Throwing down the gauntlet

Last weekend Mr Teacakes and I took the children out for lunch as an 'end of the summer holidays' treat. After our main course I had a peppermint tea while the others chose desserts. I had hoped that Ian would choose something I would like from the menu so that I might steal part of it, but he chose the rather dreary sounding Hazelnut Bombe...when I enquired as to why someone would choose such a thing when there was a Honeycomb Cheesecake on offer he said it was the meringue centre that was tempting him. I was speechless that he would feel the need to choose the most boring dessert on the menu just to get a small morsel of meringue. But I could make you meringue, I said, any sort of meringue you could wish for (you see what a little success with one batch of pink meringues can do to a girl, an ego gone wild)! That was all the incitement Mr Teacakes needed to come up with a challenge. I would like a striped rainbow meringue please, he had said and later he added that he would like that meringue in the shape of a guitar (although he retracted that on the grounds of it being, in his opinion, impossible).

The children squealed with excitement when they saw this on the baking tray and reported back to their father that Mummy really was making stripy meringues. He refused to view anything until it was cooked and said he was dubious that it wouldn't all come undone in the baking...well, he was sort of right. Can you see that the yellow mixture looks a little runnier than the pink and the green? It did very strange things in the oven and quickly reduced to nothing but golden bubbles...however, my other attempts were judged to be a success:

...and we found that they were even more delightfully stripy when we broke into them.

I love these pistachio green ones too.

(and just in case you're worrying that the little Teacakes may actually be morphing into giant clouds of candyfloss with all the food colouring that I seem to splash about...I should say that we are hideously puritan when it comes to the children's diets...and that they are permitted what amounts to a couple of crumbs! As I hadn't had any dessert though...I was allowed many - yippeee!)

Other treats to end the summer holidays were trips to the swimming pool, a visit to some beautiful gardens, but best of all time in a deserted car park on Sunday afternoon. At the start of the summer I had made both children a chart in which they might collect stamps. For Zebra-girl stamps would be awarded for activities such as writing in a summer diary and for Dinosaur-boy playing alphabet games with me or learning to put his own coat on. Stamps were plentiful in every column, but for both of them the 'learning to ride my bike' (without stabilisers) column remained blank, in part due to a flat tyre that we hadn't gotten around to fixing. Which is why with only one day of the holidays left we felt compelled to spend an afternoon in a deserted car park. It wasn't long before Ian and I were able to stand in the middle and watch them both whizzing round us, Moose's antlers flapping gently in the wind as he rode pillion on Zebra-girl's bike. It is my happiest memory from the summer.

And now it is September and suddenly I am a stay-at-home mummy with no babies at home. Dinosaur-boy went off to school today looking so small and so delighted by the wearing of a school uniform....and I am so aware that with that comes the end of an era for me...but for today at least, in the company of friends, warming cups of tea, shared morning cake and a seat in my favourite cafe that didn't feel quite as painful as I had expected it might.


  1. Oh wow! those merangues are AMAZING!! who'd have thought it? I think you might be onto something there ... For a long time i've been building myself up to trying coloured macaroons like the ones you get in harrods ... but your merangues look even better!! I think all of us mothers are marking "era's" with our children at this time of year. I have blogged about mine this morning too! quite sad to be at the end of one, but exciting to be at the start of the next. x

  2. he he he I love them!!!!! triggering an ugly rush of sugar craving....Love that you earned quite a few due to your 'lack of desert'.Fab.And its a wonderful photo of the reindeer cruising down the street.Enjoy the quiet cafe time-there are a lot of you in blogland at the moment : )

  3. Very impressed by the stripy meringues.

    April xx

  4. Really, those stripey meringues just out-domestic-goddess anything else I've ever seen!

    Glad everyone is adapting to the newness of school routine.

  5. ooooh, yum yum! But...PLEASE allow the little kidlets more than crumbs, how could you deny them ?!

  6. that first photo nearly made me link my computer screen.

  7. I am so pleased dinosaur boy went off well to his new school proudly in his new school uniform. Kids can really surprise us sometimes. I am also pleased that it was less painful than you had anticipated. Also now just think of all that lovely sewing time you have!
    lots of love to you and the family Florence and well done to DB and ZG for learning to ride their bikes... a real landmark.

  8. Wow, those meringues are nothing short of spectacular!!! And thank-you for reminding me to enjoy my own two babies while they are still at home with me. I know it will be an emotional time when they both go off to school - one of those happy/sad things...Glad you have all transitioned so very well :)

  9. These meranges look so special! and make great photos. Heers to the freedom we all felt the day we mastered riding away from Mum on our bikes, what a feeling!

  10. What amazing meringues!! Well done you oo and finishing the dress too, tackling clothes seems a long way of for me!

  11. The meringues are fabulous - just love those stripes. Congratulations to the children on riding their bikes with no stabilisers... what a great feeling!

  12. Congratualtions on the meringues! They look scrummy. I think many of use are finding this week with the children back at school a little 'empty'. Love your daughters' moose! That's really quite a gigglesome sight.

  13. Boutique meringues!

    What a lovely summer holiday memory to make.

    An end of an era heralds the start of of a new one. Looks like you did a great on the old era. I'm sure the new will also be a great sucess.


  14. Those meringues are amazing! And I love it that you just dived right in with an "I can do that, no problem" attitude. Well done to ZG and DB for their newly aquired bike riding skills. Very impressive! D x

  15. I was absolutely enchanted with your story. The meringues look spectacular and had me wanting to eat them right of the screen.

    I know what it's like when your baby goes to school. Mine toddled off to school what seemed like only yesterday, but then I blinked and he's 33 years old with his fourth child due next month!

  16. ahh. . . how lovely that dinosaur boy went so happily off to school - but what a great feeling it is to be a SAHM with all the nippers at school!!!!
    ahhh the freedom . . . .

    loving those stripey merangues - yum YUM !

  17. Your merenges are so beautiful! And so was your huge recent haul of fabrics!!!

  18. The meringues look gorgeous!

    Well done to the little teacakes for learning to ride their bikes without stabilisers (or stapilisers as my girl calls them - though she has decided that even bikes with stapilisers are not worth the risk!).

    Glad to hear Dinosaur-boy has made a good start at school. I'll be waving off D this week, and T starts playgroup on Monday ... new starts all round!

  19. Those meringues look fabulous. I've never been brave enough to attempt plain ones, let alone stripey ones, even though I love them (especially nice gooey ones with cream and raspberries!).
    Cathy X

  20. Oh, how I love merengues. They almost (*almost*) seem like the would be good for you. I'm right with you on the kid front, though--the ice cream we eat, the cookies we bake, all eaten after their bedtime. Aren't we awful?

    Amanda @

  21. Stripey merangues, that deserves an award! New you can get that shop going!

  22. Hi Florence : ) Just checking in to say Hi.Hope everythings fine.x

  23. Yummy looking meringues and what fun in making them.
    Well done little ones for learning to ride you're bikes.
    And well done mummy for not feeling blue with the on set of school and no babies to look after at home.
    What will you do with your time, maybe the website idea will take shape, I'd love to see it.
    Clever lady you are, such fabulous colours an fabrics.
    Molly and Daisy's door stop is one of my most favourite items and makes me smile everytime I move behind their door.
    Many hugs,
    Catherine x


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