Bearhands can have really lousy timing. In one foul swoop (well, actually in lots of runs up and down the paddock) he’s has added a degree of difficulty to the school holidays: our entire farm is covered in chicken excrement. The odour is indescribable (at least on a website that values its G rating) and despite my reputation for being a hardarse, even I cannot order the children to play outside.
But, my friends, this is not my first rodeo and after nine years of living on this sometimes stinky farm, I've learned the best way to combat smell is with smell. So I’m baking. Fight poo with cake or something like that.
Parkin is a form of gingerbread which originated in Yorkshire in England. It always includes oats in the ingredients. It’s a proper, stick to your ribs kind of cake – golden syrup, ginger and rolled oats, what’s not to love?
115g caster sugar
2 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon bicarb of soda
450g rolled oats
450g golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
Combine flour and butter in a food processor and process until it resembles breadcrumbs. In a large bowl combine the sugar, ground ginger, bicarb and oatmeal. Add the flour mixture and stir well. Put the syrup and milk in a pan and mix together over a gentle heat. Add gradually to the dry ingredients, mixing well to a fairly stiff consistency.
Put into the tin, smooth and bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until golden. Cool in the tin.
When cold, mark out small squares by pushing a fork into the cake to make perforations. Turn out and break apart. Whenever I make parkin I think it would have been a beaut smoko for hungry stockman – it’s a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea and it'll keep you going until lunch.
Bearhands is headed away on Saturday for a boys weekend, so he won’t be home to enjoy the aroma. Unless it rains between now and then, I’m considering packing up the kids and abandoning the farm to its own odiferous devices.
got room for three pungent people at your place? (we’ll bring cake!)
seriously though, how are school holidays treating you?