Much Needed Bank Holiday Rest & Beef Pelau

It’s been really quiet around here lately – not because there’s not much to blog about. In fact, every day life is throwing up any number of things to think about, to chat through with you. Night time is my time to blog, though, and by the time one of the girls has been handed over to Laurence (usually the baby), one is in bed (the older one), one is asleep in the sling (the baby) and dinner is had, I scarcely feel like thinking, let alone writing.

Instead I’ve ended up working through three and a half seasons of Game of Thrones at impressive speed (and ended up annoyed because I’m pretty sure they’re about to kill off my favourite character). Three times I’ve sat down recently and began to blog, then I re-read what I’d written and it just sounded grumpy. Who wants to put something grumpy out into the world?

So the theme of this Bank Holiday weekend was rest. Rest, because without it, the days get loud and frantic. I forget how to be still, to think, to pray, to listen. Rest, because I am not a good mother to my children without rest. Rest, because otherwise I get angry and impatient with Laurence and myself. Rest, because nothing is insurmountable but without rest I can’t figure out where to start with anything.

It was a relief to go spend some of the weekend with my in-laws out in the countryside. Staring at a large body of the water while someone else entertains your children for a while can’t be beaten.

Good food made it complete. Morrisons gave us vouchers to shop for the Bank Holiday weekend. We actually tend to shop there anyway whenever we’re doing an in-person shop because they make a real effort with their layout, have a wide selection of gluten-free and dairy-free products and maintain reasonable prices.

Little Morrisons shopper

Morrisons impressive cheese counter

Though the free from goodies didn’t stop me looking over longingly at the cheese counter!

Morrisons vegetable section.jpg

Their fruit and veg section and meat counter always feel more marketplace, less supermarket which makes for a less stressful shopping experience overall.

morrisons butchers

I also love that it’s pretty easy to find what I need for Caribbean cooking there. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised to see the plantain.

Morrisons exotic fruit

I had a real craving for pelau this weekend. It’s a rice dish from Trinidad that my mother often cooked on public holidays when I was growing up there. Mine doesn’t even nearly match hers but one day. In the meantime, I can pretend to my British family that it’s the real thing. It’s still pretty good even though it’s not. Let’s call it super easy beef pelau (for about £1.50 per serving from Morrisons).

Beef Pelau

Beef Pelau

I don’t make this using exact quantities. I just go by what feels, looks and tastes right. If you want to make this vegetarian, omit the meet. You could also add pumpkin and/or carrots.

Pack of chopped beef
Bag of brown long grain rice
2 tins borlotti beans
olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
handful of fresh coriander
1 tsp dried thyme
1 stock cube
2 crushed cloves garlic
1 chopped onion
soy sauce
1 tin coconut milk
1 hot pepper
salt and pepper

Season the meet with coriander, soy sauce, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pot (we’re making A LOT of pelau here – some to freeze for later). Brown the sugar using this method. Throw in the seasoned meat, getting all the browning all over it. Cook until no longer pink, stir in a little water and simmer. Add the beans and onion and cook for a few minutes longer. Mix in the rice, coconut milk and stock cube and drop your pepper in whole. Add enough water to cook the rice. Mmhmm.

So, what did you get up to last weekend?