Today I have a challenge which will be easily met. My friend Christine has a sick pig (no, really, and it’s actually quite sad) and she needs a distraction from that reality, so I am more than happy to oblige with the absolutely AWESOME things which happened today.
Firstly, I got a lie-in. I *was* meant to be going to stay with Sis and help out with Niece and Neff, but as of very recently, they’ve moved into their own beds and now there is no room at the inn for an extraneous Aunty, so I get to stay home. And because she was chilled, I got to lie in. And I get to tomorrow as well.
Secondly, we went shopping. and in spite of a few minor irritations (“Stop dragging the trolley backwards” “Please don’t try to kick your sister” “No, don’t do that to him – it’s going to upset him” “Keeeeeeeeeeeeeep moving”) I KICKED ASS at keeping them under control. Yes once, for about half an hour, but STILL!
We had to go back at the end though, because I’d somehow forgotten that ‘egg’ is ‘dairy’ and Neff is currently a dairy-free zone and the poor child wanted cake at a picnic we’re taking him to on Saturday (yay – beach!).
So I looked at nearly every damn cake on the shelves (thank goodness they highlight the allergy advice) and guess what – they all had milk in. Or milk derivatives, which are just as bad.
Being a wonderful, kind aunty, I found him The Only Cake With No Milk and took it triumphantly to the checkout, where I met up with Sis.
Me: *smug* I found cake with no dairy.
Sis: WOW That’s amazing! Let me see.
Me: *really smug* Sure. I just checked all the ingredients and found the one with no milk.
Sis: …but it has egg in it, doesn’t it.
Me: *slightly confused* Yeah but look – NO MILK!
Sis: *talking as if to a small child* Yeah, but eggs are dairy.
Me: *responding as if small child* Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? You mean the boy can’t have EGGS? Mother of *&%@!
At this point I grudgingly put the cake to one side and looked at Neff’s trembling lower lip at the prospect of No Cake (I’m kidding, he was too busy trying to ‘help’ pack the trolley to even notice the conversation much) and decided that by hook or by crook, the child would have cake.
I walked him back in to find the Free From section with a casual “Shouldn’t be long” to Sis.
Free From it certainly was…but never free from the right combination.
There were cakes without gluten and wheat but with egg and milk.
There were cakes without egg but with milk.
There were cakes without milk but with egg.
And to be perfectly frank, they all looked revolting.
He was getting bored and frustrated by then, and wails of “I want caaaaaaaaaaaaake” were beginning to fill the aisle.
So I mustered up a brainwave – “Shall we make some?”
Sunbeams, rainbows and glitterbombs have nothing on the beam his face produced.
So we bought some milk-and-egg-free custard and chocolate chips and went to pay.
Once home, he was SO excited and couldn’t wait to get on. He also couldn’t reach. Enter a lightning-quick improvise with a small, very handy wooden folding table.
We began with custard, added self-raising flour and some baking powder along with caster sugar, vanilla essence and the chocolate chips. It immediately formed a big lump on the whisk, which we loosened with water until it was the consistency of double cream.
Then he wanted to add more chocolate. All I had was cocoa powder. With milk in it.
There I was, standing in the kitchen, all out of ideas until my eye fell on the ‘sprinkles’ cupboard and a gorgeous idea blossomed, courtesy of my Irish contact in San Francisco, who is able to procure food colourings not encouraged by the UK Food Health and Interference Board
“Shall we make it colourful instead?”
So it was made neon pink.
|He hasn’t got yellow eyes in real life, but I’m posting this pre-permission-seeking…|
|They even cooked pink, which is impressive|
In spite of having to scrub pink gunk off my dishwasher later (that stuff set like cement) the pancakes were an huge success and Neff was not only thrilled to have cake, but that he got to make it. They even tasted edible (though the texture was….bouncy)
Happy Neff made for very happy Aunty.
|Don’t need smilies on my eyes…|
Ten Things of Thankful #8
1. Cooking with Neff
2. Niece falling asleep on me and clinging on every time I tried to put her down. Soooooo cute.
3. PINK PANCAKES
4. Making blackout blinds from cardboard with Husby. Do we need to spend money? No we do NOT! (£4.95/m my ass!)
5. Not getting rained on by a *really* black cloud
6. Lovely dinner round at Bible study group tonight and good chats
7. The bugs have not returned yet
8. I get a lie in tomorrow
9. Niece and Neff are coming for their first sleep-over tomorrow
10. Husby’s going to make me a cup of tea soon (he just doesn’t know it yet)