Food flasks


between meals

Having stuck to my guns for four years, I have given in with my youngest boy and let him take a packed lunch to school once a week. And while I have tried to keep them as unappetizing as possible, in the hope he will revert to a full week of school dinners, the guilt about his Thursday diet of stale bread and cold pasta has consumed me and he now skips smugly off to school with a flask full of something hot and hearty.

Here are my two tried and tested favourites:

Thermos CoolKidz

Thermos CoolKidz Steel Food Jar (290ml) £17.67

This is the one the older brothers fight over to fill with hot chocolate and take to rugby. It does leave it a bit stinky though.






Thermos Foogo Insulated Stainless Steel Food Jar (290 ml) £17.99,

The flask of choice for a five year old. The grippy lid is easy to unscrew, and the styling is slightly too babyish to make is something older brothers will steal.

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The biscuit resolution

Move over Maryland

Move over Maryland

My boys eat too many biscuits. I know it for a fact. After school they go at the tin at high speed, cramming their sullen little faces with transfats and refined sugar before I can say ‘portion control’.  So yesterday evening, in my resolve to change their snacking and television habits, I yanked them away from Tracy Beaker and suggested we do some baking. There is not much call for fancy shapes and hundreds and thousands in our kitchen; the boys like a no-nonsense face full of biscuit, preferably stuffed with chocolate chips and free from anything purporting to be healthy. No raisins, no oats, no honey. This recipe calls for half a pat of butter, but at least I know it is there and can ration the biscuits accordingly. The butter is melted which makes the mixture really easy to stir into a sloppy dough, even if you are five years old and fending off your brothers with both elbows.

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Half a pat of butter is melted and poured into a bowl, into which you stir 170 grams of light brown sugar (or whatever colour you have), 1 egg, 150 grams of plain flour, half teaspoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and as many chocolate chips as you can justify. Spoon into widely spaced dollops on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Cook in a hot oven (190°C) until slightly golden (about 10 minutes), leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Ours are finished already.

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Notes on Advent calendars

work in progress

all my own work

What began as an idea for a group project progressed to solo, late-night sewing marathon, and has ended in an enormous argument over who stole the chocolate money from number 17. And it is only December 2nd.

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