Thursday, 25 February 2010

When life hands you over-ripe bananas........


Make Banana Bread!


Au natural or decadently smothered?

My favourite recipe for Banana Bread/Loaf from the indulgently glorious Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.


(If anyone would like the recipe, let me know!)

Monday, 22 February 2010

I'm staring at the ironing pile thinking...........

I'm so ignoring you for a bit.

My mind is filled with ideas! Things I would like to make and do, future projects and necessary creative undertakings.  Words and phrases I can see embroidered prettily.  Felt Swiss Roll brooch designs swirling around just waiting to be grabbed.  And this, a
 thrifted blanket that's just not big enough.

For when I'm slouching on the couch (eventually!) of an evening searching the TV listings for my favourite distraction, whilst knitting and slurping tea.....

The lights are low and I'm settled in and then, quite suddenly, an interruption I cannot resist.
Cannae knit or slurp tea now but am forced to have a cuddle with my Beau Beau!
Ah well!!


Saturday, 20 February 2010

Where's the mute button?

Is there a volume dial on children? 
I thinks there must be as my boys, since yesterday, seemed to have discovered theirs and turned it up as far as it can go.  It may be that due to feeling poorly most of this week volume is affecting me but they are so loud and all I want is peace and quiet.  They were on holiday from school on Monday and Tuesday but youngest Biscuit has had a wee urine infection and had to stay off on Thursday and Friday too.  Of course one Biscuit doesn't make as much noise as two but I really could have done with a child free week.
All I've wanted to do was get myself on the couch (Youngest Biscuit was hogging it) and watch a film like this.........


......and feel all snuggly warm from the inside.
So I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself, want someone to bring me tea (Hubby works on Saturday morns), want to run away from the Ironing pile monster threatening to consume the whole house, his friend the Dust monster, the 'I need tidied' monster and the 'You're supposed to provide the meals' monster.  I never invited them but they feel obliged to reside here, unwelcome!  Maybe just runaway full stop.
We have promised to take the boys to see the new Percy Jackson film at the cinema today and I kinda wished we hadn't.  I would love to see it (sometime!!) as along with Eldest Biscuit, we've read all the books (recommended by Stephanie Meyer who wrote the Twilight books) but the thought of having to make myself presentable, leaving the house, being enthusiastic about anything, seems a bit much.......
Aaah!! I need to cheer up a bit, I HATE feeling like this, all fed up and moany faced.
Someone (nicely please, I'm fragile today) tell me to get a grip!


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Pancakes.............Munch! Munch! Munch!


A song by Eldest Biscuit, Billabong the Mad

Pancakes for Breakfast
Pancakes for Lunch
Pancakes for Dinner
Munch! Munch! Munch!

It's funny how catchy the tune is that goes with it.  He made it up months and months ago but every now and again it pops in my head.  Sometimes we march round the house singing it in our big voices in celebration of the joy that is pancakes!

So yesterday we made pancakes for breakfast, I say we as we all did.  Sometimes when I say 'we' I mean 'I' with them hovering in and out the kitchen asking when it (whatever it is) will be ready.  Out came the ingredients and the blender.....


....we could make it the old fashioned way with a jug and a whisk but my boys don't like these things to take too long and do like to use kitchen gadgets whenever possible, so we always make it in the blender following the recipe in 'Nigella Bites' or available at her website here.
After letting the batter sit for a while as suggested, Eldest biscuit took on the duty of making on our ancient hand-me-down griddle (we do love it so!) and with the best pancake spatula in the land from Viners.  It makes a difference, especially as the size of it means small hands never have to go near the hot pancakes or griddle at any time.  It makes my eldest feel very confident in making them for only the second time.

How chuffed does he look?

He makes a right old mess which I always have to clean up..........just after this photo was taken Youngest Biscuit appeared wondering what was taking so long and they decided between themselves that they couldn't wait any longer and off they went with a pile of warm pancakes each......

.......leaving me to finish off making them on my own.  By the time I was done they were finished and I sat on my own while they were off playing again.
Such is life!

When it comes to eating there is one thing we MUST have with our pancakes.....


