At the beginning of this year, the small one’s school sent a note home to all parents detailing a list of fundraising events they hoped to organise before the Summer holidays. And… at the beginning of every New Year I promise myself wholeheartedly to do some form of exercise or diet in a bid to shed the ‘Can’t hide it anymore’ festive binge. This year was no different except for the fact that I have actually stuck to that promise.
Let me explain… the fundraiser outlined on the note that caught my eye was a sponsored 5k or 10k run. I thought I could do my good deed and raise much-needed funds for the school, but also get myself fitter and hopefully lose a few pounds along the way. The fact that there was a real goal date in sight made it that little bit easier to motivate myself.
I’m not a sporty person at all… Before this I couldn’t run for more than two minutes without spluttering to a halt, gasping for air and water. The last time I attended a gym was the year before I married the hubby… the last time I was on a treadmill was seven years later in the months following the birth of the small one – both times I did achieve what I set out to do and get rid of unwanted flesh, but with no follow through.
Now, around the same time as the note home, my longtime bestest friend asked me to join a boot camp class with her and after a lot of ifs, buts and maybe’s I did go along – two evenings a week in fact – which allowed me to increase my said 2 minute spurts into 5k runs – three times a week. I was on a roller, full of awe and a newfound respect for myself and the hubby and small one who constantly encouraged me and all the time enjoying the fact that I didn’t have to guilt trip about having a slice of cake because of all the extra calories I was burning up.
But then the school cancelled their sponsored run. It came at a time when I had started to enjoy my ‘me time’, my little half hour sessions meandering the corners of the country roads I live on, listening to music, enjoying the fresh air and blissful peacefulness – that is, until I’d have to quickly jump into the ditch to avoid a speeding car. So I decided to put my hard work to some good use and run my first ever outdoor event – the Colour dash in aid of the Irish Cancer Society with a hope to raise funds to help the great work that these people do. If you’d like to help me raise money for this cause, please click here or on the JustGiving button to the right and pledge a donation. You can also keep up-to-date with my progress on my Facebook page. Wish me luck.
Honey and lemon cake
Serves 4 • Baking time: Approx 40 minutes • Adapted from Nigella Lawson How to be a Domestic Goddess
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
130g soft butter
100g castor sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 medium eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Honey and lemon drizzle
1 tablespoon honey mixed with the rest of the lemon juice
80g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4/160c (fan). Grease a 23cm round fluted cake pan and dust with a little flour.
2. Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Mix in the poppy seeds.
3. Cream the butter, sugar and honey. Add the eggs slowly. Pour in the buttermilk alternating with the flour mix, stirring well after each addition. Finally mix in the lemon juice and zest.
4. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and coming away from the sides of the tin. Turn out onto a wire tray. Mix the honey and lemon together. Using a fork poke holes in the top of the cake and drizzle with the honey and lemon mix. Set aside to cool.
5. Finally mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together, drizzle over the top letting it run down the sides and top with lots of colourful sprinkles.