Cooking for Mummies – Quiche

No, No, No! I haven’t lost the plot or turned ‘Yummy’. That’s precisely the point. Making homemade quiche sounds like a totally yummy mummy thing to do right? So use it to impress those yummy mummy friends, school PTA, Nursery bring something in party day, or your birthday at work. Making quiche is actually really bloody simple (but for goodness sake, don’t tell the yummy mummies that or we have had it!). This is a ‘use to impress’ recipe. No longer do you need to sigh in exasperation and consult Deliah the day before one of your new mummy friends comes for a lunch playdate, having ascertained that the usual pizza is not going to make the grade.

As is standard with my recipes, this can be done with a twin clinging to either leg, a 3 year old using a chair to try and climb onto your shoulders, and a 6 year old having a meltdown because the Netflix connection has been lost. Also, as standard, you should cheat. Basic rule is starred items are cheats staples, and should be kept in stock for easy cheating all week long.

I am giving you the recipe for smoked salmon and watercress quiche, but basically you can delete smoked salmon and watercress, and add whatever you like. Also, it’s great for kids to be able to choose their own favourite things to go in. I have been found making pea, ham and sweetcorn quiche before now (obvs not the best recipe for yummy mummies coming to tea!).

Ingredients

This recipe makes one large or two standard quiches. Upscale or downscale, keeps for 2 days in the fridge, and is suitable for home freezing. Eat hot or cold. Please note, you need to take your pre-rolled pastry out of the fridge around 30 minutes before you use it, otherwise, it will crack. Takes around 15 minutes to make (so 30 minutes with kids) and approx 45 minutes to cook.

Ready rolled low fat short crust pastry (2 boxes – you will have some left over, and you may be able to do it with 1 if you are good at patchwork)

9 free range eggs

1 600 ml tub of reduced fat creme fraiche

3 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard*

Salt and pepper*

Ground nutmeg (entirely optional)

1 small packet of smoked salmon

1 bag of ready washed watercress

1/2 bag grated mature cheddar

1 small bag grated mozarella

Method

  1. Grease your quiche dish(es) with butter or oil and put the oven on at 180 degrees C.
  2. Line the quiche dish with your pastry. You can use patchwork to make it fit. As long as it’s all about the same thickness and there are no gaps, no-one will notice.
  3. Shred the smoked salmon and add to the pastry.
  4. Tip in a bag of pre-washed watercress.
  5. Add all of the grated cheese sprinkling it evenly over the dish.
  6. Crack 9 eggs into a bowl, and add the creme fraiche, some ground pepper, a tiny pinch of salt, and a good shake of nutmeg. Whisk together.
  7. Ladle this mixture into your dish(es) and cook at 180 degrees celcuis for around 45 minutes (for temperature conversions, please consult google).
  8. Timing is quite flexible. Just keep an eye on it. To check if its cooked, stick a skewer or something similar into the middle and if it comes out clean or with a bit of eggy mix on it, its done. Getting too browned? Turn the oven down, or cover with silver foil.
  9. Serve to yummy people without sharing the method or ingredients. Bask in the yummy praise. Look truly yummy and accomplished, because, of course, you are

If you come up with any special new flavours, I would love to hear from you. Otherwise, looking forward to seeing your yummy quichey photos! Here are mine!

Pastry with salmon.
Pastry with salmon.
Eggy mix.
Eggy mix.
Last step before cooking.
Last step before cooking
The 'Yummy' finished quiche!
The ‘Yummy’ finished quiche!

 

Keeping parenting real.

Being a parent is a bit like what I imagine it’s like being a celebrity. You are, or at least feel like you are, under scrunity all the time. Everything is out there to be judged…kids state of cleanliness…clothing…pram status…

The judged parent

This feeling was particularly strong with my first, but still very prevalent by the time I started raising the twins, who were my third and fourth babies. Having a baby is the hardest thing you will ever do, and sleep deprivation only adds to the challenge. It is easy to feel that everywhere you look, at Mums and Tots, the supermarket, the coffee shop and so on, everyone is doing it better than you. Un-vomited upon shoulders, dry dribble bibs, designer baby wear un-sullied by black banana squidge, babies who actually sleep in prams while mummies eat muffins with friends (I believe all of  this to be true, although I have not personally been the parent of a child who has achieved any of the above).

