Archive | February 2013

Holidays with the kids, all THREE of them, and the Captain….(child No.4)

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*** PHOTO ABOVE HAS ZERO TO DO WITH THIS POST BUT JUST SHOWS HOW SHITTTTTT THINGS ARE IN THE UK (you need to zoom in to read it) …. WHOEVER WROTE THIS IS MY HERO. I HATE THE UK…. NOW. HONG KONG rocks my world!

BACK TO TRAVELLING WITH A SHITLOADA KIDS THAT I ACCIDENTALLY CONCEIVED WHILE LEGITIMATELY SLEEPING WITH THEIR FATHER….

What could go wrong really?  Yes, yes, I know I’ve harped on about this subject many a time but seriously…. my lists of what to pack are pages and pages long.

1. Kids.

2. Husband.

3. Xanax/Valium.

4. Staff.

5. More Xanax in case you run out of your emergency Xanax (or staff suddenly quit).

I mean, there are soo many of us that I reckon we could handle a kid each. Surely!???  Or so we thought….

Look, I know I moan about this all the time (“ooooh she’s sooo lucky she travels everywhere….” ) Whatever.

Do me a favour…. I may as well have grown up in a barn with all the “travelling” I did as a kid…  so really…. any trips on a plane (not made out of paper) are a plus. But, travelling with kids is fucking hard work.  They are relentless.  I didn’t grown up with a silver spoon in my mouth but I did get accepted (English Literature every time!) at all the top schools in London.  My parents were fighting for every penny to send me to school (they had 3 kids so maybe I was finally a favourite)…. I will never ever thank them enough for doing the best they could.

HARD WORK when they are just 3 years old (twins) and, our newly one year old, who’s even more of a pain in the arse than the other two put together.  If ANYONE dares to email me and tell me that I am talking out of my arse then (a) You have staff, or (b) you are on drugs or (c) Both. Don’t judge.  I HATE people who judge.  We are all the same in some teeeeeeny tiny way.  None of you are better or worse than I. Soo…. the story….

You need to see our packing to appreciate my moan.  I say “our”  but to be fair, The Captain does zero but point at belts, linen shirts and flip flops while stuff gets packed FOR him. NIIIIICE.  I need to get back on a proper salary asap so I gain some power in the home.

Anyhow…. the kids need anything from a Cot bed, bed rails (hotels don’t have these), swim pants, food, clothes, creams, bla bla blaaaaaaa.  Yes, I LOVE them before you even judge me with some shit on how people can’t have kids etc (been there, done that…. turns out I could after trying a few years but I’m still certain IVF changed my karma in some way).

Ok, “No.3″ (The Captains pet name for her…) she’s cute but boy does this kid looooove to cry on a plane… next to an obviously hung-over 35-year-old man…. who already hates you when he see’s you approach his seat and covers his eyes with his cheap, yellow, airline pillow.  They give you that weak smile that says “Be gentle…. I was out shagging a prostitute last night in Wan Chai, and now, YOU have shown up, with your one year old screaming kid, who clearly hates me “. Errr… because children (like animals) sense evil?

So, the amount of work that is involved in packing for 3 very different kids is hell.  And heaven forbid that any of their items share a case and actually touch….well you’re screwed.  And when they misbehave, I’m almost slitghy tempted to mess with their minds and send them home (thats how ill i have become since those precious angels came into my quiet, tidy, hassle-free , hung-over-without-consequence life).

The amount of times I now hear, “Mummy…. he’s breathing on me. Mummy, she’s touching my finger. Mummy, the potato is touching the chicken. Mummy, no bread. Mummy I want bread with no butter.  Mummy, I want bread!! Mummy, Daddy looked at me funny. Mummy, my ice cream is cold. Mummy, the balloon is broken. Mummy, I don’t want that hair clip. Mummy, I want to wear this top with cars on it.  Mummy, I hate the top with cars. Mummy mummy mummy!!!! Mummy, I don’t like you…”.

