There’s that age-old question asked of “stay-at-home” parents (whatever that means these days).
“What do you do all day?”
Well, seeing as my 4 year old is more of an ideas man and I get to do the leg work, some of my biggest achievements today (with him as onlooker) include:
- making a bubble wrap cactus (“it’s a bit, er…” says fitter half, “phallic?” I say…”yes” he says)
- building a giant wall out of Duplo (to surround an imaginary temple at playgroup obvs)
- singing several nursery rhymes (with lots of other mums/carers) without forgetting the words or the actions (I think we’ve all stopped caring how ridiculous we look).
- put together a 40 piece toy aeroplane in record time (“Mummy do this for me”)
- made a trip to the shops with a child in a pushchair without accidentally shoplifting or breaking anything. Which considering I went to an opticians (wall to wall breakables) was pretty special.
- played I-spy with a pre-schooler (he has no idea what letter things begin with). If you’ve never tried this it’s very, very hard but pretty funny, and it’s a good way to keep them awake when you know that bed time will be tortuous if they drop off for a millisecond.
One thing my little boy really engaged with though was making this. From squeezing syrup, spooning margarine and helping the marshmallows melt to mixing in puffed rice and scribbling chocolate on top, this was a really fun thing to do together. It’s also really delicious with a cup of coffee, even though I usually have a small person trying to sit on my head while I’m drinking it. I should just cut the middle man and tip the first one over the carpet.
So here it is, a gluten free and dairy free version of marshmallow rice crispy cake. To be fair, even though we toasted the Kallo puffed brown rice in a pan this cake is still less crispy than if I’d used gluten free Rice Krispies, but it does give me an excuse to make it again. And again. And I feel a bit smug about using brown rice, despite the marshmallow content.
PS Even though there’s no dairy or egg, these are not vegan or even vegetarian due to the beef gelatine in the marshmallows.
Ingredients: 110g Kallo puffed rice (or other gluten free rice cereal), 50g golden syrup, 50g dairy free margarine, a pinch of sea salt, 100g marshmallows. To decorate, a few squares of dairy free dark and white chocolate.
Method*: If using plain puffed brown rice, toast it on a baking sheet in the oven at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes to crisp it up a bit. Line an 18cm cake tin (sides and base) Melt everything else except the chocolate in a pan, then add the rice and stir well. Quickly scoop into the tin, smooth the surface and leave to set. Melt the chocolates separately and scribble over the surface.
(*Clearly the level of child involvement depends on age and ability, and I don’t need to tell you to check any pans or utensils are cool enough for a small person to handle before letting them loose with any stirring…)
I also “helped out” at Brownies this evening without actually helping at all. I tried, I’m just not very good at that sort of thing.
Here I am in the glasses I have finally admitted I need. I’m trying to work out whether the bonus that I can see clearly now outweighs the fact that I can see my wrinkles really clearly now. Regardless, the irony of me bumping into the door of the opticians on the way out (whilst wearing new glasses) wasn’t lost on anyone (except maybe the 4-year-old).