‘I honestly didn’t realise how easy it was to keep the house clean before I had kids’, I said to Dad last week as I walked around Casa de Cooker pulling little socks out of the fruit bowl and hair ties off the floor. He smirked. This can be for one of two reasons:
- JC is basking in karma’s glow
- JC doesn’t class the state of Casa de Cooker as ‘clean’.
Our house is in a permanent state of disarray. When the girls’ toys aren’t on the floor, they’re shoved in a corner of each room. The Little Sister ensures that there is always a carrot stick secreted behind the cushions of the couch or between the glass panes of the sliding doors. Erroneous shoes are distributed throughout our dwelling. Lego lurks in dark corners; waiting to jump out and impale an unsuspecting bare foot during an important telephone call. When The Fuzz mistakenly arrived on our doorstep a few weeks ago, I panicked. Not because we’re running a backyard sly-grogging operation, but had they come inside they would have been compelled to start an investigation. Our home permanently displays ‘signs of a struggle’.
I’ve adopted a ‘near enough is good enough’ approach to lots of things lately. This new approach means I have a bit more time to do the things I like to do, and I don’t roar at the kids nearly as much. The Big Sister wears what she likes to kindy and the Little Sister sometimes gets away with eating the cucumber and leaving the skin.
My lower standards have even extended into the kitchen. Last week, I’d made the pie filling when I decided I’d rather read to the Little Sister than muck around with pastry, and the lazy pie was born.
3 leeks (white section only), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
head of broccoli
500g chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ tbs green peppercorns
For the crumb:
1 cup breadcrumbs
In a heavy based pan, gently sauté the garlic and leeks in olive oil. Once translucent, remove the leeks and garlic from the pot, set aside and keep warm. Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam.
Add the butter and chicken thighs, to the pan and cook through. Remove the chicken and keep warm.
Add the green peppercorns to the pot and using the back of a spoon squash them gently. Saute gently for a few minutes, and then return the leeks, garlic, and chicken to the pan along with the steamed broccoli. Heat through.
For the crumb: use a food processor to blitz the breadcrumbs and parmesan together. Melt the butter in a small frypan and gently fry the breadcrumb parmesan mix.
Place the chicken peppercorn mix into a pie dish, top with the breadcrumb mix and bake in a 180C oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Et voila – cutting corners without missing out of on flavour.
This week, while lobbing toys in the general direction of the toy box I discovered this bit of Little Sister handiwork. It’s actually a pretty good analogy for the past few weeks here.