I knew I'd got used to solitude a bit too much. But just how much I'd got used to it has been a bit of a shock. The children have been finished with school for just over a week, which might not sound long to you, or to husband, who doesn't quite get why I look a bit haggard by the time he gets home after 7 each night. But I have a son who just has to make a noise of some sort from the moment he wakes up until the time his eyes roll up into his head at bedtime. It might be an imitation of a motorbike or a plane, a fact about an anaconda, a bad joke, a complaint about his sister, or it could be the noise of a foot kicking a chair, or a burp, or a lot of huffing and grunting if he's in a bad mood (which he often is if the sister has anything to do with it). So I find myself craving silence. Or craving just some loud music coming from my iPod to bring me back to life with no other interruptions. Ah, it just occurs to me why one of my favourite playlists is one I concocted last summer entitled "3rd September"; I must start a new one.
And the time all gets sucked up into nothing. I assumed the quilt would be done, but no, still tying up ends and sewing them in every evening. Pictures will be there soon. Next week?
I did a little stupid something recently. Something so stupid, so embarrassingly inappropriate that I can't tell you about it. But it was really stupid. You know how sometimes you can convince yourself things will be better if you utter things out loud, rather than bottling them up, when actually they would probably have gone away if you'd just kept your mouth shut? Well it's one of those things. Please don't ask me, because I won't ever tell you. But it's the sort of thing that, when I manage to uncurl my toes, makes me think of chocolate and comfort food.
So now I finally have some silence now the children have gone to bed and husband has gone out to try out his new bike. It's actually not quite silent, as there is the whirring of the oven fan, but the smell more than makes up for it. I'm making something I discovered recently, quite the sexiest foodstuff I've eaten for a long time. Many years ago I had some raspberry chocolates from a shop called Wittamer in Brussels and they were very very memorable. This isn't far off from that memory, and tonight I'm hoping that, still warm, cuddled up in a bowl in a gooey embrace with some Haagen Dazs salted caramel ice cream, I might have hit the pinnacle of chocolate and raspberry lusciousness. This is the first time I've ever given you a recipe that I haven't altered in any way. Thanks to BBC Good Food website.
Chocolate and Raspberry Brownies
100g dark chocolate, broken up
50g milk chocolate, broken up
125g salted butter
200g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
70g plain flour
Before I start, let me tell you two things that sadden me about this... the eggs that I've used are from our chicken share. We had 25 chickens but on two separate occasions, despite electric fences, a fox came and did the dirty with them, and as of yesterday there is only one left, and a miserable broody one at that. So I'm feeling sad about using up the eggs from those lovely chickens and sad about the prospect of buying supermarket eggs for a while until they get replaced. Ditto with the cocoa, which came from our lovely holiday in Rome; once it's gone that's another holiday to be consigned to memories only. Big sigh.
Anyway here's the recipe: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or gas mark 4. Put the chocolate, butter and sugar in a pan and heat the mixture until it's melted, stirring every so often. Take off the heat and stir in the eggs one at a time, thinking sad thoughts about the chickens. Stir in the flour and cocoa (hey I did alter the recipe, which said to sieve them, but life is way too short for sieving anything). Stir in half the raspberries, smushing them up a bit, and pour the mixture into a tin lined with baking parchment. My tin is 26 x 20cm. Then arrange the rest of the raspberries over the top and bake for 30 minutes. Cool and then cut into squares. Or cut into squares when it's still at blood temperature and envelope in some melting salted caramel ice cream...