As you progress through your parenting journey, you will begin to be able to stop judging yourself so much, and start being able to judge others with some conviction. If you are finding things really tough right now, and feel like you are failing as a parent, think again. Please take the time to think about what makes you feel bad or judged, and start forming your own opinions and making your own judgments right back. You will gradually start to feel more balanced and confident. Something about becoming a parent can lead you to lose your confidence and start believing that others know better than you. This is not true!

I want to emphasise that in feeling how you do, you are completely normal. When you have a child, or children, suddenly the world which you have known for the last two or three decades transforms into an alien planet. This happens to every parent. Let’s take, for example, doing the shopping.

Pre-Kids Shopping Trip

Gets into car, nips to Sainsburys with fairly short list, whizzes round in 20 minutes and comes home with a weeks shopping.

Post-Kids Shopping Trip

Gets kids ready amidst an uncontrollable tide of wailing, baby vomit, running away, and protests about missing Peppa Pig. When nearly ready, and you think you might just get out alive, someone will do the pooh from hell. Clothes will be soaked and a complete change will be required. While changing this child, another child will undoubtedly have injured itself requiring savlon and plasters. While applying savlon and plasters, someone will find their way into a muddy puddle or tip a whole glass of milk over themselves, thereby requiring a complete change of clothes. While undertaking the second to third change of clothes, someone will do a pooh from hell. Clothes will be soaked and a complete change will be required. This cycle may repeat for 1-2 hours, but you will eventually get out of the house.

Upon arrival at the supermarket, you will inevitably run into the un-intentional offender.

The Un-intentional Offender

This is the part of the journey where you can start to gain control and perspective. Not immediately, but I hope this heads up will bring it sooner than might otherwise be the case. You see, if you are anything like me, the first 100 times you meet the un-intentional offender, you will be left in floods of tears at your own inadequacy as a parent. Those in the know will recognise some of the un-intentional offenders key phrases…

Oh, I can see somebody has had their lunch then! In my day we ate it not wore it’

‘Oh dear, did you run out of baby wipes then?’

‘Oh dear, your baby doesn’t seem to be very happy. Don’t you know what’s wrong with him?’

‘This is a supermarket, not a playground’

‘My children never behaved like that. I suppose it’s all this modern parenting’

You look really ill! Baby’s not a good sleeper then!!

…Blah…blah…blah!

What to do

I suppose that what I could have done is fairly limited. I could have cried (which I did), I could have answered back (rare for me) or I could have joined social media, enjoyed the support of others, and learned through them (which I didn’t realise at the time)

What should you do? Learn not to be judged, but make your own judgments. No-one is better than you and no-one has the right to judge you. You gave birth to this child, you are raising it and those two things make you bloody amazing! Snot, baby vom and banana mashed with rice crackers are an every day normal!!!

DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE. IF YOU ARE FINDING IT TOUGH, LET ME OR SOMEONE ELSE KNOW. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE ARE HERE TO LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER, AND YOU WILL NOT BE TURNED AWAY. XXX

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Bubbles!

The Keeper, the Pheasant, and Dave the Chichuahu!

What a totally fabulous day roaming the New House Farm estate with Jeff and the team, tripping over the occasional pheasant, woodcock, spaniel and labrador. It’s hard to work out which part of the day was the best.

There was the company, the landscape, the dogs, not to mention the lamb stew. However, as those who were there will know, the highlight has to be the lunchtime production of Dave, the shooting chichuahu, from his Range Rover. Dave, sporting the latest in puppy field wear, was ever so slightly cute. I might have adopted him for mealtimes. He was happy to socialise, and eager to make friends. Sadly, the working dogs were at a loss to work out what species he actually was, having never seen a creature smaller than a pheasant wearing a blue puffa jacket. Ok, I don’t think they had ever seen anything but a human in a puffa jacket. Ok, they had never actually seen a puffa jacket. Nonetheless, the gorgeous Dave held his own (with a little help from me).

