Me and Mr Jones by Lucy Diamond is about three women married to a Mr Jones. No, actually, make that four. Alicia, married to the eldest Jones brother, Hugh. Emma married to the middle Jones brother, David. And Izzy, well, she's only just met Charlie, the youngest Jones brother and he's making a right nusiance of himself. Then we have Lilian. Married to the father, Eddie and mother to the three boys (that should be men but Lilian still thinks they're her little boys) and quite possibly the mother-in-law from hell to the three women. Except – remember this – nothing and no-one is ever what they seem.
Mr and Mrs Jones, senior, run a bed and breakfast in what was once the family home, Mulberry House. Only it's getting harder and harder and poor Eddie is starting to forget things. It's a worry and maybe it could be an explanation for Lilian's rudeness towards her daughters' in law and Izzy, but not an excuse. Lilian and Eddie would love it if one of their sons took over the business. And the favourite to do so is David, and his wife, Emma.
After the family meeting in which this was discussed, and people became distressed, Emma accidentally meets Izzy in the cafe in which Izzy works. Izzy is a newcomer to the Jones family so Emma knows nothing about her, and vice versa. They sit and chat over tea and flapjacks, getting to know one another, plus they have the common bond that is the mother in law. Although for Izzy maybe she's had a lucky escape. Flapjacks provide the perfect accompaniment.
One aprox 30cm x 20cm baking tin (with a depth of at least 1cm) lined with baking parchment. You'll also need a saucepan.
225g brown sugar
75g golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Handful dried fruit (again, optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C or 140°C fan.
- Melt the butter, sugar and syrup over a very gentle heat.
- Once the butter is melted and sugar dissolved remove from heat.
- Stir in oats plus vanilla if using.
- Pour into the prepared, lined, baking tin and press down lightly with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for around 30 minutes (although don't take out until they look cooked as once cool they'll be too hard). I would err on the side of caution.
- Once cooled slightly remove from tin and cut into squares.
- Now just make a pot of tea and invite a friend round.