The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Talking about the Mountain in the room

Talking about the Mountain in the room

It’s actually out in the conservatory, but it’s a mountain nonetheless.
Welcome to the blog – though laundry isn’t the only thing we’ll be talking about here.  The laundry pile though, is the symbol of the clutter, and disarray I sometimes feel we live in.

Ever tidied and tidied and tidied and then, five minutes later, the kids are trashing the room – there’s a spill on the floor, there’s a dusty spot you’ve missed?  Yeah, that’s us.  We’re not untidy, not by a long shot.  Our kitchen is almost always spotless (just cluttered – the dishes are always done, but there’s equipment that doesn’t have a home – there’s boxes out instead of the teabags being stored in the right places, the recycle bin needs emptied – that sort of thing).
Out living room reflects our hectic life – there’s paperwork on the coffee table, there’s electronics charging EVERYWHERE.  Our radiators constantly have drying clothes, and our washing pile WILL NOT shrink, hence ‘Mount Washingmanjaro’.  Our bedroom has clean laundry waiting for a new home, but there’s clothes in that pile that are size 12s (and I’m patently NOT any more), our walk in wardrobe is stacked full of boxes, and my rail keeps collapsing.  There’s so much in there that are tiny jobs that just need done, but it’s…

It’s not difficult but it does tend to get demoralizing if I’m spending a week cleaning and decluttering and within two days, the kids put it back the to almost the way it was.

So – we’re doing ‘Flylady‘, and I’m personally taking charge of decluttering – I may not be as ruthless as I need to be but I’m better at recognizing whether we need something or not now.  Most of the stuff in the house is mine and the kids too, so it’s easier for me to recognize what we’ve got and what we don’t need.  And this blog is part of that process.

I’ll also be talking about weekly plans (fresh start Mondays), freelancing and/or parenting (Winning Wednesdays), recipes – with or without photos (Foodie Fridays) and free for all weekends.  ‘The mountain in the room’ is my discussion on cleaning, decluttering and more.  Though there’s one category called ‘parenting and disabilities daily’, there’s no set schedule for it.  You can’t schedules parenting stuff. ;)

Welcome to the blog!

Talking about the Mountain in the room

Recipe – Chicken Balmoral, ‘neeps, tatties’ and Whiskey sauce

I thought it would be nice, as an introduction to what I sometimes get up to, instead of talking about the washing pile of doom from the outset, that I’d share a traditional dish from my home land.  I’m Scottish ;) .

Shopping list

1 Chicken breast per person
1 Haggis per three people (for generous portions) – based on using Halls Haggis – check how big or small your haggis portion is.
400g potatoes per 3 people
400g Turnip/swede per 3 people (For my US readers – I think they’re called Rutabagers)
400g Carrots – cut into thick strips per 3 people.

(for the sauce)
2 tblspoon Whiskey
2 tblspoon Dijon or Wholegrain mustard
100ml Double cream or Creme Fraiche
1/2 a lemon (juice and rinds)
5 tblspoon milk (any type)

It should be noted that these portions are huge to ensure that people who really like the constituent parts can get more, and those that don’t can balance out with what they do like.  You can adjust portion sizes accordingly, but this is basically what we use for two adults and two children who enthusiastically look for seconds.

Chicken Balmoral.

Chicken Balmoral is basically a chicken breast butterfly cut, and stuffed with Haggis.  We’ve found it easier to cook the chicken breast and haggis seperately, and then use the haggis as a bed for the chicken.  It’s as simple as preparing and arranging the constituent ingredients.  I recommend cooking the chicken in a stock, topped with a chicken oxo cube, as it makes it especially succulent.  Haggis takes upwards of an hour to cook – so cover your chicken in tinfoil until 10 minutes before you’re going to take it out.

The Veg

Cook the potatoes and swede/turnip until soft and mashable.  Cook carrots until soft and warm, based on your needs.  Mash potatoes and swedes (you can mix them, it’s called‘Clapshot’) and dish up the carrots.  I recommend that you use the stock from the chicken to cook the carrots in, they taste amazing.

Whiskey Sauce (makes lots!)

2 tblspoon Whiskey
2 tblspoon Dijon or Wholegrain mustard

100ml Double cream or Creme Fraiche
1/2 a lemon (juice and rinds)
5 tblspoon milk (any type)

To make the Whiskey sauce – mix all ingredients in a pan and reduce to desired thickness.  As the cream cooks, the volume may increase slightly, but it doesn’t curdle if you cook it off and then add the Whiskey.  Add the lemon rinds at the end, and possibly sugar or salt to taste.  You can use single malt or blended Whiskey.

Putting it all together.

Place the haggis on the plate and flatten – place the chicken breast on top.  Serve up the mashed potatoes, carrots and swedes.  Drizzle Whiskey sauce in generous spoonfuls over the top of the haggis and chicken.

Hand to guests.

A word about Haggis

If anyone questions why you’re eating haggis, feel free to remind them that it’s difficult to identify what’s in most sausages sold commercially.   Traditional haggis is made up of the bits of a sheep that would otherwise go to waste – modern haggis may still contain some of the ingredients that are ‘traditional’.  Mainly barley and oats at a guess.  It’s very tasty, has a slightly spicy taste and is very worthwhile.  It’s also incredibly filling.