That last statement is actually the worst one to utter to ANY Mum (doing the BEST she can) and which makes me snap and has potential for tears… mine of course.  Ungrateful little sods.  No wonder my Mum wanted to kill me sometimes.  I was a little bastard!! I got expelled from school for being such a  typical teenager, I’m amazed my Mother didn’t kill me there and then. Thank fuck for Dads eh!? (Witnesses are essential kids…. keep ’em close…especially when they are sperm donors).

My now 3-year-old twins, Itchy & Scratchy, are becoming more and more annoying and think they have a chance of being defiant in my company.  They messed with the wrong woman.  I’m not being an arsehole when I say this, but, what happened to the days of discipline?

Why am I being judged (openly actually), for doing what is harder than being a lax parent?  I won’t let them step out of line, spit on anyone, let guests leave without saying goodbye (or hello) at the door, and yes, they have a bed time (an actual time one goes to sleep).  Fucking shoot me for being anal.

I have had people say “ooohhh…. they go to bed at 7pm?”.  Like, I’m punishing them for going to sleep.  For those routine Mums who do the same shit I do, day in & out, its harder to be strict, have the routine, get them to go to bed at a set time… the whole process is hard work.

Yes, you have help. Let them, all stand up and judge. BUT, you are the Mum. If you are not working and at home, you’re there regardless.  Its harwork having grown women in your space while you try to be you.  Yes, we have “HELP”. Sooo overly lucky.  Treat people with respect and get on with your shit.  But, you will moan to your husbands. Why? Because, this is your daily office.  You have to manage people and if your staff are causing any strife, things are worse, not easier.

Its a job (for that cheeky fucking bitch who emailed me weeks ago telling me that I was nothing but a “HK Mum who drove her crazy”.)  My “job” as a Mum (yes, even with “Help”) is work and if you do the whole routine thing that I do, its not easy.  Just because some of us work, and some don’t, its a struggle either way.  Us Mums who stay at home, and everyone loves to judge us because apparently, in HK, we do nothing.  The fact is. We do.  Don’t act like you work and therefore what we do is pretty much… hair… nails…. leave the kids with “Help”….. this pisses me off.  I didn’t grown up with nannies and despite having help because I HAD to with twins…. I’m sooo sooooo grateful for the time off.  It makes me a better Mum.

I remember mine…. she was tired, stressed, wanted to physically strangle me, loved me… but needed space.  Whoever heads off to work in the morning still gets a lunch break….. has the weekends off, doesn’t wake at night.  Our “job“as Mother never ever ends.  EVER.  Why?  Because, we’re Mums.  Once you are “in”, you never, ever leave.  We can’t.

We were working women (some of us, and those who weren’t, I’m not judging either), but I’m fed up of meeting people and having to justify who I “was” before I had kids and became a HK housewife.  I’m proud of what I do.  Three kids, a husband (child Number 4 clearly, 2 amazing Helpers).  This, EVEN with help (because I’ve got used to it….) I never had it full time until the kids were 9 months)….. Life is not shit here.  Settling in is tough at the start but it gets easier.

For those of you who just arrived…. enjoy yourselves!!  We have great weather, good friends are there to be made, and life is too toooo short to waste moaning on the new move and what you think you are missing back home.  Be brave new expats (I’ve had many an email recently)…. if I can settle in (and yes, it took me a while..)…. anyone can.

Anyhow…. back to the kids (I tend to digress)…. so… when those little punks (the twins)  arrived, they took a look around and thought:

“Damn this shit looks good to us…. we’re staying! Mazeltov suckers!  Plus that knackered, weeping, very very very fat woman, seems very happy to see us, so, we’ll give her a chance”.  Little did they know that I am STRICT and very pissed off with what they did to my previous washboard stomach (which now resembles a Sharpei dogs face/body).

See photo below of super cute dog….this is actually what a Mum of twins stomach looks like (or should unless someones had a little tweak of surgery) after having the little angelic, sods.  Actually…my face now looks like this dogs arsehole.  RUINED!!!

