My cousin Aoife got in touch last week asking me for my rice crispie cake recipe. You can’t have an kid’s birthday party in Ireland without rice crispie cakes. We call these Elvis cakes in our house because they remind me of the diabolical sandwiches that Elvis was purported to eat. Not flavour-wise, calorie-wise. They are delicious although not terrifically sweet which I think is down to the fact that butter in Ireland is salted. If you find they are not sweet enough for your liking use unsalted butter but we never have any complaints or crispie cakes left. The original recipe is from the Avoca Cafe Cookbook, Book 2 but mine goes something like this:
one packet of the funsize faux mars bars from Lidl
150g Rice Crispies or puffed rice equivalent
165g milk chocolate
Melt butter and mars bars together in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. The mars bars never fully melt – I find the nougat stays lumpy-ish.
Take the bowl off the heat and mix in the Rice Cripsies.
Now at this point you can either put the mixture in a lined square tin, pressing down firmly or serve in traditional rice crispie bun style. Either way stick them in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden (like your arteries after eating them.)
If you are making the bar version, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water and then spread evenly over your chilled bars. Return to the fridge until set, then turn out and cut into squares or bars.
I’ve been busy thanks to some time off. I had to train it up and down to Dublin so I had an opportunity to crochet like a crazy lady. Don’t tell Himself but it was one of the best parts of the holiday 🙂 While I was on the train I worked on this green top from a Rowan pattern. It worked out really badly as you can see. I got stuck and asked Rowan Yarns on Twitter for help. I tried to ask them on Facebook but for some reason was unable to post to their wall. (Maybe Facebook has me tagged as a crotchety auld one…) Exasperated I tried to email them but could only fill out a contact form. I HATE contact forms. Website owners if you MUST have a contact form please make sure to email a copy to your user. So a week later I finally get a response at which point I had made the best I could of the indecipherable instructions. As you can see it turned out really well – NOT. Oh and my beetroot soup leaked on it. Disaster. So I’m going to rip that side anyway. The first time I actually make something to wear myself and it’s a complete show. Sigh. However this next item was a gem. I can’t remember where I got the pattern but you can get it here. I made this for my friend for a significant birthday and was completely delighted with how it turned out. And so was she. I’m glad I dragged the poor Nippers half way across town for the yarn.
This is the back of the cuff. Thanks to my aunty for sewing the buttons on while I got ready for the party!
The pink number here was the trial run which I did on Friday night. I’m really glad I did because the yarn was wrong and I made a few rookie errors.
Finally here’s an update on the blanket that I’m working on for my cousin and his new wife as a wedding present. The first pattern I worked on did not work out. It was too finicky for a blanket, the tension was all wrong and it was turning out the wrong, wrong size. So I ditched it in favour of the Granny Stripe Blanket from Attic24. I’ll probably make a little cushion out of the crazy squares to go with it. I hope I don’t break the wedding present rule and fail to give it to them before the first anniversary. It’s turning out well and it’s a very easy, relaxing number to do.
Do you see what I’m doing there with my pop cultural reference being juxtaposed with my son’s 4th birthday party? It shows I’m still with it even though I’m a mom.
G is sick again so we’ve had to postpone his birthday for a fortnight. This is the third time in as many months that he has had a tummy bug so I’m getting a little worried.
And before you say it I do wonder if it’s something to do with the lurid pink icing. Or the fact that this cake was birthday cake no. 2 although he didn’t eat much of either.
My cousin R was over earlier and we were talking about all sorts of things before she had to go off to work. Among these many things the issue of weight came up and she commented as have a number of people lately that I have lost weight which is true and I am very glad that I am (just!!) under the 9 stone mark again at last. I do not write this to boast or to undermine anybody else. Those of you who know me in the flesh know I am only a small woman as G said yesterday at 5 foot exactly so I should be between 8 1/2 and 9 so I’m happy. The reason I write about this is because although I don’t think discussing weight is an appropriate topic of conversation because I think women are tyrannised by unrealistic “role” models (pity they aren’t rolly models!) and the last thing we should do to each other is add to it. However it is apparent from the frequency that comedians do the “and don’t ever get involved in the does-my-bum-look-big-in-this conversation” comedy routine that men find this obsession baffling. Tommy Tiernan did one recently at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal (not the clip I was looking for but funnier than the one of which I was thinking). So men may be baffled by our obsession but there is little in the world more baffling than going from a size 16 to a size 8 twice in 4 years and I am not including the time while pregnant. There is nothing more baffling than trying to be supermum when you feel like you are dressed with as much style as a Siberian on a Saturday night in the 80s.
And speaking of women, the Irish Times didn’t print my letter about Bias against Working Mothers. It was a bit all over the place to be fair and I’m not 100% whether I’ll publish it myself. But obviously I have been thinking about the issue lately and while listening to an interview on Seán Moncrieff’s show on Newstalk yesterday about Industrial Relations and various news reports about the Dublin Bus and Aer Lingus strikes etc. it suddenly occurred to me how mothers can prove for once and for all that they are an essential part of the workforce, be they working outside the home or not: a nationwide strike. Now while I currently have no gripe with my working conditions (I don’t have any) I would certainly down tools for a day to support my sisters. National No Working Women’s Day. The Pink Flu. Strike while the Iron’s Hot. Wans Strike and they’re out. I wonder what would happen…? I wonder could I organise it…? I must contact all the mothers that I know… I wonder would any of the trade unions go for it?
Another year, another twinge in me back. I’m getting old ladies and gents there’s no doubt about it anymore. Happily I was given a new chair and a new saddle by my three lovely lads so hopefully the twinge in the back will soon be no more. Thanks for all the birthday wishes.