Saturday, 16 August 2014

Proud Moments

Just a quick bee update from last months column, I’ve been reliably informed from Humphrey himself that the bees I saw actually have a colony in the church and swarm every year, so I apologize to Humphreys well behaved bees and have learnt something new in the process.

I’ve been reminded these last few weeks of things you miss when you’re children grow up, ‘the teenage years” and actually it’s a bit sad. The end of term, sees a flurry of activities, school reports, fetes and fairs, discos and sports days, do you remember beaming with pride as your little ones ”take there marks” for the first time? There are always some major disasters; the egg falls off the spoon, falling over or the sacks to big, in the sack race and that’s just the parents, who always seem to be so much more competitive than the children! I’ve been lucky enough to witness two of Bampton Schools leaver’s assemblies which are notoriously emotional, the children are given a brilliant send off to there new schools with a mixture of heartiest praise and lists of achievements, both good and bad in there years at primary school. The well-planned event by the amazing staff and teachers is full of giggles and roars of laughter, well that way some dads and us mums can disguise the tears as tears from laughing too much. The children are always made to feel good about themselves and some how seem to stand taller when they leave to a huge round of applause. Of course you end up with the obligatory shirts scrawled with well wishes that you must promise to never wash. So even though these are hectic times and you’re not sure how you’ll ever manage to fit it all in, enjoy.

Its strange the things you do as a parent, but what we all want is the best for our children, as a group of parents demonstrated this week as they took matters into there own hands and spruced up the children’s play park, maybe a bit of an understatement as 10 bin bags later they were still going strong, but what an amazing transformation, you should all be very proud that your little one can now play safe. So LITTER BUGS BEWARE!

Another group of people that should also feel proud are the residents of Bampton themselves and the team from Bampton In Bloom, as judging commenced this week there seemed to be a flurry of activity in the pruning and watering department, not that a few last minute tweaks can detract from all the hard work that has been going on for months. Which I’m sure the judges could see for themselves. We often hear or have comments made to us in the pub about how beautiful and cared for Bampton looks, with the wonderful array of baskets, pots, planters and troughs through out the village. Our baskets and pots are at their prime at the moment and our small outside terrace is looking stunning, it really does add a touch of cheer and a wonderful splash of color. Honestly whether you win anything or not all your hard work has definitely been noticed so you can all pat yourselves on the back.

These last two weeks we’ve been playing with our Chocolate Brownie recipe, week one saw the addition of Oreos and this week had Jaffa Cake and orange, strange my kids hung around for the tasting of these mmmmm


400g plain chocolate
300g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

1.   Set oven to 180o/ gas mark 4. Lightly butter a 20cm baking tray and line with greaseproof paper
2.   Melt 175g of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan (or microwave) Chop the remaining chocolate into chunks and leave to one side
3.   Once melted and the butter and stir till blended
4.   Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the beaten eggs and mix well
5.   Mix the sieved flour and baking powder until all combined
6.   Stir in the reserved chocolate chunks
7.   Pour mixture into the prepared tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until firm
8.   Leave to cool a little, then turn out on to a cooling rack
9.   Cut into squares and serve, approx 12 portions

We replaced the chunks of chocolate with the oreos/jaffa cakes, but instead of mixing in we placed them on the top. I recon you could try almost any of your favorite sweets, suggestions have been, smarties, peanut m&ms and rolo, what will you try?

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