Friday, 29 January 2010

The Cure-All

Finally, I've found it, the cure for all my ills. It's scientifically proven and medically tested. You don't even need a prescription. What is it, this amazing wonder drug? It's commonly known as ...

a lay in!

yes, I've taken one yesterday and one today, and I feel like a completely different person. Who would have guessed the powerful, healing properties of


I haven't had a lay-in since the horses came in in November, I've just mucked out, ridden, shopped, cooked, cleaned and ironed ever since, and I think I've been suffering from exhaustion. It's amazing what a bit of sleep can do to restore you physically and mentally, isn't it? That's why the 'I'm selling Max,' scenarios have crept in again. It all got a bit too much. Sorry if I've been a bit down. I knew I had to do something so I asked Missis if she would turn my horses out along with her own, and I would 'appear' when I was ready. What a blessing. This may have to be a regular thing, to get me through the rest of the winter.
It's also about habit and routine, I think. We did so little riding over Christmas because of the snow, that I've just got used to mucking out and going indoors, and I've had to make myself get back into the horsey habit. I have to say, a lack of facilities and having no one to motivate me doesn't help, either.
So I lunged Max on Wednesday, as you know, and rode him yesterday. The reduction in feed really seems to be working, and he was a lot calmer. He had a good look round at things, but didn't do anything dramatic, and worked extremely well in the school, which cheered me up enormously.
I've been busy indoors, too. I've finally finished the little cross stitch bear for Mr O's valentine's card, which looks like this:

The back stitch took ages, but was well worth it. I'll add some wording on the front and inside, but not too much, to detract from the picture. Can't wait to give it to him. I am also well under way with the christening present, but very nervous about the actual sewing part, but maybe I can do it, we'll see.
I set myself a challenge this month, to make a banoffee pie, as I had it in a cafe last year and thought it was gorgous. As I was eating it I thought, 'surely I could make this?' and so set myself a challenge to make one this month. I consulted the oracle (my sister Lorayne, maker of all things nice!) and she said to go on the Nestle website, where a fool-proof recipe awaited me. (What's she trying to say?!)
So I ordered all the ingredients in my weekly shop, and yesterday I set to.
First I had to make a biscuit base like you do for cheese cake, with melted butter stirred in. I have seen recipes where you make a pastry base and bake it blind, but phooey to that.
So here's my base.

You have to put it in the fridge to chill for twenty minutes (while you do some cross stitch or something).
Then you open a tin of Carnation caramel and pour it on. (It was more blob it on, but still). Yes I have also seen recipes where you heat normal condensed milk with brown sugar, but time is of the essence here. Spread the caramel out with a palette knife.
Then whisk up whipped cream, fold in sliced banana and spread that on top of the caramel. (Stop drooling!) Then decorate with sliced banana and a dusting of cocoa powder. Lorayne said she just slices some bananas and puts them on the caramel base, then puts the whipped cream on top, but I've got to tell you, I think this version is much nicer. This is how it looked in the end:

Let's just say we had a fairly big slice each! That's all I'm saying. It was gorgous, though. In fact the rest of it is still in the fridge and I can hear it calling me - caaallling. Back soon.


  1. I don't think there is such a thing as "Carnation Caramel" in the US, judging from my Google search. But I could fiddle around and make do with this:
    And I might well try it; it sounds so perfectly sugar-coma-y. :-)

  2. Yes June, that's the stuff. If you buy condensed milk, make the base with 8oz crushed biscuits mixed with 3oz melted butter and leave to chill. Put 4oz butter in a pan with the condensed milk, 4oz brown sugar and 2 tablespoons golden syrup. Melt everything, bring to the boil and cook for 7 mins, stirring all the time until mixture thickens and turns a light caramel colour. Pour onto biscuit base and leave until cold. As you can imagine, having a tin of ready-made makes it much easier. Let me know if you have a go.

  3. That pie looks /gorgeous/! I wish I could cook, I run with the philosophy that if bits of it are starting to burn, then it's done. I agree with June, sugar-induced coma does sound good! :D

    And I'm glad to hear that things are going well with Max, you'll have to post some videos of him if you can. You don't realise how good facilities are until you don't have them, I couldn't live without a menage.

    As for the sleeping in being good for your health. It's an age-old student mantra! Everyone knows we really pay our tuition fees to be able to sleep in on a weekday!

  4. OMGosh.......that looks AMAZING! I had a really nice comment but it left my head as soon as I saw that pic! ROFLOL!


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