The point at which I actually cracked up (and have still not stopped laughing several hours later!) was the point at which I was  informed that the reason Dave was remaining in his Landrover on this shoot was as a result of his last shooting experience. Apparently he was sitting on the peg with his Daddy when an over-zealous retriever scooped him up, and delivered him to the slightly bemused game collector. Luckily the retrievers have soft mouths!

Thanks so so much all for such a fabulous day! I hereby instigate the beaters ballot

for adoption of a mascot! It has to be Dave the Chichuahua!

Have to go now, as I am being licked to death by my Jack Russell (obvs not blowdried like some soppy gamekeepers dogs!)

Looking forward to Monday! Xxx

 

COMPETITION TIME – Valentine’s giveaway from Baker Days!

The competition

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Baker Days have kindly given me the privilege of trying and reviewing one of their letterbox cakes. In addition, they have given me a letter box cake to giveaway to one of my lovely readers as a Valentine’s Day gift. You will be able to choose your own style, flavour and design. The cake will be posted to your choice of address to arrive in time for Valentine’s Day. This competition ends on Sunday 7 February to make sure everything is ordered in time to arrive for Valentines Day, so make sure you enter sooner rather than later! 
Click on the link above to enter. You will need to like my Facebook page, and share this post. I don’t ask people to comment as I know you are all busy. However, if you do want to comment, I would love to hear from you. 

Please read on to find out what is on offer.

Whatever is a letterbox cake I hear you cry!

When Baker Days got in touch to ask if I would like to review a special letterbox cake I thought probably not, as (I know I am weird) I don’t actually like cake. Then the following happened:
1. I said it out loud and I had 4 little people and one big person insist that turning down free cake was not the done thing. They would be happy to try it for me.

2. I became quite pre-occupied wondering firstly what a letter box cake is (apparently it is one which you order online and it is posted in a size which will fit through your letterbox), and then how on earth you post a cake including dropping it through a letterbox, without it going splat.

3. I checked out their website at http://www.BakerDays.com and realised that not only did their letterbox cakes look amazing, but they said they could put photographs on cakes. I was allowed to choose whatever I wanted. I have never seen a photograph on a cake before, so frankly, this was too good to miss!

Not sure if I had got it all wrong, I sent them my Facebook page profile picture which is one of my favourites of the little people in their fuzzy suits at Christmas. I asked for 4 Kids and a Chicken to be written on the top, and the website address on the bottom. I expect that I am probably behind the times, but I didn’t expect to see what I did!  I waited to see what would happen. 

What happened

The next day, I came home from work to find a box waiting for me. It had been posted through the letterbox. I opened it and found a very pretty tin, a card, 2 packets of lovehearts sweets (yay, I love sweets!) and a booklet.

  
I have to say that when I opened the tin, I could not believe my eyes. There, sitting in the tin was a stunning cake with a perfect replica of my photo on it, and the writing as requested. It really doesn’t matter if you like cake or not, you will want one of these little delights. The cake had survived the journey to and through my letterbox with not a whisp of icing out of place. The best bit is that even though you will not want to eat a cake as stunning as this, you have the consolation of a pretty tin to keep once the cake is gone. 

  
The cake

After many photographs and exclamations of delight (I actually took the cake to work and home again to show everyone how amazing it was before we ate it), we did the unthinkable, and cut the cake into pieces for us all to share. This was tougher than we thought, largely because the kids could not actually believe their eyes. They could not understand how they had ended up on a cake. After promising each child could eat themselves, Patch set about cutting. 

  
You have a choice of a range of flavours. I went for Vanilla sponge with raspberry and apple jam. I will be honest and say that none of us could find the strawberry and apple jam. The cake was absolutely delicious nonetheless. There was lovely soft sponge (which it says keeps fresh for up to 14 days). The icing was also delicious, and there was what tasted like a lovely buttercream underneath. 

