As is usually the case each year, following one of the children's "birthday tea parties", Annabel had her "proper" birthday party. The difference? Well, the "tea parties" are for Grandparents, Uncles and the like, and the "proper" one is for their friends from school.
(The children's friends, not the Grandparents, obviously!)
Annabel and 10 of her class mates celebrated at the Build-A-Bear Workshop, where they got to choose a limp, stuffing-less teddy bear, before proceeding to stuff aforementioned bear, choose a heart to put inside the bear (after having closed eyes and made a wish on said heart), having it sewn up, put in a presentation box and receiving a 'birth' certificate (honestly) proving ownership.
Although it wasn't the cheapest way to throw a child's birthday party, Annabel did make up for cost by insisting, insisting, that herself and her guests eat in .... oh the shame .... Mcdonald's. The woman serving me at the till looked at me as if I was mad when I politely asked for 11 Happy Meals, 8 with chicken nuggets, two with cheeseburgers and 1 with fish fingers, all with blackcurrant Fruit Shoot drinks.
11 x £2.49, ker-ching, thank you very much.
So why the pictures of fish, I hear you think?
Well, perhaps in a pathetic attempt to make up for the McDonald's story, I thought I would show you how we really do eat healthily ... most of the time ... at home, at least!
I grant you, the fish in the picture look way too big to serve as whitebait, but, in the absence of the fishmongers having any whitebait, I went for the next nearest in size; sprats.
I also accept any accusations you my throw my way that the sprats I purchased are enormous - they do indeed, look rather large (but I must mention the fact that approximately 25-30 fish, as pictured, cost tme the sum total of £1 - another bargain, ker-ching!)
But we went with it, and the children enjoyed being in charge of breaking the egg into a bowl, putting some flour out onto a plate, heating a small amount of oil in my warped frying pan (very annoying, more of that another time), before cooking them themselves.
They took it in turns to dip the whole fish into the egg, roll it about in a bit of flour, and then I, being the only responsible adult anywhere for a hundred miles, or so, placed the coated fish into the pan.
Sizzle sizzle, frying pan frizzle (or something like that), et voila! Some very very tasty, albeit rather large, whitebait/sprats. Ok, ok, they could've got more of a flour coating but this wasn't deemed a problem amongst the panel of judges.
The children liked them, I liked them, poor M didn't get the chance 'cos she was out (working or summat??!?), and the healthy dollop of tartare sauce was also met with approval.
So there, you see? We do our very best to balance healthy with the not-so-healthy.
I thank you.