In a few hours time I will be en route to Chicago. Alone. For a whole four days.
I don't frequently get the opportunity to travel any more without at least a few companions, but my old College room mate is getting married. The invitation prompted a generous offer from my Better Half and the Grandparents to stay behind and mind the team, allowing me to swan off, carefree, 5,000 miles away to catch up with old friends.
While the outfits for the weekend's festivities (dress code: #preppychic) have consumed a fair amount of mental space, the anticipation of "alone" time has sent me into a cooking frenzy.
Let me be clear, my husband is extremely capable of feeding and making sure the boys stay somewhat clear of danger. They adore palling around town together while I am away, eating all the things I forbid to pass their lips, while watching mildly inappropriate movies and staying up late.
Despite their weekend plans, I have organised a rigorous schedule with barely a moment to breathe (or fight). But, just in case they change their mind, or invitations for meals are reneged at the last minute, there is food for an army in the fridge and freezer.
So, (as a little indication of my insanity) here is some of what's on hand for the boys should they get hungry:
4 loaves of Ballymaloe brown bread
1 batch granola
Salmon Burgermixture (ready to be cooked tomorrow night)
Nigella's Mother's Praised Chicken (for dinner on friday night. Comfort food just in case they miss me)
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's chicken curry
Melissa Clark's lamb meatballs with mint
1 batch of thesecookiesfrom Dori Greenspan
I hope they enjoy at least some of it. Or maybe we can just tuck in on my return?
PS I have not visited the Windy City in almost 20 years and would love some recommendations of things to do and places to eat. Please send them over! Thanks so much.