We were under strict instructions not to be late to kindy yesterday. This, of course, meant something would inevitably go wrong. So I shouldn’t have been surprised that, just as we were about to walk out the door, the Little Sister called out “Mummy, hurt”.
She was not, in fact, hurt. She was covered in her own excrement from the bottom down. A poonami had struck – weren't these the exclusive territory of infants? They should be, because a torrent of milk-fed poo is unquestionably preferable to what was now soaking the Little Sister’s trousers.
When we eventually made it to the Big Sister’s kindy obstacle-a-thon, the kids completed their laps of the obstacle course and sat down to a bring-a-plate morning tea. We’d been told that the normal healthy-eating-policy didn't apply; so as long as we weren't likely to kill the poor anaphylactic possum with eggs or tree nuts, we’d been given free rein.
The Big Sister and I had spent the previous afternoon making jam roly poly from a recipe that Sue - a thoughtful reader - emailed me for the time-worn tucker series. Sue thinks the recipe is from The Commonsense Cookery Book 1, a text-book that she used at high school in 1980. Sue had read Anne from Domessblissity’s nostalgia for a jam roly poly in the first time-worn tucker post.
You might be able to investigate a recipe for me. Have you ever made a Jam Roly Poly? The only recipes I’ve seen online are for a suet kind of pudding, steamed. My Nanna and Mum used to do a sweet pastry/cake dough, smother it with jam (whatever was going – Nanna made all her own jam) and it would become like toffee when it was baked in the oven on a baking tray.
Jam Roly Poly
Shortcrust Pastry (thermochef version)
200g plain flour
100g butter, cubed
50g iced water
1 cup strawberry jam
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
To make shortcrust pastry in the thermochef combine plain flour, butter and salt. Process for ten seconds at speed six. Add the water and process at speed six for a further 5 – 6 minutes until a thick dough is formed. Turn out onto a bench and give it a little knead. You’ll need to make two batches for this recipe. You could make this dough in a food processor, following a similar process.
Roll the pastry out to 5cm thickness. Spread with strawberry jam, roll up trying to keep the jam evenly distributed throughout (harder than it sounds) Press the edges together and place into a baking dish. Meanwhile combine water, sugar and butter together in a saucepan, bring to the boil, simmer and reduce by half. Pour the mixture slowly over the roll and bake in a 200-220C oven for 30 minutes. Mine could have done with five minutes more – adjust the time to suit your oven.
I thought a kindy morning tea would be the perfect way to bake this roly poly and get the ticking time bomb of sugary goodness out of our house before my hips exploded. It was an ill considered plan. I have forgotten everything about catering for children. Store-bought chocolate biscuits and fairy bread flew off the table, and the only kid who even looked at the roly poly was the Big Sister. My cunning plan was thwarted and I was forced to returned home with a container full of jammy goodness - BOOM!
There was nothing to do but put the Little Sister to bed and make an accompanying cup of tea. For the record, the result was suitably toffee-like, Anne - I think you’ll like this one.
Big thanks for sending in the recipe, Sue - you're a treasure!