Cooking up Trouble

Its the school holidays and in a fit of joie de vivre I embark on a mission to bake and blast as many edible goodies as we humanly can in one morning.

Ten minutes into the madness and I’m having palpitations and drinking way to much coffee to keep it together for a situation as ludicrous as this.

 “Whose bloody idea was this anyway?” One rants as the little darlings single-handely cover the entire house in cocoa powder. 

The thing about cooking with your sproglets is that the idea always seems so clever but the scenario is never so sweet.

The most important thing is to expect the mess, the chaos, the licking, the butter-squidging and sugar thieving and get over yourself – it can easily be cleaned up.

If your mentally prepared for the madness then you can cajole and roll amongst the flour storm and sugar frenzy without to much flusteration.

Five Essential Tips to get through Christmas

I fantasise that Christmas should be a time for love, laughter, mouldy satsumas and long, wooly socks.

Surely, there can be nothing more satisfying than snuggling up on the sofa, the wood-burner blazing, the chestnuts roasting, the children pink-cheeked and Father Christmas on the telly – (god bless Raymond Briggs).

But, in a flash, this homily could turn bloody and dark as relatives totally piss you off and the pile of unwritten Christmas cards begin to haunt your nightly slumber.

So, in an effort to get you through this time of festive cheer and, cajoling, naked, fear, I have composed my top five festive tips: bon chance, mon amies…

1 – Plant a whacking great sunny smile on your face, slap the mazzy on your lashes and get the hell out there; however, super steamed off you are, however, hard your head is banging, however, heavy the bloody shopping is: the rain might be trickling down your neck and the car-parking ticket might cost over £10 quid: its all going to be ok – because you ARE happy. Ok? Just repeat: “I am a joyous festive person who is full of cheer”.

2 – I know one should censure the use of alcohol, but it does appear to be restoring my sang-froid this December.  With this in mind; break out the snowballs, make sure the mazzy is ON, and slap that old beamer back on your boat-race; Christmas is the season to be jolly. Get some decent wine in the fridge and enjoy a Christmas drink with your buddies – they will make you feel NORMAL.

3 – As the, actual, day has not yet even appeared, but is slowly, stealthily, creeping towards your tight bucket of sanity (and gently pushing at said bucket) – remember this is the best bit: the build up. The actual day will see you with your arms inside an enormous, naked, pink-fleshed goose, whilst steam and central heating reduce you to a red-faced, middle-aged, old bat with your mazzy sliding down your overly-pink cheeks.

4 – Yes, of course, crack open the credit-card and buy presents for all those cousins, the grandmas and grandpops, the teachers and the husbands – but don’t forget to buy a little something gorgeous for YOU – lets face it, no-one else will.

5 – I know I sound miserable and bitter but take joy in this: I do it for YOU – my lovely readers. Have a cracker and for gods sake get out there and bring joy to the world.

Han xxxx

The Festivities finally, end…..


So the glutinous hugs of alcohol-fueled festive love have finally let go of their tight hold around my, now rather jaunty, stomach.

The time of celebrating is, thank god, over. I find Christmas hard work, the enforced familial joviality squeezed into two long days, the pursuit of drunken oblivion and eating till death hang over me, until, I can take it no longer and my heart sinks at the thought of another morsel of ham daubed with mustard.
However, despite the family arguments, the outrageous cost, the consumption of material crap, the loosening of belts, the traffic jams, the disturbing darkness of shoppers hell bent on sales, time spent with people you truly love and who genuinely love you is something you can never have enough of.
Truly spoiling the people who truly deserve to be spoilt is, quite simply, the best thing that you can do.