|Is the angle of that fork bugging the hell out of you too?!|
Christmas is now Priority 1, Code Red URGENT! because there are just two sleeps until the big day.
In a minute I'll tell you a brilliant way to alleviate stress. But first, could I give a mildly feminist discourse?
Ladies, has the bulk of this extra Christmas work fallen to you? Have you been shopping, wrapping, planning and list making for at least a month? And all the while has a seething, broiling turmoil of resentment been raging deep in your gut?
"Why the f%*k am I ordering presents for your nieces/parents/brother?"
"There are 25 hundred presents to wrap, why am I doing them all?"
I have to point out that we have created this mess ladies. Somehow, somewhere, we let it happen.
Perhaps it's "quicker if I do it myself"? Perhaps it's "really no trouble if I buy all the presents, besides, he works all day"?
2013 needs to be the year of change.
The year where we wonder about the roles we are modelling for our children. The year we realise that in any other shared workplace - where both parties are of equal rank, intelligence and experience - it wouldn't be OK for one person to do 80% of the work. The year where softly softly (but firmly) we implement changes.
Anyway, back to banishing that Christmas stress.
It is - pin drop, drum roll, lean closer to the screen, beg me to tell you - the car wash.
I went the other day and a completely unexpected calm infused my being.
First, someone washes the wheels and windows with a brush.
Then they guide you onto a conveyor belt thing that immobilises the front wheel and - be still my beating heart - does the driving for you. All you have to do is turn off the ignition, engage neutral and relax.
There's a moment of silence as you wonder if the machine has broken and then pretty tri-coloured foam covers the car. This is actually the best bit. No-one can see you and no-one will hear you scream. You are safe in a foamy, silent, secret cocoon.
Then the brushes begin. Noise and violence rages around but you are sheltered from the eye of the storm.
Here comes the wax, lightly falling onto your car in a protective mist. Observe how the droplets repel the water!
The hot blower evaporates the moisture - fascinating to watch - and the belt moves you forward to the sign that says 'Drive off when your windscreen is level with this sign'.
You reach the sign.
The magic is over, but it was beautiful while it lasted.
And now, once more unto the breach, dear friends...
Beautiful, lovely, supportive readers, have a wonderful Christmas!
Enjoy the presents, the turkey and the lack of gluten, eggs, nuts and wheat.
And if it all gets too much, go the car wash.
See you soon!
Festive Mincemeat Slice (makes about 8 slices, maybe more)
I LOVE this recipe which my amazing friend Ali shared with me on Facebook. So much simpler than Mince Pies, I'm going to make some for gluten free Debs on Boxing Day :-)
150g Doves Farm gluten free plain flour (although I used self-raising and it was fine)
30g ground sunflower seeds (put them in the grinder and grind)
30g ground golden linseeds
130g dairy free margarine
80g coconut palm sugar (or just evil sugar; it is Christmas after all)
About 100g mincemeat (more or less)
An extra tbsp of GF flour
Icing sugar for sprinkling (which kind of cancels out the palm sugar, but never mind)
- Line a rectangular or square tin with baking parchment. Size? Hmm, about 20x20cm if poss, but if you don't have a small one, ruche the baking parchment up to form a barrier, but really don't worry, this recipe doesn't 'spread' (wow, this is possibly the most confused method I've ever written. Not even drunk)
- Put the flour, margarine, sugar, sunflower seeds and linseeds into a bowl (or KitchenAid) and either rub the fat into the flour/seeds or turn on your KitchenAid. You are aiming to get it all mixed together into a pleasing, fatty mess
- Pre-heat the oven to about
- Use two thirds of the mix and press it down into your tin to a thickness of about 50mm
- Spread the surface with mincemeat (I bought some mincemeat the other day and it had no nuts, wheat, gluten or soya, amazing!)
- Add a little more flour to the remaining mixture and 'crumble' it over the mincemeat
- Bake for about 25 - 30 mins until the crumble topping is golden brown
- Remove from oven and leave to cool
- Dust with icing sugar - it looks like snow! - and serve
- For next year, pledge to share the workload and go to the car wash at least once a month
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