Cadbury mini-egg clafoutis
Malcolm was a little cantankerous last week (to use one of his vocabulary words). He was slightly brittle. He became upset and annoyed very easily, he yelled and cried over the slightest things. He goes through these moods sometimes (don’t we all?). They don’t last long and I’m sure they’re part of a growth spurt or hormones or some other completely normal and natural occurrence. And I always deal with the situation with my usual gracious composure. I certainly didn’t yell back at him. I certainly didn’t yell, “You want to see a tantrum? I’ll show you a tantrum!” because that would have been horrible parenting, mama. I didn’t ask him over and over and over if something was bothering him, something at school, maybe? Something with his friends? Because that kind of pestering never works and everybody knows it only annoys the pesteree. On Friday he went to breakfast at one friend’s house and after school he went for a sleepover at another friend’s house, and since I had to work Saturday morning, I didn’t think I’d see him for quite a few hours. So Thursday night we were cuddling and reading in Isaac’s bed, as we always do, but it was much later than usual and I was tired and I just wanted to go downstairs and switch myself off. Malcolm grabbed my arm and wouldn’t let go and said I should stay just a few more minutes. Which I should have done. I should have stayed and read with them. I shouldn’t have gotten cranky and angry and gone downstairs. All that night and the next day and the next I felt bad about it. What is it about these small moments of regret that are so poignant? Why do these seemingly insignificant missed opportunities take on so much weight and meaning? I suppose because it hurts to realize we’ve underestimated the importance of a particular moment, and in doing so we’ve lost it. So the thing to do is to notice everything and appreciate everything, to understand how valuable these few minutes are even as they’re passing. To savor every moment of connection and recognize it for the glowing thing it is. And, of course, to be glad that no event is finite, it’s all part of a longer chain of moments flying by. This week Malcolm is back to his sweet cheerful self. He woke up Monday morning whistling “Let’s go Fly a Kite,” he didn’t get annoyed when I asked him five times if he had his homework and his lunch and his safety patrol belt. And last night he did his homework up on my bed while I put laundry away. We were looking up words in the dictionary, which is one of my favorite pastimes. We were laughing at the word cantankerous. And Clio came and stood between us, just stood and hovered, very quietly and seriously for more than a few minutes. Not a very spectacular incident, but I don’t think I’ll be forgetting it any time soon.
Cadbury mini-egg clafoutis
What? Cadbury mini-egg clafoutis?!?! That’s right!! It’s probably not an official clafoutis, which as we all know is a French tart made of cherries baked in a sweet batter. It’s a tart made of mini-eggs baked in a sweet batter! I added ground almonds to the mix, because I love the flavor of them. I made this twice, the first time I added almond extract, and the second time I left it out. Both kinds were tasty. Also, the first time I sprinkled all the eggs on top before baking and they sank to the bottom. The second time I added them gradually as the batter cooked and solidified and they were more evenly distributed. I liked it both ways. The eggs stay pleasantly soft, so you don’t feel as though you’re cracking your teeth on something hard in the soft batter, and you get just a little crunch from the shell. Nice.
5 T butter
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup sliced almonds
1 t vanilla extract
1 t almond extract
3/4 cup flour
1 cup (++) milk and dark cadbury mini eggs
raw sugar or demerara sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 400 and put the butter in a cake pan. Leave the pan in the oven while it preheats just until the butter is melted. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
In a food processor or blender process the eggs until light and frothy. Add the milk and process again. Add the sugar, almonds, and extracts and process until completely smooth. Add the flour and salt and process until smooth. Pour in the melted butter from the pan, process again. Make sure there’s a thin layer of butter coating the pan, and pour the batter in. Sprinkle raw sugar or demerara sugar on top. Drop a small handful of mini-eggs in and put the pan in the oven. After about five or ten minutes drop another small handful on the cake, scattering them evenly over the surface. After another five minutes scatter a few more, continuing as the cake sets, and leaving a few for the top when the cake is nearly done. Bake for about 1/2 hour, till the top is browned and set and the cake is pulling away from the pan.