The Zen of children’s bedrooms

MiniHim and I have spent a short time each day for the last week tidying his room and getting rid of stuff he’s grown out of to make room for his Christmas presents. Bags have already gone to the charity shop, books are waiting to go to the nursery at his school and some things are being passed on to other children. Woody, Buzz and RC are making room for Spiderman, Batman and sundry Transformers I’ll never be dexterous enough to transform. He’s been ruthless and, while I’m impressed, I feel a certain sadness when I walk past the bag and see Woody staring out at me – a certain innocence has gone.

Today my parents came and took away the spare bed in MiniMe’s room to go in their spare room so we can all sleep in proper beds when we go there to stay over. It’ll be replaced by a leopard print ZBed under her loft bed for when she has a sleepover. We took the opportunity to clear out her room of the stuff she didn’t want any more. She was a little less ruthless. Board games made their way down to MiniHim’s room, undoing some of the Zen good we’d done earlier. Other stuff like a China doll she bought in Canada and the school shirt everyone signed in P7 she wanted to keep but not in her room, so they got boxed up and packed away in the loft, along with the Christmas decorations.

The house suddenly feels lighter, less cluttered and I feel ready for the challenges of the New Year. Over dinner HimIndoors and I talked about what we could plan (maybe that should be what I could plan). Last year I had the EpicDinnerParty to organise but this time I think it’ll be a family party in the summer because this year I’ll be 45 and my mum will be 65 so I think a joint party is in order – any excuse really 🙂

Today I have learned:

  • my children are growing up quicker than I did
  • I will never be able to learn the names of all the Transformers, never mind transform them
  • my daughter is just as sentimental as me
  • an uncluttered house makes me feel better

Today’s recipe:


Veal Milanese

Serves 2

There are only a few things in this life I feel strongly enough to be a bit preachy about but rose veal is one of them. If you drink milk you really do have an obligation to eat British rose veal. Just think about what happens to all those little male calves (don’t think too hard or you’ll cry!). Some British dairy farmers are diversifying and rose veal is appearing in butcher shops and farmers’ markets around the country. Support them and try this healthier alternative to beef. For this I used sirloin but you can use any cut that will flash fry.


2 veal sirloin steaks

2 slices brown bread

small handful of finely grated Parmesan

1 tbsp chopped herbs (I used parsley and lemon thyme cos that’s what I had in the fridge) If you don’t have a herb knife put the herbs in a glass and snip with scissors till fine


1 tbsp plain flour

1 egg

1 tbsp sunflower oil

Method: Place each sirloin in a fold of clingfilm and beat gently till about the thickness of a £1 coin. If you don’t have a meat hammer you can roll it with a rolling pin.

You can either make the breadcrumbs in a food processor or by hand. My processor jug broke so I did it by hand. Finely grate the bread onto a plate and add the Parmesan, herbs and seasoning. Mix together.

Put the flour on a dinner plate and beat the egg in a bowl. Coat each veal steak in flour, then dip in the egg, then cover with the breadcrumbs. Place on a plate and chill while you prepare whatever you’re having it with.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Flash fry the veal steaks until golden brown then leave to rest on kitchen towel for a few minutes before serving with a slice of lemon to squeeze over the top.

We had this with leftover roast potatoes and veg but it’s traditionally served with spaghetti in tomato sauce in Italy as veal Milanese or with potato salad in Austria as Wiener Schnitzel.

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