It’s been a while since I baked or cooked anything. I found out when we went away at Easter that the smell of cooking is a definite trigger for me to be sick. I hadn’t realised at home just how much of a difference this made in the evenings, and it was only when we went out for dinner one evening on holiday (I didn’t eat much or stay long at the pub) that I realised I was sick less often when I went back to the house that nobody had cooked in that evening. Since then we have eaten cold stuff: salads, bread, cheese, cold meats – that kind of thing. I’m just about able to tolerate smelling a small portion of something that was already cooked and frozen (by us before pregnancy or by Granny) heated in the microwave for Andrew at lunchtime, so he has one cooked meal a day, and Tom helpfully gets a cooked lunch provided every weekday at work. One thing I have found possible is cooking a pizza for 10 minutes first thing in the morning when I’m feeling at my best for the day, and then we eat it cold later in the day. I open some windows and the smell soon goes away and we always go out anyway after it’s done.
The other day I thought it was time that I tested whether I can stand the smell of baking, and although I wasn’t overly fussed about eating freshly baked goods like I usually am, I wanted to take some along to our La Leche League breastfeeding support group coffee morning. So I went for it. I decided on something quite plain, that was quick and easy: these oat and raisin cookies did just the job. They took about 10 minutes to mix up and about 12 minutes to bake. Handily the doors and windows were open in the flat anyway due to the lovely weather. I can’t say that I enjoyed it as much as usual, but it was worth the experience, and although I won’t be rushing to do it again soon, it wasn’t a complete disaster. I still don’t think I’d cope any time later in the day at the moment. At least the cookies were a real hit at the coffee morning, and I got lots of good comments from my friends and mums I’d never met there before, which made it even more worthwhile 🙂 If you’d like to have a go, here’s the recipe….
- 120g margarine
- 80g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 60g self-raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 120g oats
- 150g raisins
- Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Cream the margarine and sugar together in a bowl.
- Beat in the egg.
- Mix in the flour, baking powder and vanilla essence, until everything is well combined.
- Mix in the oats and raisins until well combined and evenly spread throughout mixture.
- Dollop small-ish blobs onto lined baking trays (I got 13 cookies out of the mixture), spread apart.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 12 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven, let cool and eat as fresh as possible.
- Note: suitable for toddlers, but you might want to keep little hands away if you want any left for yourself 😉 (see below…)