Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quick cake post

I was so delighted to recieve a lovely comment from Becky Kemery on last week's post. Her gorgeous book about Yurts is a favourite of ours. My husband does plan to build a play one for James as a practice for when he gets his woodland..... Anyway, here is the recipe for the parsnip and caraway cake. I did add a fraction more caraway seeds and used a 2lb loaf tin instead of a round one.

Parsnip and Caraway Cake

180g Self Raising flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 180g grated parsnip, ½ tsp caraway seed, 120g butter, 80g caster sugar, 2 eggs beaten, Zest and juice 1 lemon

Heat the oven to GM4/180’C/350’F.
Sieve together the flour and the bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the parsnip and the caraway seed. Cream together the margarine and the sugar and beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and the lemon zest. If necessary, add lemon juice to make a dropping consistency.
Turn into a 20cm round cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and drizzle over lemon water icing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Random things

So, quite a lot of cake has been baked and eaten in the last couple of days. A sponge and then today a fabulous but fallen parsnip and caraway cake. Note to self, don't try to bake cakes at the same time that your daughter decides to pop in a frozen pizza and keep checking it every couple of minutes.
Thursday is usually when Gran comes for the day, to let Papa have a thrash round the golf course. Gran (my mum) has Alzheimer's disease, and we are losing bits of her all the time. James does relate particularly well to her though, and he is always delighted to see her, which gives her such a lift. We also normally get a visit from my elder daughter and my grandson, Finlay, who is nearly one already! So, today we had a very nice lunch, several cups of tea and slices of sunken cake while James tried to gather every single toy and book he owns into one small bag in case Finlay tried to touch it. Finlay, of course, just laughed and somehow always managed to find something James had overlooked.
Later we played hide and seek, James's new favourite game. Can you see where he is hiding?
Good news from elder son today, who passed his Higher Maths prelim, against all predictions from his teacher. He even had the highest score in the class. He worked very hard for this, so he deserves to have done well. He has fairly severe dyslexia and his academic achievements have been fairly remarkable despite his problems. I wish that MP who said dyslexia didn't exist and was used as an excuse could meet him.
It's hard to adhere to the unconditional parenting line of no praise when something like this happens. Phrases like 'Well done' and "I'm so proud of you" just trip off the tongue so easily. Saying - oh, I don't know, something like "You must be really happy with that" just sounds a bit lame. Must dig out Alfie Kohn again and learn what I should say. Hmmm - maybe not. He knows he is appreciated just for being himself.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A very good place to start.

A good day to start this blog - lots of indoor activity as the sleety snow fell silently past the windows. James is getting a bit better at finding his own things to do for short periods, so I don't interfere unless he comes looking for me. So, whilst he rearranged the tupperware tubs over the conservatory floor and filled them with various toy cars, I made cottage pie and leek and honey-roasted parsnip and celeriac soup. A bit of an albeit tasty mouthful for what is essentially a use up the veg box dish.
Later James helped me to make a honey, lemon and yogurt cake. The trouble with James and baking is that he is absolutely petrified of the food mixer. It is just a hand held electric one, but he becomes hysterical at the mere suggestion that it may be used. (wonder if it is a past life issue?) So - simple living it is and wooden spoons were brandished with abandon. Next culinary delight was tapioca pudding for desert. A childhood favourite - it was always the Wednesday pudding at my Gran Duncan's, where I went every day for lunch when I was at school. In those days of course the main meal was at noon - glad I don't have to get myself together to do that every day. I can actually still remember the meal plan that my Gran had, as every day was the same. Monday was always soup and some kind of tart and custard; Tuesday.... no I won't even bore myself never mind any unwary reader.
I also finished knitting a pair of fingerless mitts in a fabulous yarn by Manos del Uruguay, now I will start on a matching hat - all for me. Mind you, elder son was eyeing the mitts up earlier - "they would be ideal for me walking the dog." I pretended not to hear him though, bad Mummy that I am. If I had knitted them and given them to him as a present he would have run a mile from their 'uncoolness' or whatever the word is now.
And - I also started this blog! So - all in all a good day.