Recently I was sent an email, one of those forwards that has the obligatory 'send to ten people, or your arm will fall off tomorrow' kind of statement. For once, I actually took something from it. 'If you put your troubles into a pot with those of a thousand others, yours will not be the biggest' or something along those lines. Reallly, what I think it meant was to forget about the small things, they aren't worth it, focus on the positive side of life, your health, the health of your family and friends. Surely, all things pale into comparison when you are fortunate to have that. But what if you don't?
I told you before about my friend's little girl who developed a heart problem when she was a little over a year old and how well she was looked after in Crumlin Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, in my 'Great Irish Bake' post. While many people are fortunate to go through life and not need the services provided in the hospitals around the country and not even be aware of the good work they do. Others are. They have a loved one attending or they orgnaise to fundraise, they shake collection boxes, they throw money into the collection boxes, they give their time, they bake, they write recipes, they put a cook book together. But really they just help in whatever way they can, even if it doesn't always bring good karma their way! (I got a speeding fine on my way home from the 'Great Irish Bake', for going 5km over the speed limit. Now I am more likely to cause an accident as I keep staring at the speedometer!)
A call went out on Twitter from @MexicancookEire for volunteers to review a cookbook put together by staff at Certus, who had nominated Heart Children Ireland as their charity of the year. The staff of Certus collected their favourite recipes, photographed them and had them bound to make 'A Taste of Certus' cookbook. The book would make a lovely addition to your recipe book collection. Many of the recipes have been handed down through families, picked up on holidays or found in a book and cooked and tweaked so often the recipe becomes their own. I made the banana chocolate chip muffins for this post but I have a few more recipes picked out that I want to try. The coddle, for sure, I want to see what it tastes like as an adult as we were only fed it as children. Lots of happy memories!
'A Taste of Certus' is available for €10 (all of which goes to charity!) and can be ordered by contacting Heart Children Ireland at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 1850 217 017. Heart Children Ireland will place the order with Certus and they will ship the book.
Just a little background, taken from the Heart Children Ireland website - 'Heart Children Ireland was founded in 1990 by a group of parents who met in Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin whose children were being treated for congenital heart defects. They realised there was a need for a support group and with the help of staff including they set about organising one. Their aim is to provide practical support for their members including setting up local groups, buying medical equipment, financial assistance, funding specialist posts and special events for the children and their families. Heart Children Ireland now has over 1,000 member families and has raised well in excess of two million euros for the cardiac unit at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.'
PS look out for other recipes from this book on these sites, A Mexican Cook in Ireland, Wholesome Cook, A Year in Redwood and Smorgasblog.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - Sarah Lysaght, 'A Taste of Certus' Heart Children Ireland
I had two boxes of chocolates left over from Christmas, so I picked out the plain chocolate ones and hazelnut chocolates and chopped them up to substitute for the chocolate chips in this recipe. So if you still have some Christmas sweets hanging around, you could do the same!
I also added some jumbo oat flakes to the top of some muffins for decoration.
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup of chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees or 155 degrees fan assisted.
Place paper cases into the muffin tray.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips and mix. Set aside.
Combine the bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter in a large bowl.
Fold in the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
Using an ice-cream scoop or a spoon, scoop the mixture into the pre-lined muffin tin.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
Cool on a baking rack.