Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cookies, Brownies and Pooh Bear

This morning was kitchen time as I knuckled down to try some more gf recipes. I was quite pleased with the bread, but would really like a recipe for rolls. Any good ones for soft rolls (ready for my Dad when he is home again) please can you let me have them?

I tried some cookies, from a cookbook, but the response from the family was only half in favour of them. However, the chocolate brownies were a hit! I've never made brownies before (collective gasp from my US readers lol), so I've no idea how they compare to the "real" thing, but they tasted fine to us! Here is the recipe:

75g/3oz/ 3/4 cup rice flour
15ml/1 tbsp coca powder
2.5ml/ 1/2tsp gluten free baking powder
1.5ml/ 1/4 tsp salt
100g/4oz/ 1/2 cup granulated sugar
25g/1oz/2 tbsp butter or marg
30ml/2 tbsp water
100g/4oz/1 cup plain (semi sweet) gf chocolate
5ml/1tsp vanilla essence (extract)
2 large eggs, beaten

Grease your tin (18c28cm shallow baking tin). Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Heat sugar, butter/marg and water till fat melts, then stir in chocolate then vanilla. Add these wet ingredients to the dry, together with the beaten eggs, and beat well. Pour into tin and bake in preheated overn at 180c/350F/gas 4 for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool in tin, then cut into squares.

Whilst I was baking, Roarke (dh) got on with some learning with the boys. He took J and S in turn and they did maths together. J put in over an hour, S about 25 minutes. J was practicing mental maths skills and S worked on fractions. In the end I took over on the fractions, using lego bricks as a visual aid, because it wasn't working out with Roarke.

It's interesting - usually I take J and Roarke takes S when we need to explain things, as our learning styles match out. However, when it comes to maths, Roarke explains things better to J and I work best with S. At the tender age of 8 I was treated quite appallingly by a maths teacher and, since then, despite having a MENSA level IQ, I freeze when I am presented with sums. I think therefore that I use a different, relaxed approach to maths - usual visual aids etc - when trying to explain to S which works well for him. Roarke's approach to maths is very detailed, using lots of shortcuts/easy mental math tricks, which J seems to get easily and which appeal to him.

Both boys were allowed onto Neopets to feed their (dying) pets - the first time they'd been on for a while. I am relaxing things very much at the moment in light of my Dad's illness, but I don't want to let things slide too far, for fear of not getting them back easily.

In the afternoon we went for lunch at Mum's, and then took the boys to see their Grandad. It's the first time they'd seen him for a week. His drip is out, and the catheter, so I was happier for them to see him. Both J and S noticed the huge improvement in him - S said "we've got our playful Grandad back" (which made us all feel tearful). As for W, he seemed very unsure of his surroundings with the understanding that a 3 1/2 year old can have of why his Grandad was in this strange place instead of his home. He went very quiet, climbed up on the bed and threw his arms around his Grandad. He hugged him really hard, then snuggled into his arms. Within minutes he'd gone to sleep! This stunned us all - this little powerhouse never sleeps in the day. It must have been a combination of the warm room, the emotions, his cold, and the security at being in his Grandad's arms. They have always had a very close, very special relationship (sharing the same name does it!) and W has really struggled with the fact that his playmate has seemingly not wanted to hold him, play with him or love him over the past months.

There wasn't a dry eye in the ward - even J and S were moved at their brother's actions.

J had wanted to take a toy in "to give Grandad something to play with" but couldn't think of something suitable. Instead, he took his new Star Wars books in for Grandad to read. We also took in two of the brownies.

Roarke is staying the night up at Mum's, as he starts work at 4am tomorrow morning. He was going to take Mum in again this evening which is good. The boys are currently having supper consisting of more brownies and fruit, whilst watching Winnie the Pooh - a family favourite. J is convinced that Pooh Bear has aspergers due to the way his mind works! As for me, I've always had a bit of an empathetic feeling for Eyeore.

After having had some great results from going gf, with the boys, S's behaviour has taken a huge dive over the past 3 days and is back to his "old" ways. We are keeping a food diary, desparate to work out what he could have eaten that has done this. Two possible suspects - one small glass of coke 2/3 days running, or Sainsbury's Frosties - which Ceoliac UK have taken out of their safe list due to Kellogs saying that the malt flavouring in their cornflakes/frosties may have more gluten than previously thought. Other than that, I can't see what they've had that they weren't before. Mind you, we have also changed our squash?


Anonymous said...

Hi again. My Dad is half way through treatment of his Lymphoma. He has to have 6 months of chemotherapy, a treatment every other week. They are confident that should eliminate it. He was fortunate to be diagnosed with the slow growing kind. Chemo has not always been easy. He did lose his hair, but isn't nauteous. He did contract mild pneumonia once, and it has been hard on him overall. He has been hospitilized twice for low immune sysytem. However, at the half way mark his bone marrow IS beginning to produce blood cells again which is GOOD news. He now is starting to feel better. It is a cycle though. Within two days of each treatment he has a rough couple days then seems to bounce back and improve. So it's 2 steps forward, one back, then three forward, if that makes any sense?

I'm sure it is difficult waiting for more definative answers about your Dad's health.I remember it being quite stressful waiting. I hope you have more answers soon. Let me know how you are doing.

God Bless


Anonymous said...

The scene with W and his grandpa is so moving :-). I don't have dry eyes either. I will continue to pray for your parents.

Thanks for the GF brownie recipe. Could you tell me a bit more about the positive changes you've seen in S since starting this diet?

Thanks for your support!