A Little About Us: Alex, Carl, Isla and Taran
It’s Carl’s birthday today. Happy birthday Carl!
My husband is now the almost-perfect age of 47. If you are working it out to our kids’ age, yes, we are relatively older parents. Back at the beginning of this website, I did a post on my pregnancy but, other than a little bit of information, it didn’t go much beyond Isla’s and Taran’s births. Eventually, time allowing, I will get around to doing a post about older parenting. Its ups – so many of them. Its downs – a few but not very many as people seem to think. The prejudices – you would be surprised and shocked. The bonuses – there are so many. The inverse law of family spacing – the smallest family member always claims the largest amount of space while the largest gets the least. And, many other things. Perhaps I should get my Mum to talk about older grandparenting too; my brother, Nicky, waited until the last moment to produce offspring as well as myself. My sister-in-law, Claire, has a blog where she posts about their lives with all the ups and downs too.
For Carl’s birthday, he wanted a playstation5. This particular gaming machine has enjoyed a sold-out status since it went on sale back in November, and he was unable to get it in time for his birthday. However, the necessary money has been saved. It sits, awaiting its purpose, for when supply catches up with demand and one brand new playstation5 heads his way. Instead, he received a token present of some dark, dark chocolate – which he loves. As he is the only one in the family who does like dark chocolate, he gets it to himself and being allowed to eat your own chocolate is a rare occurrence for adults in this house, let me tell you! Chocolate present wrapped and ready, he tried to trick our daughter, Isla, into giving him his gift the day before his birthday. Sneaky man! She saw through his sneakiness, and he was outwitted by a five year old. He had to wait till the actual day of his birthday like everyone else. Did I mention he was 47?
Back at the beginning of this week, my parents, who had been visiting since before Christmas, headed back to merry old England. This was a bit of a surprise as, with Britain now in full lock-down, tier 5, the highest tier, I believe they called it, we really weren’t sure the plane would still fly. But, with both of them heading towards their eighth decades, they were concerned about getting back in time for their covid vaccinations. They said the plane had barely any passengers at all. With our babysitters’ now gone an adult meal out has gone the way of the do-do and our kids have been allowed to pick the birthday dinner venue. The birthday boy of 47 will be having dinner at… burger king. Why? Because they give you a toy! Doesn’t matter what the food is like but you get a toy! Ah well, we will have two happy small people (with toys) at the end of it, which makes it all worthwhile.
Last week, just as the new school term started, we had a very last-minute teachers’ strike shutting down the schools. This week the kids went back to school. The teachers strike lasted only two days. The teachers’ union wanted all learning to be done online, and the schools to close. The government claims learning online is inferior to classroom learning; the most impoverished children, those without access to computers or the internet, and those with learning difficulties, would suffer the most. The schools have already been shut for most of 2020. It wants kids to learn in school. There was a lot of back and forth until the health minister waded in. She is very highly respected in Malta. She pointed out that there had been a substantially higher infection rate with the schools closed for holidays than when the schools were open. The schools should stay open. This, effectively, shut down the argument and the schools have reopened. For how long though, remains to be seen.
With these various political stances unknown to them, my kids had mixed reactions to their schooling return. My daughter, who was happy at first because she got to see her friends, came home upset. She said they weren’t allowed to play; apparently, social distancing prevents them from playing some of their games. My son, who initially dug his heels in all the way to school on the first day (and I mean literally), then saw his beloved teacher; now, he is quite happy to go off to school in the morning because he gets to spend time her.
A Little About The Recipe: Bacon and Cheese Topped Cauliflower Mash
Apart from a day off to go burger king for my husband’s birthday, Carl and I have been following the keto diet since Christmas to shed a few lock-down pounds. Before Christmas, we did the Atkins’ diet and lost some of the weight, but a change is as good as a rest, and we switched to keto after the holidays. Keto is a great diet for the majority of people but I, personally, due to digestive issues, feel healthier on the paleo diet. However, paleo is about health, not weight loss, and I need to lose some weight. Keto, it is, and it’s been going along just fine.
The Bacon and Cheese Topped Cauliflower recipe was a successful attempt to increase the original Mashed Cauliflower recipe’s fat content in line with keto guidelines. This recipe has twice the amount of fat over protein than the original and is super tasty besides. For those with lactose intolerances, cheddar is one of the lowest lactose-containing cheeses; and the butter can be exchanged for ghee without any loss of taste. I still struggled with it a little. There were gurgles and some uncomfortable cramping. But others, with milder intolerances, might be able to manage better than me.
I recommend pairing this up with a main dish such as Grilled Lamb Chops with Allspice and Rosemary which is close to zero net carbs to allow a bit of leeway for other meals throughout the day; breakfast, lunch and also snacks if you want them. Both recipes will go under the same grill at the same time for about the same length of time which helps to make things nice and easy in the kitchen – always a bonus!
And Here It Is: Bacon and Cheese Topped Cauliflower Mash
Bacon and Cheese Topped Mashed Cauliflower
- 50 g cheddar cheese (1.7 oz)
- 2 slices bacon
To Make the Cauliflower Mash
- 400 g cauliflower florets (14oz)
- 2 tbsp butter (add more if you prefer)
- 1/4 tsp salt
To Make the Cauliflower Mash
- Place water in a large saucepan and set it to boil.
- Chop the cauliflower into florets.
- When the water is boiling add the cauliflower. Boil the cauliflower on a medium to high heat until very soft. This will take about 20 mins.
- When the cauliflower is soft drain off the water. Place the pan back on the heat with the cauliflower for a few minutes while continuously stirring the cauliflower to boil off excess water.
- Place the boiled cauliflower, the butter and the salt into a food processor.
- Pulse until it resembles mashed potato. You might have to keep pushing the cauliflower down from the sides.
Add the Bacon and Cheese Topping
- Turn the grill onto a high heat.
- Place the mashed cauliflower into an oven proof dish approx 15cm by 15cm (6inch by 6inch) and smooth down.
- Grate the cheese and sprinkle over the mashed cauliflower.
- Place the cheese and cauliflower under the grill for 5 – 10 mins until the cheese starts to brown.
- Meanwhile cook the bacon in a microwave to your preferred 'doneness'. Slice into small pieces.
- When the cheese starts to brown remove the cauliflower and cheese from the grill. Sprinkle over the bacon and return to the grill for 1-2 mins.