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Ta muchly for visiting. Here you will find musings, ramblings and a few statements of fact. They say women can have it all, motherhood, careers and crazy social lives. But what if we don't want it all? What if we want some of it sometimes and other bits not so often? Here I'll mix and match as the whims and energy levels take me. Your tuppence worth is always welcome!

The mask...

The mask...
Life is for loving and living no matter what it involves...

Friday, 29 October 2010

Parkin for when it's parky

Sometimes life just likes to slap you about the face a bit, like a tanked up landlady at the Queen Vic it assumes you need taking down a peg or two when in fact that is the last thing you need. The weather has turned wintry and the park has turned into the last place on earth you want to visit. Beautiful autumn colours on the trees? Well yes they are but it is also freeeeeezing. Call me difficult but I just can't concentrate on the finer points of decaying foliage when my fingers are falling off. Now don't get me wrong I'm quite partial to a bit of the outdoors even when  it has turned a tad nippy in the air, but the play park is something quite different. Toddler boy loves to climb and swing and whizz about without any help from me, Channeling his inner gibbon. Baby girl is swiftly approaching toddler status too and likes nothing more than a clamber up the slide to the tree house where she'll happily sit...ooh for hours if allowed while I stand guard slowly turning into a snow woman. There is no action for the grown up. If I'm going to be outside then at least let's keep moving.

So you'd think it would be quite a relief to have an excuse to stay in for a few days. Alas not. Not when the excuse is two wee ones with nasty buglings oozing out of their noses, spraying forth in coughs and splutters and generally turning them into balls of frothing overtired temper-tots. Ah yes for with the bugs comes sleeplessness. And if they don't sleep, we don't sleep. Housebound, germ-ridden and frazzled; that's us. There is only so much Cbeebies a woman can take, while it seems small ones have an unlimited capacity for the TV twaddle.

Events were ripe for an intervention. In the time honoured tradition of frazzled mothers the world over I sought solace in the kitchen. At the very least it is warm in there. We would bake! It was a cunning plan, keep them busy, cosy warm and produce goodies to bribe them with at a later date. And that is when I found the Parkin recipe. If life was going to administer a few slaps then I'd slap it right back - wallop. Take that evil fictional pub landlady.Armed with only a mixing bowl I defeated the bad mood and ushered in contentment. Ah.Que smiles all round.

Parkin, a great taste of Yorkshire. This recipe came from a Yorkshire man too, James Martin. And as a Brucie Bonus it has hardly any butter and only 1 egg so squeezes into the 'healthy eating' regime too. Okay, I am turning a blind eye to the sugar and syrup but I've had no sleep, for days sugar is essential to my ability to function at any level approaching human...

225g self raising flour
115g caster sugar
2 tsp ground ginger ( I like to add a couple of tsp of mixed spice too)
1 tsp bicarb of soda
55g butter
115g golden syrup
1 egg
200ml milk

Preheat oven to gas mark 2 and grease an 8inch cake tin.
Melt butter and syrup in a pan on a low heat. Add to flour, caster sugar, ginger and bicarb of soda and mix well.
Whisk the egg into the milk and add to mix. Stir all up and put in cake tin.
Bake for 1 hour. Eat!
A ginger taste sensation

Boosted by the success of the parkin we've spent the rest of the week baking flapjacks, peanut butter cookies and lemon drizzle cake. Now as a germ free family we have lots of things to take to the park and nibble to fend off the chill. Of course it would be rude to indulge in cake without a coffee but rather than queue with the yummies for a frothy latte I'm kitted out with a big flask of the hardcore black stuff.

Caffeine, cake and kiddies gone crazy...bring it on.

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