What I’ve Learned This Week.

Hello, and a very happy Friday to you.  This week … or is it this month in general?,  seems to be positively whizzing past!   There are only 9 days left (as of today 17/2/2017) of this month!   Y’know .. considering that February only has two or three days short of the other months, it seems (to me at least) to go twice as quick!

I’ve learned this week … that Little Cobs (my Grandson aged 5) still (apparently) believes that I can do ‘stuff’ with Lego.  I can’t.  To be honest, I’m unsure whether it’s misplaced faith, or out-and-out humour which keeps him asking.

He hands the big red storage box of Lego over to me (for that read: shoves the box into my hands) with the instruction:- “Build me something Grammy!”, he has this smile on his face teamed with a twinkle in his eye which tells me that this little chap is holding in hysterical laughter as he enjoys watching me squirm and groan as I roll my eyes and experience the pain of being a non-starter in the game of Lego Builder of the Year!  (at which I lose BIG TIME!).  But he allows me to struggle as he watches me take out a brick, peer at it through my glasses and just when I think it might ‘fit’ … he takes it off me with the words:  “Give it to me Grammy” … and he sighs a tired sigh which says:  ‘Give it to me and Grandad.  We know what we’re doing.’

This week I also learned:  That I LOVE those blow torches which you see professional chefs using!

They’re called a ‘Cooks Blow Torch’  –  and I’ve had mine for . . . .  (wait for this) . . .  about 6 years.  (I know, I know!)  It was bought as a gift for me, from daughter No.2,  and should have been taken from the packaging AND USED when I first received it.

To be honest:  I looked at it when I received it and was fully up for using it….  however … I read the instructions and they scared the living snot out of me.  Everything went back in the packaging and it’s stayed in there since.

But … I found a recipe for some cupcakes in a Sunday Supplement Magazine and SOOO wanted to make the cakes.  The recipe gave an option of putting the cupcakes under the grill, or using a Cooks Blow Torch to brown off the topping.  So … since Mr. Cobs was there, I told him to hang around the kitchen while I tried this new (old now! sheesh!) toy out as I was scared silly of burning the house down … or me!  But …  OH.  MY.  GOODNESS!!!  I have found out that I LOVE Cooks Blow Torches!  Aw my stars, these things are magical!  Although mind…  please, if you go out and buy one, do be careful with them because they can be dangerous – they are a blow torch after all,  … but ohhhh I LOVE mine!

(…And daughter No.2 is really very pleased that I’m now using it!  LOL)

Now this next ‘thing I learned’ is probably not news to folks from the USA, but cor, was it an eye opener to me!

I learned this week that …  In the U.S. you can buy bras with in-built gun holsters!  Now see, this both tickled me, and at the same time, my brain said:  “Well that would be totally useless to you kiddo!”.  You see …  I have a little too much .. erm … no.  Hang on.  Let me put this another way.  I, uhm  …  .  No. No.  Wait.  I’m sure I can get this worked out.   I’m afraid that there would be a problem with me having an in-built gun holster in my bra beeeecauuuuse ...  I don’t have enough spare room to begin with.  There.  That sorts that out.

I tuck my cell (mobile) phone down my bra, because one really can’t look lady-like and carry a cell phone – but I can only tuck it down the right side of my bra, for if I tuck it down the left side, I found out that it makes my heart race.  Yes.  Seriously.  I’m not joking.  I can feel my heart begin to quicken and pound hard in my chest after a short while of having my cell phone stored on the left. So I stopped carrying it around on that side of my body pretty darn quick once I realised that it only happened when my cell phone was on the same side as my heart.

Now a cell phone is very much slimmer than a gun – so I don’t think I would be able to hide one adequately.  I guess I could just hang one on a chain around my neck …. although trying to pull it up could cause an accident if it caught on the bra.  Mmm.. I think I’d better think it out again! (as the song from ‘Oliver’ goes)

Now I know that I’ve learned an awful lot of other things this week, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they are.  Had I been a sensible Cobs, I would have made a note of them like I normally try to do, as I learn things, so that I can share them with you.  However, apparently this week, sensible wasn’t managable.  Not even for a numbskull like me!  tsk tsk.

