Thursday 16 February 2012

Marie's horrible, rotten, no good day . . .

Have you ever had one of those days??? You know the kind I mean . . . the ones where nothing seems to go right. I had one of those days yesterday . . . or at least it started out that way.

First of all I couldn't get the printer to come on. Nothing I did worked. It was most annoying because I had wanted to photo copy some reading pages for my student, but alas . . . had to skip that idea. (Todd was able to get it working eventually, but not in time.)

Then I decided that I was going to bake some chocolate chip muffins for a pot luck lunch that I had been going to attend. I have a fab recipe for chocolate chip muffins. They are the best. I never have to use paper liners either, they always pop out like a dream. Anyways, I mixed the batter together, gave my nonstick muffin tin a good spray and popped them into the oven just prior to my reading student's arrival. Sounds good in theory, right???

The oven had been all pre-heated and ready to go when I popped them into it. I went to check on them about 15 minutes later and guess what??? When I had closed the oven door, it hadn't exactly clicked shut and so had turned itself off . . . and the muffins had done their initial rise when I stuck them into the oven but, as the oven had cooled down . . . so had they. I turned the oven back on and thought they would be ok. WRONG. This initial prebake and cool down must have done something to the chocolate chips because do you think I could get those babies out of the pan when they were done??? NO WAY! They came out in bits. I actually had to scrape them out. The birds ate well last night.

Then the missionaries called and asked if we could go with them to help with a service project at a single sister's house. We said sure. We got ready to go and when they drove up, Todd went out to greet them. I am always a bit later going out the door, coz . . . well, I'm a woman! (No other excuse needed!) I went out the door pulling it shut behind myself, not realizing that Todd didn't have his key's with him. I just assumed as he had already gone out that he did. WRONG! His keys were in the house, and I didn't have my keys with me as I assumed he had his. Our front door is one that once it closes, you cannot open it up without a key. It's a security feature.

The service went ok. I really enjoyed getting to know this sister and her children a bit better, but I couldn't help fretting a bit while we were there, wondering how we were going to be able to get back inside our house. Mitzie was inside and I was worried that we might have to wait a long time for a lock smith to come, etc.

Then Todd remembered that he had buried a key in a plastic bag in the front garden . . . the one that the gas men had dug up a few weeks back along with our daffodils. We used to keep a little spade out there to dig it up with if need be, but someone had stolen it months ago. (It is amazing what some people will steal!) Anyways, when we got home he found a metal stake and started looking for the key. A bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. He had just gone next door to ask if they had a small shovel he could borrow. I said a little prayer and then I tried looking, using a different method of moving the skewer in the mud. Guess what??? I found it!!! WHEW! Crisis averted and we were "In Like Flyn!"

The rest of the day was quite uneventful in comparison . . . really. Thank goodness! I'd had enough excitement for one day. My mom always said things happened in threes and yesterday proved her right. Sometimes it's good things and sometimes it's petty annoyances . . . but a positive person would be able to pick out some good from the annoyances and I did.

One, we discovered exactly what to do if the printer acts up like that again. Two, I learned that I should always make sure that the oven door shuts properly when I use it and that it hasn't bounced open again. (The light on should have been a clue to me that something was amiss. DOH!) Three . . . even when you think you are never, ever going to be able to find something . . . like a key in the mud of a garden which has been turned topsie turvy . . . a little prayer can result in a miracle . . . and a found key. Our prayers are always answered . . . even the ones which we think are inconsequential and unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

Four that even horrible, rotten, no good and impossibly annoying days can turn out to be blessings in disguise. How can that ever be a bad thing??? It can't!

Have a great Thursday everyone!

I was quite relieved a few years ago when Delia Smith came out and said that even she cheated from time to time. I think most cooks have little ways of making things a bit easier and quicker from time to time. As long as taste isn't compromised . . . I just don't see the harm in the occasional cheat . . . like this recipe. Just make sure you use good quality fruit fillings with lots of fruit in them and you'll be ok.

*Cheater's Apple and Cherry Crumble*
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

This makes a large dessert, just perfect for taking to a pot luck! It's delicious and easy to make.

1 tin (21 ounce) apple pie filling (use a fruity one)
1 tin (21 ounce) cherry pie filling (again use a fruity one)
1 tsp apple pie spice )If your apple pie filling is a spicy oen, omit this ingredient)
12 flat style granola bars (ones like Nature's Valley that come two in a pack)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Spritz a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray set aside.

Stir together the pie fillings in a bowl, along with the apple pie spice, if using. Spread this mixture in the baking dish.

Place the granola bars into a zip lock baggie and give them a good bash with the side of a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces. Dump this into a bowl. Stir in the flour and butter, mixing all together until crumbly. Stir in the almonds. Sprinkle this mixture over top of the filling mixture, spreading it out evenly.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and the centre is thorougly heated. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or cold with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream if desired! (Or Todd's favourite, warm custard)

Over in The English Kitchen today I am indulging myself in Noodles and Cabbage.

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