Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Tarts Trelawnyd Style

All ready for the baking...( I've only just noticed my pants on the radiator )

This afternoon I am picking the affable despots' girls up from school.
We have a couple of hours to fill before dad picks them up, so I have been mulling over what we can do to fill in the time.
What do you do with girls of 5 and 8?
When I was a child, fun was had in the kitchen.
We didn't cook or play with pastry or batter. Ingredients were there to be cooked properly.
But we ( remember I had -and still do- a twin sister) were always entertained by a grandmother who baked and cooked with all of the ease of a professional chef.
Victoria sponges, pies, plain old fashioned cooking, all were completed alongside stories and chatter, and , even though we didnt that often , get our hands dirty, by a process of osmosis , home cooking was always joyful and entertaining.
This afternoon , the girls and I shall be baking jam tarts. They will make the pastry, they will dollop in the jam.......my job? is to referee the mess and make sure the girls are kept busy
Last time, I left them to their own devices and they back combed William's fur so much that he looked like Tina Turner in 1980

( i'll post some baking photos later) hey ho
William wasn't Happy
Postscript






Finally Eve, Liv and William watched tv


74 comments:

  1. Laughed out loud when i reached the photo of tina turner. Wish i could be a fly the wall today as the girls build their tarts. William will be so relieved they're otherwise occupied! X

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  2. I grew up in my grandmother's kitchen, I learned a lot and loved every minute of it. Thanks for trigger those flashback memories.

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  3. Jam tarts - YUM - and treasured moments, not just for you John but for the girls as well. When they are all grown up they will remember these good old times with you.

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  4. Good luck!!! You will need it. A little ex teachers trick - Don't eat anything they cook. No matter how much you clean their hands before you start they invariably pick their nose, scratch their bum or suck their fingers within seconds.

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    Replies
    1. With my animal hygiene ? That would be chicken feed

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    2. I pulled a long hair out of a scone in our local cafe today.... ate the scone and gave the owner the hair. I have survived a lot worse. :-)

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  5. So it comes to this now, does it John? A skivvy shot...

    Whilst my Grans cooked and baked, it was my grandfather who was the real, formerly professional, baker in the family. He wouldn't allow anyone else in the kitchen when he was on a baking spree, however. Got my revenge on him though, I later became a baker (and cake decorator) myself.

    You're making happy memories for, and with, those girls. =)

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  6. Poor William, LOL! At least they didn't put him in Tina Turner's stilletos.

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    Replies
    1. They brushed his hair again

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  7. I learned to cook from my maternal grandmother; she encouraged experimentation. good for you, john!

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  8. Oh, what fun those two little girls are going to have!

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  9. I think those tarts will be perfection!!
    We were just listening to a 'Tina' tune just before I read this post, John!!
    Those tarts will now be remembered as 'Tina's Tarts'!! There ya go!

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  10. You will create a great memory for these girls. I often make cup cakes when my two great nieces visit. It is an enjoyable and productive experience. Sometimes though baking with my kids when they were younger was an exercise in patience..

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  11. You'll make some priceless memories for them along with the jam tarts.

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  12. Make sure they each make a specially decorated one for Daddy. Little girls love to cook for Dad!

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  13. The fact that you are willing to pick up these two little girls from school to help their mum and dad and go one step further and let them make jam tarts is amazing. No doubt the girls love coming to your house. Have a good time and I am looking forward to your photos of the fun.

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  14. Your child skills certainly are coming along. I remember the time when you thought a good birthday gift for a 14 year old girl was the memoirs of a Matthausen survivor.

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    Replies
    1. Well she WAS rather precocious

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    2. As a 14 year old that gift would have been totally perfect for me .

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  15. Small children need to be kept busy; this sounds perfect. Good luck.

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  16. That sounds like a perfect time filling thing to do. Good luck and can't wait to see the snaps. Poor William indeed...

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  17. I want to bake with you. That sounds like a wonderful afternoon.

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  18. And dog hairs in the jam tarts no doubt?

    Who is going out tonight? My money's on Flora.

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  19. Wow, I'm a grown woman and baking jam tarts sounds like FUN!

    No doubt the kids love visiting you.

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  20. Your pants? They are not identifiable. My eyes went right to the scale, you actually use a scale to measure? I need to watch you cook and bake! (Then I would learn what the h--- a "Jam Tart" is)
    Hmm, you may need to have a post on baking and measuring for the colonists, you think? (Scale ... I can't get over that one ...)

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    1. That clarified the jam tart problem - sweet, I'll bet! Wm seems content!

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    2. If I may barge in, SJ, I take it that when baking you use, like any good American, "cups" and measuring spoons. Going by volume rather than weight. Same difference. In other places, like, say the UK, we use scales. My point being that when baking precise measurements are key. Wherever you are in the world.

      U

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  21. Those girls will enjoy that, I'm sure. Have fun.

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  22. I have copied many UK recipes and would love to have scales! Takes so much time to convert to US measures....The girls could make your mince pie tarts at Christmas!

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    1. Im confused dont you have scales n the US.!?

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    2. Cups and measuring spoons over here.
      As for the girls, you done good, Grandma.

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    3. Cups and spoons ....no scales....although I'm sure they're available online.

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    4. I have a small one (to 5#) that I use when I mail packages for figuring the postage.

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    5. One of my most useful kitchen purchases was a scale. Mine's made by Oxo, is battery operated, and takes very little room to store in the cupboard.

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  23. I make cakes with my grandchildren, hubby leaves the room, he can't bear to watch the clouds of flour and squashed eggs, and when it comes to sprinkles, well he nearly has heart failure.