So  … shall we go straight into the jokes, because I know that’s all you’re here for?

Ok. …  get ready … here they come:

Q…  What is invisible and smells like carrots?    …. A:-Rabbit Farts.

Q…What do you do when you see a spaceman?  …A:-Park Your Car, Man

Q…What do you call a Bee who’s having a bad hair day?  …A:-Frisbee

Q…What do you call a pig that does karate?   A:-Pork Chop

Q…What’s the best way to carve wood?  …A:-Whittle by whittle

Q…How does a lion like his meat?   …A:-Roar

Q…What kind of horses go out after dark?  …A:-Nightmares

Q…How does the man in the moon cut his hair?  …A:-Eclipse it.

and I bring to you  . . .   a beautiful poem . . . .

My eyes are full of tears, 

and they can no longer see. 

I wish that you were here, 

to chop these onions for me.

Finally ….

For those of you who might be wondering what the Cup Cakes were which I made this week and used my Blow Torch on …. here’s the recipe, along with a photo of the finished cakes.

I’d invited Little Cobs round to Afternoon Tea, and told him to bring his Mummy of course!  His school was on its half term break this week so I thought it might break the week up for him, and give his mummy some brain chill time by inviting them both round to afternoon tea.

There were little sandwiches, tiny sausage rolls (cocktail sized), and cocktail sausages because he loves them, and one or two other things which I know can tempt him – which probably aren’t on the Queens Afternoon Tea list of fun food, but they’re firmly on Little Cobs list.  I wanted to make him some cakes.  I made Lemon Meringue and Strawberry Cupcakes …  the recipe for which I’d found in the Sunday Supplement magazine which came with one of the weekend newspapers.  He LOVED them.  So much so that he asked if he could have another one.  So did his mummy!  (I have to admit … they are rather more’ish’.  You have been warned!)

lemonmeringue-and-strawberry-cupcakes

Lemon Meringue and Strawberry Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

cook time 20 minutes, plus cooling.

FOR THE SPONGES

  • 100g (4oz) baking spread (such as Flora)
  • 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
  • 150g (5oz) castor sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 eggs
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 7g (¼ oz) freeze-dried strawberries.  If they don’t have the really tiny chopped up dried strawberry pieces, then do what I did,  —  using the back of a wide bladed knife, press and crush a little at a time of the dried strawberry pieces until they’re tiny enough.
  • ½ jar homemade or shop-bought lemon curd

FOR THE MERINGUE TOPPING

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g (4oz) castor sugar
  1. You will need a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases and a piping bag fitted with a plain 1cm (½ in) nozzle (optional). Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. First make the sponges. Measure the baking spread, flour, sugar, milk and eggs into a large bowl and add the lemon zest. Use an electric hand whisk to beat until light and fluffy, then fold in three-quarters of the strawberries. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases (see tip), dividing it evenly among them. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden, risen and springy to the touch. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  3. When the cupcakes are cold, use a small sharp knife to cut a circle (about the diameter of a £2 coin) in the centre of each cake and scoop out a walnut-sized piece of sponge to leave a hole. Spoon 1 teaspoon of lemon curd into each hole, making sure the curd is level with the top of the cake.  (You can buy a little gizmo which will remove a ‘plug’ of cake in just the right size.  I found mine quite some time ago, on a cooks website.  But there must be lots of places you can get one, – if you think you’ll get use out of it).
  4. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites until stiff in a large, spotlessly clean bowl using an electric hand whisk. Gradually add the sugar a little at a time and continue whisking on full speed until you have a stiff glossy mixture.
  5. Use a small palette knife to spread some of the meringue mixture on the top of each cupcake, or pipe the mixture on if using a piping bag, and place back in the moulds of the muffin tin. Use a blowtorch or heat briefly under a hot grill to lightly brown the tops of the cupcakes – watching carefully as it only takes a minute – and sprinkle over the remaining dried strawberries to serve. Allow to cool and enjoy!

If you don’t use the measurements shown above, but instead use ‘cups’ or something else – then Google will be your friend for the conversions.

If you use a different system of cooking heat, again, ask Google and it will give you the conversion to what you use in your country.

