Grin and make the best of it.
Little Fish always happy to drag Ella Bella out. So with driving rain like ice-cold needles across our shoulders, we dodged from house to van, and did the only sensible thing, went shopping.
We needed things for a scary activity at Guides tonight - scary for the leaders that is, the girls love it. And we needed food ourselves. So off we went on Tesco bent, it only took ten minutes to negotiate the small glacier which has formed across the end of our driveway and then we were off.
We shopped. We stocked up. We found every single thing we needed for the Guides. And Little Fish collected three "has she got a license for that thing?" jestful murmurs, four "oh she's so helpful, you must be really grateful"* comments, half a dozen "awwwwww look at that" mutters, and a small handful of "Oh £$%^("s as they stepped backwards into her. Score!
And then we came home, and did the only sensible thing.
Macaroni cheese with bacon. So good it deserves a special close up.
Banana nut loafwhich I'm sure will be delicious if Little Fish could just get past "I not liking bananas, bananas bit stinky Mummy".
And then our own new creation, peanut crunch.
I can share the full recipe, but the key ingredients as far as we were concerned were the peanut butter (not unexpected in a peanut biscuit recipe) and a large double handful of cornflakes (definitely not in the original recipe and somewhat unplanned and haphazard). They seem to have come out ok despite the addition.
And then, because we hadn't done enough cooking, I posted the girls into bed and went to Guides. Don't look at me like that; we do have a babysitter. And I took all our scary ingredients, added five gas canisters, and a pile of calor gas stoves. Add in a large number of mainly pre-teen girls, a handfu of aprons and a sprinkling of adults, and you have a recipe for
They did really, really well. One reasonably uninspiring set of ingredients, and each group came up with something totally different. The winners were our youngest group, who came up with this little lot
The photo doesn't do it justice; it was beautiful. And I'll be stealing their improve a digestive biscuit beyond all recognition idea.
Cooking with the Guides is always interesting. I was so impressed this time though. Most of them remembered aprons and hair ties, only one group had no one who knew how to chop an onion, they all had original ideas and even more impressively, they all managed to work together as a group to get those ideas to turn into a meal.
Just to make life doubly interesting, as the girls cooked on camping stoves on tables around the room, the centre of the church hall was covered in an array of buckets and bowls, catching water in ever increasing amounts from the leak in the roof. We the leaders were unsure whether to worry more about the trip/skid hazard or be thankful for the plentiful supply of water should there be an "incident". As it was, only two incidents - one Guider who will remain nameless for fear of merciless teasing by those who read this blog and who work with her managed to cut her finger on a splinter - and one Guide managed to succumb to the stomach bug she'd been fighting all day but hiding because she didn't want to miss the evening. I do hope she explained to the other Guides; I'd hate them all to catch it and to blame the cooking for it. So if there are any angry parents about; we did personally ensure every single sausage was fully cooked, we watched them all wash their hands, and we didn't know about the bug until too late. Sorry.
And then a quick look at the time, and a flurried tidy, and then an un-tidy to rescue the stoves and clean them before packing them away once more, and a scramble across the increasingly wet floor whilst our most scientific of Guiders pondered the most effective placement of buckets and bowls to last until morning.
And then Taps, and Dismiss, and swim through the carpark, and home. One small child locked in a spasm, no resolved, and now one peaceful household gently scented with sugar and spices and love.
*only two of which were accompanied with "shall I call social services on this clearly deranged mother who is snapping at this utterly delightful and tragically disabled child?" glares.