Skip to main content

Monthly Munch: September 2015

This month we have had to adjust to being parents of an actual school student!  The amount of new information has been almost as bewildering for us as for him, but we are starting to get our heads around the mysteries of phonics, online communication and what to take for show and tell.

September sunflowers

We've enjoyed plenty of warm sunny days, so the boys have been getting lots of outdoor play.  At this time of year you feel like you want to soak up every last minute of sunlight before the cold and dark close in.  I've been painting the fence.

Toby

- started primary school!  We've had some tears and fears, but gradually the worries are dying down and the enjoyment is creeping up.  He's already won a certificate for an excellent picture of his house.

Walking to school, first day.

OBE: Our Best Ever

- got to sit in the driver's seat of a winning racecar at Donington racetrack


-achieved a childhood rite of passage by falling off his bike into stinging nettles.  He got stung all up one arm, poor kid, but recovered fairly quickly.


- is really good at swinging himself on the swing.  With just a little push to get started, he can get himself going high.

Theo

- walked all the way to the "big" playground, about 1/3 of a mile - with detours to splash in every puddle, stomp on every drain cover and eat every blackberry.

Beware!  Boy with big stick!


- is into personal grooming.  He points at his toothbrush and says "teee", and tries to comb his own hair.  He still hates having his face wiped, though.

- is great friends with the little girl next door.  He calls her "Pappa" (for Poppy) and runs to give her a hug every time he sees her.

At Stowe Gardens (not a temple)

Thankful for:

- our new car.  The Renault we acquired in a rush when we got back to the UK had lasted far longer than we ever expected (which was about 6 months, quite frankly), but it was at its last gasp.  Graham found a very well-maintained Rover 75 for a great price, which has taken its place next to the MG to give us a pair of classic British cars.

- my great husband, who I can trust to handle all this car-buying stuff.  He does all the research and I try to make intelligent noises when he tells me about engine sizes and fuel economy.  Plus he saved us a ton of money on the insurance, so he's definitely earned his keep this month!

- getting to see the lunar eclipse, even if it did result in remarkably little sleep that night.


Recipe of the Month: Chocolate fruit & nut flapjack


I had the flavours of a Cadburys Fruit & Nut bar in mind - milk chocolate, currants and hazelnuts.  It's actually the second time I've made it now, but the first time it vanished before I could photograph it.  Doesn't look so good when you're taking a picture of a few crumbs...


4 oz golden syrup
8 oz sugar
12 oz hard margarine or butter
1 lb rolled porridge oats
4 oz currants
4 oz hazelnuts, roughly bashed or chopped
4 oz milk or dark chocolate chips

Grease and line an 8"x13" baking tin.  Melt the margarine in a large bowl (2 minutes in the microwave), then add the syrup and sugar and heat for another 2-3 minutes.  Or you can put all three ingredients in a large saucepan and melt them together that way.  Then add the oats and mix really well.  If you're using a wooden spoon it'll definitely make your arm ache, but keep going until it's all coming together in a cohesive lump.  It makes the texture much better, I promise you.  If you're fortunate enough to have a stand mixer, don't give it longer than 5 minutes or it will get too airy.

I admit to going metric with the additions, because chocolate chips come in 100g packets, which is actually about 3.5 oz.  But the main flapjack recipe is so neat in Imperial and converts to annoying half-grams in metric.  So there you go.  Measure out 100g or 3 or 3.5 or 4 oz, or figure it out in cups, or toss in a couple of handfuls.  The important thing is, DON'T PUT THE CHOCOLATE IN YET!  Mix in the currants and nuts first.  The chocolate melts really quickly in the warm mixture, so chuck it in last, give it one quick stir to distribute the chips, and get it in the tin quick.  Give it a good smooth out - it won't spread by itself in the oven, so make sure you squish it into the corners and make it nice and flat.  Put it in the oven at 180C/350F and bake for 18-20 minutes.  Leave to cool before removing from the tin and cutting.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Theme Week: Air

A beautifully wide theme which can cover everything from blowing bubbles to spotting planes.  Sorry for the belated blogging! Activities 1. Straw painting Toby loves straws at the moment and usually has at least two in his drink, sometimes up to five!  So I thought he might enjoy a spot of straw painting.  We dolloped watered-down paints onto a big sheet of paper, and blew air through the straw to spread the paint out.  The results weren't quite as spectacular as I'd hoped, but it was quite fun.  2. Balloon on a string Toby had already been introduced to the idea of blowing a balloon up and letting it go whoowheeewhooo around the room, so we tried the next stage up - racing it along a string. Thread straw onto long piece of string. Tie string across room. Blow up balloon. Tape balloon onto straw. Let go.  Wheeeeee! Duck! 3. Paper aeroplanes Yeah.  This and the balloon on a string was my attempt to keep us entertained on a wet Bank Holiday Monday.  Ver

Reckoning with righteousness

  'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' The preacher was reading from the book of James. It was a passage all about how faith is useless if it isn't accompanied by good works - actually feeding the hungry instead of just saying you'll pray that they'll have food! And James used Abraham, that patriarch of the Jewish faith, as an example of someone whose faith showed up in action. 'Hang on,' I thought. 'I'm sure I've seen that quote in one of Paul's letters, too.' I flicked back a few pages and found it in Romans 4.   'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' But in this passage, Paul is arguing exactly the opposite thing! The whole chapter is about how we can't  earn righteousness through works, but only by faith. And Paul uses Abraham as an example of this, too. Abraham was righteous because he trusted God, not because he followed the law. So the exact same quote is use

Reading for Spiritual Formation 2021-22

Do you read books in order to live a better life? I read books for lots of reasons, ranging from escapism and enjoyment to information and obligation.  In some sense, every book we read lodges somewhere inside us, affecting who we are and how we react to life.  I am the product of many books (far too many, some would say!) Not my library! (Image: Pixabay) Last year, though, I read four books with the specific intention of growing spiritually.  These four books were chosen by the Renovaré Book Club.  Renovaré Book Club Renovaré wasn't a name I'd come across before.  Turns out that it's a Christian group founded by Richard Foster (who wrote Celebration of Discipline ) and involving Dallas Willard (who wrote The Spirit of the Disciplines ), which probably gives you a good idea of their emphasis!  I was impressed with the quality of resources offered with the book club - podcasts, articles, discussion boards, online Q&A - and I also thought they'd done a good job get