Banana & Date Flapjacks

It’s been years since I’ve baked flapjacks, I couldn’t justify pigging out on all that sugar, so I’ve been trying to find a healthier recipe, and finally I have, thanks to Messrs Sainsburys.

It may not be one of the most artistic photos, but I haven’t got time to set the shot up because I’m too busy nomming them…and yes, I am sharing them with Chris because he too donned his pinny and helped by chopping the dates and bananas. I’ve trained him well!!

Banana & Date Flapjacks

250g rolled oats
125g medjool dates, pitted
2 ripe bananas
3 tbsp date nectar
100g melted butter
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp clear honey, to glaze

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20×20 cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Place the oats in a large bowl, then roughly chop the dates. Roughly chop one of the bananas. Add the dates and bananas to the oats with the date nectar, melted butter and cinnamon and mix until it just comes together. Press into the lined baking tin and smooth the surface. Slice the remaining banana into ½cm thick slices and arrange 16 slices over the surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden all over. Leave to cool, then brush with the honey.

We used Whitworths dates instead of the posh ones, just as nice in our opinion, and for the date nectar we used Clarks Date Syrup, which Sainsburys suggest in their shopping list.

Enjoy 🙂


It’s 2018 but not as we know it

“It’s twenty-eighteen,” Shana said one evening earlier this week.

Quick as a flash I glanced at the clock and put her right. “No, it’s only just after quarter past seven. That would be nineteen-eighteen.” Shana has always been notoriously vague about the twenty-four hour clock. Twenty-eighteen would of course have been 8.20 pm. It’s easy to an horological genius like me 🙂

But Shana persisted. “No, it really is twenty-eighteen. Or the year two thousand and eighteen, if you prefer.”

So, unknown to me, Shana had been referring all along not to the time but to the year.

Thus, despite it still being January, I have already become the year’s earliest ‘April Fool’, as we sometimes like to call one another. All I can say is, the year can only get better from here on 🙂

Saving the planet, one drink straw at a time

We like a regular drink of what we usually call ‘pop’ around mealtimes. No, it’s not a euphemism for the dastardly inebriating grog: it really is ‘pop’ or, to be more specific, a sip of cordial such as Rocks lemon, for example. Not fizzy but tastes just like old fashioned lemonade. (Just add water.)

We tend to sip our cordials (yes, with our little finger raised, if that’s how you want to imagine it  🙂  ) through a drinking straw.  But let’s not bother about the various etiquettes of soft drinks. The key here is that our straws have been, up to now, made of (insert shudder here) plastic!!!

But no more. Because other kinds of drinks straws are available. Properly washable and reuseable straws. We bought some (which arrived through the mail today) which are angled, rather than straight, and are made of glass. A four-pack of 6mm straws (larger gauges are also available that are more suitable for shakes and smoothies) cost just over a fiver. Shana will put some product details at the end of this post soon, as woolly-headed me has mislaid  them. (Aw shucks.)

Our new eco-friendly straws will pay for themselves in less than a year (because of no more need to buy the plastic version) and will also mean we are putting less yucky plastic into landfill or anywhere else in the environment. Thus we will have saved the planet. Feel free to join us in doing the same.

Not sure what we’ll actually do with the planet now we’ve saved it. Still working on that one 🙂

Shana’s Edit: My profuse apologies for Chris’ woolly-headedness, I told him his yarn stash would get the best of him one day! We bought our straws from ecostrawz , and no, that is not an affrilliate link, just a helpful pointer as to where to go to do your bit to save the planet 🙂

Drastic plastic

We recently discovered the science series Made By Destruction. I like Tony Hirst’s cheerful narration, and also, I must admit, the techno-influenced soundtrack. (Hunting for the album on CD but having no luck so far 🙂  )

Made by Destruction often features factories that process various types of plastic, and this appeals to my anorak-y nature. I just have to know the meaning of all those numbers inside the triangle of arrows on so many items in our home (everyone’s homes, that is) and whether they are all recyclable.

My research (ie, Shana’s trawling through endless web links) reveals that we had been using empty mineral water bottles totally wrongly. Water bottles are mostly made of PET (deep breath: Polyehtylene teraphthalate. There’s one for the spelling bee if you dare 🙂  ) PET bottles should not be reused because of concerns over hygiene and also the possible leaching of chemicals into the contents of the bottle. We had, for a brief time, reused our PET bottles by filling them with filtered tap water. Never again. (Actually, we stopped using filtered tap water a fair while ago.)

A quick guide to types of plastic  also highlights some other plastics villains, including the evil Bisphenol-A, more commonly known by his friendly nickname BPA. One to avoid at all costs. If you’re anything like me, after you read that page you’ll be looking at the plastic number triangles on everything in sight. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Meanwhile, we’re ditching all the plastic in the house. Chucking the biros and reverting to using pencils; braving the cold by discarding uPVC windows in favour of nice wooden frames; and of course, as all our computer gear has plastic casings, that must be the end of the blog 😦

Yeah, as if! 🙂