When In Tuscany

So… Lots of things happening… Exciting things… Wonderful things… Can’t believe my Life things!

It’s been hard to keep track never mind blog. excuses are unacceptable, yes. But if you’re reading this, I hope forgiveness is on the cards.

To begin, first of all I turned Th-

From little acorns… My aunt sent me this.

I still can’t bring myself to say the word. BUt yeah, you know that number? That’s my new one. For the next year, anyways.
Daddikins came for a flying visit. Literally. he came. Time flew.

He spent time with the kids. And his phone. And most of the time both, though not necessarily in that order. It was nice to see him. It was even better for the kids.

He was in town for Ben’s christening. We had a lovely reception afterwards at The Summit Bar & Grill Mt Coot-Tha. The food was lovely. The view even better. The company – best.

I made the cake…if you haven’t already tried it, this is my go-to recipe for celebration cakes.

The restaurant styled it nicely… I agreed for the cake to be cut only to realise after in went into the kitchen that I hadn’t taken a photo of it!!!

One of the gifts Ben got was from HIH. It was for silver napkin rings. It’s a tradition in their family for each new member to get one engraved with their name and date of birth. It is then used for special occasions – birthdays, Christmas lunch.

There comes a time in a girl’s life when she starts to look beyond the nappies and puree, and she begins to ask “who am I?” “What am I wearing?” and most of all “I need new shoes”. For me that time came in September. Cue Job search.

Initially it was half-hearted. I dreaded the return to the trapped-doe-in-the-headlights look I constantly wore in my past life. The one where I was constantly in a state of panic – not enough hours in the day to do my job, cook, feed, bathe and care for my son as well as tend to the neglected cactus that was my marriage.

The one in which, I had to utter the words “sorry, I have to go pick up my son… the child care…”. “Sorry I’m late…/Sorry I will be late… My son”. The looks that followed – varying from rolled eyes, looks of surprise, pity, annoyance, disdain.

The Life in which my emotions varied between feeling like a bad mother for needing to commit more time learning  and feeling like a slacker on a Monday when I opted to give my kid a long overdue day at the park instead of heading back in over the weekend to put in some research time.

Now imagine that life but with TWO kids to trail around… yeah. You would be half-hearted too.

Anyways… I found THE job!

All I will say is that – I am happy. My kids are happy. Babycakes is happy.

Happy. Happy. Happy.

In order to work I had to outsource. Cue V.

V arrived on my doorstep as a referral from E. V stands for Very Good.

Young hip and energetic she was a miracle on legs. She made outsourcing fun and guilt-free.

Most of all V can co-oook! Did I mention she’s Italian? AND from Tuscany!

Well, what does one do when Tuscany comes knocking… You eat! You eat Carbs. Safe to say, pasta is now an event in our home.

Did I ever tell you in my pre-parenthood life I wanted to spend a summer eating my way through Italy? Well. At least there’s always retirement.

I scheduled some time while I was home to learn a few things from her. Mainly I just ate. But between mouthfuls, I learned a lot.

1/ If you can’t make your own pasta – let’s face it, most of us with kiddies under 5 can’t find time to shower, never mind make pasta – use a true Italian Pasta

2/ always have 2 types of salt – Rock salt (to boil pasta) and fine grain salt to season

3/ take the time to infuse your oil/butter for cooking

4/ get some bigger jeans!

We have incorporated a couple dishes into our routine. Our favourite is The Sausage and Zuchini Maccheroni. A true traditional Italian dish. Simple flavors done well… In under 30 mins.

Here’s my version.


Do you ever cook and someone asks you what you put in it? And you say a little bit of this and a little bit of that? Well the recipe is much the same for me… But I took pictures to help you see how much of That I really put in.

Uh. V made food taste like food again… My tastebuds began to sing again… Truly.

It was like meeting Onions, Garlic and Oregano again. At an Olive Bar. Heaven!

Don’t even get me started on cheeses…

V headed back to Italy a week ago.

Before she left we had a joint Birthday/Good-bye Party for her… I was too nervous to make HER a cake, masterchef that she is… I outsourced to the best I know.

Our hearts are still heavy.

Bobby refused to say good-bye to her on her last day. I asked him about it. He said “well, I didn’t say good-bye yet. If I did I would be sad. V would be sad. We would both be
sad. I won’t see her again. It’s hard in the mornings”.

It was then that I realised, I felt such a connection to her, not because she cared for my babies as if she really loved them. I felt the connection almost like a little sister who shares all your own interests and can share in your secrets… Kind of like my connection to A. A is my cousin by blood, but my sister at heart. I miss her everyday.

Some people have Paris… We will always have her Bolognese

Sometimes children are more in tune than we give them credit for.

Is there anyone that has touched you quite like that?

Xxx B

I’m Betty, and Butter is a story of a full-time suburban SAHM ( Stay-At-Home-Mom) who practices Medicine in her spare time. My life heavily revolves around Babycakes, my husband, Bobby and Ben, my children and an acerbic tongued pug D’Artagnan.

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