Sunday, 22 January 2012

Waiting on a baby

My next lady's baby is due any time in the next couple of weeks.  So I've been filling my on call time with cooking, baking and making marmalade.

I have decided that I need to be more proactive with my menu planning.  I need to get on and just blooming do it!  In an effort to do this, I have taken 5 cookbooks down from the shelf. The River Cottage Family Cookbook which holds my tried and trusted bread and pizza recipe.  The Wee Weapons made pizzas and also some butter and were very pleased with themselves.

Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals from which I made a fabulous Jerk Chicken, but I do have to say Jamie... we call them rice n PEAS!!!!!  not beans my friend.

I'm about to look through Economy Gastronomy.  I enjoyed the few episodes that I saw and so bought the book.  Great recipes in there and the blinding revelation that Shepherd's/Cottage Pie is made from leftover lamb and beef respectively, not just mince.  Who know? (Well clearly not me!

We're a bit rubbish about new vegetables in this household, so I went back to the River Cottage for their veg book and a couple of recipes scared me, but more excited me.  I need to get some aubergines. 

The fifth cookbook, I mainly look at for pure pleasure.  But I really must start cooking from it because At Elizabeth David's Table (that I first saw on a friend's table) is full of some delicious creations.

So the cookie tin is full of chocolate chip cookies.  The fridge is bursting with fresh ingredients, a chicken is roasting (Economy Gastronomy chicken recipes to be made with leftovers), Orange and Vanilla marmalade has been put into jars and I need to call my friend for her shortbread recipe.

Time to menu plan, but darn these books are so gorgeous for poring over.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Baby Blue and all the hullabaloo

Avid celeb watchers and the fans of Beyonce welcomed the news that Blue Ivy was born 7th January this year.  What surprised me was the furore that followed.  Actually, it shouldn't have surprised me, there had been more than enough speculation about whether or not she was actually pregnant.  I suppose that my disappointment lay within the comments aroused by followers and members of the 'birthing community'.  Comments such as "it's not a proper birth", "was she too rich to have a natural birth?" etc etc.  This makes me so so sad.  

The majority of women who have Caesarean births don't choose to have them.  Perhaps lack of information or informed choice/consent took them down that path.  It could have been for strictly medical reasons.  Perhaps it was their choice, but why do we feel the need to comment so negatively about it all?  Now I'm sure that you know me well enough (and if you don't, well take it as given) to know that I don't believe "healthy baby by any means equals happy mum".  Of course we want our babies to be healthy, we just don't believe our bodies have to be unnecessarily ravaged to get there (please note the unnecessarily).  

Beyonce and Jay-Z released a statement about Blue Ivy's birth in light of all the speculation.  Even this though remains a point of controversy amongst people.  The birth itself was 'via a surrogate', the natural birth was 'a lie'.  People are seemingly not happy to accept the word of the parents themselves.  Is this because it is a celebrity thing and somehow, somewhere in our minds these are not real people?  Do we honestly believe that they have a special gift for knowing more than we do?  

When I had Number One Son, I was relatively clueless about birth.  I never attended a birth class (not even at the hospital - I didn't drive, it was in an awkward location and to be frank, surely you just went to hospital and came home with a baby).  With the knowledge I have now Number One Son may have been born vaginally.  I wouldn't have rushed to hospital at the first contraction or allowed myself to be induced 'because they were going to do it anyway'.  These are hindsight thoughts.  Perhaps it would still have been an 'emergency' section, perhaps not.  Did I birth my son?  Yes, I did.  I just had some extra help.  

Suppose I had been a Child Prodigy and had some amazing singing and dancing talent?  Would my birth have been any different?  Perhaps I would have listened to 'celebrity experts' or friends and simply decided that my birth would be the way that theirs were?  Or perhaps, like the actual me, I would just have remained uninformed because it didn't occur to me to be informed.

I suppose my disappointment lies in the fact that instead of celebrating the birth of a baby (yes, a celebrity's baby, but a baby nonetheless), we have fallen into the media frenzy of denigrating something that a celebrity has or hasn't done.  

Here's a lovely photo of the gorgeous Blue Ivy Carter.