Close ups so that you can see them better ….  although I’m sorry about the blurry images … they were the best I had.

Well that’s another week done and dusted.  Have you learned anything this week?  Do share, as I’m sure I must bore the arms and legs off the proverbial donkey with my ramblings, and I’d love to do some of your learnings!

Have a fabulous Friday….  and a truly wonderful weekend.  Try not to get in a twist over stuff – and that includes Politics.  There are enough people to do that, give yourself the weekend off.

May your days be peaceful, may any visitors you have come bringing warm smiles and happy hearts, and may the Fairy of Fun sprinkle you with happy dust.

Sending weekend squidges and soft little kisses to your head!  Stay safe, stay warm, stay happy, be good to each other and … be good to yourself.  You’re worth it.

sig-coffee-copy

 

 

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22 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned This Week.

  1. Aww, what a wonderful week! Your cupcakes look beautiful and delicious, I fear if I was in possession of a blowtorch I would turn things around me to cinders in an instant! “Rabbit farts” joke is brilliant, I’m going to tell the kids (who both enjoy a spot of toilet humour!) Have a lovely weekend x x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually giggling here. I too feared that I was going to burn the house down – or at the very least end up looking like a cartoon ‘honey I burned the cakes’ image – stood there in a burnt to a crisp dress, smoke billowing all around and no home to see, only bonfire remains. LOL

      Thanks for coming Mrs.C. Wishing you a lovley family weekend, filled with laughter and love. ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Had lots of fun reading your post Cobs. Not sure which I would fear more a gun in the bra or the blow torch!! lol! Excellent jokes. I did giggle at the “park your car, man”. Your tea party sounds like it was a lot fun. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Flo x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those cupcakes look fabulous, and delicious. I was also bought a blow torch years ago, and it too is lurking in the back of a cupboard. Maybe it is time to take it out…and kiss my eyebrows goodbye…

    Liked by 1 person

    • OOoooooo YES! Do get it out. Seriously … I don’t know why I was so scared. But then… I’ve now tried it out so can be confident about saying that. lol.

      While I’m here … I’ve made a card for your mum, and her broken ankle. But I don’t have an address… so .. can you email me the address you want me to send it to? I don’t mind if it’s hers or yours … so long as it gets to the right place I’m okey dokey with that.
      My email addy is: ‘now removed’ 😀
      Let me know once you’ve picked that email up, and I’ll then delete it from here so that I don’t get spammed with silly stuff and pizza money off coupons. lol.
      Sending squidges ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a magical post! I loved your cupcakes — beautiful. I sat quite still so the Fairy of Fun could sprinkle happy dust on me. Our grandson (17) arrives tomorrow for a week for Spring Break, and it is going to be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmm…blowtorch…perhaps I’d better stick to the Lego! That recipe looks fabulous though, one to put on the “Must try” list..great jokes and interesting bra facts..although I generally just keep “Me” in my bra-lol! Have a lovely day :)xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw yes, do give those cupcakes a try Samantha, because they’re really lovely. They look pretty, and they taste fabulous. They have this way of delivering, first, a suggestion. Followed by a taste which makes you raise your eyebrows in surprise, and finally … an explosion on your tongue which you really didn’t expect.

      If I hadn’t have made them myself, I would bet good money that they’d come from one of those posh shops which sells costly cakes at a price. BUT BEWARE … they are rather moreish. A few minutes after you’ve eaten one, you want to experience it all over again.

      Laughed out loud about the ‘just keep “Me” in my(your) bra! LOLOLOL. Love it!
      Sending squidges ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laughed till the tears nearly ran down my legs about your blow torch experience. I fear if I had one it would have stayed in the box a long while also.
    Loved the lego plot by little Cobs. Legos I can do ….. blow torch not so sure. I would have to try the torch outdoors first just in case it ran amuck.
    Those cupcakes look delicious. But as an American I am not sure what baking spread is. (Is this like Crisco in the US?). Also what is castor sugar?
    Yes yes yes on the rabbit farts joke…..this might be due to having raised sons. I will have to pass that one on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ok.. firstly – lets deal with the explanations:
      Baking Spread: Well you could use Butter … but that costs more than a cooking spread. Margarine is no longer called ‘margarine’ in the UK (I think that’s a Brussells decision which they made us do), but if you have Margarine in the USA then that’s the sort of stuff.
      What you need is a spread which ISN’T a Low Fat one.
      So a HIGH Fat content – say 75% and over. (Low fat spreads have way too much water content and that totall ruins cakes and the like. It’s bloomin’ useless stuff)

