It is a fact universally acknowledged that when one bad thing comes knocking along another is soon to follow, because after all Misery loves company.
Which is why I don’t really like Misery, I wished she was more of an unsociable hermit instead of the family woman she is. And I get really tired of the lengthy visit she has been paying my house these last few months. She arrived unannounced and uninvited beginning October and decided to invite her cousins Woe, Calamity and Misfortune since she felt a bit lonely around the holidays.
Luckily there are a few good things too, Hope and Joy found a way to stash themselves in Woe’s trunk (that bitch travel with more luggage then JLo) and have spread some of their fairy dust magic. My father’s chemo kicked off two weeks ago; since we are just at the beginning of that particular road to wellbeing-hell he has little or no side-effects, which pleases everybody and gives us hope for better times. N°2 is back on her tiny feet after a sickness spell, though still clinging to mama like a leech, but she has recovered her appetite and by substituting me for a soft teddy bear she can fall asleep again on her own.This brings me great joy.
But unfortunately N°1 fell victim to Misfortunes wily ways and has been battling an ear infection. This means I’ve spend most nights as a toddler punching ball. She will get into bed with us at about 3 am – if we are lucky – and nestle herself between me and my husband. Now I don’t know about you, but if I get woken up at 3 am I have a wee bit of trouble getting back to sleep again. I’m one of those sleep-like-log types. The hours between 11 pm and 3 am I spend mostly unconscious. Nothing will wake me up. Crying kids, an earthquake, a hoard of wild boars on a stampede with a stereo barking out the latest Rihanna tied to their backs, I remain blissfully unaware of them. At least before 3 am. When my lighter sleep mode kicks in the merest drop of a pin is enough to wake me. And with that unerring toddler-spider sense my kids know this. They will reserve their most pitiful ‘I-lost-my-pacifier’-whimper (youngest) or the most heartwrenching ‘my-bear-is-mean- sniffle (eldest) for after 3 am, knowing full well that I will have to answer their call or suffer the consequences of that black beast called Motherhood Guilt. They know I already feel guilty enough for clogging out like a comatose elephant in the early hours of the night, so they will play me for all it is worth when my body-clock sets itself to ‘light sleep’.
So sometime after 3 am I will grudgingly lift a sniffling toddler into our bed, get myself out from under the warm sheets a few minutes later because the little one has lost her pacifier or has realized that ‘hey wait a minute this is a bear, not mommy, mommy doesn’t have fur’ . So I get her out of her bed and go to sleep in the bed of the eldest with the baby. When I say sleep I mean of course that I will lay on my back, the baby on my chest sniffing every nook and cranny of my neck and collarbones to make sure that it is her mother and not some substitute. After that she will conk out and I will lay awake in the dark, wondering if the stuffed frog on the top shelf of the toy cupboard is planning to murder me if I would dare to close my eyes.
All this family fun and early-hours-bonding means I spend a good part of the night not sleeping and since I am also one of those needs-sleep-or-will-turn-into-vicious-banshee types this has made me about as amiably as your average serial killer these last few days. Even Freddy Krueger would run for the hills when he saw the look of cold blooded murderous temper in my eyes. When I get in this mode little will help but copious amounts of coffee to keep me awake and chocolate to soothe my brittle self control.
I made these for a family get-together. They are soft, unctuous and full of dark chocolate. Give me these with a cappuccino and I will be in heaven.
Browniecakes (makes 12 pieces of heaven)*
120 gr. or 4.23 oz of pure dark chocolate
115 gr or 4.06 oz of butter
250 gr or 8.82 oz of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 whole eggs
105 gr or 3.70 oz of regular flour
a pinch of salt
How to :
Heat your oven until 170C° or 338 F°
Let loose your agression on the chocolate and break it into tiny pieces, cut up the butter and put them together in a pan over VERY low heat, melt them until you have this heavenly dark matter:
Okay the butter has not completly melted yet but you get the idea
Now add the sugar, keeping the pan on the low heat all the while
When the heavenly dark matter has taken in all the sugar, take out a handmixer and begin by adding the eggs one by one, mix well between each egg
Add the flour and the salt and mix very well until you have smooth dough
Smooth (and yes that are two empty milk cartons in the background, they have nothing to do with this recipe)
Now fill out the old trusty (or newly bought and shiny) cupcake mold, but stay about 2/3 from the border of the mold. The cakes will rise … considerably.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool and feed them to the grumpy person in your life, he or she will be gratefull.
*Recipe from “De Koekjesfee : Koekjes, cupcakes en taarten voor kinderfeestjes”