Waters

Why is it that as I get older my body rejects more and more food and drink. More foods and drinks that it struggles with. AND why is it always the stuff I love. It’s never broccoli or cauliflower or beetroot.

When I mentioned that to Hawklad he simply sighed, shrugged his shoulders and reflected on life.

“It’s because you love the really unhealthy things…..”

There is that…..

Water is good but add shed loads of full on coffee and it’s not so good anymore. Ice is good but add bucket loads of Cream and …….

I guess it’s just like education. Learning is good but add too much British Schooling and sadly ……

Am I being unfair, probably so but it’s sometimes hard not to be. Up to 12 months ago Hawklad loved HISTORY. REALLY LOVED IT. He loved learning about History. He loved learning about details, facts, dates, people. He couldn’t get enough of it. But then the school HISTORY syllabus hit. He has zero interest in Victorian Crime and Serial Killers. He didn’t want to learn about the details of infamous crimes and punishments (month after month). Today I found him staring into space. School history lessons finally moved on from Jack the Ripper. Now he is having to learn about the development of the American Cattle Ranching Industry after the Civil War. Unfortunately that is just not Hawklad. He is rapidly falling out of love with History. He is falling out of love with learning.

That can’t be healthy or right. Is it so hard to tailor learning to the individual. Clearly so as this afternoon hours were spent trying to parrot learn Ionic Chemical Equations. Guess what

More hours of Hawklad staring vaguely into space.

Should it really have to be like this.

It’s Cold on page 264

Poor Hawklad was trying to do his school at home lessons. A teacher had uploaded work to be done online. That’s always a good thing and most welcome, unless you are Hawklad. The work kept referring to ‘review the key information on page 264 of your text book’. What text book….. Apparently the text book those in class use each lesson as a key part of the teaching programme. The class share copies so there isn’t one available to be sent home, so Hawklad did know that one even existed. At least we know now.

It’s cold. Not as cold as some countries but it’s cold for us. It’s definitely a two wooly jumper day.

It’s the kinda day for hot chocolate, soups and stews. It’s been a bit of a STEW fest recently. I can obliterate baking but I can do a might fine stew. What’s the secret to my STEWPENDOUS creations. Well I discovered that last night. Out of date herbs. Seriously out of date. We are taking Best Before A Very Long Time Ago. Best before ran out during Obama’s presidency (and not his second stint….). Oops….

The ageing adds to the flavour. As my parents would say when food hit the ground when I was a kid. Days when the food was quickly wiped on a sleeve and handed back for consumption.

“It will put hairs on your back son”.

Now a few millennial later and it certainly has done that….. If only my parents had put all this useful information and knowledge into a parenting textbook. I’m sure it would provide much reassurance on the use of out of date food items. It might even enlighten us to what key information can be found on page 264….

Stars

It’s been a few weeks since the Great Bloggers Bake off happened. It was wonderful and so much fun. Along with all the great baking bloggers, two people need a real shout out for all the work they put into this. Mel (CrushedCaramel) for putting this all together and Jeanne (A Jeanne in the Kitchen) for judging the entries.

You can check out all the fabulous entries on Mel’s site. So many fabulous entries and a few other rogue ones……

Sometimes going rogue works….

The Bake-Offs awesome judge Jeanne has awarded me an effort star. That feels like a Michelin Star to a baker like me. I am on the United Nations Baking Crimes list. So a star is a huge win for me even though it might technically not have been awarded on baking talent in my case. 😂😂😂😂😂 You can check out all the true baking stars here.

The next star I need is in POETRY. Again I am on the International Poetry Crimes list. I am Bad at poems, real BARD. I have been asked by the authorities to Cease and Desist on rhyming. Who am I to argue. I have tried to stop but as a one off, Mel asked if I would write a poem with her for the Bake-Off.

So can you spot the lines that someone with talent wrote (Mel) and the ones that a truly appalling poet like I did’eth pen.

No Carrots hurt during baking

We would love you to still take part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off Festival of Love. Please send your baking photos and baking ideas into:

CRUSHEDCARAMEL@GMAIL.COM

Already Mel has received so many fantastic submissions and the occasional disaster 😂😂😂😂.

Ok time for Sunday Blogger Bake Off Entry . A heart shaped Carrot Cake. First problem… No carrots…. I foolishly used them all up while making Sunday Lunch. The garden ones are out of bounds as Captain Chaos has been wee’ing on them. I’m not driving today so just have to make do again. But no viable alternatives. No pumpkin, no zucchini, no pineapple, no coconut. Then the madness set in. Carrot is ORANGE. Cheese is also Orange and can be shredded. Lactose free cheese was added…..

So now it’s a heart shaped cheese cake.

Then the shaping issues. The carefully moulded HEART shaped cake fell to bits.

So I give you a bit of a disaster cake. Presentation needs a bit of refinement. The actual cheese tasting cheese cake is interesting. Think sweet spice. Think cheddar cheese. It kinda works. But do I serve it with custard or with butter.

Ice Cream

It’s time to dream. Dream big.

As I dream then what better time can there be to try to make some homemade ICE CREAM. So after a hunt I located one of those random impulse purchases that never made it out of the box. An Ice Cream Maker. Then the panic. How on earth am I going to fit that big bowl which needs freezing for 8 hours into a rammed freezer. I can’t remember that bit on the glossy advert. It just said make delicious ice cream easily at home….. So an hour later the freezer is bursting at the seems. The lid is weighted partly down with my heaviest kettlebell.

