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17th May: Moules Frites

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His ‘To Do’ List upon returning home from work:

1) Dump dirty clothes on kitchen sideboard.
2) Scoff tea.
3) Place own plate on work top near dishwasher. (NB. Our dishwasher has the very latest ‘Fingerprint Recognition’ technology. Which means that only I can open it. Apparently.)
4) Practice incredibly loud, repetitive piano sonatas whilst kids vie for his attention.
5) Act surprised by my foul rattled mood as I clean up shite from under table and stack techno-dishwasher.

My ‘To Do’ List

1) Remove sweaty clothes from sideboard and place in laundry basket.
2) Feed kids their tea.
3) Tidy up everyone else’s mess.
4) Seethe.
5) Start drinking before I have a rage induced stroke.

I paint quite the picture don’t I? He’s a love really. Obviously nicer that he’s home doing piano practice than at some men’s club downing pints…

That said, he does pretty much inhabit his own little world. He tells me his playing is relaxing. Let me assure you that it is not. In.Any.Way. Not at that time of day anyhow.

So there I am on hands and knees sweeping up detritus and chipping crud off booster seats. He has the dreamy trancelike gaze of a cult member as he practices the part of Beethoven’s Appasionata that he is currently working on. “Beautiful” he murmurs to himself at his favourite bit. In those moments I have a very clear image of myself ‘accidentally’ slamming the piano lid on his hands.

The Big One demands mussels for tea. Quite the gourmand. I’m sorry if this sounds very smug and middle class. “Oh Tarquin has never even SEEN a fishfinger…hahaha”. I assure you that my children do eat lots of beige freezer crap too.

Moules Frites, or mussels and chips, were a staple when we lived in Brittany. A very easy and cheap crowd pleaser. I hope that, by making this old favourite for tea, I can suppress my murderous thoughts and transport us back to that golden age where we spent our days supping beer and playing ping pong….

Sweat an onion and two garlic cloves in some olive oil. Stir in the mussels (they need to be washed and de-bearded first – the only ball ache about this dish). Add a glass of white wine, bring to the boil and cover pan with lid. They need to slowly simmer for about five minutes or until they have all opened. I then fish them out and reduce the liquid on a fast boil before adding some chopped parsley and cream. Served with skinny oven chips and crusty bread. Yummity yum.

Obviously a major hit with my biggest boy. Fusspot tries one and gips. The baby flings a few on the floor. But, I hear you ask, did it have the magic effect on my husband-induced rage??
9/10 delicious but not magic…. 😉

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