Influenza, Maude and a new lens

The last few weeks have been exhausting. John and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. We celebrated by John sleeping off the worst of his flu, and with me coming down with the worst of it while taking care of our children. It was not our greatest celebration. John did buy me a new 50mm prime lens, though, which took me three days to be able to open, due to aforementioned flu.

Of course, it wasn’t long before Alex and Charlie were also struck down with the flu, thankfully after I was over the worst. They took considerably longer to recover than we did. They both had fevers for over a fortnight, and were so tired they would sleep for hours, and then ask to go back to bed.
We were also generous enough to pass the flu to my best friend’s two little girls. They even got an emergency room visit with their flu, so that was awesome.
On a high note, or perhaps a mixed blessing note, the flu somehow led to Charlie weaning himself and also sleeping through the night. He has been the most appalling sleeper since he was four months old. It is only now that I am getting full night sleeps that I’m realising how completely this sleep deprivation affected me and my family. I actually have the energy to do… housework! I feel like a new woman. I am, however, a little sad that he has weaned himself completely from his breastfeeds. He was only having one a day, so it wasn’t a huge transition, but bittersweet nonetheless.
With this new lease of life, I have been working towards my “learning how to cook” goal. We received our Thermomix a few weeks ago, and it has done wonders. I named it Maude. My dear, dear friend Nikki, who convinced us to buy Maude, has a Thermomix named Stella, so I decided Maude was a fitting name for Stella’s new friend.
I’m actually cooking meals that my family want to eat. It’s crazy. I’m starting to think that Alex has never been fussy, my cooking was just that bad. I used to have to bribe him to eat the meat in his spaghetti bolognaise, he now actually asks for more meat instead of spaghetti. Charlie used to refuse to eat porridge, but he’ll happily eat a bowlful out of the Thermomix.
John has started taking lunches to work, from leftovers or soups made in the Thermomix. He has never felt better, plus we are saving so much money on groceries. Don’t ask me how, because we seem to be buying more items. I guess we are buying a lot more fresh items now. This morning I spent $80 at the supermarket, and $60 at the produce store. I like that proportion. We have a (usually) weekly farmers’ market here in Newcastle that I’ve been meaning to get to, as I believe we could save a lot more money on our fruit and vegetables there.

It’s just a lovely feeling to be serving up food that your family actually enjoys, as well as knowing every single item that has gone into it, and how fresh and healthy it is. We bake our own bread in the breadmaker, I make yoghurt for the children, and most everything else is in made in Maude.
I’m still working on my herb garden, which will be handy. At present, I only have parsley, oregano, rosemary, chives, shallots, leeks and strawberries growing. It seems to be far too cold to plant anything else at present, but I can’t wait to have some basil happening.
Our piece de resistance from Maude thus far has been mussels with tomatoes and chillis. Absolutely delicious. I don’t even like mussels that much, and I loved it. We’re planning on making mussels with coconut milk this Friday night, which sounds fabulous also.

In a way, I feel like cooking in Maude is cheating, because it just feels so easy to cook delicious food. Like I should be slaving over each meal to get the same results. As a semi-busy Mummy, though, I should just thank my lucky stars it is that easy.

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