One Year of Lunch Lady Finished
16 June 2016
I remember the exact moment I wrote in a text document on my laptop “Make Lunch Lady a magazine“. It was 3:30am, in a tent, on a hill, in Wales. I had severe jetlag and was dealing with crippling anxiety. The tent and night time was my sanctuary.
I was attending The Do Lectures, and to this day I still owe a debt of gratitude to Clare and David Hieatt for having me along. I listened to people talk about doing what they believed in, making it work and being a success. That night I lay in my tent, cranky at these people for being successful in endevours I didn’t believe in, then it hit me like a frying pan to the head. “Why are you mad at them? Why don’t YOU do something about YOUR life instead of disagreeing with how others spend theirs?” I got up and wrote a letter to myself. The moment felt big.
A week later I received an email from Lou and Lara, of We Print Nice Things, asking if I’d be interested in turning my Lunch Lady blog into a magazine. Amazing.
I need to express my gratitude to these two women. They are a real inspiration. They have done incredible things in their lives and are two of the most down-to-earth and hilarious human beings I am honoured to call friends. They put such energy, effort and love into every part of the magazine and I know each person who picks up a copy can see and feel that. (If you haven’t picked one up yet, please do)
When I signed up for this role, I spouted off to friends and family about it being an amazing chance to grow, learn and to challenge myself. “Yeah, I love pushing myself, I love a challenge“. But it wasn’t until I actually threw myself into the deep end, that I realised being almost 40 and starting a whole new career is actually quite daunting. I had spent the last 20 years working in a job I knew back-to-front, all of a sudden I had stop being proud and admit to not knowing stuff. I had to ask for help.
The experience of starting a new career and being brought down a few rungs has been an incredible life lesson. It’s taught me humility, tolerance and has broadened my ability for compassion and understanding. I know it’s deep, but it’s true!
With the momentous occasion of sending Issue Four to the printer, we mark one whole year of Lunch Lady! Thank you, Lou and Lara, for your guidance, experience and infectious, occasionally odd, personalities. I hope there are many more late nights huddled around kitchen tables together, with our kids, laptops and Indian take-aways.
I can’t leave you without a recipe, can I?
Here’s a little treat from my friend, Stacey’s blog. She makes the yummiest treats. This is a good one for a cold winter days when the motivation is low, but you NEED something sweet and comforting.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- honey, maple syrup, jam, icing sugar, to serve
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
- Preheat the oven to 210°C / 410˚F / Gas Mark 8.
- Place the skillet you’re using on a middle rack to warm along with the oven.
- Combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a blender or a food processor. Alternatively put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk by hand. If using a blender/processor blitz for 10 seconds, scrape down the sides, and then blitz for another 10 seconds. The batter will be quite loose and liquidy. If by hand whisk until no lump remain and batter is silky smooth.
Rest the batter for 10-15 mins while you wait for the oven to reach temperature.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven using oven mitts and place it on top of the stove. Add the butter and swirl the pan to melt the butter and coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Pour the batter on top of the buttery skillet. Tilt the pan if needed so that the batter runs evenly to all sides.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes: The Dutch baby is done when puffed, lightly browned across the top, and darker brown on the sides and edges.
Serve while hot either in the pan or on a plate cut into wedges.
For a fruit-filled Dutch Baby: Arrange fruits such as berries or in our case pears over the bottom of the skillet and then pour the batter over top. (Scattering fruit on top of the batter will keep it from rising as impressively)