It’s all Good

Nope, I haven’t been perusing the new Gwyneth Paltrow book. It’s just that today is good, Good Friday, to be exact.

Which means no school, and consequently no nagging this morning; kids loafing about in PJs eating fresh berries and pancakes (made with Dove’s Farm gluten free flour because, like Calgary Avansino in last weekend’s Sunday Times Style, in article that referenced – positively -Gywnnie’s approaches to feeding her family, I’m not fanatical about what my children eat but try to balance out inevitable gluttony – well, it’s Easter, isn’t it – with some less toxic choices) until their sparkling insides were so far at odds with the slatternliness of their exteriors that I had to chase them upstairs and into clean(ish) clothes.


Next, there was the joy of opening yesterday’s post. Not a bill to be seen but instead, the my-wardrobe SS13 Style Guide and best of all, a lovely, heart-warming card from my friend Rachel with some adorable Mibo paper animals for my children to create.


And the sun is shining! What an auspicious start to the holidays. I’m off out for a run to soak  it up while it lasts – admittedly, I am running to Ayres the Bakers to pick up Hot Cross Buns for our Easter lunch and egg hunt with friends this afternoon. But like I said, it’s Easter. Gluttony is inevitable. And for grain-free me? Would you believe that the lovely, thoughtful people at my local Budgens saved me the last Inspiral raw chocolate egg? I heart them.

Really better go for that run though….


Not about to buy 2 for 1 supermarket Hot Cross Buns when Ayres are cranking out babies like these!

Not about to buy 2 for 1 supermarket Hot Cross Buns when Ayres are cranking out babies like these!


I baked

It’s an odd thing – or maybe it’s not, I don’t know – but I love to bake, although I don’t, or rarely, eat what I make (I used to follow a gluten free diet, but now it’s completely grain-free; not that this makes cakes impossible – almond flour and coconut flour and sweeteners like maple and honey are ‘allowed’, but I just tend not to bother)

Back to baking though. I generally love cooking anyway but baking, there’s something about baking, some kind of alchemy. A cake is always so much more than the sum of its parts: such unprepossessing, odourless, colourless ingredients combining to create that smell, that texture, that taste. Not to mention those delighted smiles. “I sell happiness,” a market stallholder, presiding over a delectable array of cakes and confections, once told me. He did, too.

So anyway, it’s a double whammy at school tomorrow: PTA coffee thing in the morning, followed by a fundraising cake stall thing in the afternoon. I know, I’m rock’n’roll aren’t I? I’m also too lazy to make different things on the basis of catering for the palates of parents at one and kids at the other and besides, my stash of overripe bananas in the freezer was in need of a whittle. So I just prepared a double batch of the banana cake recipe, which I’ve included below, and made the concession of doing one lot in Spiderman cake cases with chocolate icing and sprinkles, and the other half in a tin with dark brown sugar sprinkled over it, to melt crustily in to the top.

bananas going black can be put in the freezer and saved until needed for baking or smoothies; the flesh will still be fine.

bananas going black can be put in the freezer and saved until needed for baking or smoothies; the flesh will still be fine.



Oh la, the smell! So good. And – because, as I mentioned, I am lazy – all the more enjoyable since this was the only cooking I did tonight; the children and I went out after school this afternoon, so I gave them dinner at a cafe. To have made nothing but breakfast and cake today feels rather indulgent, somehow. Like I said, I’m rock’n’roll, me.



125g butter

150g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

2 overripe, mashed bananas

190g self-raising flour

60ml milk

Melt the butter, sugar and vanilla over a medium heat in a pan. If your bananas are frozen, defrost them for about a minute in the microwave to make the skins easier to remove, and then put the frozen fruit in the pan to soften with melting butter mixture. If using straight from the fruit bowl, mash well and add to the butter mixture once it’s melted and has been removed from the heat. Add the beaten egg, mix well. Mix in the flour and the milk. Pour into a lined tin or individual cases and bake at 170C for about 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Individual cases will take less time, around 20-25 minutes.