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So…back to travels…its amazing as you get older, how little sympathy you have for your fellow travellers.  I used to be terrified of getting onto a plane, kids all following like my little ducklings, and people sneering at me, hoping I move onto another seat.  People were soooo fucking rude (before my munchkins even did anything, I felt bad & actually apologised to people before I even sat down?!?! WTF!!!?).

NOW??  Now… I rock up with my little punks, smear them in shit (yours, mine, who cares?!), offer them some vodka (30 mls max legally), and tell them to cause hell while popping acid (I don’t actually have an Oz or ml figure for this because I suspect this is very illegal…. which is why…. I write everything this in JEST people… I AM JOKING).

Maybe, just maybe, they will annoy everyone soooo much that we get bumped up to First Class (heaven baby). ALLL those people sat on the plane with faces screwed up like they just sucked a lemon (or swallowed sperm), were kids once, so they can all fuck off with their judgemental looks.

I’m fed up of feeling bad for having to not only deal with the shit of travelling with kids (look they’re not actually THAT bad… but I AM fed up with the “looks”).

I am now determined to make everyone’s life hell who even looks in my direction before anything kicks off, as these are the arseholes I really dislike in every day life.  Judgemental, annoying, “don’t like kids“, wankers…. Thats why they stick all the families with kids together…. so we can all suffer as one. Joy. I actually REALLY want someone to moan/groan/say something/anything…. just so I can now turn around and say;

FUCK OFF YOU ARSEHOLE.  YOUR FACE LOOKS LIKE A TANGERINE & DONT MESS WITH ME.  IVE NOT SLEPT IN FUCKING DAYS WHICH ACTUALLY MAKES ME MORE SCARY THAN ANYONE BEING HELD IN GUANTANAMO BAY. TRY IT ARSEHOLE.  JUST FUCKING TRY ME.  I WAS A NORMAL PERSON UNTIL THESE CHEEKY MOTHER FUCKERS (WHO I ADORE) ARRIVED.  YOU EVEN LOOK AT THEM IN THE WRONG WAY AGAIN (I GET A LOT OF RACISM PERSONALLY), I WILL FIND YOU & END YOU, your family and their family. Enough. FUCK OFF.”

I love the older passengers who clearly don’t ever see their grandkids enough as they LOVE to be around my brood.  They’re the ones I ask to watch the kids while I piss off to First class and harass the staff for free champagne.  If I can sleep for a couple of hours too… bonus!

Our last flight to Thailand (yeh… I know… I hate the place) involved us being split into two groups.

The Captain took, what he thought was the “easier child” (my “alleged favourite daughter”) to sit with him.  Turns out, even with Piriton, she didn’t sleep a wink. Atta girl! We have done the whole “reverse thing”… give it to them before in case they go crazy, but nope…. this kid…. she’s going to work for the FBI….or Al Qaeda…. Oy vey … l (it’s a Jewish thing as I’m now a Jew…read previous posts for conversion tips and Chicken soup recipe).

Anyhow….as the flight progressed, I decided, I needed to have a glass of wine to ease the pain.  I AM NOT A CRAZY DRINKER despite my previous alcoholic posts (ok… a little bit.  Who are you?! Mother friggin Teresa?!) …. BUT JESUS MARY & JOSEPH….. I needed a friggin drink after 2 hours of constant screaming.  Even the guy sat next to me, holding his Blue Book “AA” Bible (I borrowed it for half the flight), ordered a double whisky.  What can I say???  You need to sometimes take the shit off!!!

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The kids were fine, I was happy, The Captain was a few rows behind and therefore totally unaware of my childish decision to deal with things “my way”….OK…like an alcoholic. I’m not ever going to judge anyone at any level for alcohol consumption….but I do know that IF you ever have to hide what you drank, you are, to me (and probably only me, and anyone in my AA Group) an alcoholic.  Bothered?! Me?? Not really.  Once you have travelled in my flip-flops….then you try judge.  I know who I am.  As we landed, and I happily sang songs to the kids, The Captains ears twitched (my happy persona was a HUGE give-away) and he then said…. “Errrr… have you been drinking on this flight?”