The conclusion

Despite the fact that as a rule, I don’t like cake, I honestly did enjoy this cake. The presentation and design is second to none. The fact that you can order before 2pm one day and have your personalised gift delivered the next day is, frankly, remarkable! I have to say that despite my initial scepticism I am a convert. I mean, who would send plain old cards on a special occasion when you could send a personalised cake instead! 

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! 

Did they miss me…?

I had my first night away ‘sans enfants’ for 7 years, last night. I shared with you my worries and thought processes, and my final decision that I was actually entitled to 24 hours away, parent or not, with you. Thanks for those who shared with me their feelings and the fact that I am not alone!

So, how was it? Too good to be true. At this point, I am going to be unusually un-sharey (I know, it’s taken a lot of willpower!!!). Usually, I share it all. However, I have a bit of a special treat for you guys coming up soon, so let’s forget the whole night away thing for now. Whatever you do, please don’t be tempted to look at The Hundred House (www.hundredhouse.co.uk) website as it would be a total spoiler. And whatever you do, please do NOT like their Facebook page. Please, just leave it alone. We will get there in the end. Unless you live locally to Norton, Shropshire, in which case, ditch the kitchen and head straight over. Anyway, getting distracted….

So I got home to find the following:

1. All 4 kids are still alive and healthy.

2. Late nights for kids has a whole new meaning.

3. The fact that the cat is tunnelling under my dressing gown tells me he missed me.

4. There was some confusion about pre-school pickup which resulted in a child being deposited home around 1 hour later than should have been the case (thanks pre-school for your understanding!)

5. Our au pair is an award winning genius.

6. The confusion over the ‘Frozen’party invitations can probably be undone. 

7. Apparently batman likes homous and has come to a grisly end (see photo!)

8. The 3 yo has finally bonded with the cat!

9. I really bloody missed the little people I have been cursing ( though not enough to turn down an overnight invitation…!)

Please do keep a close eye…treat of the year is on the horizon! Xxx

   
   

It’s bloody Makka Pakka…

Hubby and I are today off for our first night away together, with no kids, for 6 years!

As we were ploughing North, I was doing that whole parental torturing myself thing. I know that there are plenty of sensible parents who have done this regularly since their peeps were born, and are probably in a much more balanced parenting place than me. In fact they will be wondering why this is such a big deal to me.

You see, I have never left my children overnight since I gave birth to them. I think I am one of those mothers who have really bloody bossy hormones that simply insist that I do what they say. For example, I was suffering from severe mastitis while feeding the twins. My GP immediately called the hospital to arrange admission and IV drugs as my temperature was so high and I was so poorly. I was fine with that until they said the twins would have to stay at home as they couldn’t arrange a double cot on the right ward. I asked for a prescription for oral antibiotics then took my twins home again. I simply could not bring myself to be parted from my babies. If one of my children has hurt themselves, I have to be there, and I have to be the one comforting them. I will forcibly extract them from anyone else who is trying to comfort them. This is entirely irrational, but is an emotion or instinct so strong that I have absolutely no control over it. Some people will think, bloody hell, overprotective control freak. Others will relate entirely, and some people will take more of a middle road.

When hubby presented me with the hotel room pictures and proposal for a night away, I was initially super excited, then worried, then excited, then worried, then I was going, then I was not, then I was….! You get the picture. Anyway, finally, we are going. Hotel booked, I packed my bag. 

It’s only 1 night and 1 day away. As a parent of 4 kids aged 6 and under, even a 1 hour trip to the park requires 4 changes of clothes, a travel potty, baby wipes, a snack bag, 4 drink cups, coats, blankets, prams, everyone’s favourite toy, scooters, helmets and bikes. Today, I packed 1 change of clothes, toiletries and my PJ’S. I then spent almost an hour trying to think of things which I might have forgotten (book, phone and iPad!). Off we set. As we trundled along the motorway, my thought process went a bit like this…

– They (kids) will be fine.

– It’s good for them to learn some independence.

– Did I show the babysitter where the Calpol is. OMG what if she gets the dose wrong?

