Chocolate Cake, Fork Tulips & Leaf Cooking

Yesterday, I just needed a slow Sunday. We didn’t venture out and just entertained ourselves in the house. We began the day with a film, during which I fell asleep. (Don’t know if that says more about my tiredness levels or about the film :)) Afterwards, I decided to make the sticky Scandinavian chocolate cake I got from The Simple Things magazine. I love it because it feels decadent, but it is so simple to make. It doesn’t even need icing or a glaze, so it’s good if you’re in the mood to eat baked goods but not to make them 🙂 While I was doing that, the girls made more “Bake Off” Play Doh creations and hung around to lick the bowl 🙂

Afterwards, we painted some tulip pictures to mark the beginning of Spring 🙂 There are some that appear each year in our garden and I noticed the leaves yesterday. I always forget they are there until they announce their arrival 🙂 We used forks to make the flower prints of the tulips and then added stems and leaves with a paintbrush. Then, I wanted to give the girls a sponge for their blue skies, so I gave them a scourer and they used one side of it in a mixture of blue and white paint to make the sky. After they had dried, I added them to the wall to brighten up the kitchen (not that we didn’t have enough colour on the walls already :))

The girls played in the garden and got really involved in pretend cooking with leaves and soil. I gave them an old frying pan and some spoons to use for it. It always eventually gets out of hand and I have to intervene, but it started out well 🙂 I brought the girls some milk and chocolate chip cookies on a tray and was greeted with sounds of excitement 🙂 The girls always seem to respond well to treats brought to them on trays – maybe it makes them feel like they are in a hotel, or maybe it just convinces them that I have willingly taken on the job as unpaid maid 🙂

In the space of two days, my daffodils had fully opened up 🙂 It’s funny how quickly they change. I love the injection of bright yellow to the kitchen, so even if it’s a grey day, I can pretend there is summer sun 🙂 I decided to paint some in celebration of their colour. I think painting cheerful things makes you feel more cheerful too. By the mid-afternoon, I was feeling really drained, so I made myself some strong coffee and had a slice of the chocolate cake on a “special” plate. Sometimes I think doing little things like that for yourself lifts you. I don’t believe in saving my favourite clothes or plates just for special occasions, because every day should be one of those 🙂

I finished the day by making my own shortcrust pastry and chicken pie filling. I love homemade pastry and how it ends up looking like patchwork 🙂 I think it adds to its charm 🙂 I used the leftover pastry for little jam pastries for the girls’ dessert. My mum used to make them for my sister and me when she made an apple pie or something like that, and my kids like it just as much as we did 🙂

In the evening, I returned to my daffodils painting. I made myself some bedtime tea in a little ceramic rainbow mug I got last year 🙂 It blends from red to purple with all the colours of the rainbow in between as you turn it around. Drinking out of it always cheers me up too 🙂

Today, the girls have been busy doing home schooling and in between, they have been spending time in the garden. They are both eager to get out there as much as they can now the brighter days have arrived. They made some more meals in their frying pan. I’m not going to have any plants left in the garden at this rate, so I’m trying to encourage them to use an empty flower pot and recycle the “food.” 🙂

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