Whoosh, where did this last weekend go? One moment I was standing in the school playground on Friday afternoon and the next I was there again, delivering L to her classroom at the start of a new week. We’ve been busy, busy, busy.
But I have to tell you, I have the most gorgeous children. Okay, I’m probably biased, but whose heart could fail to melt when given such a beautiful gift as this Mothering Sunday card?
Believe me, I know my elder daughter and she’s not the speediest of people – it must have taken her ages to make that card for me! She rushed home from school when I collected her on Friday and secreted herself in her bedroom with her bookbag and the ‘something special’ that she’d carried back inside it. She emerged a little while later telling me that I was banned from looking in the corner (which did make me worry slightly – if she’d hidden something in the corner of her room, I had grave doubts about whether or not it would ever see the light of day again).
How proudly she presented her special card to me yesterday, Mothering Sunday. M joined the ceremony by (somewhat reluctantly) handing me two gigantically enormous bars of chocolate (while L helpfully reminded me that I had to share). And T baked me some cheddar cheese scones 🙂 (well … T apparently fell asleep on the kitchen table while I was out with the girls on Saturday afternoon, so that O found himself with a surprisingly undisturbed opportunity to find his way around my recipe books and flour cupboard).
Beautiful! We ate the scones in our own version of a Devonshire Cream Tea – runny slices of brie in place of clotted cream, topped with spoonfuls of the Bay Tree’s chipotle chilli jelly instead of our homemade blackberry jam (the last jar of which I’m saving for a special occasion). The cream tea purists will be turning in their graves, but the brie and jelly were the perfect accompaniments to the cheesy tang of the scones. As I said – beautiful!
For my own part, I thanked my wonderful family by baking a brioche for breakfast on Sunday morning.
O has been dropping hints for some time now that he’d like brioche to go with his marmalade, but that would have meant digging out my dough hook from wherever it might have ended up buried in our garage after our move to Devon four years ago. Although a comfortingly familiar activity to me now, bread-making is something that I’ve only come to fairly recently and I have, until this point, managed with only the most minimal of kitchen tools (aka my hands). I knew from reading Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Basic Brioche Recipe however that my hands were not an option here, unless I wished to spread all of the dough into an unmanageable sticky mess along my worktop. And so, on Saturday evening, I ventured into the darkest reaches of the garage, armed only with L’s small, dynamo-powered torch.
The brioche was obviously meant to be. I found the dough hook in the very first box I chose to open. I even woke up unusually early on Sunday morning, which allowed me time to remove the chilly dough from the fridge and shape it in my teeniest loaf pan so that it could rise and bake with minutes to spare before the rest of the family were stirring from their sleep.
Needless to say, Rose’s instructions were spot on. The meltingly golden brioche that I took from the oven was devoured so quickly that I didn’t get much of a chance to take many photos. The ravenous hoards couldn’t even wait until it had fully cooled. It went from being a shiny, blooming creation to a few silky crumbs on the bread board in the space it took me to vaguely contemplate the lack of daylight at that time of the morning.
O says he’d be happy to have this brioche every time he fancies marmalade for breakfast (which is him being wildly enthusiastic, jumping up and down and clapping his hands together in joyous excitement). I agree.