|Flapjacks for cyclists|
Lazy Sunday Flapjacks
When you wake up to yet another rainy day in May, a lazy Sunday seems the only option. My usual distraction for dull, damp days would be to bake a cake, but having already made a carrot cake this week, I decided on a batch of cycle-fuel flapjacks, that I can freeze. The recipe was inspired by the one from the Global Cycling Network, but I’ve tweaked it for our tastes and reduced the sugar a little, as the mashed banana makes it quite sweet.
Ingredients for Flapjacks
150g coconut oil (I sometimes use half butter, half coconut oil)
75g Agave syrup (or golden syrup)
75g brown sugar
75g walnuts (or mixed nuts)
75g mixed dried fruits (today I used dates, goji berries and apricots)
1 ripe banana mashed
Melt the sugar, oil and syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat.
In a large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients, mix in the mashed banana and then coat everything in the oil/syrup and mix well.
Push it into a lined baking tin and cook at 170º for half an hour, or until golden brown on top.
Leave to cool, cut into squares and enjoy (ideally) on a bike ride.
|Comfort food, meatballs|
While the flapjacks were cooking, I focussed my efforts on tonight’s dinner and the sauce to go with my homemade meatballs. Meatballs are our go-to special meal, often served for birthdays and celebrations, but tonight we’ll have them just because they are warm and comforting and cheer us up. My little burst of kitchen activity kept me occupied and filled the house with warm, sugary aromas, but did mean that by early afternoon dinner was done and the weather still hadn’t improved enough to get out on the bikes. We braved the wind to walk the dog, but that just reinforced the belief that despite some sunny spells, today wasn’t a day to take the bikes out, so I might as well curl up with a good book and a flapjack.
|If this was a video it would be wild and windy!|
May shouldn’t be a month when we need to resort to comfort food, but then the warm leggings and chunky knit jumper, that I thought had been packed into the drawer to be forgotten about for the coming months, have also been dug out once more. I really can’t wait for shorts and t-shirt weather, when all meals are enjoyed in the garden. The hazelnut tree in the courtyard, bowing and bouncing from side to side in the wild winds, was enough of a sign that eating outside wouldn’t be much fun today. A quick walk around the orchard also showed a disappointing sight; the damage of late frosts, cold winds and not enough sunshine this spring means there are very few cherries on our trees this year. I hope the plums, apples and pears have coped better.
This week will see many changes to life in France as the second of the four-stage plan to get back to normal comes into effect on 19th May. The main points are that café, bar and restaurant terraces, that have been closed for over six months, will be reopening, as will museums, theatres and cinemas, and the overnight curfew will come into effect at 21h, rather than 19h. Let’s hope there is an improvement in the weather so we can at least enjoy a coffee and a spot of people-watching from a café terrace, or an evening bike ride as the sun begins to set.
France has reached the magic twenty million mark for people who have received at least one vaccine and Adrian will soon be joining them. The opening of a four-day gap between courses for him, enabled me to book an appointment for his first vaccination this week, with the second one in the diary for later in June. As youngsters under fifty, Ed and I are only eligible to book a last-minute slot for the following twenty-four hours, and despite regular searching for the last four days, there has been nothing at all within 100km of us. Refreshing the page has become a bit of an obsession but I’ll keep checking until successful.
May this week bring sunshine and freedom.