Wait patiently for 6 hours….. I’m sure two hours won’t make that much difference.

So in went the dairy and gluten free ingredients. Lots of tinned coconut milk, vanilla, decaf coffee and maple syrup. That kinda thing. Plus cookie dough….. why does my attempt at cookie dough look like rabbit droppings 😳😳😳😳😳

Then the press the machine button and it stirs…..why didn’t I just use my food mixer and save the money.

The end result…..

Not sure the famous ice cream brand will be too happy being associated with my attempt. But it is recycling….

Whisper it. It was nice……. WOW.

We would love you to take part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off Festival of Love. Please send your baking photos and baking ideas into:

CRUSHEDCARAMEL@GMAIL.COM

Already Mel is receiving so many fantastic submissions and the occasional disaster 😂😂😂😂.

Socks and Cakes

There is nothing better than sneaking into the open washing machine as it’s being loaded with clothes. Select a lovely sock and then leg it outside. Once the sock is outside then it’s lost to the wilds…

If only some other things could be lost to the wilds.

With the Great Bloggers ‘Festival of Love’ Bake-Off fast approaching it was time for another creation. Yes it was time to move to Def Con 3.

I tried to keep this simple. A basic sponge cake. Dairy and Gluten Free. Well it started well, with carefully measured out ingredients then the first disaster. For some reason my mind mixed up 20ml of tepid water with 320ml…. Talk about a mucky swimming pool. Not quite the smooth batter I was looking for.

I’m sad to say I panicked. I grabbed the flour jar and just poured. But why was the flour brown…. Yes I had grabbed the cocoa tin. Then I checked the next tin, this one had white contents. But as I poured it became clear this was caster sugar. By the time I had found the proper flour tin the cake mic was looking a right mess. Hawklad recommended that the best course of action was now just to randomly add more ingredients. So we added cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, orange peel and maple syrup.

The end result. Well it looks like a cake. Bizarrely it’s feels like a cake. As for the taste….. Well love can take many forms, but this cake probably isn’t one of those…

Do you feel the baking love.

We would love you to take part as well!! Please send your baking photos and baking ideas into:

CRUSHEDCARAMEL@GMAIL.COM

Already Mel is receiving so many fantastic submissions and the occasional disaster 😂😂😂😂.

Great Blogger Bake Off

Yes it’s fast approaching. Do you feel the baking love.

We would love you to take part as well!! Please send your baking photos and ideas into:

crushedcaramel@gmail.com

Already Mel is receiving lots of recipes, photos, poems and song suggestions. Please remember this is an INCLUSIVE festival. If it’s wonderful baking, we LOVE it. If it’s a baking abomination, we LOVE it.

Talking about abominations it’s time I got going. Baron Frankenstein has erected the lighting rod and has started bringing to life baking monsters.

Today’s horror is a loaf of bread. A cheese loaf. A loaf with the light, moist, tender, soft, airy and springy nature of weapons grade reinforced stainless steel. It might be a bread horror but it’s LOVED.

Breakfast

There is nothing like a good breakfast to kick start the day. Especially when it’s been another largely sleepless night. Today it was going to be cornflakes and flaxseed with a thick topping of fruit. No fresh fruit was available this week from the store so I opted for tinned fruit. Tropical Fruit Salad in juice. That will do nicely.

The reality was somewhat different.

As I poured the fruit over my cereal my brain tried to reboot from its reduced power standby mode. This doesn’t look right. Then the penny finally dropped just after tin was emptied. . Why was I tipping tinned baby carrots over my cornflakes.

Waste not want not. Wow that’s a taste sensation. 🥺🥺🥺🥺

Ketchup

Joey Chestnut has apparently declared himself the greatest athlete of all time after breaking the world record for eating as many hotdogs as you can in 10 minutes. He ate 76 in 10 minutes. 76…. Jody was clearly not eating hotdogs from outside my so called football teams stadium. It takes at least 10 hours to get served and I dread to think of the chemicals and additives entering into the body after just 1 of those monstrosities never mind 76 of them. Only shed loads of tomato ketchup is saving that.

Yesterday food delivery came with 18 missing items and various random substitutions. Brexit is going really well………

So as I we picked through the damage. No favourite sausages – ok Hawklad can live with that for a week or so. No favourite salad and fruit – again he will make do. It went on and on in a similar vein until. NO Tomato Ketchup. To many amongst us that will just not fly. To Hawklad that’s worse than a zombie apocalypse. So today we go out ketchup hunting.

Needs must…..

Don’t do this

Kids don’t try this…..

Lack of sleep does strange things to the mind and body. It took me 30 minutes into a yoga session before that the odd sensation I was experiencing was attributed to me putting on my compression shorts back to front. If only it stopped there.

I decided I needed a milky and sweet coffee to get me going. The sugar is next to the kettle. So what sleep induced madness sent me to the cupboard. Made me reach out and grab a large bag. Open that bag. Carefully add two spoonfuls of the white powder into my drink. Then stir and stir. Rather puzzled at the enfolding congealed mess. Then taste what was clearly something approaching wallpaper paste.

Only a lack of sleep ends with self raising flour being added to coffee.

Well at least it cut down on the calories…..