Every two years, L and I complete a grant application for a major grant. Both this year and in 2005 we, the sleep-deprived parents of a newborn, left the application to the absolute last minute, meaning that we spent the day of the deadline in a bit of a frenzy. The deadline for hand-delivery was 4.30pm. This year we had almost an hour to spare which seems positively luxurious compared to the panics of deadlines past. There is something slightly amusing about hand delivering such a thing with streams of other people filing in to the same building, nonchalantly carrying almost identical envelopes. Everyone eyes the drop off bin, checking out the amount of entries, discretely eyeing the return address labels to check out the names of the competition. When there’s an hour left to kill, everyone seems a little smug and cutthroat. When there’s only two minutes to go before the deadline arrives, fellow applicants are much more friendly; there is an air of camaraderie, a shared sense of achievement and relief. There’s a lesson in there somewhere; good things come to those who wait.
As soon as we dropped off the application, we went to pick up Little A from daycare. We were called, as we sort of guessed that we would be, because A is out of sorts with a cold. She is currently the child you never thought you’d have, the one with ribbons of green snot streaming down her face. And she looks filthy when we pick her up from daycare, she’s the double whammy epitome of scuzzy-looking kid right now, poor little mite. Baby N also has the cold, but she’s not as dirty looking. We did however have a day punctuated by regular diaper blowouts- she must have had four different outfits on in as many hours. L too is suffering from the lurgy, we are truly a charming family at the moment. (Reading back over that sentence, I should clarify that L has a sore throat and stuffy head, not some mysterious illness that makes him have diaper blowouts). I have a bit of a sore throat but I’m mainly concerned about sleep deprivation. I read a study that says the primary caregiver of a child will lose 700 hours of sleep in the first year. That seemed an astronomical amount of lost sleep until I started to think about it, honestly I’m surprised that it’s not more.
Anyway, anyway. Tonight we made Scotch and Wild Mushroom Risotto [recipe] which has certainly left the house smelling like a hospital canteen. In fact it reeks of institution in here. I have to say that the dish is a great improvement on the dog food of yesterday, but it is still not great by any stretch of the imagination. Fortunately both the turkey and the barley were omitted from the master recipe, which helped. The risotto has three types of mushroom and a splash of scotch. However, the overriding taste of this dish was of the parsley, everything else was like a solid slab of risotto. Once again I asked L to add some peas to my risotto, but it still needed something else to bolster the meal. Perhaps a little cured meat would have helped, something with a bit of flavour.
As a side dish this is probably acceptable, but as a main course dish this meal just fell flat. So far L is most definitely winning the risotto debate; these meals are not winners. Tomorrow we add some shrimp to the shebang with Lemon and Artichoke Risotto with Shrimp. It certainly sounds better, but no one is holding their breath over here.