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  24. I bet they enjoyed themselves. They could be the bake off contestants of the future! I think I used to make cheese straws with my Mum.

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  25. You can buy ready-made pastry in the chilled cabinet at your local supermarket. Not as much fun as making it from scratch, granted but a lot less mess! Also, packets of instant cake-mix also come in handy. You can get their favourite cartoon or Disney characters on the little rice paper toppings. They make cute-looking cupcakes and again, very little mess. That's the cheat's guide to entertaining small children but be a martyr if you want! x

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    Replies
    1. Nana...you're an old pro

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    2. High praise indeed! x

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  26. Can't believe William like to watch TV! Perfect host.

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    Replies
    1. He doesnt normally...he just wanted to join in

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    2. awwww that is so sweet that he wanted to join in.
      I remember the photos of William watching Mary in her hutch.

      cheers, parsnip

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  27. Perfect after school entertainment. My mum made jam tarts and they were delicious! Thought of some family saying - my nana if asked where something was would reply "up in Annie's room behind the gasbox" and my Pop when asked a shy question would say "because Y is a crooked letter and you can't straighten it".

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  28. That was meant to be a why question.

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  29. Looks like fun! US recipes are by volume, not mass. I grew up using measuring cups for liquids and solids. But I really love using a scale instead of cups. I have a nice electronic one now.

    BTW - Tina is my hero, but that hair was pretty bad!

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  30. I'd love to make Jam tarts with you john & eat them with a cuppa & good chin wag xx

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  31. When I started cooking with my little ones, one of the first projects were refrigerated crescent rolls. After getting them out of the package separate the dough, they would spread the jam and then roll them up. Quick bake in the oven, then they could eat them after a clean up.
    Not quite jam tarts but lots of fun.

    cheers, parsnip

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  32. Baking is a very good way to entertain children; backcombing the dog, less so! I loved to bake but never baked alongside my mother; just ran to her with bowl and spoon to ask what to do now.

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  33. "Mummy! Mummy! Why isn't Daddy as nice as Uncle John? We do fun things with Uncle John but Daddy only tells us off! It's not fair! Can we go to live with Uncle John? Can we Mummy? Can we?"

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    1. I think jason cannot be beaten in the popular daddy stakes

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  34. You are creating beautiful memories for those little ladies. Well done :)
    MissFifi

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  35. Love those photos. The memories you baked will last a lot longer than the tarts. And be equally as delicious.

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  36. I think William likes having the girls to watch tv with.
    My grandfather was a chef.
    My mother can't cook . Neither could my grandmother. Lucky for me, I married a man who could cook anything !
    Now I am back to eating noodles .. with too much MSG.

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  37. Aw. The seriousness of little girls when given a task they find interesting!
    And that last picture- well. Lovely.

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  38. I rather liked that too

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  39. I love the thought of William's fur being back combed. Dogs don't normally know when they are made to look silly.

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    Replies
    1. Andrew, william is not used to kids but he put up with being hugged , prodded, brushed and hugged again with diplomatic patience....and i love him even more for it

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  40. Getting in the kitchen and baking alongside children is ace, we've done it since my boy was tiny, first time he cracked an egg he shouted, owww it bit me :)

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  41. That last picture of William and the girls watching TV has just made my face crack with the biggest smile. Bless his little heart x

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    Replies
    1. It is touchingly beautiful. William has such a dear little heart that he so willingly let the girls fuss over home.

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  42. William has such a sweet and gentle nature. What a lovely fellow he is.

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    1. Judith......he is my hero

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  43. Looks like a fun afternoon! When I was little, my aunt decided that my brother, me, and her two children would bake chocolate chip cookies. She had made up the batch of dough ahead of time, divided it into four bowls, and each of us could stir it and then spoon the dough onto the cookie sheets. Her mother thought her insane, but we loved it. My brother was about six, I was almost five, and my cousins were three and two.

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  44. When I went to Cooking School we used the scale for everything. I learn to use it for flour, to eggs, to water, for everything if you were baking. To this day I find it easier since reading the cups is a pain in the derriere without my glasses. I used to say to my students later on when they complained about having to use the scale for everything "Cooking is Alchemy, Baking is Chemistry" Some got the gist of it. I am sure others thought I was an old, crazy woman. And perhaps they were right.

    PS: that photo of William - and the girls - is too adorable for words.

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  45. Spot on for what little girls enjoy after school - oh, and eating them too. They did a VERY good job of it, I might add.

    LOVE that final photo.

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  46. Children absolutely love baking. When my son had his little friends round to play, I often used to get them to bake cakes. They had great fun and loved eating the finished results. The best bit was licking the melted chocolate off the spoons! A lot of mess and a lot of washing up for me, but wonderful fun! You are brilliant with children John x

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  47. You're turning into a regular Mary Poppins :-) they look like they're having a great time

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  48. You're turning into a regular Mary Poppins :-) they look like they're having a great time

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  49. My girls love baking,I've had practice baking with little UN's as last year I use to go help out in schools baking with groups of kids. They loved it.

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  50. Heartwarming, John. The desirable despot's daughters lucky to add to their life's experience. And they, of course, to yours.

    I have photographic evidence of the total dedication on the Angel's (my son's) face when, as early as age four or so, he kneaded pastry. I was a sight to behold. Not least his concentration and PATIENCE. There is no such thing as a good baker and/or pastry cook without patience, taking time.

    Now? He has just turned 24. And guess what? He makes pizza - from scratch - with his own fair hands. Pizza stone and all.

    U

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  51. I love that final picture, so sweet.

    Next time do chocolate rice crispy cakes, adding mini marshmallows makes them pink and girly...... and there's not too much mess :-)

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