Skip to main content

Monthly Munch: February 2016

One highlight of the month was our trip to Dovedale, in the Peak District, which deserves a post to itself, really.  We went with my parents on an icy sunny day, and our intended stroll along a fairly flat river path turned into an epic adventure!  We hauled the pushchair across stepping stones, up steps, and over rocks and mud.  Finally we abandoned it altogether for a rocky climb under a natural rock arch and into a cave.  Going up wasn't half as precarious as coming down, but we all made it back to river level, where we celebrated with a sandwich.

Looking down at the natural arch from the cave mouth

Toby

- was a pro at rock climbing and caving, and is already asking if we can go again.


- has made a best friend at school.

- always wants to be building, making or drawing.


- scored highly on his curriculum topic of "Understanding the World", which is hardly surprising considering the questions he asks.   Tonight, after exploring the concept of A.D. and B.C. dates, and millions of years ago when the dinosaurs lived, I got hit with, "How old is God?"


- proudly announced that he can write his full name, with all the letters in his rather lengthy middle name in the right place.

Theo


-wanted to climb up all the rocks to the cave in Dovedale, but didn't like coming down.

-gets very excited when the microwave is on, and counts, "Three, four, eight, two, ZERO!"

On a big swing!
- is starting to put two words together to expand his communication.

- calls Toby "To-tar" for reasons best known to himself.

Fun in the rain
- can spot aeroplanes which are so distant as to be hardly more than a white dot in the blue.

Thankful for:

 - not falling off the stepping stones at Dovedale!



- getting out to hear some live music - Cattle & Cane and Karl and the Marx Brothers were completely different in style but both well worth listening to.

Recipe of the Month: Pancakes with Pears and Butterscotch Sauce



Usually we have American-style pancakes for breakfast (not every day, obviously) but on Shrove Tuesday we have English-style pancakes for dessert.  I thought this recipe sounded delicious, and I'm sure it is, but I ended up making a much-simplified version.  Here it is.

For the pancakes:
100g / 4oz plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
300ml / 10 fl oz milk

For the butterscotch sauce:
25g / 1 oz salted butter
100g / 4 oz light brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
150 ml / 5 fl oz milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 can of pears
butter for frying

Make the pancakes.  Put the flour and salt in a bowl.  Add the egg and half the milk, and beat well until smooth.  Add the remaining milk and whisk in.  Melt a little butter in a 20cm frying pan.  Pour in enough mixture to thinly coat the bottom of the pan (and if you know how to make it neat without being too thick, you're doing better than me!) and fry, turning once, until golden on both sides.  Keep going until you have used all the mixture, which always takes longer than you think it ought to.

Make the sauce.  Put the butter and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has melted.  Boil for one minute.  Blend the cornflour with a little of the milk.  Add the remaining milk to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring.  Add the cornflour and keep stirring while it boils again.  Cook for a couple of minutes, and stir in the vanilla.  Keep warm.

Drain the pears and chop into chunks.  Top each pancake with some pieces of pear and a drizzle of butterscotch sauce.

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 (

Speedy Steamed Pudding

One of the highlights of being in catered halls for a couple of years at university was the sponge puddings. Great big sheets of chocolate or vanilla sponge, carved into hefty blocks and doused with thick custard. The main courses were edible at best, but those puddings would fill you up for a week. Good solid puddings, whether baked, steamed or boiled, have been a mainstay of English cooking for centuries. Something about the cold, damp, dark winters inspired British cooks to endless variations on suet, jam, currants, custard and other comforting ingredients. Once I left the nurturing environs of my parents' house and university halls, pudding stopped being an everyday affair and became a more haphazard, if-I-feel-like-making-any event. And steamed puddings especially, with their two hours over simmering water, don't really lend themselves to spur of the moment dessert-making. However, technology has moved on since those first days of puddings. I'd been vaguely