I've known my husband nearly 15 years, and we celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary this weekend. So it's a really long time since I had to do anything important completely on my own gumption. As a result, I'm hopeless at being on my own. Which really sucks, because I am frequently without him these days.
If, like me, you're completely codependent, let me explain (in purely practical terms) why it is properly frigging horrid being regularly without your significant other. Maybe he/she does the kids' bath time, remembers bin day, loads the dishwasher? Does he/she take care of the lawn mowing, clean up the endless geriatric cat sick, change washers in leaking taps? Or maybe it's the big stuff - supervising the moving of a wall for example, or sorting out the tax cock-up. Well, I confess, my husband does all of those things for me. So when he's away, I'm ragged.
But the critically vital, most importantly indispensable thing he does for me, the one thing that I simply faint girlishly without, is that he goes emergency late-night grocery shopping for stuff I've forgotten, usually returning with a wee naughty snack for me to guzzle (I feel no dietary guilt at this, though I do concede that much of my night time indigestion is perhaps self-inflicted).
Keeping on top of his chores as well as my own, while caring for a five-year-old (who thinks everything is a negotiation), and living in a building site at 30 weeks pregnant makes me a very nasty person. I am so tired that I nag my daughter incessantly (who by anyone's measure is usually pretty angelic) starting a vicious cycle of poor behaviour and escalating nagging. But when I caught her this afternoon pulling the cat by the head, I went batshit crazy. ("But I was just trying to move her to the other end of the sofa Mummy"...snivel snivel, weep weep, "BY THE HEAD? GET OUT OF MY SIGHT YOU HORRIBLE CHILD!")
On these Dad-free weeks that we endure, by the time she goes to bed and I am back in the silence of an exceptionally filthy unfinished house, with only the elderly, nearly headless, vomity cat for company, I feel acutely aware that I haven't parented to the best of my abilities. It's not a nice feeling. And it's a lonely place to be. And to make things worse? There's no late-night naughty snack. NOTHING! This evening there was very little I wouldn't have done for cake. In fact, this evening there was very little I wouldn't have done for just an egg or two so that I could make a bloody cake.
And then I remembered my Mum banging on recently about making scones with cream instead of butter. And I remembered that I have a tiny pot of double cream... and some wholemeal self-raising flour...
Here goes nothing.
Emergency wholemeal cream sconesThank god for my Mum. Thank god for scones. I'm just away to eat them.
makes 9 small ones
150g wholemeal s.r. flour
35g golden caster sugar
150ml double cream
- preheat your oven to hellish hot. I'd guess about 220C, but my oven thermostat still doesn't work properly
- sieve the flour into a bowl and add the sugar and cream, forking it together very gently 'til it just holds (tough scones are always overworked)
- tip out onto your lightly floured worktop and bring the dough together very lightly
- press out to about an inch thick with the heel of your hand (no need for a rolling pin, you really don't want to overdo it) and cut 5cm crinkle-edged scones
- put on a paper-lined tray and bake for about 6 minutes
With jam and tears (and Gaviscon).