Friday, 19 November 2010

Friday evening

. . . and it's been a most interesting and enjoyable day one way and another, despite the cold, the damp and the fog (which is still persisting into the night).

Firstly, it was performance management for the LSAs who have a specific SEN role as opposed to being class based. They're a wonderful bunch (as are the class based TAs), very talented and able in their various ways. It was lovely to go through their previous targets and to discuss how well things have gone. We're extremely fortunate to have so many gifted members of staff, not just LSAs but right from the most senior staff all the way 'down' (for want of a better term). I feel very privileged, as the team leader for those LSAs, to be a part of their performance management process.

Then I was out of school for lunch, a most unusual event. A and I went round to Liz's and had a super time. I had to go early, of course, which was a shame, but never mind. P was there too - she used to be my TA before ill health intervened. She's a wonderful lady, very courageous and highly creative, and it was lovely to see her again. And Liz made a most delicious soup which I could have without doing too much damage - and seconds too! I want the recipe!!

And - although this isn't so nice - two of my children were unwell while I wasn't taking the class. One up and one down, poor little poppets. It looks as if there's something very nasty doing the rounds in the class and I wonder how many I will have in after the weekend. My current TA, L, was also away, and that's not like her at all, but she's really pretty unwell.

Now I know what I said earlier in the week about not making any more stuff for the freezer before Christmas but . . .

Well, you see, DG finished off the last savoury 'mints' on Monday and today, when I looked in vain for the meatballs in tomato sauce which I had planned for dinner tonight, I realised that I was totally out of mince based meals (and that my freezer list was out of date). We can't have that, can we? No we can't!

So I got some good quality mince from Morrisons and ransacked the vegetable box for anything that could go into a savoury mince. The result is a right mixture - onion, leek, carrot, sweet potato, celery, multi-coloured peppers, baby corn, mushroom . . . plus three cartons of chopped tomatoes, the remains of a bottle of 'posh' tomato ketchup, some soy sauce, some tabasco, some balsamic vinegar, loadsa seasoning, herbs and spices . . . oh, you name it and it's there. Plus (my secret economy weapon) a goodly amount of orange lentils and porridge oats. After long, slow cooking, they sort of mush into the most wonderfully thick sauce that absorbs all the other flavours and is just gorgeous. Near the end I will add some frozen peas and loadsa tomato puree - and I've just realised I forgot to add some garlic, so I'd better go and remedy that and I might also add some chilli puree too!

There's far too much for my slow cooker, my largest pot is full of the mixture, but I reckon slow cooking is what's needed so I'm going the expensive route and leaving the pot in a very low oven overnight. By the morning it should have mellowed into meaty, savoury gorgeousness (yes, I have been reading Nigella!). The kitchen will be nice and warm too.

And what great value! The mince cost £8.00, I have no idea what the cooking will cost, the veg mostly needed using up and the lentils and the oats will make it all go much further. There's at least fourteen single meals there, probably more. Brilliantly economical and healthy too.

I wonder if there's room in the freezer!!!

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