We’re almost in the third week of January but I’m a teensy bit late on my second week-who knew working full time and parenting would have such an impact on my blogging time?
Anyway. The second week has seen me settle into a rhythm of sorts. I’m used to making up lunches and snacking less- a huge hurdle for me- and not only that, but eating breakfast, too. Now that is a big deal. I mean, it’s just instant porridge with Sweet Freedom chocolate sauce (OMG a revelation), but it’s a start.
The first week in January plays host to our anniversary. As far as anniversary dates go, that’s pretty much the worst one. The festive cheer has been laid to rest, we’ve rolled out of our collective cocoon and back under the grindstone. It’s been dark, drizzly, freezing cold and just a little bit shit.
Praise be then, for discount vouchers and forgotten cards.
We spent our actual anniversary in IKEA, which I generally dislike at the best of times. That particular day was far too sticky with the presence of other people and we had an irate toddler to parade through the whole thing. I mean, we were there because of him- the unsightly pile of toys in our living room just begging for a Kallax unit- but if it’s boring to me, I can’t imagine how he felt.
I overheard another pair of toddler parents discussing how they were going to break Dry January after their own personal wonderful everyday hell. Nodding to myself, I was practically having palpitations about the bags of cinnamon buns in the food shop at the end. Milk proteins and all. But I didn’t cave, just went home feeling fed up and sorry for myself. I’d gone back to work two days earlier than Ally, leaving him at home with the little boo, so I hadn’t even gotten a card.
The next week, on my way home crammed into a gross, sweaty, peak time bus, he phoned to say he had booked us into Mono for a belated anniversary dinner.
I don’t know what was the biggest shock; the fact that he’d booked our first date night in almost a year or that he’d gone for a vegan restaurant. Of course I downloaded the menu straight away, revelling in the fact that for once I had too much choice.
When you’ve got a kid, it’s easy to feel guilty about looking forward to time without them. Don’t get me wrong- my son is my favourite person in the world, and everything he does absolutely blows my mind. But he’s also 2. The last time we tried to have a family meal we had to leave early without finishing because he decided it was tantrum time (not the best birthday ever…)
Not only that but I was looking forward to someone else coming up with ideas for me. My lunches have consisted of grains/rice, assorted veggies and a variation on either smashed chickpeas, tofu ‘n’ sauce or vegan Quorn/meatlike substance. Dinner was usually an expansion on the same thing, or rotation of pizza or pasta, if I bothered to make anything at all. I usually didn’t, if I’m honest. It’s a huge deal to go somewhere that what you can eat is standard.
The drinks menu is entirely vegan as well so you can have a wee swally completely guilt free. It’s something I’ve been caught out with before (and as such check Barnivore on the regular). It was fairly busy when we got there, but still retaining its laidback, candlelit vibe. A welcome change of pace from the rest of Glasgow on a Saturday, then.
I went for vodka and beer battered artichoke fritters and koblet schabowy (seitan schnitzel fillet) with gnocchi in a cider, shallot, chestnut mushroom and parsley cream sauce, while Ally opted for the classic macaroni cheese ‘n’ chips. I had no idea what to expect from mine, but holy shit. The fritters came with a tartare sauce that tasted exactly like the ‘real’ thing. And the main? I’m weird about beetroot. It tastes like the ground. But this was perfectly sweet and complemented the tangy, creamy sauce. I picked out the kale though. Yuck.
The macaroni was decent, but was missing a wee punch. Macaroni cheese is a bit of a specialty in our house and, after six years together, we’ve all but perfected it. A noble effort and not the worst one- dairy or otherwise- that I’ve had.
It was a night of rare treats- going out for dinner, to somewhere that I didn’t have to second guess the menu and getting to enjoy the whole thing, with a drink, without having to wrangle a toddler. Not only that but, as it was an itison deal, the whole thing was… a fiver (the fritters were an off-deal starter, but I couldn’t not have them).
This vegan life might not be so hard after all.