Saturday 23 October 2010

Weeknote, 23/10

Not a stitch on anything, unfortunately. Boo to me.

Going to:
Between governors, circuits and my personal trainer I didn't even make it to knitting group this week. Rubbish. I have been precisely nowhere of note. I did have the Malaysia trippers over to school for a meeting, though; they seem like a nice bunch and I am even more exiected about the trip now. Four weeks today!

It has been National Baking Week and I hoped to bake every day but this only lasted until, hmm, Sunday. Boo.
On Saturday I made Key Lime Pie, slightly adapting Jamie Oliver's recipe.
4 egg yolks
1 tin condensed milk
6 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 5 limes’ worth)
2 limes' worth of lime zest
A packet of ginger nuts
45g caster sugar
135g melted unsalted butter

Crush the biscuits, melt the butter and combine the two with the sugar. Press into a flan tin (I used a loose bottomed cake tin). Bake at 175 degrees for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks. Add the condensed milk and the lime juice, plus the finely grated zest from 2 limes. Pour this into the cooked biscuit base and return to the oven for 15 minutes, until set.
Chill overnight and serve with cream.

And on Sunday, I made my famed chocolate caramel shortbread; and beacuse this leaves me with half a tin of condensed milk which usually ends up being binned, I doubled the quantity of caramel and tried my hand at creating something new, in the form of banoffee flapjacks. I searched for a very basic flapjack recipe and took it from there.

6 tbsp Golden Syrup
250g butter
350g porridge oats
12 ginger nut biscuits, crushed
1 quantity of caramel, however you make it
2 bananas, mashed

Melt the syrup and butter together. Pour in the dry ingredients, stirring well to coat.
Line two swiss roll tins with parchment, and divide the mixture evenly between the two, smoothing over and pressing down lightly. Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes, until browned. Remove one layer to a wire rack for cooling; leave the other in its tin.

Make the caramel. Stir in the bananas, then pour over one layer of flapjack. Turn the second layer of flapjack onto the first and press down lightly. Leave to cool and then cut into small squares - it's very sweet and quite rich.

Unfortunately, when I added the mashed banana to the caramel it became twice as viscous and then refused to set without serious fridge time, resulting in a very sticky treat. It was widely lauded, but I think I need to try again, only this time either boil the caramel longer or spread the mashed banana over the flapjack and then spread the caramel over that.

How artefacts can be used in the classroom, at the federation teacher training day on Friday. A truly inspiring session which now has me watching medals on ebay and considering a trip to the Keynsham cemetary, which is apparently dug through a Roman villa and has loads of Roman finds in amongst its soil.

Obsessed with:
My new Kindle, which finally arrived on Wednesday. Mr Z kindly took msot of the day off to wait in for it, only for me to discover when I checked the tracking at 3pm that it had been delivered already. No card anywhere...he went next door, and apparently my neighbour had been in the garden when the CityLink (surprise, surprise) dirver just walked over to her, thrust the parcel into her hands and muttered, "Here, can you take this?" before stalking off. Thank goodness we know and get on with our neighbour.

Shifty couriers aside, it is very lovely. The screen is eminently readable and I like it not being backlit. It was already switched on and ready to go when Mr Z got it out of the box and he spent some time trying to remove the sticker with the picture on it which covered the screen....only to realise, it's not a sticker, it's the screen itself. It looked that real. The book I had bought on Wednesday morning had already been downloaded to it in transit (I went for the 3G option) which is very nifty.

Entertained by:
Hung, returned to More 4 this week. I am very annoyed that they put it on a graveyard slot, late Sunday night, with little or no cross-channel advertising; if I hadn't been looking for Desperate Housewives on Catch Up I never would have known it was back for season 2.
I fear this is going the way of the dodo soon enough, which is a great shame. I love the characters and the way they are developing. For those unfamiliar, a down-on-his-luck teacher is being pimped out by a neurotic woman. The interesting thing about it for me is how they handle these roles. The reversal of tradition and what they make of it (neither of them are especially comfortable) sort of fits with my take on feminism, which is that women should glory in, promote and value what they are already best at, instead of trying to take on traditionally male roles.

Very, very tired. I have had two very restless nights this week, where I have not slept til gone 2am. It's very upsetting because I lose an evening. On Monday evening I staved off sleep by going to circuits; on Thursday I gave in and went to bed at 9pm.
I don't know what has kept me awake. It may be worrying about work (on Wednesday night I got up after an hour and set myself a to-do list email, but it didn't help) though I don't know what specifically I am worrying about. It may be food: I had some double cream on my pie both evenings, which doesn't seem to agree with me.
I hope I am not developing A Condition. Mother Hand has a problem with sleeping quite often and I am nervous about it being hereditary. I do so love my sleep.

Anyway....that was a bit dpressing, but at least today is the first day of half term, so I am feeling elated! I have a week of rest spread out before me, with maybe a half a day's work to do, thanks to my tireless and dogged attention to assessment marking in the week just gone. And we're going to see Wicked on Tuesday! Woop woop!

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