08 July 2012

batshit crazy wholemeal cream scones

My three oldest and dearest friends are all successful, unhitched ladies of independent means. They are all three amazing. But I'd be lying if I said that they are all 100% comfortable with being single and childless in their thirties. There have certainly been weepy drunken nights, wondering who the hell he is and when he's going to appear on his white steed. But brushing aside the obvious professional success and financial advantages that they have over me these days (I'm so proud of them but envy none of their hard graft), they have managed to retain and develop something that I lost a long time ago; true independence. They're all really brilliant at being brilliant on their own.

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 scones
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
Thank god for my Mum. Thank god for scones. I'm just away to eat them.


With jam and tears (and Gaviscon). 


  1. they look incredible... I guess you use so little butter in scones anyway that the cream substitutes brilliantly... I am giving these a go soon!... lovely pics too... I have been with The Viking for nearly 20 years and we share a lot of the chores and always have so when he's away I feel less abandoned. Don't tell him this but I actually like it sometimes although when he comes home and we're back together it's like i'm whole again!

    1. I sometimes used to (secretly) like it when mine was away too - less laundry, less cooking, more doing as I please. But I've lost the art recently. Reading back, this is really just one long tedious rant that could've been summed up with "I'm better when you're here". Which is quite a nice realisation to arrive at for our wedding anniversary I guess!

  2. Awww. Those scones look rather yum. I think it is fair that you go a bit mad if she is manhandling your poor old cat. Hopefully lesson learned. I get very angry when the boys aren't as considerate as they should be of Bob and I reckon Bob is rather more robust than your poor wee kitty.
    By the way, in future, if you have emergency shopping needing done, you can borrow Steve. He's good with emergency snacks too. He made a batch of cookies yesterday while I was out shopping. We should have brought some down to you.
    Good luck with the wall business today.

    1. I might send mine over to yours to learn the art of making surprise cookies - you're a lucky girl! Just hanging my dustsheets over things now - eek, I hope I don't make as much of a mess of this as I did the back door...

  3. YUM!! Sorry to hear you are having a hard time, omg to renovating while heavily pregnant (less on the heavily I am sure). I do understnad the absent partner though, my DH works shifts and often won't see the kids for 3-4 days in a row due to his long hours, it really does suck some days having to do EVERYTHING for everyone. I hope the indigestion (gah I had that when preg too) eases - milkshakes and icecream are good for that when its not too bad, then ask for drugs, they are awesome!

    1. milkshake and ice cream... I don't need to be told twice :-)

  4. I've been there, having a horrible day with a small boys, being a screaming fishwife, feeling crap about everything and then getting a massive guilt trip when you tuck the now shattered little people to bed, looking all angelic and perfect....I reckon we all have had days like these.

    Indigestion is the worst...I used to look with disgust at people swigging gaviscon from the bottle but that as been me on all three pregnancies, even water disagreed with me at the end.....have you tried the gloopier stuff, if you get it on prescription you get a super big bottle!

    My mum has told me about those scones as well, some friend of hers makes them that way....mums have all the answers eh?!

    1. Thanks Faith - your comment definitely helps, and I'm pleased to report that despite the builder being here all day (or perhaps because of it?!), me and the girl have had a much better time today. Phew.
      Interesting you say that about water, because I was starting to think I was going mad! I'm desperately trying to stay properly hydrated, but am finding a glass of water almost the worst thing for the indigestion - so annoying! I'm just reminding myself over and over that it disappears as soon as the baby arrives and I'll forget all about it!

  5. Sorry to hear you are going thru a rough time...however quite normal- if you ask me. Been there...still am. We have hard days too around here with 4 kids 2 which are hormon raging teens.
    Don't be so hard on yourself- parenting is tough, and especially when, pregnant, without your significant other and when your house is upside down. This too shall pass- tomorrow is a new day. Have you ever tried pepto-bismol with a swig of caffeine free pepsi? Seemed to the trick for my heart burn(I know weird- worked for me)

  6. Oh my goodness...I know this exact feeling. I had it yesterday after I snapped at Seamus all day and was a general grouch. I'd been up all of the night before with a sleepless baby. Being a parent is a most horrible and wonderful thing simultaneously. Just remember all the wonderful parenting days you have and eat some late night scones.


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