..........ooooh we love Golden Syrup!!!

Hope you all got to stuff your faces like we did!


Monday, 15 February 2010

Squeeze ma lemon...........

I couldn't resist this title, part of quite a 'oh-er' line from a Led Zeppelin song but it is apt as I wanted to discuss lemons.  I love lemons and last week I had a craving and with my new Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery book at hand I set about baking and making a fine old mess (more on that later).

This is the kind of book you want to jump in and submerge yourself in.
Not the most simple of methods in baking but the end result is worth the attention needed.
Ooh I so wanted lemon and the smells in my kitchen were amazing.
When it came to the lemon butter icing I needed a little colour, I wanted yellow.

 I wanted to feel like Spring sunshine was on the way bringing it's warmth but still desired the comfort needed in the cold that only a cupcake can bring.  Look at these, yes there's lots of photos but I'm celebrating the joy that is cake here........
are they not delightful????? 

I had such a lovely time with these and making a right old mess.  I could have stayed with all the pretty staged photos but hey let's get real.  This is what my kitchen looks like when I have been let loose with icing sugar.

I am a messy cook but I cannot not spill icing sugar everywhere when I am using it.
It cleans....... now I can enjoy one of those babies.
It was so good.  Even Hubby who is not a lemon fan liked them.  I'm thinking  chocolate with mint icing next, or vanilla with lime and coconut icing, or strawberries and cream, or raspberry.
Decisions, decisions!!

Here is the man that I could hardly bare begging for his lemon to be squeezed till the juice ran down his leg.

The gorgeous Robert Plant, pensioner now but we'll gloss over that fact shall we!


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Easily distracted! Me? Never...........

I had great plans for this lovely winters morn.  After walking to school with my Biscuits I would, on the way back, go through the lovely park and take some photos of Snowdrops.  Oh how you would have liked that!  But (and here's the story of my life) I got blethering to one of the Mums and totally forgot until my legs had brought me back home.  "I was meant to......." that's me.  I get so easily distracted from everything especially if I get chatting.  It's something I HAVE to admit as my Biscuits openly discuss this and if wee boys of eight and six notice what their Mummy does then it must be true.
For example, today Eldest Biscuit, Billabong the Mad, is giving a presentation in front of the whole school and I comforted him ( he's a teeny bit nervous but feels capable and up for it) with the thought that many grown ups would find that intimidating and scary.  He felt it necessary to point out that I would start chatting with the audience and get distracted.  He has a point.
Every single school report in my whole school career said I talk too much.  I remember in High School, a Maths teacher moving me down the front next to the boys (way hey!) so I wouldn't talk so much.  It didn't work so he resorted to throwing chalk at me.  I got thrown out of that class for being outraged at this and arguing about the rights of Teachers to do such things.  Can you imagine the uproar, and quite right too, if a Teacher did that nowadays?  Come to think of it my mouth caused me to get thrown out of a lot of classes.  I was never abusive and I always worked hard but it didn't take much to make me laugh or say something that I thought was hilarious but the Teachers thought was cheeky.  Ladies, I'm sure you will agree a fish eye being poked out in a Biology dissection class and hitting a girl in the face, making her scream, is FUNNY. I got thrown out of that class. It was the Teacher who did this by the way.  That's what made it so funny!  I had the same Teacher for Biology as Religious Education and he was old with wobbly turkey neck (he always wore pink shirts and tweed jackets too, funny the things you remember) and one day whilst talking about Holy Communion, the body of Christ etc he somehow found himself telling us all how it gets digested - hilarious!!!! I got thrown out that day too!
Looking back it wasn't really a hardship getting thrown out over something funny.  I like funny!  
I am a little ashamed to admit because charity is supposed to be serious  particularly for Black Babies, it was always fund raising for Black Babies at Primary School, I could never get through a sponsored silence without either giggling or forgetting I was supposed to be silent, and start chatting.  I'm sure all the grown ups who sponsored me paid up in full knowledge of the truth there was NO WAY I had managed the allocated time for silence, NO WAY!!  I'm glad we all glossed over that shameful truth.
By the time I went to College and Uni the chatting in class had waned but only in lectures, couldn't say the same for tutorials and small group discussions.  Ah well!
I like to chat.  What can I say?  Always have, always will and I suppose if I miss a few things or plans have to be tweaked then so be it.  I embrace that part of me like I should, don't you think?


