Mission Impossible

Tom Cruise has been filming some scenes for the latest Mission Impossible movie about 15 miles away from here. Doing the usual spy capers….fighting on top of a speeding steam train.

Usually he’s trying to save the world from apocalypse….

If he’s braving the Yorkshire weather then it must be a really big world threat this time. Something truly horrifying must be going down in Yorkshire. In a separate note I’m about to bake a cake.

It’s cooking Jim but not as we know it

Warning this post contains some disturbing baking images.

This house had an idea. Some next level pancakes….

Not content with messing up normal pancakes let’s go a stage further. Pancake sandwiches. So what filling could we go for?

Chocolate biscuits. Carefully warmed chocolate biscuits. How hard could that be.

First Try….

Erm…. As Spock would say ‘it’s a chocolate biscuit filling Jim but not as we know it’.

After a number of other shocking tries we finally produced this….

We can officially call this a warmed chocolate biscuit filled pancake sandwich.

The message here. If keep throwing punches, you might be the worst boxer ever, but eventually one will land.

Searching

It is a beautiful planet.

What is never beautiful is my food skills. What words are more appropriate.

Abomination

Shocking

Horrible

Disaster

Dreadful

Petrifying

Well today I almost outdid myself. Nearly messed up the easiest thing. All I had to do was make strawberry jelly. The supermarket didn’t send the Jelly Cubes but that was not a major issue. I had rather cleverly put aside a packet of the powder jelly just in case.

So I came to make the said jelly. All I had to do was add boiling water, stir then put the bowl in the fridge. So I emptied the powder into the bowl, added the water and stirred.

Ok why is strawberry jelly brown coloured……

I continued to stir expected it to turn red eventually. No that is definitely brown. Now it was time to check the jelly packet. Ok ot was the same shape as a jelly packet. The same colour as the normal brand of jelly we buy. BUT the words STRAWBERRY JELLY did not feature that prominently. What did feature prominently was the words CHINESE BROWN GRAVY.

In my defence why would you put Brown Gravy in a bright Red Jelly looking packet…

Jelly is off today’s menu, Stir Fry is strangely very much on….

Sweet Spot

The lake is going, going, gone….

It’s been a busy old day. Much multitasking.

  • Cleaning out the cat tray,
  • Darning holes in jeans,
  • Trying to reassure,
  • Baking bread and some small buns,
  • Cleaning the toilet and bathroom floor,
  • Explaining probability to Hawklad,
  • Hair cutting,
  • Trying to figure out why the dishwasher had stopped cleaning,
  • Putting a new belt onto the hoover,
  • Removing a pet related stain from the sofa.
  • Changing the bedding,
  • Ordering ingredients for next weeks school at home cooking project,
  • Trying to measure Hawklad for new clothes,
  • Trying to make an omelette which is approaching edible.

At work multitasking was so valued. Multitasking usually in areas you might be good at or at least competent. Maybe backed up with some training and clear process guides. At home, my home, it feels very different. Yes it’s multitasking but never in areas I’m good at. Often feeling like I’m not even vaguely competent. Constantly having to refer to incomprehensible instructions, Google searching for help videos or just looking blank as I kinda just wing it.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have things I’m good at. I’m ace at saving Football penalties. I can smash into Rugby tackles. I can bowl a mean leg break. I can climb rock faces. I’m an expert on Godzilla and the X-Files. I can recite almost word for word every Fawlty Towers and Captain Scarlett episode. I rock cycle shorts (ok I made that one up). I can balance unfeasibly large numbers of coins on my elbow and then catch them one handed. AND I’m one of the worlds great air guitarists.

These are all great talents but strangely have not yet been required in my single parenting career. I wonder why? 🤣😂 But I live in hope. One day one of those skills might just be required. Then I will have found my parenting sweet spot. A task I can excel in. No need for instructions or help. No vacant look or red mist descending. That reassuring feeling of ‘I’ve got this’. How good will that feel….

Pancakes

Oh no it’s pancakes. I have been let back into the kitchen. How can I wreck the pancakes this year. Like most things baking – they don’t come naturally to me. So this year the ingredients are ready. Carefully measured out.

What could possibly go wrong…

AND the results…..

Where do I start….

Not exactly round. Not exactly fluffy and light think putty. Either to thin or verging on a bread loaf. The taste well I thought ‘delicate, unobtrusive flavouring’ while Hawklad thought ‘tasteless mush only saved by mountains of sugar’.

So somewhere between 5 out of 10 to 1 out of 100. But here’s the thing. Pancake Day was special this year. Really special. It made the day DIFFERENT. In these lockdown times that makes it special.

Give it a miss

Finally a little bit of blue sky but it’s really wet under foot. Prefect mud for a long haired dog. Definitely a long bath is heading his way.

Maybe not as long as some things.

Dad have you got some homemade bread in. I fancy a ham sandwich.”

