Tag Archives: Marmite

Boxing Day 2011 and the dog door

5 Jan

As you may be aware by now, dear Reader, our beloved Nanna is originally from England.  Therefore, there are bits of British culture interspersed through our lives in various forms such as:

Papa must have HP Sauce with his eggs

Papa will devour countless tubes of Rowntree Fruit Pastilles if allowed, and he is also a connoisseur – he has sniffed at the Fruit Pastilles I discovered at the local Stop & Shop Supermarket’s International aisle, claiming the formula is much different than those he receives from Great Auntie B___ from London

My girls love having marmite with their toast (Nanna Marmite) – or poached eggs (“dip dip eggies!”) with marmite soldiers

I (as well as my parents in Japan) adore Colman’s mustard

I also love Branston Pickle, Picalilli, Pickled Onions and Mint sauce – the tangy kind, not the flourescent green one!

Papa calls a wash cloth, a flannel

Papa drinks a hot cup of tea with milk and sugar when he’s a little under the weather

Papa and his siblings LOVE Nanna’s Bird’s Custard

Papa used to insist we always use Bisto until a few years ago, when I started honing and polishing my gravy-making skills

Aside from everything else, we celebrate Boxing Day, the day after Christmas Day.

This year, we went to Papa’s cousin’s house for Boxing Day.  They celebrate Boxing Day because Papa’s Aunt is also British.

We enjoyed a lovely brunch of various quiches, pancakes, salad and nibbles, with countless desserts and sweets.  The children then headed outside for some fresh air.

My little one discovered the perfect entrance suited for her size… the dog door.  Below is the photographic evidence. 

We all had a good chuckle, as she slipped in from outside (Papa was outside and caught her in action) in her Christmas finery, sliding into the kitchen, patent leather foot and head first.


“M” for Monday, Meatballs and Mom

28 Mar

I find my weekends no longer belong to me.  My body automatically wakes up at 7:30, at the latest, and I catch myself “switching” on – physically, I will myself to haul my legs over the side of the bed, and mentally, I start going through the motions of the weekend routine.  My thought process turns on, and I start worrying… Men men or toast.  Fried egg or poached egg.  What do I do if my husband wants waffles, and I have to repatriate the waffle-maker… that annoyingly cumbersome hunk of metal with waffle irons that DON’T come out of the machine.  How am I supposed to wash it!?

This weekend, Saturday brought the girls poached eggs with soldiers (with “Nanna” Marmite, in reference to their British grandmother); Sunday brought multi-grain waffles (grr) with Applegate bacon.  I watched the girls “dip dip” their toast pieces into their eggs (Mama, eggie sauce!) and on Sunday, I grumbled as I wiped  up the bacon grease on every close surface, and battled with the waffle irons who simply aren’t designed to be washed in hot water and soap. 

Of course both days’ breakfasts were followed by birthday parties.  Cake! Juice! More juice!

It was great to see the girls have a good time.

Of course, weekend chores beckon, and after I did my rounds at Makinajian’s and at Trader Joe’s, I started my Sunday routine.

The oven was set at 350, beet greens were cut off, and beet roots were put into a Corningware, and into the oven.  Chicken drumsticks were rinsed, patted dry, drizzled with a little olive oil and poultry seasoning, and similarly, into the oven.

I filled a large saucepan with water (4 cups), and set to boil.  I added 3 chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery stalks, 2 chopped onions, and 2 cups lentils, pre-rinsed and picked over.  I also added half a box of TJ’s hearty Vegetable stock, and brought everything to a low boil, and cooked for 45 minutes, stirring often.

While everything was cooking, I snuck out of the house with my dog for a quick walk around the neighborhood – a good mile on mixed terrain, which I love to do, but find myself unable to sacrifice 20 minutes in the morning…

Once the beets were tender, I took them out of the oven to cool, and checked on the drumsticks.  The pot was stirred once again, and I lowered the heat to a simmer, and covered with a lid.

Sunday dinner was corned beef , cabbage and potatoes I had actually made on Friday.  Trader Joe’s had some Uncured Corned Beef (conventional) – which I bought as I thought to myself, “How can Corned beef be uncured?”  My beloved pressure cooker had everything tender in an hour and a half – and I was ready to feed my husband, except he came home after a rough day (read= week), and begged out of such a heavy meal.  “We can have it over the weekend…” he reasoned.  Fine, I retorted, plated myself a portion and savored the salty goodness with healthy dollops of Colman’s mustard.  I made up for the lack of my annual corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day in a weekend!

After the kids were bathed and tucked into bed, I tackled the last stretch of my weekend routine. 

This week’s protein is turkey meatballs – so I made a batch of baked turkey-flax-oatmeal-veggie meatballs, and meatball soup with stelline pasta in vegetable broth.

The ingredients for this week’s baked meatballs are:

1 pound ground turkey

2 palmfuls of flaxseeds

1 palmful steel-cut oatmeal

3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 1 large onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 inch long piece of ginger, all chopped finely in food processor

1 tablespoon, shiitake powder

I mixed the ingredients together well, by hand, and formed 3/4 inch sized meatballs.  I placed these on lightly greased pyrex/bakeware, and put into a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

For the soup, I used the remaining box of the vegetable stock, which I brought to boil on the stove.  I added 1 chopped carrot, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 1 medium chopped onion, and let it cook until the onions started becoming translucent.  I then added 1 cup water, and a round of soy sauce.  Once the stock came back to a boil, I started dropping 1/2 inch sized meat balls into the pot.  I let the pot boil for about 10 minutes after the last meatball was dropped, and then added a handful of the pasta, and stirred gently.  I then lowered the heat to a very gentle simmer, and covered the pot.

When the oven timer went off, I checked the meatballs, and removed from the heat.  I let the soup simmer just a little longer, and switched the heat off.

For Monday lunch, here’s what I packed.

Turkey meatballs

Blanched sugar snap peas

Boiled quail eggs

Sliced yellow pepper

Sliced and peeled Japanese cucumbers

Hopefully we have a home run lunch today – and yes, folks, sometimes I rest up on the beets for one day!