My husband and I met at the long shiny bar that separates the right brain from the left brain. I suspect it is called something like ‘The Medulla and Lobe’. We are able to look at the same problem, and find a completely different solution. We find this very exasperating. I find it exasperating because he is patently wrong. He finds it exasperating because he is so obviously right.
Fortunately he is not a hardcore ‘left-brainer’. Although he can absent-mindedly pepper his conversations with terms such as ‘co-efficient of restitution’ and 'internal rate of return’, he is saved by his ability to play this. And write the music to play on it. And write the lyrics. And sing them. So that’s a relief.
He is the father of my children. He quite often questions me about that because, whereas he has very dark hair, (‘Where is your husband from?’) some of our children are very blonde. And none of them have black hair. I tell him it shows that almost-blondes like me have more fun and better genes. A fair point I think.
I don’t think decent loving Dads get enough good press. They are the silent majority that get treated with paedophile suspicion when out alone with their children. My husband is part of the silent majority. He patiently mends all their toys and he sits with them and watches their DVDs. He wrestles with his son and wolf-whistles admiringly at his giggling daughters who are showing him their new disco-dancing moves.
Last weekend he embarked on the Herculean task of taking the three older ones on their bikes to buy bread. It would take me 5 minutes to get to the shop on my bike. It took him 50 minutes. There had been wailing and howling from one, a lost pedal from another, constant questions from still another. He returned with the exhausted look of one who would rather be crunching numbers at the office.
As they returned from the bike ride they discovered a dead moorhen outside our gate, it had been hit by a car. We have a horrible feeling – although we are not sure - that it is Molly the moorhen who lives on our pond and recently had a chick. My eldest was distraught. She went off to a far corner of the garden and sobbed bitterly. Her Dad wandered over, put his arm around her and came up with a plan. There was a bustle of activity, I had to provide the acrylic paints and within half an hour a beautifully painted sign bore the legend, ‘A Moorhen’.
My daughter chose the spot for the Moorhen’s final resting-place. My husband dug the grave and tenderly carried the moorhen into our garden. I wasn’t present at the ceremony, but he did tell me he’d said a few words. He said he hoped that Molly would find peace, and he showed the two biggest girls how to scatter some earth over her grave. He said they were very solemn, but that the funeral had been cathartic.
I think my children's Dad should have a lovely Father’s Day this Sunday, and I have made him this ice cream because he does like ‘red flavours’. Unfortunately he will not be able to sample it on the actual day. This is because he will be carousing in a sleep-deprived, beer-fuelled state at the 24 hours of Le Mans. I think that's a pretty cool way to spend Father's Day. I hope he, and all you other lovely Fathers, have a very happy Father’s Day.
Red Ice Cream (Click here for tips on how to avoid cross-contamination)
This recipe does require an ice-cream maker. If you are hesitating about investing in this delightful domestic device, could I refer you to this wonderfully erudite piece of writing. I'm sure the logic expressed will persuade you to get out your credit card.
200g dairy-free spread (here's one)
200g white sugar
400ml rice milk
4 tsps 'no egg' egg replacer mixed with 4 tbsps rice milk
Possibly a teaspoon or so of cornflour mixed with rice milk
- Wash the fruit amd chop the stalks off the strawberries. The easiest way to extract the juice is to put it all into a juicer. If you don't have one, let me again refer you to the article mentioned above, but if you don't want to purchase one, you can blitz the fruit in a liquidiser or blender, then scrape it through a sieve. Have a jug under the sieve to catch the juice/puree. It takes a looonnng time, you could do this step a day ahead if necessary
- Mix the 'no egg' with the rice milk and set aside
- Melt the dairy-free spread and the sugar together in a medium sized saucepan. Let it bubble quickly for about 5 minutes, stir it constantly. It makes a lovely 'scrip scrip' sound as you scrape through it with your wooden spoon
- Add the 400ml of rice milk and the 'no egg' solution to the bubbling mix. You might want to switch over to a mini whisk at this point to deter any cheeky lumps from forming
- Heat the contents of the saucepan gently, whisking all the time
- The mixture should thicken as it gets to the boil, you are aiming for it to coat the back of a wooden spoon. If it is not thick enough, add the cornflour teaspoon by teaspoon
- If you encounter lumps in the sauce, fret not, whisk for England / insert country of your choice, and if that doesn't work you can press it all through a sieve and the lumps will be no more
- When the sauce is of the desired consistency, pour it into a large mixing bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave until cold
- Add the juice/puree of the strawberries and raspberries to the cold sauce and mix until it is blended together. Taste it and see if you want to add more sugar
- Pour the mixture into the ice-cream maker and leave it to do its stuff, the time will vary depending on the ice-cream maker. Mine took about 45 mins
- Transfer the ice-cream into an ice cream container and place in the freezer for at least 12 hours, 24 is probably better
- You will need to remove this about 15 minutes before you want to serve it. Don't leave it out for too long, it does melt quite quickly
© Pig in the Kitchen 2007