Surely it’s time for mid term break?

Oh, if only this pregnancy caper came with a breather.

By the time you’ve got something the length of a large carrot cavorting inside, one might start scouting for exit strategies.

Last week I was deadly serious about it. I made pleading promises to the ether during the badlands of time that stretch between 3.48 and 4.29 am.

“I’ll make it up afterwards, I will. I’ll have him in the second week of August. If I can just negotiate a week off…”

Call it mad hormones, but I had visions of detaching the bump and just putting it aside for a week. I’d stow him somewhere safe and warm, sure. But just not on me.

It was born from a few things colliding; take a few deadlines and mash those with a swelling urge to fold myself into the back of a plane bound for the other side of the world to be with injured family.

Add to that the infernal freezing of London’s ‘Day after Tomorrow‘ interpretation of spring (and the fact that my fleecy leggings no longer cover all of the bump). But mostly, it derived from an incredibly mature and overwhelming desire to get rip rortingly drunk as a coping strategy.

As it turns out, this is not your regular kind of gig.  It seems I didn’t read all of the fine print.  This boss is both unyielding and petulant- there’s a tiny tyrant in the making. This is a job that doesn’t come with Time in Lieu.

So we resorted to drinking fancy tonic water on ice at 6 pm with fresh lemon, to kid ourselves that it was a soothingly stiff cocktail- at least it tastes a quarter of the way there. I retreated to the bath- it’s the one place that this galumphing hephalump seems to refrain from practising his snap kicks. To which I often say; it’s lovely to know you’re alive yes, but gracious you’re getting strong. And I treated us to a night out to Book of Mormon –  It was during this that he twirled- incessantly. So now it seems the real question is, how soon can you start hot housing the next generation of musical theatre stars…? (Something is going to have to balance out all the tae kwon do that his Dad is going to shepherd him to).

For those three hours in the theatre I didn’t care that the seats  were sloped and tight and that by interval my loosely attached coccyx was screaming like a fat kid in want of custard. I didn’t care that I should try not to laugh too hard, lest it coincide with his  habit of employing my bladder as a trampoline. I didn’t even care that the woman behind me chose to bring in a cheeseburger to keep her company for the second half and the smell of McDonalds still makes my stomach churn.  Song, dance, gentle religious mockery- it seems these things can be nearly as intoxicating as four margaritas and two glasses of pink wine. Who’d have thought?

So, we moved on. I’m saddling up again. I believe we can go on. We’re over half way. There’s much to look forward to. And so much to be grateful that we’ve safely stashed behind us.

This below is a soup I made in the middle of the madness. It’s an excellent thing to turn to when you need something soothing and you’re threatening to fall down a deep and dark cake hole (def; cake hole- that moment in pregnancy when an overwhelming craving for cake takes over and you find yourself eating three pieces, in a trance, one after another, slack jawed and unable to focus your eyes on anything beyond the middle distance).

It takes the classic snack time pairing of carrots and hummus and sends them on a neat little mission together. The carrots are roasted with coriander, garlic, onion, salt and olive oil. They’re blended with vegetable stock and then swirled with some hummus at the end. If you were particularly starving , or feeding a larger crowd you could easily bulk it out with some chickpeas- either bobbing about for added texture, or blended through.

If you’re anything like me, then eat the soup while listening to a musical theatre score and wishing for your unborn child better pitch than either you or its father. Eat it slowly, and try not to muse too hard on the fact that somehow, someday, before this all comes to an end, your stowaway is going to have to find a way out.

Because that’s a whole other pot of soup.

Roast Carrot and Hummus Soup

Serves 2- stretches to 4 with some chickpeas bobbing about, or some crusty bread.

Shopping/foraging

6 large carrots, peeled and chopped into batons (around 750 grams of chopped carrots)
1 head of garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 brown onion, peeled and cut into 8ths
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 cups of vegetable stock
3 tbsp orange juice (or the juice of half an orange)
4 tbsp hummus
salt and pepper to taste

Optional- black or white sesame seeds to sprinkle.

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat the oven to 200C/392 F.

2) Cut the top off the head of garlic.

3) Place the garlic and carrot batons in a large baking dish, or two smaller ones. Sprinkle over the ground coriander and a good pinch of salt. Toss to combine.

4) Add the sections of onion and drizzle all with half of the olive oil (1/4 cup). Toss to combine.

5) Bake the carrot, garlic and onion for 40 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the carrots have gained some colour.

6) Add the stock to a large pot and bring to a simmer. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins (careful, they will be hot) and transfer them, the onion and carrot into the stock.

7) Use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Add the orange juice and remaining olive oil to emulsify. Taste. Add a bit more salt and some pepper if it needs it.

8) Serve the soup with a tablespoon or so of hummus swirled through the centre and some sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.

 

Forty Weeks of Feasting

Each week mad websites and baby books will tell you how big your baby now is in comparison to a seed, fruit or vegetable. It starts as a poppy seed and goes from there. To make this process a little more palatable, join me as I bake my way through. Here’s the journey so far.

Week 21. Spiced Pomegranate Meatballs with Mint and White Beans. Recipe here.

Week 20 Banana Berry Flax Muffins. Recipe here.

Week 19 Mango Pudding. Recipe here

 

Week 18 Sweet Potato, Red Onion and Feta Pie. Recipe here

 

Week 17 Red Pepper, Chicken, Onion and Date Tagine. Recipe here.

 

Week 16 Avocado Mint Salsa with Pea and Mozzarella Quesadillas. Recipe here.

 

Week 15 Orange, Polenta and Rosemary Cake. Recipe here.

 

Wk 14 Lemon Creme Fraiche and Parmesan Pasta. Recipe here

 

Wk 13 Clementine/Mandarin Curd. Recipe here.

Wk 12 Plum and tomato tartines. Recipe here

 

Wk 11 Sprout and mushroom gratin (in which we come out of the closet). Recipe here

Wk 10 Date tart. Recipe here

Wk 9 Roasted grapes with baby chickens. Recipe here.

 

Wk 8 Raspberries and elderflower spritz. Recipe here.

 

Wk 7 Blueberry pancakes. Recipe here

Wk 6 Lentil and ginger soup. Recipe here

Wk 5 Sesame Miso Crisps. Recipe here

Wk 4 Poppy seed scrolled loaf. Recipe here.