makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Aside from getting my kids to school on time, the thing that stresses me out most about the school routine is packed lunches. Pretty sure I'm not alone there! I have one child who loves carbs, another who would happily gorge himself on processed meat and cheese, and a third, who will eat almost anything, except beans. I'm not much of a morning person (I literally can't talk until I've had a coffee) and so packing a healthy, delicious lunch, which someone might actually eat, is an ongoing challenge. That said, I think I'm getting better at it....Of course, I still screw up and make cookies that no one likes, or run out of supplies, or choose drinking tea, slumped in front of Netflix, over making bread. There are still days when we pick up sushi on the way to school, but I've definitely nailed a few surefire hits. Here's one of them:

Muffins

2 cups of flour (I sometimes use a mix of spelt & baker's, or wholemeal & baker's)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of sugar (rapadura is my favourite)
1 egg
1 cup of milk (sometimes I add some yoghurt to the milk or use buttermilk)
1/4 cup of melted butter or coconut oil.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup of chopped up or grated fruit, plus a handful of chocolate chips or currants or nuts (if you're allowed) and seeds. Our favourites include berries, grated apple, stone fruit, & mashed banana.

Oven: 200 degrees C

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well.

Beat egg, add milk, vanilla, and butter or oil.

Pour into well and mix lightly with dry ingredients.

Stir through fruit and extras.

Spoon into paper cases.

Optional: Sprinkle a little sugar on top

Bake for 25 minutes until golden.

   
Apricot muffins


Monday, February 15, 2016

So here I am. In a very quiet house with a cup of coffee, trying to focus my mind and feeling anything but focused. It all seems very strange, as if I'm learning how to do this new thing of being at home without my kids, just as all those years ago I had to learn how to be at home with them. I feel guilty if I'm not writing and I feel guilty if I write and ignore all the millions of jobs that need to be done. Mostly, I just feel odd and slightly giddy. I'm reading Elizaeth's Gilbert's Big Magic, and although I'm not in agreement with everything she claims, this book is exactly what I need to be reading at this moment. It's the equivalent of someone wrapping their arm around my shoulder, squeezing me tight, and saying: "just keep going, keep doing the thing you need to do. Be brave; don't panic." And now I better pour another coffee and start work...

Photo by David Bailey (Jeanne Moreau in 1964)
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