– She won’t because she is the most responsible adult we know, and anyway no-one is going to need Calpol.

– What if the baby monitor stops working and she doesn’t hear someone crying for ages?

– Stop being stupid. You know how loudly your kids cry. Frankly even with earplugs in it would be a struggle to miss them crying!

-It’sonly 24 hours. They will hopefully be in bed for around 12 hours of that.

– Oh no, what if Lucy has one of her fits (febrile convulsions) and has to go to hospital? 

– It’s ok, we have been through the drill a hundred times. The hospital is about 3 minutes away.

– I won’t be there for special time. What if this damages my older children’s development or parental trust?

– I will probably even get to read a newspaper at breakfast tomorrow. In fact, I may even get to eat breakfast tomorrow without having to leap out of my seat every 3 seconds to see to someone else’s demands.

– Hot coffee, the act of pouring and drinking taking place within an hour, and temperature being more than tepid. I AM SO EXCITED!

– What if the twins just won’t go to sleep as Daddy always puts them to bed?

– Dinner, with wine and adult conversation and no baby monitor….I guess they will eventually cry themselves to sleep!

– That’s it, I won’t enjoy it as I can’t stop worrying. Let’s just call it off, turn round, and go home.

Then hubby entered a wiggly road with twists and turns. At just at that moment, a really irritating little voice from the backseat started giggling “Mikka Makka Moo” on repeat. Somehow, we had managed to bring the singing Makka Pakka with us. The one with no off switch. 

At that point, I thought to myself, you gave birth to 4 children in 3 years, and have never had a night off. You have even managed to take a singing bloody Macca Pacca with you on your first night away. We are not going home! We will be there in around 40 minutes, and I think my first stop will be the child free bath!!!

     
 

The countryside, by the kids – Sunday Muddy Sunday!

*Special edition blog brought to you by the kids.

To all the other kids out there, we wanted to share with you our top tips for ensuring you get the most out of your parents on a Sunday.

Start early

The key to maintaining control of your parents is to keep them as weak as possible. Lack of sleep makes them weak. Sundays’ should always start before 6am. This is important because the parents do not like getting very early on Sunday. This gives you a 30 minute window of opportunity to wreak havoc before someone in a position of responsibility gets up and starts yelling.

Our strategy is mess, mess and more mess. Knock yourself out and know no bounds. What you are aiming for is to make the house such a complete shit heap (*parental term) that your parents, in their weakened state, won’t have the strength to clear it up. They will have one of those mumbled discussions, then brightly suggest that you all go out for a while.

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Choosing your destination

If you think that your parents are in charge of this choice, think again. Here, although you may not realise it, you have major influence. As you will all know, shops are basically devils work. The only forms of shopping which are tolerable are toy shopping and farmers markets (they give lots of samples of really yummy stuff, and Mummy always buys nice food there).

Now this is the time for teamwork. Work together to ensure that at least 50% of you are moaning and crying while the other 50% are bouncing off the furniture/walls. If you are an only child, you only option is to multitask, switching rapidly between the two.

After 30 minutes of this, you can be sure that even the stupidest or bravest of parents will reject shopping as an option, and head for an open space.

Mud

As you all know, mud is heaven sent. There is literally NOTHING better than mud (except perhaps Peppa Pig or chips, or Christmas, or Grandma, or Haribo…). Anyway, mud is great.

Upon arrival, get supremely over excited. After all, this is what you have been working towards all morning. You should now go totally wild, leaping in every puddle you find. Obviously, there is no need to have any regard as to whether the water comes in over the top of your wellies, which inevitably it will. Just carry on regardless, testing your puddle suits with more rigour than the manufacturers ever envisaged. Basically, you can never have too much mud!

Fields

Do not despair if your parents take you off the muddy path and across a field. This provides opportunities to try out lots of new activities. Today we tried several new sports including mole hill jumping, random field lying and special looking grass ground pulling.

