Skip to main content

Monthly Munch: February 2015

It's beginning to almost feel like spring is coming!  We have snowdrops and crocuses in the back garden, and hopeful-looking buds on the daffodils in the front.  There have still been plenty of cold rainy days, but we've celebrated Theo's first birthday and Pancake Day to keep us cheerful.

Toby

- enjoys creating things and draws some really imaginative pictures.  He wanted to make a car out of a box, so he told me which bits to cut out (not forgetting the lights and exhaust!) and he stuck them all on.

Attaching the rear windscreen

Barely fitting in the finished vehicle!
 - is excited that they are "doing science" at preschool.  Apparently stretchy green noodles are involved.

- likes it when I put my Pilates exercise video on.  The other day I caught him perfecting Downward Dog in the hallway.

Hips in the air!
-welcomed all our visitors enthusiastically and had them playing Snakes and Ladders within minutes of their arrival.

Quotes:
Graham: "I like those trousers, are they brand new?"
Toby: "No, they're brand old."

"I saw that a long time ago.  I think it was before I was born."

Theo

- is exploiting his mobility skills to the full and getting into everything.

Can I get into this?
 - crawls over to meet Graham when he gets home and gives him a hug, which is just so sweet.

- makes a beeline for the front or back door if you open it, to look outside.  I think this may be my new favourite photo of him.

Gorgeous face!
 - has started waving objects at us with a hopeful expression, so we'll tell him what they're called.

- loves all kinds of musical instruments, especially Graham's guitar.

And I promised you a banana photo, didn't I?

Thankful for

- a completed DIY project; Graham and I attached the fabric to those cupboard doors, and were very pleased with the result.

That's Toby being a cowboy and swinging a lasso, too.
 - catching up with friends from Bristol.  We had visitors on two consecutive weekends!

- playing a piano duet with my Mom - the first time I've played in public for a scarily long time.

Recipe of the Month - Banana Birthday Cake


The cake part of the recipe is basically Nigella Lawson's banana bread, which is the only banana bread recipe I've used for years.  I have this vague memory of a banana cake with luscious caramel fudge icing - so vague I'm not sure the cake even ever existed, but I find myself trying to recreate it occasionally.  This seemed to be a pretty standard caramel icing recipe, but in the interests of not putting everyone into diabetic coma, I left out the icing sugar (butter, sugar, and two cups more sugar?  Yeowch!) and made it more of a glaze instead.


Banana Cake
4 oz sultanas
boiling water
4 oz margarine
5 oz sugar
2 eggs
3-4 bananas (depending on size), mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.  Put the sultanas in a small bowl and pour boiling water over to cover.  Leave to soak while you do the rest.
Melt the margarine and beat in the sugar.
Beat in eggs, then add the flour, baking powder and bicarb, mashed bananas - and don't forget the drained sultanas!  Stir it all together thoroughly.
Put in a large loaf tin or a 9-inch springform with ring insert if you're feeling fancy.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour.  When cool, ice with a drizzle of glace icing or plenty of caramel glaze.

Caramel Glaze
2 oz butter
4 oz light brown soft sugar
2 tbsp milk

Bring the butter and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan.  Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the milk and cook for another minute, still stirring.  Leave to cool for about 10 minutes until thickened enough not to just run off the cake.  Spoon over the cake and leave to set.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Language

For some reason baby equipment is an area in which American English differs markedly from British English. As well as learning how to care for a baby, we had to learn a whole new vocabulary! Fortunately we are now fluently bilingual, and I have compiled a handy US-UK baby dictionary for you. Diaper n. Nappy Mom says if you can read this change my diaper. The first time you change one of these you will be all thumbs and stick the little adhesive tabs to yourself, the baby and probably the changing mat before you get them where they ought to go. A few years later you will be able to lasso a running toddler and change them before they even know what's happened (yes, I have seen it done). You will also get through more diapers than you ever thought possible, creating scary amounts of expense and waste. Hence we are now mostly using: Cloth diaper n. Reusable nappy Cool baby. No longer those terry squares, the main drawback is that there are now so many types it can be qu

our new apartment

Moving was a slightly surreal experience given that our new place looks almost exactly the same as the old one, except for being a different layout. That's what you get for living in a throw-'em-up-and-pack-'em-in apartment complex I guess - albeit a very nice one. So, entering apartment 433: To your right is the master bedroom: with en-suite bathroom: and looking back, from your left, that's a walk-in closet, door to the hallway and door to the bathroom: Following the layout so far? OK, go back to the hallway and put your back to the front door again, and this time walk straight forwards into the sitting room: As you can see, ahead of you is the door to the balcony: for which I have grand plans for a herb garden and other plants. Leading off the living room is the dining area: and if you walk through that and round to your right you reach the kitchen: Go back through the living room again: and if you turn right (

Sand, slides and stepping stones

You will probably remember me blogging about Granbury and Dinosaur Valley State Park before - it's a favourite place of ours to take family when they come to visit, or just to hang out ourselves.  Normally we would just do a day trip down there, but this time we decided to make it a weekend. Maddy, Graham and Toby in Granbury Granbury town square was all dressed up for Christmas, with cowboy-hatted Christmas trees and wreaths in every window.  Anthony and Maddy picked up some Texas souvenirs in the stores and we ate lunch in our favourite 50's-themed diner, Rinky-Tinks, with a bit of Elvis on the juke box. In Rinky-Tinks Venturing outside the square for a change, we strolled along a pleasant street and found a park.  Standing in a playground for the afternoon would not previously have been high on our list of weekend-away activities, but having a one-year-old kinda changes your perspective on these things.  Toby discovered slides for the first time and went righ