My response?  As I was the one sat in a row of three with two toddlers, ready to break me mentally in anyway they could, PLUS a one year old half asleep in her bassinet (I was meant to wake her when there was turbulence…. I took my chances & hoped she didn’t bounce around the cabin too much…plus…. you’re pretty much fucked when shit like that happens to be fair)… I told him the truth “Nope. Not a single drop”.

FUCK IT!!! Travelling with kids is hardcore.  I want stickers that say “Mum of 3… Survived…Now wheres the frigging bar!!” and a HUGE bottle of KRUG for all my hard work.  They are my kids…. so I can say this….but… they drive me fucking mad sometimes…. and therefore, make me feel like a shit Mum….and Im not!!!! Im brilliant…. I reckon….

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But…. alas…aren’t they precious …?  The kids I mean…. not the bottles of Krug (which lets face it, are probably more grateful for my time and slurpy kisses).

Jewish Chicken soup…. because I’m a Jew in’it….

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So… I was told, being a previous “goy” or “persian shiksa”,  that to make a great chicken soup was like meeting your maker.  This was the ultimate ritual in gaining acceptance and respect within my husbands Jewish family (he lied to be fair as his family loves me and it was really just him doing yet another little “test” to see if I was worthy of his hand in marriage because he’s a meshugener (yes… arsehole).

So… in my attempt to become the ultimate Baleboosteh (“Mistress of the house. A compliment to someone who is a terrific housekeeper. “She is some baleboosteh!”)…. I decided to do some kick arse home cooking once again.  Plus I love to fucking show off so it didn’t really bother me. Oy Vey!

Anyhow back to the story…when I finally converted to Judaism (you know…. because I wanted the wedding ring, and kinda fancied our 66-year-old Rabbi who looks remarkably like the dark-haired guy with big lips from Flight of the Concords), that Jewish Chicken soup recipe was hanging over my shoulders like a bitch on heat.

I mean this soup, compared to normal chicken  soup or carrot & coriander, is like “penicillin with magical wonders and matzo balls that add some form of wisdom”.

So…. on my quest to make the ULTIMATE soup that made his whole family scream “Oy Vey this bitch is now part of our people”, that not only kicked my Mother-in-laws-ass (I like her BTW….gulp) the soup of all soups to show every other chicken soup… I decided to attempt to find out what was the cause of so much friday night “mishegas” (google the word because I’m still new to yiddish, 8 years later).

Heres what I discovered (aside from the fact that Im a fucking brilliant cook when I’m in the mood)

Skill level : If you can read a recipe & have a pulse, you can make this soup. BUT, you must pay attention to the seasoning AND the Matzo balls.  Also, keep an eye on your kitchen door as I noticed Matzo balls disappearing as I cooked them which made me concerned that maybe I had consumed more alcohol than usual.  Turns out, The Captains a fat bastard and likes these more than strippers on a friday night.

So…here we go BUT before you read on, I MUST advise you.  Just because i SAY this is the best chicken soup in the whole wide world does not mean I am open for any court judgements or libel claims in relation to my statements.  I am just stating this MAY be the best chicken soup in the world.  Get over it and now go cook the damn thing for your family.  If your husbands an arsehole, I suggest adding extra arsenic or some Xanax just to keep things mellow on a Friday night Shabbat dinner. JOKE.

HOW TO COOK THE BEST CHICKEN SOUP:

Ingredients for chicken soup:

  • 8 chicken legs /thighs/shoulders OR 3 whole chickens if you are making 3 big tubs of soup to freeze
  • bunch of fresh parsley
  • bunch of fresh dill (or dry)
  • bunch of celery chopped into cubes
  • 2 bags of carrots (approx lbs chopped)
  • 7-10 parsnips washed and chopped into cubes
  • 1x huge turnip
  • 4x large cartons of organic chicken broth
  • 5-6 chicken cubes stock idea;;y organic
  • lots of water (approx one ltr)

