19 June 2015

Food stuff : Toddlers, Bananas and Cakes

It's Friday! So why not write a post all about bananas? And cakes? Surely that's what's on everyone's minds, no?

I love the idea of bananas. They're fruit, right, so they're healthy (yes, yes, naturally occurring sugars. Whatever). They're convenient, they're self-contained, they're filling. The taste- well, I can take it or leave it, personally, but all toddlers love them, yes?


So here's how things go with bananas in our house:

1 : Offer toddler a banana broken into perfect toddler-bite-sized pieces

"No. The pieces are too small. I want the whole one!"

Mama, ever self-sacrificing, eats offending banana pieces, and...

2 : Offers toddler whole banana

"NO! That's too big! I can't fit it in my mouth!"

3 : Achieve some kind of elusive sweet-spot of banana-piece-size...

NO! That banana is DIRTY!

Give up on whole idea of toddler eating the banana and provide a bag of yoghurt raisins instead.

Don't bother attempting to provide banana again for fear of incurring toddler wrath and so end up with a bowl of spotty, squidgy, overripe bananas (you know, they go from green to mush in a day) that no human being would really want to consume, so...

4 : Make banana bread

Hurrah! Something that involves using overripe bananas but somehow does not taste of bananas. Still consider it healthy as despite the butter and sugar, it still has about five bananas in it. My favourite recipe (minus the nuts for nut-hating Husband) is Felicity Cloake's recipe.

(Mostly this has worked fine for me, other than the day it spewed like a volcano in the oven and, of course, today, when for the first time it wouldn't turn out onto the cooling rack so I now have a, erm, two-part banana bread. Pants.)

Then realise I actually had eight- yes, eight- inedible bananas, which leaves three in the bowl, so feel forced, to avoid food wastage, to make...

5 : Banana and white chocolate chip muffins

Still healthy, surely? Despite the sugar, butter, whole milk and my sneaky addition of white chocolate chunks. The recipe I use seems to have disappeared online, so, briefly:

: 125g butter or margarine
: 150g caster sugar (I've used half this with overripe bananas as it's very sweet)
: 1 egg, beaten
: 2-3 overripe bananas
: 190g self-raising flour
: 60ml milk
: a scattering of white chocolate chips

: Heat oven to 190c
: Melt sugar and butter together. Mash bananas and stir in.
: Add the egg, flour and milk and fold together.
: Fill 12 muffin cases in a muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.

(bonus step 6 : Eat banana bread and banana muffins for lunch since I've spent so long making them I didn't get to the supermarket and can't be bothered to even make a cheese sandwich. Hurrah again!)

Bananas. One day I'll learn and stop buying the ruddy things.

04 June 2015

The Good, Bad and Ugly Stuff : May


This is going to be a tough one. Whilst May has definitely had it's highlights- friends and family, as fabulously always- it has also been utterly pants at times, dogged as I have been by...

The Bad

1 : Sciatica

Much like my attitude to labour before I actually experienced it, I had no idea sciatica could be so freaking painful. To anybody who might once have told me they suffered from it and I did a concerned oh-dear-how-awful face before changing the conversation (I'm not sure I was ever that heartless, mind), I am truly sorry. Managing a bad back, a horribly painful right leg, a sometimes tempestuous toddler and a breastfeeding (read: no strong painkillers for you, mama) baby who of course does not come close to sleeping through the night has been bloomin' hard, and I am eternally grateful for the support and assistance of my family and friends. Without whom I would have cried a lot more and eaten far more chocolate to survive. 

Still, it's starting to improve, which after two GP visits and having been massaged, acupunctured, acupressured, cupped and electrocuted (well, sort of) you'd hope so. Let's hope this doesn't feature next month. 

So, there. That's the Bad bit done, and we'll just shove that as number one on the list and call a spade a spade. Moving on. 

The Good

2 : Butterscotch Tart

Well, praise be! Having searched for a recipe pretty much since I left primary school (just a few years back), I finally stumbled across one courtesy of a friend of Facebook. And my mum did the hard bit and made it. Apart from a small texture issue (and the helpful instruction to bake the pastry 'bland' instead of blind, ha) it was SPOT ON and made me extremely happy. Now, mum. Just a wee bit more practise and we are COOKING ON GAS. I wonder how you send a tart from Fife to London by post, though. Research required, I think.

3 : Baby Giggles

Newborn babies are cute, yes, but they don't give a lot back in those first few weeks. Then comes the first sunny smile, like they have never been so pleased to see anyone as much as YOU. It's brilliant. And then, eventually, comes the first giggle, and Baby H managed that on a particularly tough painful day last week, and it was the best medicine. Cub was a particularly giggly baby so I'm hoping Baby H will follow suit- better than any painkiller. Mostly.

4 : Toddler Logic - Part One

Cub is on a roll with speech at the moment. The sentences tumble out, and there is nothing funnier than toddler logic (mostly- see below). Since Cub claims to know the answer to any question, I have been teasing her a little; the square root of nine has so far been 'a little bit spotty' or 'acorn', depending on the day. She has, before, declared herself to be 'a little bit spicy' (I think we have a confusion between hot- temperature- and spicy). Last month she claimed her right foot was called Lisa and her left foot Luther. It's a neverending supply of giggles.... until....

The Ugly

5 : Toddler Logic - Part Two

Ah. The downside. That the seemingly sensible logic of 'if you've done a poo then we should change the nappy' completely fails and leads to giganormous tantrums; that we can't eat dirty bananas (even if it's just a mark on the outside) and we certainly can't eat a piece of banana that is too small or too big (you try finding that elusive sweet spot in the middle). That one moment she loves Cheerios; three seconds later she doesn't. I know she's not alone here. I hope it passes soon, but I've a sneaking suspicion we've a way to go yet...