Lucky knickers

Sometimes being the mom in this boomerang house of ours is not all that bad…

The other day Emma – aka Igz – asked if I had any scarves that I do not use.

Ummm… nope. I replied very quickly.

Since the big kids came to live with us – nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is safe anymore. Things get borne off to various parts of the house never to be seen again.

Aaahhhh come on mom – you used to have all those little ones that you NEVER use.

Begrudgingly got up to go and look. Had a plastic bag in my cupboard that I vaguely remember stuffing things into when we moved – things that I no longer wore or did not fit.

We emptied The Bag onto the bed… knickers of all varieties and a couple of saggy old bras. One or two new ones as well – of the boobtube variety that had sliced my body unattractively in half. I’d buried them in disgust rather than return them. Those were the days when my thyroid was busy attacking me and I had no idea – was just packing on weight and could not understand it.

We sifted through the stuff… not a single scarf.

She eyed the bras, What are you going to do with those?

I’d gone from too fat to too thin – so they were not likely to fit me now anyway…

What are you going to do with them?  I enquired.

She’d use bits of them for other things… the underwire, the fastners and stuff. I tossed them onto the Em pile.

We ruffled through the heap and found some undies – never worns that I passed on to my skinny daughter, and some others that I had thought would never fit me again found their way back into my top drawer.

I spotted and pounced on my lucky knickers… green lacy ones that I had loved so much they had holes in the crotch in a very unsexy way. They became unlucky when I was wearing them and my suitcase went missing on a visit to the USA, only to be found 5 days into my 10 day trip.

Hot trip tip people – never pack HIS and HERS suitcases – mix your stuff up!

Hadn’t worn those knickers for years – not since I got divorced back in 2003 but could never bear to ditch them completely, so they had languished in a corner of my top drawer and then been relegated to The Bag.

Give those to me, said Em, snatching them out of my hand and stuffing them into her pocket.

Noooo… I started to howl – then realized I was being pathetic – she’d use the lace for some arty project.  We shoveled the rest of the stuff  into The Bag and stashed it back in the cupboard.

Early next morning, Chris and I were on our way to fetch my older daughter and her family from the Lanseria. They were coming from Cape Town and would be spending Easter with us, then going onto Sun City for a friend’s wedding.  I encountered Em in the passage.

I blinked… What are you doing up and out of your flat so early?

Here. She said – grabbing my hand and filling it with something slinky. It’s your lucky bracelet.

She’d made me the most gorgeous charm bracelet – turning bits of lucky knicker lace into beads.  This is the sort of thing my creative, quirky, tempremental, pain-in-the-ass Em does for a living.   So if anybody wants something creatively recycled – give her a shout.

Lentil Patties

I got this recipe from a very dear friend of mine, Anisabel, who is sadly no longer with us. I enjoyed many Saturday lunches in the Van Zyl’s home back when I was barely out of school and I dated her brother. Lentil patties were a staple in this vegetarian household and were always totally delicious.

I had not made them for ages and had to rack my brains for the recipe the other day.

I knew that potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic were involved, with some flour and eggs to bind them.  I also knew for sure you did not soak the lentils like you do beans. After racking my brains some more I just decided to wash them.

Turned out I had forgotten to boil them.

That’s what you have to do – boil the freaking lentils for 45 minutes first.

The patties were unbelievably tasty but the lentils were like little rocks. Upon consulting Mr Google it was discovered that eating uncooked lentils was not recommended. We decided to try microwaving the patties to see if that helped at all. Indeed it did not – just made them worse.

So instead of having lentil patties and potato bake that night we just had potato bake.

The next day I was not taking any chances. I soaked the lentils for a couple of hours (upon the advice of a friend of mine – she said they do this when making biryani).

This is what I did after soaking…

(NB – I’m cooking for 6 people – the quantities below made around 20 patties – so down- or up-scale accordingly.)

Boiled half a packet of lentils for 45 minutes. 

Added the following veggies to the boiled lentils:

2 potatoes – grated
3 small onions – chopped (but you could grate them if you want)
3 smallish carrots – grated
teaspoonful of smooshed garlic (the stuff you buy in a bakkie in the shop)
dash of soy sauce
salt & pepper

Mixed everything up and then added two eggs and enough flour to bind.

(At this point Luan came into the kitchen and looked at the uninviting mixture in horror. “That looks DISGUSTING” he grimaced. Luckily he had tried the failures the night before and knew they did not taste too shabby.)

I then plopped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil and fried the patties until they were nice and brown.

Chris and I scarfed a few down in the kitchen before supper. They were all crunchy and delicious.

But don’t do what I then did…  kept them in a covered up bowl for 20 minutes until I had finished cooking the basil pasta – so they went all gross and soggy (although they still tasted good).

Probably best if you serve them immediately rather cooking.

Incidentally… Gemma thought the lentils were quite tasty too and demolished all the left over bits that Emma had refused because she said the texture was revolting. Happily they are not toxic for dogs. In fact some dog food suppliers use lentils as fillers instead of corn. But they did make her a bit farty though. Jack on the other hand refused to even sniff them.

Lentils are a part of the legume family. These small seed-like vegetables are nutrient dense and inexpensive, making them an ideal superfood. They are a fabulous source of molybdenum and folate. They’re also a great source of dietary fibre, manganese, copper and phosphorus. Not to mention being a good source of iron, protein, vitamin B1, B6, pantothenic acid, potassium and zinc.