That’s right I was making a loaf. What happened to it? I did make it, I think.

****a check of the kitchen revealed no fresh loaf****

Dad are you sure you made one.”

Yes I did. I made it. Put it in the tin and put it in the airing cupboard to rise….. Oh I didn’t did I

Dad what have you done.”

****a check of the airing cupboard revealed a loaf of bread left to rise****

Dad how long should it have been in there for?”

About 45 minutes

How long has it been in there?”

A bit longer

Dad how much longer?”

About 4 days…. In my defence I put it in there and my sister phoned and I completely forgot all about it.

What a muppet Dad. You really are. Might give the sandwich a miss then.”

Say that again

Say that again…..

I so need to have a notebook which I carry around in my pocket at all times. Every time something is mentioned that has the slightest chance of becoming important then I could write it down. A permanent record to prompt my sieve like memory and stop those say that again moments.

Had a few too many of those over the last few days.

“Dad did you get the glazed cherries for our Christmas Eve treat?”

Say that again!!!!

Dad did you buy the Home Alone 4 dvd for our Christmas Day movie?”

Say that again!!!!

“Dad did you phone school before they broke up to tell them that the Teams password isn’t working?”

Say that again!!!!

Dad did you remember to make a donation to the school charity appeal last Thursday?”

Say that again!!!!

Dad did you phone up XXXXXXX mum to get hold of their address so we can send them a card?”

Say that again!!!!

Dad you haven’t forgotten that we are having Salmon to eat on Christmas Eve?”

Say that again!!!!

“Have we got the sausage rolls, French sticks, onion rings, pineapple rings, Doritos and mango chutney in for our Christmas Eve buffet?”

Say that again!!!!

Dad did you remember that you said that you would send a copy of the family tree to Auntie Xxxx”

Say that again!!!!

Dad did you remember to take the bread out of the oven. It’s been in there for most of the day and it’s looking a bit burnt.

Say that again!!!!

Mr Xxxxxxxxx did you remember to submit form 5a. It needs to be received by the end of this month or the service will stop.

Say that again!!!!

Ok you will need to give your dog these nasal sprays at least once a day. Will your dog sit still to let you do that.”

Say that again!!!!

To plan

There comes a time to bake. A time to bake that Christmas Cake. So the festive playlist was cranked up. The baking implements readied. Time to get the ingredients out. That’s when the plan unravelled slightly.

Butter, eggs and Marzipan FOUND.

NOT FOUND

Raisins

Cherries

Sultanas

Oranges, orange juice or orange peel

Dark Sugar

Treacle

Almonds

Flour

Spices

Jam

Icing Sugar

🙀🤯🤷‍♂️🤪

So I had better add those to the next order. But what to do. Simple make egg sandwiches and then start to nibble on the marzipan. That’s a result.

Then go outside and catch a beautiful sun setting moment. Yep that Christmas Cake turned out very nicely.

Fair Warning

I do like a good slice of cake. Like it just a little too much. Especially Christmas Cake. That’s with icing, that’s with marzipan, that’s with a slab of cheese, that’s au naturale. My family knows this. Every Christmas my mum would bake me a cake, my sister would do the same. Both most definitely knew how to bake a top cake. So every December I was well fed. Too well fed. That’s why this Thor like muscle structure hides under a Homer Simpson baggy exterior.

But times move on. Mum has now left us. But my sister still comes up with the goods every year. And then 2020 hit. Due to covid restrictions and Hawklads anxieties I’m not meeting up with my sister this December. So no chance of a cake handover.

I’m cakeless…

That means one thing. One scary thing. I either buy one or I BAKE ONE. The bought ones are never as good as my family ones. So……

It’s baking time. I don’t have a good track record on the baking front. But there is always hope. Always a first time. So you have been warned. Things could get interesting here. You had better not stray too far from your panic room.

Fair warning.

Perfect or imperfect

Just a little something to break up the dark greens, browns and greys. Definitely really appreciated. Si adorable…..

Dad why do they make French so difficult to learn. It feels like we are trying to build a fusion reactor some days. Not trying to describe what I did on a visit to a Paris Park.

Hawklad is so right. Yesterday he was given a long list of French words and asked to work out the correct endings for both Perfect and Imperfect tenses. How about first checking if the pupil actually knows the word first. Asking a dyslexic to write 40 words out perfectly (twice with slightly different endings) is like asking me to cook the perfect Soufflé. It isn’t happening and is basically a waste of time.

The problem is that in the UK teachers are not allowed to teach. They are basically just presenting what the Government tells them to say. The Government is not interested in pupils developing and growing. It’s all about passing one exam. Parrot Learning in the good old way Victorian children did. Only last month schools were instructed to not use any learning materials from sources which are considered to be anti-capitalist.

It’s really time to let Teachers teach and the Government can focus on governing. Oh hang on a minute – our Government can’t even do that properly.