It's four o'clock and already the children are inquiring about the impending mealtime mystery. "What's to eat?".
In the absence of dinner time smells, my brood start to get ancy. The possibility of starvation is unlikely but it an almost primal unease that settles over the house. What if mum hasn't organised anything? What if she's taken the day off or worse than that.....Takeaway! I think I have the only children alive that complain bitterly at the very mention of the word.
It's true that it's crept up on me. The pantry is quite bare and I'm afraid Mother Hubbard is ill prepared! The vege crisper is an empty box and the fridge has a few spicy sausages and not much else. The girls have donated some fat eggs, the tomatoes are teeming and garlic is always a given. Add some flour and a little work and we will eat.
I'll pour a nice red first, it's ok, we have time. The kids and I will talk homework and gossip whilst I work the dough. Afterwards, we will both need a rest. Have a little cheese if you must and don't mind the clock, it's a little lazy anyway.
I've the good fortune to own a pasta machine. I like the rhythm of it, the hum. I'm disappointed when it's all done and the kids can hear the TV again. A few minutes in a boiling pot and it's ready for the sausage ragu.
The kids are happy and the table is loud and full. There is an absence of "No talking at the table" rules and more than one child speaks with there mouth full. It's ok, we have time for grown up starched tablecloths later and quiet tiny morsels. We have so much time for this and yet I am aware that these manic mealtimes will not last forever. One day the noise and the spilled drinks will be sadly missed.