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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Ideas for When You Absolutely Have to Get Out of the House....


So, if you happened upon my previous article, you will have found me full of chirpy suggestions for making the most of a yucky day indoors.  Well as it turned out, having merrily expounded, on Friday evening, the virtues of entertaining pre-schoolers inside, just a few days later Sunday saw me stuck indoors on a rainy, cold day in the middle of moving house.  Just to keep things really interesting, Miss Nearly-5 had been up all night with a terrible cough, so was in absolutely rotten shape.
No problem, I thought, let’s start the day with pikelets.  Good start, much sifting, stirring and beating was enjoyed by all, along with the fruits of our labours.  The kitchen was not quite cleaned up when some sort of altercation occurred outside involving two pre-schoolers and some chopsticks (I had turned a blind eye to the escapees into the Antarctic conditions in the hope of getting on top of the kitchen mess) so I lured everyone inside with the promise of playdough making.  Fantastic, so two batches of playdough later (one pink, one yellow – shortly to be melded into a highly attractive yink/pillow) all is well at the kitchen table for some time.  Playdough morphs into play school which involves mat time complete with news (which must be presided over by the adult who has to pretend to be the teacher, of course) kai time (didn’t we just have breakfast?) more news, ballet lessons, an attempt at a board game involving some sort of 3-year old melt down, a desperate call for lunch - soooo when the man of the house walked through the door at just after 1 pm I announced that we absolutely had to get out of the house, poked the kids in front of a DVD and slunk off for a shower.  Hence the theme of this article...



Sometimes you just absolutely must view life beyond your own four walls, regardless of what the weather is doing.  Here are some ideas when another coffee date in an over-crowded café just doesn’t appeal to the mind or the wallet.

Rug up and go for a walk  Get all your winter gear on, get out there, get wet and wild and come home, throw everyone in the bath and snuggle up warm.  Whether it’s a trip to the park, a walk on the beach, Gray’s Bush or in the arboretum, sometimes everyone benefits from getting wet and muddy and wind-blown.  There’s something smugness-inducing about getting out there on a yucky day, and nothing better than getting warm afterwards.

Invite yourself to a friend’s for lunch  If you’re craving company, hit the supermarket or the bakery and then head around to a friend’s house for a bit of a BYO lunch.  It’s often easier and cheaper than the café variety, and you all benefit from some company other than your own.

Do the supermarket shopping  For me this is a bit like cooking.  To be enjoyed as a parent-child activity, the parent must not be under any time pressure – allow the shopping to be the only thing that you really need to get done and let the kids get involved in choosing things for the trolley and putting things away at home and lo and behold the morning is filled and the shopping is done.  To be fair though, this one can go either way – if it all turns to custard buy a packet of ice-blocks or lollipops and give them one each on the way to the checkout…
If you’re wondering what wholesome family activity we engaged in during our escape from the indoors that memorable Sunday, well we actually went shopping for a new duvet cover for Miss 3 who had finally decided to sleep in her own bed.  And that’s another story…


Banana Cake
•  115g       butter                                •  ½ cups   flour
•  ¾ cup     caster sugar                       •  1 tsp       baking powder
•  1             egg                                  •  1 tsp       baking soda
•  2             ripe bananas                     •  ¼ cup     milk
•  1 tsp       coffee essence
Getting ready: 
Soften the butter and take the egg out of the fridge.  Grease an 18cm square tin with butter, and line the base with baking paper.  Preheat the oven to 180˚C.  Peel the bananas and mash them well with a fork.
Mixing and baking:
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg, followed by the mashed bananas and the coffee essence.
Sift together the flour and baking powder, and dissolve the  baking soda in the milk.
Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk and baking soda, and combine everything together.  Bake for about 45 min.
When the cake is cooked it will have shrunk slightly away from the sides of the tin and when you press the centre gently with your finger, it will spring back.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.   
Ice when cool and store airtight.

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