Sunday, 19 July 2009

In which everything is wonderful

How's your weekend been? Mine, pretty darn good. From Saturday afternoon onwards it's be really positive, productive and fun (I say Sat afternoon onwards because as you may know I was having a very frustrating fiasco with a certain cupcake recipe. more on that later). We went to Hyde Park for a picnic and to cheer on the participates of Race for Life. I spent the morning (from 7am till 9am) juggling between baking my jalapeno cornbread, shredding bbq'd chicken and preparing sandwiches, frying squash (thanks to a recipe from A Southern Grace), packing the picnic basket/cooler, and trying to get myself and two boys dressed (Boys...I am still awaiting for my husband, at 40, to become a man. I say this with love). It could have been manic but I have to say everything just seemed to flow perfectly and I left the house (clean as well mind you!) feeling very pleased with myself.

It wasn't raining when we left, although the sky looked very ominous, and it wasn't too cool either. So we headed too the tube and caught the Central Line right down too Marble Arch. Of course as soon as we crossed Park lane and entered Hyde Park the heavens opened and it began to rain...And when I say rain I mean it poured. I got completely soaked as I tried to unpack the bottom of the pram in a bid to get the pram rain cover out and on to shelter Son, and then had to re-pack before being able to take the umbrella off Husband (who was suppose to be holding it over me but was too busy watching all the ladies in wet t-shirts to do a good job) and start our trek again. Did I mention I was wearing 3 inch heeled sandals? Well I was. Wet feet in sandals is the worst thing in the world. In case you didn't (although I am sure you do) know.

So we headed to the finish line of the race too set up underneath a perfect tree, huge canopy of leaves to keep us sheltered (although by this time it wasn't raining and didn't rain again until we were heading home). We unpacked, laid the blanket down and let Son run free. It was a lovely picnic, we all really enjoyed it, Son was very well behaved and so was husband. Husband's work colleagues (and my arch rival) didn't join us until after the race (an hour and a half later), they arrived with a sandwich platter and cakes and arch rival and her son in tow. It was great actually too see everyone. The thing about arch rival is her and I really get along and our sons really get along, but there is this unspoken rivalry between us due to getting married on the same day and then having our due date on the same day... I think it is fulled by our husbands (who work together) as they are constantly trying to out beat the other as far as baby milestones go, but it's flowed over into us and I find myself in her company wondering if I am a good mother. Because she is very good, on appearance of course. She is not too strict, fun, involved, good at organizing events/crafts/games... Things I am also good at but I am constantly aware of the 10 year age gap and it makes me wonder if even though we've both been parents for the same amount of time, if her age gives her one up on me. I am aware it is petty and silly to compare myself as each child is an individual blahblah, but there it is, in the back of my mind, even though I do totally believe I am pretty darn good at this mothering thing. I'm happy to say when I saw her though I definitely won the round on 'who can shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size first'. Hurrah.

Moving back to the picnic, and importantly the food, everything I made went down a right treat. The Jalapeno Cornbread was especially popular, and the cupcakes (peanut butter with Cream cheese icing and margarita cupcakes, as mentioned in previous post) were a smash too. I impressed, and ended up pissing off the person who had bought the store bought sandwich platter (Which no one really ate) because they apparently had only come so as to support the runners with food. Well no one told me, so too bad.

Regarding the Margarita cupcakes (a recipe I was guided to thanks to Family, Friends and Food) I had real difficulty with them and I'm wondering if it has to do with the cake mix I used. The recipe calls for White cake mix but Sainsburys only had Victoria Sponge...which I was under the impression was the same. No? Advice would be greatful because I plan on trying these again. Also not sure if you can get just White cake mix in the UK. I didn't see it at least.

Anyway, we ended up heading off home at about 2pm, got in the door at 3pm at which point I broke the news to husband that I didn't have anything at home for dinner (big shop tomorrow), and as if by magic my neighbor knocked on the door and announced us not to eat because she was bringing dinner over for 7pm. Result! I am constantly in our back garden sniffing the air when she cooks because it smells delish! Here's to hoping it tastes as good as it smells (her husband told me other wise, but I think this was in jest).


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk (buttermilk for me makes it just that much better, so try to use this!)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil or shortening, melted, cooled
Sift together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add eggs, milk and oil or melted shortening. Beat until just smooth-do not overbeat.

Turn into a greased 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake in a 425: oven for 20-25 minutes.

Can add drained corn, bacon, finely chopped jalapeno peppers etc. for a different taste.

This recipe I found on Recipezaar by Janic412 after trolling through hundrads for one that sounded familar to the recipe I had back in the USA (where sadly most of my cook books still reside). It's brilliant, easy and I'm going to making it weeky from now on. I can honestly say that when I took my first bite I cried (leaving husband thinking I had lost it) because it reminded me so much of home. Just what I needed.


Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, you have been cooking/baking up a storm. I am glad everything worked out so well. You deserve a nice day after all u did. I hope your nemesis was put in her place by all your fab creations. Either way i bet your hubby was way impressed! Do I hear you going to Laduree already??????????
p.s. i buy white cake mix at costco (american brand called krusteaze)

Eve said...

Laduree Laduree... This is common name in our house at the moment, Husband nods and smiles when I mention it and then nothing comes of it. I'm considering ditching him and just taking myself there for a nice afternoon, a girl can't wait forever you know.

Costco in now on the list of places to go next weekend.

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