Saturday, February 20, 2010

Heat, Hearts and Long Division

I opened the door just now to be greeted by a wall of heat that was almost solid to the touch. Greeted is the wrong word though. It was more like the welcome you might get from a bouncer at a happening club when you turn up in a dirndl skirt and a neat blouse. The best option would have been to retreat inside to the cool shadowy interior of our house, but determination to conclude my mission drove me on. The laundry must be hung out to dry.

The summer has at last asserted itself with a vengeance, having had a half-hearted flirtation with autumn most unlike February, who usually doesn’t allow the faintest wisp of morning fog and chill nights to intrude on her dominion of heat. Two nights ago I went to bed with a hot water bottle and winter pyjamas. Today it is heading for 40 degrees and an afternoon spent by the swimming pool.

Middle Daughter made a batch of iced heart biscuits for her grandmother’s 88th birthday today. She also baked them for Valentines Day with a cluster of heart-shaped cookie cutters that were a Christmas present, and lovingly iced each one.

We had trouble getting the icing to the right consistency to pipe but she persevered, making one for each member of the extended family, with their initial on as well as silver balls and sprinkles. Unfortunately they didn’t all get delivered to their intended recipients. By Wednesday there was still a fair selection in the box. I was attacked by the munchies and consumed one or two that had somebody else’s initial on… I have been forgiven and this second batch should make sure that everyone gets a heart cookie baked with love. We used Nigella’s recipe for birthday cookies from Feast and they taste great.

And the good news is that I have finally got long division sussed. For some reason I never picked up how to do long division with remainders at school and it has been a mystery to me ever since. Middle Daughter missed two weeks of school with mumps and tonsillitis and, when she went back, her class were in the throes of long division. She came back with a homework sheet, saying she had no idea what to do. I got her to show me what they had been doing in class and was finally able to figure out the whole process they were supposed to use stepping down the page from each number. I have become an expert on it now and she proudly came back the other day saying that she had got 10/10, so I guess she has got her confidence going again too.


  1. I can remember as a young girl hanging into my mom's chest freezer to breathe in the cool air just to escape that Cape heat! Those cookies look delish!

  2. It is so odd to read this post while I watch the blanket of snow oh-so-slowly receding in my garden!

    Adorable daughter, sweet cookies!

  3. P.S. Stop 'round my blog today, if you can. I need some advice.


  4. Yum! Gorgeous cookies! Recipe?


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!