Oatcakes. Picture: Renee Moodie
I have started work in the early morning for many years now – and one of the challenges for early shift workers is what to do about breakfast.
Actual breakfast has to be eaten at your desk, and can be done quickly and healthily if you pack the food the night before. But if you are up at 5am, and won’t have a breather to make that breakfast much before 8am, there’s a long stretch of time in which to get hungrier and hungrier, and crabbier and crabbier. What’s needed is a small, nutritious snack that can be eaten on the way to work.
Enter the oatcake.
Oatcakes are widely recommended as a power snack – but the commercially available oatcakes in South Africa always seem to have sugar in them. A hunt on the Internet eventually turned up the perfect solution – a very plain oatcake recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Continue reading
A picture which took me ages to get right – time I had because I wasn’t fiddling on Facebook.
There are many, many articles on everyone’s timeline about how much time can be wasted on Facebook, and how bad it can be for everyone (all that fear of missing out) and how damaging it can be for teens, and so on and so on.
So I am not going to say all that. Instead, I am going to note that a recent week-long holiday in which I simply did not look at Facebook was an eye-opener. In the run-up to our break, I had become aware of how much time I was spending endlessly scrolling through my Facebook timeline any time I had a moment. I had noticed how those “moments” turned into 30-minute holes in my day. So I just… stopped doing it for a week. Continue reading
The latest batch of “school biscuits”. Picture: Renee Moodie
Yesterday I made some biscuits.
They’re known in our house as “school biscuits” and are filled with bran (yep, actual bran as in the stuff that no self-respecting kid would ever eat), wholewheat flour and oats.
Plus chocolate chips, and two kinds of sugar, and butter.
The recipe is one by Heidi Swanson and it so nicely combines nutrition with decadence that is has been a lunchbox favourite with both parents and child in our house for years.
But the best thing about them is that you make one huge batch of dough, bake one set of biscuits then and there and freeze the rest of the dough in three or four portions. And that means that on a busy weekend you can knock out a quick batch with minimal effort, remembering as you go to thank your past self for being so nice to you.
I recommend Heidi’s recipe in its entirety, but here are my notes for South African bakers:
Whole wheat flour – I have used both brown bread flour and Nutty Wheat and they both work fine.
I use three eggs instead of two
Unsalted butter – ordinary butter is fine, just cut back to half a teaspoon of salt
The all-important chocolate: we just use plain old Top Deck, cut up. In other words, you can use any chocolate you like, don’t worry about anything fancy.
So – print out the original, add my notes and get baking!
Every day, when I fetch my son from school, I look up. There in the wires in the sky are a pair of shoes. One is brown, one is turquoise. I wonder how they got there, and why they are there. I photograph them and put them on Instagram.
And wish that I was still doing One Beautiful Thing – a project where I tried to photograph one beautiful thing every day for a year. I got to about October before I lost momentum. Perhaps I should start again – I really liked the discipline of looking for something beautiful (even if sometimes it was a mission to find something, and some days I forgot). For now, though, here are those shoes: