In the last few weeks of pregnancy I have been slowing down and slowing down, until I reached the point of feeling that I may have to just sit in a chair (or in bed!) and wait it out until the baby comes. I have been so heavy and tired, with bits that ache and a baby that does aerobics in my tummy! However, yesterday I packed the kids off to school with my darling spouse (thank you for taking on the school run hubby!) and went back to bed. I slept and then lounged, and didn't get up until 11.30 - just before I had to leave to pick up my youngest from preschool! I jumped in the shower, got in the car and drove. There was still a little snow on the ground, but the sun was shining and the sky was blue, and I felt AMAZING! Wow, that morning in bed had such a big effect. I spent the afternoon sorting out bedrooms, washing baby blankets, cooking and I even made it to the supermarket for the first time in a while without feeling ready to collapse afterwards. I think I was more productive in one afternoon than I had been in ages. Hoorah!
Of course, this sudden burst of energy may mean that the baby's arrival is imminent and the old nesting instinct is kicking in! Whilst last night's sleep was not so great, I'm still feeling pretty good, and spurred on by yesterday's success I decided to spend the day cooking. I'm anxious to fill up the freezer with homemade, hearty meals for us to eat once the baby is born. I have already made Jamie Oliver's 'Jools' Favourite Beef Stew' which was really delicious and definitely to be recommended, although I have to admit I didn't read the instructions properly and ended up chucking the rosemary and garlic in with the rest of the stew and I didn't bother with the parmesan. I also doubled the quantities so I'd have plenty to freeze, although I wish I'd made more!
Best thing about this stew was that Jamie said he'd tried two batches - one browning the meat first, and one without - and that the batch where he hadn't browned the meat was the best. So, he writes, "I've stopped browning the meat for most of my stews these days". Thank you very much Jamie, and now that I've read that so have I!!
In the oven at the moment is a Tesco Lamb Casserole with Dumplings Recipe also with double quantities (although I haven't got as far as the dumplings yet), and on the hob I am cooking enough mince to fill at least two or three cottage pies! Ain't winter food BRILLIANT?!