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Directions on How to cook Chicken soup:

  •  Put the washed chicken legs, thighs body etc into 2 or 3 big pots, depending on how much you want to make.  My ingredients are enough to feed 12 people happily on a raucous friday night dinner.
  • Cover the chicken with water and salt, 3/4 full in the pot.  You need to leave space to add vegetables.
  • Bring the cooking chicken to the boil over a high heat and keep skimming off the foam (fat) into a separate bowl.
  • Add pepper, parsley, dill and celery to the cooking pots.
  • Cut all the carrots, onions, parsnips and turnip into chunks and put into the soup.
  • Boil all the ingredients for over 3 hours ideally. Add extra water if needed and keep skimming fat off the top of the soup.
  • Add 5-6 chicken Oxo cubes and 4 containers of organic free range chicken broth to all the pots.
  • After cooking, turn off the heat and sieve all the soup through a colander into a big bowl leaving behind all the yummy vegetables and chicken.  Now these leftovers can be put back into the soup although bear in mind most of their goodness is already in the water of the soup.  I sometimes make a chicken and vegetable pie from the leftovers which the kids love.
  • After sieving all the soup into a big bowl, the stock goes back into the soup pot with a handful of added lockshen (very thin noodles)
  • Bring the soup back to a boil and add some of the deboned chicken and vegetables for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Check seasoning and add more Salt & pepper if needed.
  • Add the matzo balls (cooked in the fat & soup mixture) which will only take approx 10 minutes to cook.

The soup is ready top go. Shalom and enjoy!

* A word to the wise… When you have small children, keep the soup traditional and as empty of the chunky veg as you can (unless your kids genuinely like lumps of carrot & onion, then knock yourself out).

Photo below is a mix of Skimmed chicken fat & clear soup to cook the matzo balls in.

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Photo below of Soup with the frothy fat that needs to be skimmed off.

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Left over Vegetables below to either return all to the soup, OR, add half to the soup OR all to a vegetable pie instead. Up to you.

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Clear chicken soup below without any vegetables or matzo balls.  My kids love it pure like this and my 11 month old has this with her rice.  Its full of vegetable and chicken broth.

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Is that a heart-shaped Matzo ball i see below me!?  Well yes it is…. because I’m fucking fabulous… plus it was the only way I could get my 3-year-old to eat one!

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The infamous home cookbook below….. if I lost this… The Captain would be screwed as it holds all my new Jew Crew recipes.

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The end result….. 3 large pots of chicken soup ready to freeze for any colds/coughs/hangovers/”I need soup” days etc….. just call me Aunt Ethel

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Ingredients for Matzo Balls:

1. 4-6 tbsps melted chicken fat skimmed from the soup

2. 4x  large eggs

3. 1 cup of matzo meal (add 1/4 more for matzo balls and a 1/4 less for airy.

4. 1 tbsp salt.

5. 4-5 tbsp of soup stock

To cook 10-12 the Matzo balls:

  • Beat eggs slightly with a whisk then add chicken fat to the mix and keep stirring.
  • Add the Matzo meal & salt.  Mix Well.
  • Add soup stock and mix.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes or more preferably.
  • Matzo balls rolled with wet hands and placed on cooking paper, covered with cling film to cool for at least 30 minutes to one hour.
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  • Approx one hour before the soup is served, make little matzo balls by scooping a teaspoons worth into your wet palms and rolling them into a ball.  If your hands are wet tho swill make it easier to roll and less sticky.
  • You can then refrigerate them or put them straight into a pot of boiling chicken fat and soup combo to cook for approx 10 minutes.

Photo below of Matzo Balls cooking in at least 1 &  1/2 pints of chicken soup & fat.  Add more liquid if necessary.

IMG_0933** NB.  You can also make these balls and then put them in the freezer with a batch of chicken soup.  I tend to line a strong Tupperware box and layer out approx 10 matzo balls on each level.  They are easy to cook from frozen.

ps.  The photo at the top of Mickey & Minnie fornicating was thrown in for the hell of it…..