01 March 2013

almost parenting... gingerly

Turns out there's one real drawback to parenting a really brainy child. (That is in addition to the fundamental flaw of her being brainier than me, you understand. "Flight of the Bumblebee was written by a man called Rimsky-Korsakov you know Mummy." Erm, no. I didn't as it happens.)

No, as far as I can tell, the main issue is this. The brighter the child, the sooner they realise that you, as a parent, have absolutely no effing clue what you're doing.

Which is fine while we're bumbling along in our everyday shambles of Oxford Reading Tree, damp laundry and glitter glue. But when it comes to actual parenting (I'm talking discipline, behaviour, Ural maestri, that sort of thing) she can tell, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm making it all up on the spot. And she's not convinced.

After a week of particularly feckless parenting, I'm working on a solution while she's at school: crystallised ginger, date and walnut cake. And while that's baking, a batch of Nigella's meatballs from the Kitchen book.


Because the former might trick her into thinking, for a valuable minute and a half, that I'm one of those awesome, capable Mums that knows what she's about. And the latter? Well, they're turkey meatballs, so presumably there's no dobbin in them. Though it turns out you can't be too sure...

Crystallised ginger, date and walnut cake (a variation on an old favourite)
Ginger is supposed to boost the immune system isn't it? So with the fibre-rich dates and walnut Omega-3s, you can pretty much convince yourself that it's good for you.

120g chopped dates
large pinch bicarbonated soda
170g sugar
50g  room temp butter
170g self-raising flour
50g chopped walnuts
finely chopped crystallised ginger to taste (I used 15g)
ground ginger to taste (depends how spicy you want it, I used just half a tsp)
1 egg
1tspn vanilla essence
1/2 tspn salt
  • preheat your oven to 180*C and line your cake tin
  • cover the dates with one cup of boiling water with a pinch of bicarb and set to one side while you weigh everything else
  • blitz all the other ingredients together with a hand-held mixer
  • mix in the dates and their juice (then put it in the oven for two minutes before realising you've forgotten the walnuts, so burn yourself whipping the tin out and stirring the nuts into the batter, like one of the more hopeless GBBO contestants you love to scorn)
  • bake for 35 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.

Joining in with April's 'Fred & Ginger' edition of Just Desserts over on Domestic Sluttery.


  1. I know what you mean..I have 4 and they know by now that I am so not the "super mom" the kids have next door- but I guess it makes me human. I love your wit and how your love for your children shine thru.
    We shall battle on.

  2. just remember you are bigger than her :) I was smiling away while reading and I bet there's never a dull moment in your house. I have a feeling you can match wits with her;)

  3. My three have it figured out as well. I hate it. Perhaps I should just make cake too

  4. The cake sounds lovely, and there's always the fall back of "because I'm the mom and I said so" ;)

  5. don't have em... simple answer... eat more gorgeous cake instead!

  6. Thanks for joining our Just Desserts club! That cake looks glorious.

  7. I've learned to say " you're right and Mommy's wrong" quite frequently.
    that cake looks SO GOOD!

  8. Feckless parenting and yummy cake ... sounds like just the right kind of upbringing to me ;)

  9. How do you get the pretty titles on your photos? X

    1. Photoshop: you need it in your life Lou.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...