      Next: Caster/Castor Sugar.
      I didn’t know you don’t have Caster/Castor Sugar in the US.
      It’s a much finer granulated sugar than regular sugar which you’d put in your tea and coffee.
      If you can’t buy it in the US then you can make it yourself.
      You can either put it in a blender or food processer and pulse it to a finer granulation. But make sure you don’t make it into a powder (powdered sugar is called Icing Sugar in the UK)

      I’ve used my electric coffee grinder to make regular granulated sugar into a finer granulated sugar – Caster/Castor Sugar. So if you have one of those, you could try that too. But again, pulse the sugar so that you can give it a bit of a stir and check it to make sure you don’t take it too far.

      The difference in the granulation does make a difference. The ‘melting’ point of the Caster Sugar is very much lower than the granulated, (it can actually melt without any heat) so you get a much smoother texture.

      I’ve looked on the internet and I cannot find anything equivalent to it existing in the USA. So your best bet would be to make your own. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. It gives such a lovely texture to cakes… and it’s absolutely fabulous in Meringue!

      Laughing at the visual image you’ve given me about the blow torch experience. I really, really wanted a cooks blow torch … and that’s why daughter No.2 bought me one as a gift one Christmas. I was totally over-joyed when I unwrapped it. But then …. I read the instructions. Oh. My. Dog!!! I was scared to death by it then.

      But … when I read the recipe for these fab looking little cupcakes I thought it was about time I stopped being a baby and so put my big girl pants on, took the blow torch and ….. gave it to my husband to fill for me. I even gave him the instructions that “I really feel you should take that outside and fill it. Somewhere safe. Don’t breathe in any gasses which escape. Don’t turn the blow torch on. Promise me you won’t turn it on. I feel I need to be there if you want to turn it on so that I can throw water over you if something bad happens.” …. yes, I honestly did. I really did say those things. (Told you I was a worry wart!)

      However … once it was ready, and I’d read the instructions for the fourth time … I told Mr.Cobs to stand by in the kitchen, JUST IN CASE!. And …. I turned it on till I could just hear the hiss of the gas, then I pressed the electronic button which made the thing come to life!

      I was SO brave! Not brave to others I know. But to me… this was bravery far beyond the call of duty. And now … I can’t wait to use it again. Practically dying to use it again.

      I think I see my favourite Lemon Meringue Pie coming up this week! LOL. 😀

      Sending oodles of love and squidges ~ Cobs. x ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        • Lol… he humours me. 24 hours a day. Even when I’m asleep. He tells me I talk in my sleep. When I ask him what I’ve said he replies: “I have absolutely no idea. You make no sense!” and then adds that I don’t normally, so it’s no different. LOL.

          I’ve told him that he can be replaced, but he knows that I really couldn’t go through the ‘training you man/puppy’ again. lol.
          ~ Cobs.x

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Cakes look de-lish…..and well done you for becoming a fully fledged blow torch Chef! I understand about the Lego thing, I use to spend hours building the things that I had bought the boys, but it comes in handy because they now call me all the time to fix things for them, and when my grandchildren were little use to call me Nanny Fix-it! I am quite self sufficient in the DIY stakes and come from a long line of builders, so must have inherited the skills! Hugs 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah haaa! So … I shall parcel up all the Lego and send it to you. You can build the darn stuff, wrap in bubble wrap, and send it back! We could eventually get into a ’round robin’ situation where I send one as you’re sending one back. I think Little Cobs would be delighted. 😀 lol

      I’m great at fixing broken things … but I’m just totally uninspired by Lego. It just doesn’t get the creative juices flowing.
      Obviously not my subject. lol.

      Great to see you Kim. Hope everyone is fine and groovy in your household.
      Sending squidges ~ Cobs. x

      Like

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