from little things big things grow

Friday, August 8, 2014

Days of terror and virtuous muesli

I have just had the most loveliest lay in. Peanut butter filled chocolate, coffee and a River Cottage recipe book for my companions. A heat pack snuggled close. Flannelette sheets, and all the pillows. Best of all - the bed to myself. And on top of all this a bowl of maple toasted muesli with creamy yoghurt - one must be virtuous, yes? And the husband and babe will be back sometime and I will need my strength for then.

I have found a few recipes lend themselves to baking on days of terror. Days when you manage to get in the shower, but must make a decision whether to let your daughter decorate the walls with blue bath crayon as you just go ahead and wash your hair. Days when you are vomited on at 6am and the sheets need changing. Days when a little hand finds you and drags you into the lounge room for yet another session of physical challenge breastfeeding with a bit of pinching off your moles, while watching a program that with a theme song that will earworm you later.

Virtuous home-toasted honey muesli is one of these recipes. And you can eat it together after you have washed the walls, the sheets and hidden the Baby Jake DVDs.

I did the artwork and layout for this on one of the days when all is perfect - i.e. babe has a 3 hour nap.

How it works for me on a day of terror follows. I sneak into the kitchen - perhaps with the aid of ABC4kids, and pull out the big blue bowl. Then I let Skye pull out all the other bowls and try them on as hats. Some on me too. The green one is too small for me, but looks good on her. Plus she likes to say 'green'.

Slowly I pour cups of various dry ingredients into the big blue bowl - which (bless) adheres to the bench with a silicone base ring. Sometimes I swat away the little hand that reaches for the oats or nuts, sometimes I give it a bowl of puffed corn to munch/stomp into the carpet. This process can fill in an hour.

Now chop up the dried fruit. This step involves a knife, but can be circumvented with the use of a food processor, but this then involves blades. Perhaps wait until babe is napping to do this step, or put on the dreaded DVD. Either way you have about 5 minutes to execute cutting and promptly hide knife/blade before the little hand appears again. But that is plenty of time for you - perhaps you will even get the sheets washed in this window of time.

Then the wet mix. The nice parts about this stage are 1. the smell, 2. you can make a cuppa for yourself with the boiled kettle of water, 3. once your pour the wet over the dry mix you can legitimately put this to the side and let it all soak for several hours.

The toasting part may need to wait until babe is really asleep or totally occupied or being looked after by someone else. Depends on how bad the day of terror is. I have found this can still be managed, especially now that my babe can be instructed to 'stand back'.

If you want to do a very quick sort of toasting you can substitute maple syrup - approx 1 cup for the wet mixture. Pour the maple syrup over the dry mix and stir. Then toast in the oven for two or three 5-7minute intervals until a nice golden colour.

Hurrah, you have survived the day of terror and done some 'cook' to boot! You are a supermum and deserve a delicious lay in with chocolate, coffee and books.

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