In the early years of parenthood, all you crave is time to yourself. However, there exists a frustrating parenting Catch-22 that means whatever hard-won alone time you do manage to achieve, it is inevitably marred by missing them. Ugh.
Currently, I am in the phase of gestation that I like to call the End Days. With weeks to go, I am a huge, lumbering volatile creature in a permanent rage-haze at any and all people who have the misfortune of encountering me. My tendencies toward screaming at other people when driving has amped up to another level, and I've taking to rolling my eyes at people who annoy me when I'm out and about.
It's perhaps because of all this 'preggression' that Himself is encouraging me to get as much sleep as possible. I guess he's deduced that, at the moment, I'm a much nicer person when I'm unconscious. As such, he is letting me sleep in most mornings while he grapples with the hellscape that is the weekday family school-rush, lunch boxes, general screaming and wrestling. And frankly, I've noticed my fitness levels gradually depleting as a result.
Previously, I'd joked about how gently manhandling our kids out the door in the mornings means parents have probably done more cardio before 9am than most gym-goers will do all day. Now I've realised this was way more accurate than I thought, as I roll over and slide from the bed to the ground, claw my way up to standing, and lumber downstairs to dispense kisses to the exiting family.
Now anyone, pregnant or not, would surely enjoy weekday lie-ins, but groundless pregnancy rage tends to find a target to latch on to, no matter what, and now I am developing a hump to accompany my bump at being left out of what is hands-down one of the worst aspects of parenthood - the morning rush.
Bonkers stuff. Feeling left out of wearisome domestic imperatives has to be the true definition of insanity, and also neatly describes the parenting paradox described above: can't live with 'em, can't stand being without them.
I've complained to various friends about the current situation, and they have heroically resisted the urge to throttle me for taking my luck for granted. With a new baby en route, they're urging me to shut up and lean into the exotic world of weekday lie-ins that I've stumbled into. With that in mind, I've really begun to lean into the indulgent breakfasts.
I've been thinking for some time that French toast is crying out for a glow up. All we ever see on brunch menus is the same old maple syrup and bacon, or berries and cream.
My take is a long overdue innovation, and I dare anyone to contradict me on this. Remember the rage is strong in me right now.
You will need:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 large slices of nice bread,
cut in half on the diagonal
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons mascarpone
3 tablespoons thick-cut marmalade
A little water
50g of pecan nuts, toasted
1 Whisk the eggs, the milk and the ground cinnamon together. Heat the sunflower oil in a non-stick frying pan, and add the butter. Dip each piece of bread in the egg, milk and cinnamon mixture, and fry on the pan until it is golden and crispy on each side.
2 In a small bowl, mix the vanilla extract into the mascarpone, and spread the mixture over the pieces of fried bread.
3Put the thick-cut marmalade into a saucepan and heat it gently, adding a little water to thin it out slightly, then drizzle the warm marmalade on top of the French toast spread with mascarpone. Stack the slices of French toast on two plates, and top them with the toasted pecan nuts.