 

Rivers

These are always a source of anxiety for parents, and can provoke an appearance from ‘shouty mummy or shouty daddy’. This is because they make some irrational calculation that just because you have fallen flat on your face at least 6 times already over the course of the half mile you have so far covered, you will be somehow stupid enough to fall into the river (I know, stupid creatures these parents!). Rivers are super interesting, but do expect your parents to start the whole holding you by the hood of your coat thing.

 

The turning point

The best time to launch the turning point strategy is just as your parents start to relax, enjoy themselves, and seem to believe that this may be the first family walk yet where you are not going to kick off. This can be hard to spot, but the closer you get, the better the reaction. For example, today we were standing watching the swans by the river, and mummy and daddy were whingeing on about all the nice days out fishing etc that they used to have before we came along. As they shared a happy memory, we struck. Today we really went all out and applied pretty much all of our techniques. We have included them all for you, but please feel free to be selective (taking into account how robust or otherwise your parents seem):

  • 50 % of you throw yourselves face down in the mud screaming refusal to leave while the other 50% race off dangerously close to the river then throw yourselves face down in the mud pleading to go home immediately. (Only children – you will have to apply the quick multi-tasking strategy again here).
  • Now, you will realise that you are starving. If your inept parents have forgotten the snack bag, make sure they feel your pain. You can do this by screaming, kicking, throwing yourself face down in the mud, or by looking for alternatives, such as threatening to eat worms and poisonous berries. Grass is edible, so do go ahead with eating grass if that’s your chosen strategy. It’s never done us any harm.
  • Obviously, you will also have developed a raging thirst. After all, you have just walked 0.5 miles in a speedy 1 hour. Now we have to say that in our experience, the downsides of demonstrating your disgust at your parents for having forgotten the sippy cup by lapping out of a muddy puddle, significantly outweigh the upsides. This is especially true if your parents are as crap as ours, and have also left the baby wipes in the car. It took a long time to get the taste out of our mouths again.
  • Now, of course, you will need the toilet. If there are more than one of you, do make sure that none of you want to go at the same time, so you can include repeated bush trips on the return journey.
  • When you see a dog, 50% of you should launch yourselves onto the unsuspecting animal in the name of puppy love. The other 50% should back away screaming as though you are about to be murdered. This also confuses and distresses unsuspecting dog walkers, and makes mummy and daddy feel quite embarrassed. This should not concern you. After all, its their fault you have just snacked on field worm and had a drink out of a muddy puddle!
  • Suddenly, you will declare your immediate inability to take a further step. You must, of course, be carried the rest of the way back to the car. Don’t be distracted by the whole ‘Oh look, there is a horsey in that field over there. Have you seen it?’ technique. It’s just a really crappy parental distraction technique. Equally, you can be certain that they will never walk off and leave you. Once you are out of sight, they will be crapping themselves that someone will snatch you, so will not really go any further. If you just lie in the middle of the path, preferably in a muddy puddle, while screaming, they will soon come back for you. This works even better if some other walkers come along as it makes your parents look like really crap parents (which, if you have got to this stage, they probably are).

 

The final act

Now kids, this is where you have to use your very best judgment. You need to be in tune with your parent/s. Understand that you now need to make sure that although they seem to feel that up to this point, everything is your fault, they change their minds. Unless you want to eat some crap like soup and toast for dinner and then go to bed before the end of Cbeebies, you need sympathy.

While the parents are stripping off your wet muddy clothes and wellies, don’t wail hysterically. Its better to cry pathetically, including the odd gesture that demonstrates how utterly starved and hard done by you are. After all, it has been a whole hour since you were last fed. During the drive home, make sure you sleep, or at least pretend to. This means that your parents will think that they have succeeded in wearing you out (when in reality, they have mostly worn themselves out). As they drive home, the silence in the car will cause them to mellow.

Making some immediate demands upon entering your house may cause them to reach for the beer/gin. This is a good sign and signifies potential further mellowing. If you Time everything right, you might get sausages or stewed steak for supper. If you have achieved well practiced guilt delivering expert level, you might even get yourself some toddler tapas by the fire for supper.

