We’re back. The routine has started. At first painful, clunky, chasing out tails. Then the groove came back and now we’re whistling along. A flurry of book bags and water bottles and untucked shirts, crooked ties and shoes on the wrong feet. My second eldest has started school and I am not sad. I am very happy for him.
I miss him though; my little blonde bombshell of a sidekick. He is the first of my children who (lucky him, ahem) has been looked after by me exclusively since his birth. Sure, he went to playschool once he was old enough, but I didn’t need to send him off to his grandmothers everyday from 11 weeks old as I did my first-born son. The days of working 14 hours in an office were over by then.
And despite all this time together, the wrench wasn’t tough. I am happy for him, really I am. He walked in, asked me to stop taking photos and didn’t look back. I loitered, waiting for a glance. But nothing. He’d gone. The first big step in him leaving home.
So I made some rocky road, except there’s no-one to steal the biscuits as I weigh them, and no one leaning on the digital scales sending them all out of kilter, and no one stirring the mixture out onto the work surface. It’s eeerily calm as the baby sleeps and I make treats. My sidekick has moved on.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available exclusively in Iceland stores and through their website).
One year ago: Black forest brownies, Double orange choc chip bundt cake, Sunshine cake and Bonfire cupcakes.
Two years ago: Hazelnut cupcakes with Nutella buttercream, Red root reblochon bake and a Simple banana cake.
Three years ago: Cherry tomato frittata, Lemon brioche and Death by chocolate cake.
Four years ago: Tiramisu profiteroles, Drunken cherry brandy mincemeat and Macarons.
Five years ago: Easy cheesy pasta, Almond coated chicken and Mince pies for mince pie haters.
Back to school rocky road
- 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 350g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
- 150g digestives (about 10 biscuits)
- 100g dried raisins
- 80g glace cherries, halved
- 50g mini marshmallows
Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with non-stick greaseproof paper. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwavable bowl and melt in the microwave for short bursts (this should take about 1 minute) or place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the water. Stir until completely melted and smooth and set aside to cool a little.
Place the biscuits into a sealed food bag and bash them with a rolling-pin into 2cm pieces. Tip the broken biscuits, raisins and glace cherries into the melted chocolate mixture and stir well. Leave for 5 minutes to cool, then add the marshmallows. (If you add them straight away they can easily melt). Stir again until well mixed through. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, cover with a piece of cling film and squash down with your hands until level. Chill for 2 hours with the clingfilm still on, then remove it before cutting into squares.
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