Friday, 5 February 2010

An apple a day......

Scrunch! Scrunch!   Scrunch!

Crunch!   Crunch!   Crunch!

Munch!   Munch! Munch!


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Every cloud has a silver lining!

It's Day Two in the 'Joiner in the' house.......
and apart from the incessant drone of the radio (can any workman not have a radio on in the background?), the noise of the various electric tools and the copious amount of saw dust; it's turned out quite well *she giggles*.  Bear with me.....
Oh dear! Feel sorry for me dear reader; I cannot get in his way by going up and down stairs and in and out of various rooms which means I have to stay in the living room with the odd wee trip to the kitchen for cappuccinos, tea and biscuits.  Isn't it awful being trapped like this with nothing else to do but sew, knit or read?  What a shame for me!  I cannot perform household duties even if I wanted to.  I did, for a passing moment, have the idea to set up the ironing board in the living room before he arrived and I would get in his way getting what I needed, but I had a word with myself. C'mon! What was I thinking?  It was early, I was confused already by my boys being out of bed and bright and breezy before I had come to.  Usually I have to drag them out of bed like they are teenagers instead of eight and six. 
So here I am now about to dodge the saw dust mountain residing between the living room and the hall to make my morning cappuccino. 
Really though, don't you feel a wee bit sorry for me?  Trapped like a privileged animal ?  Oh well I suppose I'll have to suffer it watching this
whilst knitting a cupcake!  It's a hard, hard life!!  Is is hard to contain the sympathy oozing from you right now?  Heehee!!
"Mischief Managed!"


Monday, 1 February 2010

You know you are domesticated when........

you are going to clean your house because a joiner is coming in the morning and
One * He is a man and like most men won't be paying any attention to dust.
Two * Even if he were to notice said dust, what do I care if he thinks my house needs dusting.
But I do care and I know I shouldn't.  I don't want him to be able to utter to anyone that for someone who doesn't have a job, my house is a tip.  It feels like a tip most of the time but that isn't the point.  I don't want other people to know this.  I have a decidedly love/hate relationship with keeping house.  On the one hand I rebel like buggery and feel I shouldn't have to be domesticated and I will not do chores if I don't want to and the house won't fall down because it's a bit dusty.  It's a long, long, long way off from an episode of 'How clean is your house?' so I can procrastinate all I like.  Yet on the other hand I do feel like it's my job and I want to do a good job.  Being my own *boss* means I have the power to decide my hours etc and that is where the problem lays.  I can be proclaim 'manyana' at a drop of a hat and so I do quite often, particularly when I have a project on the go.  It was different before my boys went to school, I had a lot of 'had to' things and just got on with it, complaining of course, but I got on with it.  Now because I have a bit of choice in how to spend my day I giggle to myself, have a bit of mischief and don't do as much as I should.
I wonder if it's a reaction to it being so full on when my boys were younger.  Being a mum, does not mean doing what you like, there is little choice in how your day will pan out but now I get to choose, there's no one else here, it's just me.
It's the challenge of being a woman.  Feeling like you should be house proud and at the same time thinking there's more to life than housework.  Being at home may give you more time for chores but it doesn't necessarily make for a stimulating life.  Getting the balance is the tricky thing. Does anyone out there ever get the balance right?  Don't hate me working mums who may think I have a right cheek to complain when I haven't got a job.  Not working is not like being on holiday from work, it's filled with supposed to's and waiting for everyone to come home from their lives, it doen't feel like a privilege. We are all trying to get the balance whether at home or at work. Like I said, do any of us feel we get the balance right?
So I do a bit of the Lazy Princess routine and get on with the washing, rebel a bit then clean the toilets, procrastinate a lot then get the iron out.  Compose a post then clean the whole house for a workman who is just going to cover it in saw dust anyways.
Modern woman me!



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