup.

The day didn’t start off like this.  The day didn’t start that well at all.  I rushed getting up, I didn’t really feel like getting up and was not in the most gracious of moods this morning (I’m blaming hormones).  Small children got up, but clearly from the wrong side of the bed too as no matter what, they were LOUD!  They squabbled and fought and bickered.  No they were not interested in a story, or making anything, or playing quietly (in any way) and certainly, more than absolutely ANYTHING, they did not want to eat yesterday’s chicken stew for lunch.
“But we ALWAYS have stew!”
This is a direct parrot of their (rather belligerent at present) eldest brother from last night, annoyingly in front of his younger siblings (because at the moment he couldn’t care less what he says in front of them).  He still sat and ate it though (and I would like to take this opportunity to point out that we do not always have stew, we had a roast the day before and do eat things like stir-fry etc, stews happen to be very easy and economical to make – especially in a slow cooker when you’re spending the day doing other things, oooh, like spending time doing activities with small children…)
Small children declared they would rather starve than eat stew for lunch and it was at that point that I must’ve started to look like I was about to blow a fuse as John marched them up to their rooms and they were told to stay there until they would calm down.
In somewhat of a foul mood, I, determining most stubbornly that my children (and adults too) would bloody well finish the leftovers from yesterday, bunged the stew in the blender with some cream and water and blitzed it up to be eaten as a soup that evening.
Children re-appeared, were told that they were going to eat stew that evening as soup because in this house we are thankful for the food put on the table and indeed, people that don’t finish their dinner clearly are so full that they don’t have space in their tummies for plum crumble.  Nin pointed out that we didn’t have any plums and I reminded her that we had picked lots of plums in the autumn, de-stoned and cut them up and frozen them to be used later.
As the stew was now re-purposed for dinner, I gave the children some cheese crackers and fruit for lunch and they then helped make cheese scones to be eaten with dinner and crumble topping for the plums and apples I pulled out of the chest freezer (which is getting decidedly empty of the frozen bounty of fruit foraged in the autumn).
Composure (mine) restored, they also cleared the chaos created in the dining room and helped me re-arrange crocheted squares (whilst I tried to decide what to do with them) as I had emptied a bag full of various knitted and crocheted UFOs, determined to get some things finished as I needed a break from the Cassia I’ve been knitting for Nin (reams of stocking stitch start to give me double vision after a while).
Nin arranged some stripes from some of them:
However, I will be using them to make cushion fronts (we have a severe lack of cushions in this house!)
So the day ended with children happily eating chicken stew soup with cheese scones, followed by plum (and apple) crumble and home-made custard (we never buy packaged custard here, it’s so easy to make at home) with the promise of more stewed plum and apple for breakfast tomorrow and meringue making (we have to use up the egg whites leftover from separating the eggs for the custard).
Time enough for looking through a book of animals with John and to welcome their other brother home (he’s home for the half-term break).
Oh and I haven’t forgotten – Happy Valentine’s Day to you all – it may not always go to plan, but love is what binds a family together, even if some mornings it doesn’t feel like it very much! 😉

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