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Happy countrysiding to toddlers everywhere! Love Patch, Lou and Emmyboo x

 

Fast Food, Slow Food! The Great Burger King Un-giveaway!

Today my 3 year old daughter and I braved an electrical shop because I wanted a laptop. Being a technological ignoramus, this was no mean feat. My 3 yo variously lay on the floor kicking stuff, sang renditions of twinkle star and the wheels on the bus to anyone who would listen, and did weird stuff to the display models (she actually licked a screen which had an ice cream backdrop!). During this time I asked apparently stupid questions of an increasingly frustrated salesman, and intermittently phoned my demented husband to ask questions about what extras I did and didn’t need (NONE! was apparently the correct answer). It must have taken over an hour by the time I picked my laptop and persuaded the salesman that I did not need any extras, especially Microsoft Office, a mobile phone package, a rubbish looking new case or a care plan.

By the time we left, the 3 yo was pleading starvation, dehydration and an urgent need for a wee. I, bundled her in the car, and drove all of 2 minutes away to Burger King. If I thought that buying a new laptop was extremely difficult, my Burger King experience gave me the opportunity to re-assess.

I have not been paid for this review, although Burger Kings receipt promises me a free Whopper if I complete their online form and buy a drink and fries. I think I will just review it here, and give their kind offer a miss. I am sorry to announce that I am not running a giveaway on behalf of Burger King. That’s because I would not insult your body, taste buds or stress levels in that way.

Review

So, onto my review. The fact that the queue was out the door did not initially unduly alarm me. After all, it is fast food, right? Wrong. Luckily, the 3 year old is quite cute and very outgoing, and provided much queue entertainment (the Irish dancing needs work). However, we still waited more than 15 minutes to place our order. Order placed, we waited, and waited, and then waited some more. She played Toca House, Toca Monsters, CBeebees etc. Eventually, she came to the till and announced that she thought we should just go home now as lunch must be broken. This prompted many laughs then a small cheer of support. We stood on masse and regarded the spectacle that was the BK kitchen. Here, I have to give a really big big up to the two and only two servers. They were running around like crazy loons (according to my receipt, my host was Nixon, so well done Nixon and friend!). Not only were they taking orders, serving drinks, running over and serving fries, loading trays and calling to the kitchen to tell them what to make next, but they were also processing payments and apologising to customers. They cannot have been boys of over 25, but they were effectively running the place and making up for their entirely inept colleagues.

Meanwhile, in the back, there were a huge number of people wearing BK uniforms, looking stressed, and actually falling over each other. I have 7 people to cook for at every meal. I am no chef, but I reckon  I could give BK a few top tips. These would be things like ‘You are better having one person who knows what the fuck they are actually meant to be doing, and gets the hell on with it, rather than having 15 people who haven’t got a sodding clue, and are quite literally falling over each other, and pushing each other out of the way’. You know, basic stuff like that.

I can say with certainty that it took precisely 37 minutes to get an adult meal and a child’s meal (time of payment is shown on the receipt). That isn’t the time from entering the restaurant (52 minutes is that statistic). When I got my burger, it was frankly so disgusting I took it back. It was thrown in the bin, and I had to pay £1 to upgrade to something edible (I know, 56 minutes late and I have to pay £1 for an upgrade, and 10p for BBQ sauce!). I am not even going to talk about the kids chicken nuggets. Lets just say that the chicken sadly died in vain. Burger King failed its memory.

Other key features include a weather matching service. You know, if it’s minus 5 degrees C outside, they will match it inside. They also offer a drive through with a queue almost as long as the internal one (I mean if you are really shit at providing one service, why not offer a second one so that you are doubly shit at both). My final feature is a wipe your face on your own clothes one, as they did not actually provide any napkins in store.

Obviously, I wouldn’t want to directly embarrass anyone at the store. For that reason, I am not identifying it, though I will happily do so to BK if they can get their shit together well enough to actually read this (highly unlikely in my estimation!). But for any of you peeps who like rhymes, I can say that the store location rhymes with ‘LEDG-END’). Anyone local might have a guess.

Happy Friday Everyone. X