Husband has requested I stop calling him ‘Husband’ in my posts. It’s a bit, well, stuffy. So from here on in he will be called DM, short for DataMan… He can leap tall spreadsheets. I’ve offered to make him an outfit complete with undies over tights. But spoil-sport that he is, he’s refused.
Sometimes I really don’t envy my husband. Early on Monday morning he flew to Brussels for a work conference. So rather than spending his first day back at work trawling through emails and drowning his Mondayitis in caffeine and fresh croissants from the bakery, he was up before dawn to catch a flight (where they serve horrid coffee).
DM hasn’t had to travel so much in the last few months. Which is rather fabulous. Travel for work is not the holiday I once thought it was. The first time he came back from a 10 day, 5 cities/ 3 countries trip I arrived at the airport full of plans, bookings and excitement. He landed pale and shaky and asked me to please cancel everything and to feed him vegetable soup for at least the next 24 hours. He didn’t even want to look at a glass of wine (the hospitality provided tended to lean towards great food and copious amounts of alcohol). I was a little disgruntled. I’d look at the list of amazing restaurants and hotels he’d visited and see green. I was so envious. But after doing a few long haul flights myself and realising that whilst I was snuggled up in bed late the next morning and spending the bulk of the next day in a brain fog, unpacking, catching up on emails, ignoring work and mainlining coffee; DM was also mainlining coffee whilst he tried to catch up on copious work, put out office fires and well… actually make his brain work!
DM doesn’t currently work for a company with an ‘over 8 hours = business class’ policy. He’s done all his travel in economy, which when you’re 6 foot tall is a special kind of torture. But on the plus side, he’s annoyingly good at switching off for long periods of time. The man can power down his brain in minutes, slipping into a relaxed, meditative state. Mine takes at least an hour and abstaining from caffeine and sugar for at least 6 hours in advance.
So I stopped feeling so envious. And I started putting in a few luxurious traditions of my own. On the first night DM is away I usually pop into Globus (my local ‘posh’ grocery) and buy myself a luxurious ‘put in oven and heat’ dinner, pour myself a big glass of red wine and grab a good book. After dinner, I take my book and a topped up glass of wine to the bathroom where I commence turning myself into a sweet smelling prune.
The second day I make sure I have a huge lunch (yesterday was roast pork, lentils, potatoes and salad) and then make myself ‘dessert for dinner’. I’d never get away with it when DM is around. So it feels very decadent. Last night I made myself a gluten free apple and blackberry crumble and ate it with lashings of Mary Berry’s Real Proper Custard. DM now sees green when he hears about my evenings. I’ve had to promise him his own crumble this weekend.
- 20 grams of gluten free rolled oats**
- 30 grams of gluten free flour. I used Schar Patisserie Mix C Gluten Free flour but you can use an alternate gluten-free flour of your choice
- 10 grams of caster sugar
- 20 grams of butter, chopped into cubes
- 200 grams of cooking apples, cored, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 100 grams of fresh blackberries, washed.
- 25 grams of caster sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon of water
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius
- Place chopped apples, sugar and water into a pan and cook over a medium/ low heat until they start to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Make sure you don’t overcook them or you’ll end up with apple sauce!
- Put flour and oats into a bowl with the butter and rub the butter through the flour and oat mix.
- Add sugar to the oat and flour mix and stir until combined.
- Divide the apple between two small baking dishes (I used two Le Creuset Mini-cocottes” src=”https://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=nexttonicxbyn-20&l=ur2&o=1″/>) and top with fresh blackberries.
- Top the apple, blackberry mix with the topping
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the topping is golden.
**Oats are naturally gluten free, but the bulk of them are milled on the same equipment as the poisonous stuff, thereby becoming contaminated. Check your local health food store or specialty grocery for the gluten free type. If you’re in the US Bob’s Red Mill make some. In Switzerland I’ve been able to buy them from Britshop (though they don’t seem to have them in stock currently).