Ain’t Nobody

It’s been a while since I have sat at this keyboard. A symptom of what is going on in my life at the moment.  I have recently been diagnosed with MS which completely came from nowhere. One day I was fine – the next day my legs were a bit weird. Within a week I was having trouble walking!

Now there is never, ever a good time to be diagnosed with MS and I was in the middle of designing and installing flowers for two pretty big weddings. Luckily for me, I have a boyfriend who fought for me to be seen and treated as soon as humanely possible and at the moment I am pretty much symptom free. The weddings went really well and as long as I didn’t have to sprint anywhere, no one would have known.

When something like this happens, it takes ages to come to terms with not only the diagnosis but also the realisation or the fear, that suddenly people will treat me differently. I thought that if people knew, then I would no longer be hired. As a self employed mother of three, that is a pretty scary thought.

After much soul searching I just thought fuck it! I am not the first person to be diagnosed with this. I am pretty much ok, just residual numbness in my feet and somedays my legs feel weird but right now, I am ok. Its nothing to be ashamed of and I refuse to allow it to define me.

Another reason why I have been so tardy in updating my lovely blog is that for the last few months my staple diet has been pretty much mackerel and rocket! I could fill a book with all the different ways to cook and prepare mackerel. I figure that maybe the few readers that I have may soon get fed up with yet another mackerel recipe! Apparently oily fish is the way forward when you have a neurological disease. Rufus the 6 year old is the only one who seems to join me in my latest food obsession. His favourite breakfast is smoked mackerel with a scotch egg, from Lidl of course.

I promise not to leave it so long between posts and for now I leave you with my recipe for Banoffi Pie. I made this because the kids were complaining that I never make puddings any more. I told them I was trying to be healthy because well you know, I have MS!

“Well you don’t have to eat it mum” said Lola. Bloody hell the sympathy vote lasted about 3 days in my house.

I found Mary Berry’s recipe online and she makes the base from ginger biscuits. Sorry Mary but no, just no. It has to be digestives. She also put the bananas on top of the cream. I put mine underneath.  Please feel free to put your bananas wherever you see fit,

I leave you a few photos of a not at all low fat lasagne and even more unhealthy Nachos, which are becoming a Saturday night staple in my house.

Banoffi Pie

This is based on Mary Berry’s recipe. Its incredibly indulgent, not for the faint hearted.

FOR THE BASE

  • 65g (2 ½ oz) butter
  • 175g (6 oz) digestive biscuits, crushed

FOR THE FILLING

  • 100g (4 oz) butter
  • 100g (4 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 2 x 397g (14 oz) cans condensed milk

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 300ml (1/2 pint) double cream
  • 1 large banana
  • a little lemon juice
  • a little grated milk or plain chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. FOR THE BASE: melt the butter in a small pan, remove from the heat and stir in the crushed biscuits. Mix well, then spread the mixture over the base and sides of a 23cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed fluted flan tin, pressing the mixture with a metal spoon to make it firm.
  2. FOR THE FILLING: measure the butter and light muscovado sugar into a roomy non-stick pan. Heat gently until the sugar had dissolved, add the condensed milk and stir with a flat ended wooden spatula, stirring continuously and evenly for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is a golden toffee colour and thick – watch like a hawk as it burns easily. Turn into the prepared crumb crust case and leave to cool and set.
  3. FOR THE TOPPING: slice the bananas and coat with a little lemon juice to stop them from discolouring. Layer them over the cold toffee. Whip the double cream until it just holds its shape and spread evenly over the bananas and cold toffee mixture, dust the whole pie with grated chocolate. Lift on to a flat plate and remove the ring. Serve very chilled.

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