Mums, Mediocrity and Meatballs

I was speaking with a friend last Friday about Mumsnet Blogfest16, which I was attending on the Saturday. I was excited to be going, my friend (a mother and blogger, a damn good one actually) would not be attending however and informed me that she felt it celebrated ‘mediocrity’. For the record, I love and respect this friend, but I do not agree with her.

Not because I felt personally affronted in any way. No way was I being put off a child-free day listening to Miranda Sawyer and a goodie bag! But because I just think she’s wrong. Whether their blog is about expressing milk, crafting or the grief of losing a child – all of these women are using their voice. Making themselves vulnerable. Speaking up.

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In a year where an idiotic misogynistic despot and reality TV star can become the Commander in Chief, where horrific online abuse of women is the norm, Where Gina Miller, a woman prepared to stand up to our government over Article 50 can receive death and rape threats, when feminism (and we are in the 4th wave people) is treated with disdain and derision by men AND women – I need to hear these woman and their voices – all of them. I just want and need to hear the voices of women. Large, small, sad, depressed, enraged or delighted. And I need my daughter and son to hear them. Never have we needed Geri Halliwell in a minidress screaming about ‘girl power’ as much as we do today.

I have this week and last taken tremendous solace in a Facebook group that my American Sister in law signed me up to. She is grief stricken by it all and I can see why this page has got millions talking. Its called Pantsuit Nation Рhead over and take a look.

In the meantime , while I await the end of the world as we know it I cook.. Meatballs. Baked in the oven with lots of oozing cheese… enjoy.

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These are made with pork, but you can easily use Beef, Lamb or Turkey Mince. No problem.

You will need for the meatballs:

400g pork mince

1 egg

1 cup breadcrumbs – homemade or shop bought

3 spring onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

1 level teaspoon smoked paprika

1 handful of finely chopped parsley

salt and pepper

2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil for cooking

Half a teaspoon or dried red chilli flakes (optional)

For the sauce:

2 tinned chopped tomatoes

1 pack mozzarella (the good round one, not the cheap square version), chopped into chunks

a handful of cherry tomatoes

roughly chopped basil, a handful

Salt and pepper

Combine all of the the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet.

Shape the mixture into little meatballs. I like them about the size of a walnut. Then put on a plate and pop in the fridge for about half an hour – this will chill them and make them less likely to fall apart when you cook them.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan till brown and sticking to the bottom.

Once done, transfer into a baking dish. Including any burnt, sticky bits from the bottom of the frying pan.

Pour over the tinned tomatoes, thrown over the cherry toms, chopped mozzarella, basil, salt and pepper. You could grate over parmesan too if you are cheese crazy.

Bake for 30-40 mins at 170 till bubbling.

Great with salad and a baguette.