Last week at work I was talking with my class about how we show we care for someone. They’d had a horrible lunchtime and needed to think about someone other than themselves so I was asking them how they could show someone they cared. They came up with lots of expensive ideas like taking someone on holiday or buying them an X-box or a pet. I pointed to a gift on my table from my good fairy and asked them what my reaction was when I had seen it that morning. They said I’d been ridiculously excited over something so small. I asked them to think about what I was really being given; gradually they realised that it wasn’t about the gift but more about the thoughts that went with it and the happiness it spread. I knew that someone was thinking of me and caring for me through that little set of shower gel and body lotion. They asked if we could have a similar scheme in our classroom and I agreed but gave them a rule that they weren’t allowed to spend any money on the other person; whatever they gave had to be homemade or shown through kindness, perhaps helping someone when they were finding something difficult. Tomorrow we are going to draw names out of the hat to see who their classroom good fairy is going to be.
This got me thinking about how we show our families that we care. I’m really disorganised at home which is probably a reaction against being so organised at work! I rarely remember to get up early enough to make my lunch and end up either having a school dinner or going to the local supermarket to buy some lunch. I worked out how much I spent in a month doing this and it scared me! I have a shoe and bag form of economics and I worked out that I could buy a Radley bag every couple of moths with the money I was spending at lunchtime! I also looked at the kinds of things I had bought over the past month and thought how unhealthy a lot of it was – I would buy myself a chocolate bar as a ‘treat’, but it’s not really a treat when you buy one every day.
I made a new term’s resolution that I would take lunch every day and I would make it each evening before going to bed so that I wouldn’t forget in my bleary eyed state each morning, I have to get up way too early in my opinion! I decided that I would batch bake on a Sunday evening so that I would have a sweet little something to put in there which would be better for me than a chocolate bar. As I was making my first batch of cupcakes my husband came in the kitchen, “Mmmm, they smell good!” He’s so well trained! So I thought, if I’m making lunch for myself I may as well make it for my husband too, he’s even more disorganised than I am in the mornings! I didn’t tell him what I was up to and made his lunch alongside mine and left it in the fridge for him to find the next morning. My granny would probably have a fit that I hadn’t been preparing his lunch every day since we got married, but we have a slightly more modern marriage!
The result has been that we both have a healthy lunch and it’s saving us loads of money, another benefit is that he’s first on the list to make a cup of tea while we’re watching the goggle box in the evening to show that he cares in return!
This week I’m making apple, raisin and cinnamon flapjack, adapted (of course!) from a recipe on the BBC website – I’m waiting for it to cool down as I type this and it smells divine!
You will need:
200g unsalted butter,
200g demerara sugar,
100g golden syrup,
400g porridge oats,
100g dried apple,
To make the flapjack:
Preheat your over to 180°C/ 305°F and grease and line a 20cm x 30cm baking tray. Put the butter, sugar, honey and golden syrup in a large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. I have tried doing this in the microwave before but it never dissolves the sugar quite so well. Take it off the heat and add the apples, raisins and cinnamon. Stir in the porridge oats and mix until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until the top is golden. Let it cool completely in the tin and then cut into squares. Makes about 20.