Apple and blackberry crumble

Not content with dishing up a rack of bananalicious flapjacks (see previous post) Shana, later in the afternoon, also rustled up a mighty fine apple and blackberry crumble (easily as good if not better than any shop bought equivalent, and believe me we have eaten a few of those in our time). We devoured the crumble, topped with lashings of custard, for our late afternoon/early evening meal and the crumble is now all (repeat, ALL) gone. Hence no pics. Just grab an empty mixing bowl and stare at the inside for a moment and you too can recreate the ALL GONE experience 🙂

As ever, Shana’s portions were so generous that I eschewed a side plate of chips.  Having demonstrated such great restraint, I can only pencil in the margins of this blog the following note: ‘If hungry later, only self to blame.’

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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

Ingredients
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

Method
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 🙂

Absolutely Nakd

We tried some delicious ‘Nakd’ bars recently and decided it might be cost-effective to make our own. Good Nakd bar recipes are easy to follow and require absolutely no cooking. It’s all just chopping, blending and pressing, and then letting them set in the fridge till they are the right consistency.

We may be upgrading our equipment soon, although we won’t be spending a fortune. But we managed to make a batch of Nakd bars using just the following rudimentary gear. First, a Crown single-blade stick blender (made in China!) that we bought probably over ten years ago. It is a mere 180 watts power and the specification plate says that you must not run it continuously for more than one minute. Oh, so that’s why Shana thought the handle felt a bit warm after ploughing through half a packet of Whitworths ultra-gooey stoned Sayer dates this afternoon 🙂

Meanwhile, I was doing an impression of someone trying to start a petrol-engined lawnmower (or perhaps a jetski outboard motor?) as I got to grips with a more recent purchase of ours, the Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor. (No money-grabbing afiliate links there, btw, so just click merrily away. )  You may pooh-pooh the little Zyliss, but actually it’s pretty robust and certainly saw off a packet of cashew nuts with barely a second glance. Fifteen English pounds well spent, I’d say.

Other ingredients we threw into the mix were a pinch of Food Thoughts natural cacao poweder, and a weeny drop of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Madagascan vanilla extract.

I churlishly calculated at one point, that after my exertions with the Zyliss, the calories I would consume from the bars we produced would result in simply recouping the energy outlay. I could have been wrong though, because we reckon we churned out the equivalent of about seventeen of the commercially made Nakd bars. All in all then, we are, as Rockefeller once said, ‘quids in’. Definitely ready for a good sit down though. (Maybe we should rename them ‘knackered’ bars?) 🙂

The curious tale of the Cornish pasty on the radiator

‘Why is there a Cornish pasty just below the radiator?’ asked Shana, who was sitting on the living room floor, dazed and contused.

A fair question, I thought, noting also her concerns about randomly scattered boiled new potatoes, one or two nestled comfortably by the maze of wires under the computer desk. And sharing her puzzlement at the row of garden peas lodged between the living room wall and the radiator pipework just above the skirting board. It struck me that the peas were lined up rather like a row of green balls ready for a snooker player’s trick shot.

Thankfully, this evening’s meal had included no gravy. (Big phew! there 🙂 )  And the little helpings of butter that had adorned the potatoes had hardly had time to melt before disaster struck, and so were fairly easy to clear up.

If you had just walked in the scene would have been a little like that on the ill-fated Marie Celeste, albeit a Marie Celeste manned by very messy eaters and with two of the scurvy crew (viz. Shana and I) still on board.

It’s a bit like one of those Sherlock Holmes locked-room mysteries, this, isn’t it? I bet you can’t wait to hear how this sorry scene came to be.

Well, it’s all quite prosaic, alas. We had just sat down to a late afternoon/early evening meal, when Shana decided to fetch a cushion from another part of the living room.Unfortunately she tripped over my foot, which had been so inconsiderate as to be on the end of my leg and also directly in Shana’s path. I am now designated as a human trip hazard and shall hand myself in to Health and Safety later this week, to return only when clad entirely in Shana-resistant padding.

Anyway, Shana now has more bruises than a crate of dropped apples, and feels like she’s been cage fighting with a grizzly bear.

I helped by clearing up the food debris and by wiping the floor with antibacterial wipes and doing lots of brushing. Then I checked on how Shana was faring. You may argue that I got my priorities wrong, but I contend that bumps and grazes always improve over time; whereas some of our floor covering was from an end-of-line selection and may very well be irreplaceable.

Anyway, I did make an excellent pot of tea soon afterwards, so I’ll have my gold star and nursing badge back, thanks all the same.

Tomorrow, I shall be wearing a hi-divisibility (sic?) jacket in order to be more noticeable. And Shana will be trundling around with the aid of a pair of those little stabiliser wheels that three-year-olds have on their bicycles.

Because you can never be too careful, can you? 🙂