Here are some of the things I know about the Art of Parenting~
- that you will feel things that you never thought you would
- that despite all those years of thinking your parents knew nothing they actually knew quite a lot
- that learning to accept and embrace change is really really helpful
- equally learning to embrace chaos is vital
- that plans rarely work out as you intended
- that sometimes unexpected outcomes are the best outcomes of all
- or the worst
- learning to accept that when people are giving you advice they are doing so with good intentions. Understanding that is sometimes better than listening to their advice.
- that when that lady in the British Museum who you thought was nuts as she said to you while walking around with your 1 week old first born "You'll be packing his school bag in no time" was actually the most sane & wise person on the planet
- that not doing things for your children is sometimes the best thing you can do for them
- that letting your children know you still make mistakes as a grown up is one of the most valuable lessons.
- letting them know that you learn from them is even better
- that sometimes you don't get what you want no matter how hard you try or how much you deserve it
- that just as you feel you have a grip on things the game changes & the rule book is nowhere in sight
- that being a parent is often emotionally painful
- that you never ever stop learning how to be a parent and that most of the time it feels as if you are fumbling in the dark
- that finding a balance between work & life takes a lifetime to work out
- that love and the showing of love is the most important part
I think the most important thing I know is.....
- that we will never ever know everything there is to know about parenting.
- that what I don't know is just as important as what I do
- and that trying to remember we are beginners is probably more beneficial than trying to be an expert
GOURMET GIRLFRIEND'S VIETNAMESE BRAISED BEEF PHO:
Pho is a soup that originates from Hanoi in Northern Vietnam. It is pronounced as if you were saying FUR. It comes from the French word Feu~ which means Fire.
This is one of my absolute favourite things to eat.
The smoky clean flavours, the zing of the lemon, the chilli and the gorgeous vietnamese herbs.
There are lots of people that wouldn't bother making this at home & enjoy eating it out- especially as it is often very cheap and good!
But as I am at home with my little ones it has become something I cook or I would miss it too much!
It is relatively simple and relies on a really good broth made with quality ingredients with lots of fresh goodies added at the end to really make it great.
There are many variations to this classic Vietnamese soup.
But most rely on the onion & ginger to be charred before adding to the stock. This is what imparts that unique smoky flavour & colour that makes Pho so special.
my kids adore it- I think they love the interactive nature of this soup, the way you add extra bits at the end according to what you like.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 large marrow bone
- 3 pieces (~300g) of shin beef (gravy beef)
- 1 inch knob ginger, skin left on
- 1 brown onion, skin left on
- 3 whole star anise
- 2 large brown cardamom pods (these are completely different to green cardamom and can be found at you Asian or Indian grocer)
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 4 large pieces Cassia bark
- 1 pack flat rice noodles (bhan pho)
- 5 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar
- 3 cloves garlic whole
- 2 litres of water
For topping the soup at the table:
- lots of bean sprouts
- a bunch of Vietnamese mint
- a bunch of fresh coriander
- lots of lemon wedges
- lots of fresh red chilli, sliced finely
Using tongs hold onion in a set of tongs over the gas flame of your stove top. Hold it just far enough away so as it charrs but doesn't catch fire.
Turn so the entire surface fo the onion is charred.
Now do the same to the ginger.
In a large stock pot add the whole onion, the ginger, garlic, whole spices, the beef and marrow bone and water.
Bring to the boil and skim any impurities off the surface.
Now turn down and add the fish sauce and sugar and let simmer very gently for 2-3 hours. Check flavour and add more fish sauce if required.
Strain the soup and remove the beef. Discard the ginger, garlic, whole spices and the bone.
Pull the meat apart into small chunks & place back into the broth.
In a a separate pot cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the pack.
In each bowl add a little of the rice noodles, beef and pour over stock to cover.
Place the additional ingredients at the tabel for everyone to add as they like.
Add lots and lots of bean sprouts and herbs and squeeze generously with lemon juice. Add chilli as desired.
I was loving this track last week. From a great album of covers that I hadn't listened to for a while. Love it when i revisit ol' faves and love them all over again.......