Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Easy Peasy Soda Bread

I haven't done any kind of baking for ages so I thought I'd go back to something that was really easy.

Ingredients for said soda bread:
200g self raising flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
200ml semi skimmed milk
juice of half a lemon (or what I used, 2 teapsoons lemon juice)

Method1. Put the juice of the lemon into the milk and leave to sour.

2. Mix together flour and bicarb in a bowl.

3. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in most of the milk mixture. Mix in carefully with a wooden spoon. Now it's up to you, if you think it looks a little dry add the rest of the milk. You're aiming for a sticky but manageable dough.

4. Put onto a lightly floured surface and shape. Don't handle too much or it will turn out heavy. I shaped mine and baked freeform on a baking tray but alternatively you could do it in a loaf tin. Don't panic at this point when the mixture looks tiny because it rises substantially in the oven.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 40 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the base. It should feel light and airy.

There you go beautiful bread that takes very little time to make. The resulting bread has a lovely crispy crust and is soft on the inside. Perfect still warm or for some rustic sandwiches. It is so versitile and quick and simple to make. What more can you want?

Kate xx

Sunday, 13 October 2013

life turns out in the most unexpected ways

The title says it all really!

I never expected to be doing what I'm doing right now. I wasn't the sport one at school. I never liked the running around - possibly because I wasn't that great at it. Then I discovered cricket...

Now I train probably once a week and coach a whole lot more than that in the summer. This is something I really enjoy and therefore hope to pass on to the next generation of cricketing super stars. My coaching philosophy is such that I want every person to have a smile on their face when playing or training for cricket. Becasue I can tell you now when I play you can't take the smile off my face. Not only do I love the sport I love who I play with.

I play in a men's team for my village club. There is no ladies team so it was play with these or not at all, and that was never going to happen. This means lots of banter on the field and going to the pub after the game. I've grown to enjoy this. You have to give as good as you get!

So now it's time to embark on the next chapter of my life. One that was meant to be Uni and all that goes with it. It turns out that actually it is a job coaching in primary schools. Yes I got it and I'm super excited! I will be coaching a range of sports and dance which I hope will enable the youth of today (does that still include me?) to particpate and get active. And most of all I hope it put the smile on their face that it does on mine.

Inspire a generation
What funny twists and turns have happened in your life recently?
Kate xx

Friday, 4 October 2013

And now I can breathe again.

On Wednesday, I had the practical part of my interview that I talked about in my previous post.

All I had to do was run a session for 9 children for an hour. Sounds simple enough. Until you realise that you have never even been to the town you are running the session in, let alone the school. This was obstacle number 1. So when in doubt I always turn to google and this was no exception. I goggle mapsed (that's a word right?) my directions and felt a little better. Although google told me it would take 47mins to get there I wasn't so sure. I left an hour and half which was porbably in hind sight far too long but I didn't want to be late. So when I arrived in the town an hour before I needed to be ther I found myself twiddling my thumbs for 20 minutes in side road. You'll be glad to know I was not twiddling my thumbs and drving at the same time. That could be very dangerous!

So I left myself plenty of time until that is I could lost in a crazy one way system in the middle of town and ended up having to ask in a supermarket where on earth I was going. The nice chap pointed me in the right direction and I got there with 5 minutes to spare.

Unfortunately the guys who were observing me turned up at exactly the same time so there was no chance of a 2 second calm down and sip of water before I had to start the small talk and go into the place. Thankfully another obtacle was overturned when I had brought literally everything I could ever possibly need with me. I had plenty of kit and all the paperwork. This did make me look slightly like a packhorse but I like to think I came across as organised and efficient.

We waited until the end of the school day and then it was time to start. First thing they told me was that I was going to have one child that could be a bit of handful and if there was any problem the teacher was just down the corridor. Well that sounded ominous!

Then the children started piling in. And before the session had even started I had one in tears because he wanted his mummy. First disaster (of many)! Thankfully the coach that usually takes this class said he would sort it out and not to worry. It was really nice to have him there - a bit of a reassuring presence.

But my mouth was still dry and I was still mega stressed. I knew I could do though so here goes.

It went in such a whirlwind and I changed some of my plans and I saved a few diasters and no one was hurt and we all came out of the other side. The guys observing seemed to like what I did although they told me to just chill (like I didn't know I was at a state of crazy tension throughout). They have one more person to see next week then I'll know if I got the job. Somehow through all that stress I must have done a good job because they said "the other guy will have to be exceptional to do better" but then he might be so we'll have to wait and see.

The funniest moment was when the "handful" didn't like that the other team got a point and started screaming about it. The tears stopped abruptly when I reminded the child that their team was still in the lead.

I really hope I get the job because much as the session was crazy, I really enjoyed it. I could see that they had taken on board what I had told them and understood. I love the energy they have for sport and I would love the help them enjoy that (if I can keep up). Although it stressed me out so much, I had a ball and I think the children did too. So now it's a waiting game but I look forward to it.

What new and maybe stressful thing have you done recently and did you end up actually enjoying it?

Kate xx