Monday, 3 February 2014

It is an ending yet a beginning.

This morning the alarm went off at 6am like every other day.

But it was not like every other day.
This morning I hugged my fifth and last baby as he went off to school for his first day.
I have never cried before as any of my children went- but deeply understand why others do.
Today was my turn.  Whilst I held it together until well after we had said goodbye, as I held Mr Girlfriend's hand as we walked to the car silent tears fell.
And then he asked me out for breakfast. The best.

We sat chatting at breakfast.  About changes and what's ahead.  About how ace our five are and how great it is to see them all so happy.  Forging ahead with their lives.
Some heading very close the the end of their school days whilst others are at the very beginning.
They are making the best of the opportunities they have.  Kids are so great at catching the tide of change and letting it take them along. Fearless.

I have been defined by being a stay at home mother for the last fifteen years. A large & very happy part of my life.  I feel ever so grateful to have had this opportunity.
Now I move forward into another part of my life- still and always a mother, albeit a more disguised one. No longer will I always have a child by my side in my everyday.  A large adjustment in anyone's books.

It is an ending yet a beginning.........

I am excited for what is ahead for me and to rediscover some of my creative side once again.  I am excited to get stuck into the book I have started & hopefully will have published by the time the year is out.  And also for my cooking classes that are coming up SOON!  So much good stuff.

I mentioned that I felt very teary but it was not sadness - I felt buoyed by thoughtful & kind messages, texts & phone calls from friends. I found it tricky to reconcile what exactly it was in words.  Feelings are elusive like that aren't they?  Sometimes there really aren't any words that match.
Maybe it's ok to not really understand everything we feel but to instead just embrace it and move along with the tide as it pulls us just as our kids do.

Once again my children are my teacher.

Sometimes discomfort leads to really positive things.
It is momentous.  And that too is ok.

I drove Mr Girlfriend to work. We held hands at the lights and both agreed we have never been happier.

Pasta with Broccoli & Pangrattato.
I made this for lunch a couple of weeks ago when we had ten hungry children to feed for lunch.
It is DELICIOUS and easy & ever so tasty & a great way to use leftover sourdough bread that is too hard to eat. Gotta love no waste!
Pangrattato is a fancy name for panfried breadcrumbs. I added Chorizo to my recipe and then fried the breadcrumbs in the remaining flavoured oil but you can omit them to make this entirely vegetarian.
The Pangrattato adds a lovely crunchy texture as well as a nutty flavour.
You can use the leftovers (if there are any) to make a delicious frittata for school lunches. 
I made this for lots of people but this recipe is for 4.

  • 1 head of broccoli- cut into really fine pieces of about 1-2cm, use ALL of it, stem included! The stem is just as delicious as the florets, no need to waste it.
  • about 4 slices of sourdough bread, whizz it in a food processor till it is coarse crumb.
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced finely.
  • 1 chorizo sausage, slice and then cut into fine batons.
  • 400g pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • chilli (optional)
  • S & P
In a very large pot boil the salted water for the pasta.

Mean while in a large non stick fry pan add the chorizo batons & fry till crunchy. Add garlic & chilli (optional) for a minute or two- until fragrant. Remove & set aside, keeping the flavoured oil.

Return the fry pan to the heat and add the breadcrumbs (add a little more oil if necessary). Fry till crunchy and brown, stirring often. Set aside.

Add pasta to boiling water.  Seven minutes before pasta is ready (so at 5 minutes if your pasta takes 12 minutes to cook) add all of the broccoli into the pot with the pasta.

Drain the pasta when there is two minutes of cooking time left- keeping 2 cups of the cooking water ( I ladle some out before I drain and seta side).

Place drained pasta and broccoli back into the same pot you cooked the pasta in on a medium heat.

Add the reserved cooking water and stir till it has been absorbed into the pasta.

Add the cooked chorizo and flavoured oil and finally stir through the flavoured breadcrumbs.

Season well and add Parmesan cheese and serve.

I'm always excited to see what Damon is up to.
Here is his latest song ~


  1. You have so much joy & hope, and this I love. Xx

  2. <3 to you GG!

  3. Oh I was thinking of you today Ruth! What a lovely sunrise you watched too! It's such a complex feeling…it's all mixed up and happy/sad, nostalgic/excitment etc. I held it together until I got the staff room where mum's were invited for a cuppa…I took one step in, the tears fell and I walked straight out to cry them alone. The end of an era will do that I think. I'm thrilled for you and what lies ahead in your future…a book sounds amazing!! And so does that pasta. Congrats lovely lady…what lucky lads they are having you as their mum. B xx

  4. I am making this brilliant pasta for my girls.
    Congratulations on all your milestones, esp raising such a gorgeous family (I regard this as a gift to the world/future) and for being so honest and writing so beautifully.

  5. I congratulate you Ruth on your parenting skills and you are the best mother, I think that is one of the best accomplishments in life to raise happy healthy children and of course you would cry at your last one going to school.I can't wait to see what creative things you come up with and i wish you only good things,I am looking forward to seeing your finished cook book.This pasta looks amazing and i don't like wasting anything either,Loved this post ,thank you for sharing xx

  6. I feel all of the feels for you! So excited for what lies ahead x

  7. What a weird yet wonderful, sad but happy time. I have just one more year at home with my littlest and i can imagine the mixed feelings i will have when she is at school. Uninterupted time to do what you do but without the lovely little companion. Have a great year!! I still love your blog!!


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