Fruit and Nut Flapjack

 Friday 27th March.

It is the last day of term and no cooking has been going on. I need pay-back for the Morrison’s night off I missed yesterday. 

It is also our last drama performance in school today. Performing to your peers is apparently much more nerve-racking than to parents, and various tears are shed by members of the cast shortly before assembly is due to start. 

The understudies are called in;  I give my ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ speech, then the school starts filing into the hall and it is in the lap of the Gods who will actually appear on stage. 

All credit to the children; the understudies are able to step down and everyone delivers their lines, albeit with shaking legs some of them inform me. I feel so proud of them, I get tears in my eyes. Then I remember that I am supposed to be leading this, and no one wants an emotionally unstable teacher.

After school, and the regulation Friday night trip to the sweet shop, we go to the park in the lovely spring sunshine. Ollie struggles to cycle whilst holding sweets, and Daisy ladens me down with a shoe-box recreation of the Garden of Gethsemane; it is slow going. 

We stay until the sun goes down far enough that it becomes too cold to sit on a park bench any longer. 

On the way home we stop at the chip shop. It is full of other mums with the same, bright idea. There’s a jovial atmosphere and whilst I joke with the woman serving, Ollie performs to two babies in a double buggy who laugh at his leaping around. 

As soon as we leave the shop, I switch into serious-mode: there is nothing worse than cold chips, so I force the troops to cycle/gallop/run as fast as they can. At the bottom of our hill, I send Daisy on ahead with the keys to get the plates and condiments out, whilst I push Bradley Wiggins up the road.

The exertion nearly kills me; I park up the bike in the garage, rush into the house, and…..find the kitchen empty; table not laid. I feel like I might lose the plot. Daisy calls down the stairs to tell me that she’s (having an extended session) in the loo. 

After frantic table-laying we sit down to what is, quite frankly, the best end-of-term tea. I feel I may be on dodgy ground as far as my meat free week goes, but nothing is going to stop me eating that fish. It is of course washed down was a mug of sweet tea.

  

This fruit and nut flapjack is something Ollie and I made earlier in the week. I do not recommend taking it to the homes of small children! I took it to my cousin’s and within thirty seconds her immaculate carpet was covered in a layer of buttery oats. 

I was amazed at her laid-back approach, whilst I was on all fours frantically trying to pick up after four children who seemed hell-bent on grinding it further into the carpet. 

“Oh I’ll send the dog in later and he can hoover it up,” she says.

Clearly this is what I need at home: a dog that permanently follows the kids around and sucks up their mess.

I thought these flapjacks were wonderful, particularly because they are gluten and dairy-free. Tom prefers his more buttery and sweet, so you may wish to adapt the recipe. 

  

Ingredients

  • butter or Pure spread, 225g
  • soft brown sugar, 75g
  • golden syrup, 1 tbsp
  • honey, 1 tbsp
  • oats, 350g 
  • mixed nuts, 75g (I used walnuts and pecans)
  • mixed dried fruit, 75g (I used chopped apricots and raisins)
  • dried cinnamon, 1 tsp

Method

Preheat the oven at gas mark 4, 180 degrees. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin. 

Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and honey in a large saucepan. Cook on a gentle heat until the butter and sugar has melted. 

Take off the heat. Stir in the oats, nuts, fruit and cinnamon. Mix gently but thoroughly. 

Pour into the tin and press down with the back of the spoon to make sure it is an even level. 

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. 

Cut it into squares ( I did 15 ) and leave to cool in the tin.  

Adapted from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8840/funky-flapjacks

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