Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Monday, 30 March 2009
Surely a vital part of growth is time that is unplanned, unscheduled and undemanding. I am SO happy to have my boys home from school/nursery for Easter holidays. It feels like we can break free from our usual routine and just potter. I asked them what things they would like to do, which includes modest requests for train rides and swimming - but also (Oh my heart filled with love!) helping Papa bring in the logs and helping Mummy set the table. So we will do those things, and see friends too, but I picture a lot of time spent with water, sticks and mud.
Watching spring unfurl. Watching birds. Watching a few favourite films.
Nurturing our little seedlings. And breaking the rules a little - who says you can't cook and craft at the same time?
We're taking this gift with both hands!
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Friday, 27 March 2009
Well, I hope I'll be forgiven for showing the reality of our breakfast table - thankfully I'm the one with the camera! But as I sat there in my usual pre-10 a.m. fog, I found myself thinking about what sustains me. And of course, this being Lent and everything, we are looking to be sustained spiritually, hence some decent breakfast reading matter. But it also being a particularly foul March day, and looking forward to welcoming a friend from L'Arche, I also thought about good everyday food, which keeps us going and sticks to our ribs...(not thighs, I hope...ahem). Breakfast was a good starter - as ever, Perfect Bread, toasted. Today's had a few dried cranberries and chopped brazil nuts in. I threw some into the dough of one of our loaves during the last baking. And if I say so myself, it was very nice. Good for when there might not be any jam, or when you're being good and not eating cake - two sad occasions indeed.
There was a bit of reading on the other side of the table too - a shared interest in some beautifully drawn French manga.
And later on, for our guest (and many guests), some very simple flapjacks, enriched with a few healthy goodies. A friend asked me for a simple recipe to make with children. This, I think may be it. It is my tried and tested, throw-in-the-oven-in-5-minutes, drat-I-forgot-I-said-I'd-bring-baking, recipe. Perfect too for lunchboxes, picnics and journeying. And if it all crumbles it makes superior cereal, with yoghurt. Sorry, I'm making myself hungry! Here goes:
150g butter, marg or vegan spread, whatever takes your fancy
75g golden syrup
25g each of some of the following: raisins, dried cranberries, ready to eat dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes etc.
Preheat your oven to 175 C/350 F/Gas 4/165 fan oven.Grease and line an 8"x 8" cake tin. I find it's good to just cut a bit of baking paper to line the base and extend up the sides about halfway to get them out easily.Melt the butter, sugar & golden syrup together. I usually do this in a pyrex jug in the microwave, on full power for 2 minutes, but you can do it on the hob in small saucepan, stirring all the time.Then just mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl and add the butter mix, stirring everything together. Slap into the cake tin and bung it in the oven. That's it. They will be ready when nicely browned on top. About 25-30 minutes (20 for a fan oven). Remove from the oven and cut in squares in the tin. Allow to cool - if at all possible...
I wanted to post another recipe, one of our best ever dinners, which has my youngest consuming loads of vegetables quite happily - truly a miracle, but right now it's obvious he just wants to get on and eat it! I hope you enjoy your dinner too!
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Here are a few of 'my' people: from our L'Arche Community. We gathered tonight to eat, share news, welcome visitors, sing a bit, pray...
Our shared experience is so simple, but so vital. It's a place for me to be truly comfortable, to be myself, share food, laughter and joy. We don't always do much, but we do a lot of being together. I often sense God among us.
Monday, 23 March 2009
Without warning, a sudden temparature drop, and it was snowing again this morning. Bah! Just as I'm relishing the warmth and sun. So if it's foul and freezing outdoors, there's no reason for it to be like that inside. Create warmth, bring in sunshine colours and light the fire...
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Happy Mother's Day! I've had a lovely day being treated by my family to a wonderful breakfast in bed (fruit salad and almond croissant - mmm), no cooking or dishwashing (utter bliss) and some sweet handmade cards. Most unexpected present came from my oldest son - "Close your eyes, hold my hand...SURPRISE!!". Surprise indeed, he had tidied his bedroom, a very fine treat indeed. He was pleased with himself and I was almost overcome with love...
I've also been remembering my wonderful Mum. I love this picture of her taken in the 50s when she was pregnant with my big sister. Now I'm a mother, I am so aware of what an amazing person she was, and so thankful for her.
Saturday, 21 March 2009
In some beautiful spring weather my small helper and I have been busy sowing seeds and building a raised bed for some salad veg. It's an act of faith - the growing season is short, the garden windy and at altitude, slugs abound and deer are waiting in the wood. Will we get so much as a lettuce? I just don't know, but I know it's always worth trying to sow some goodness, and the process is certainly a lot of fun.
Friday, 20 March 2009
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
I know, pride is not always a good thing, but today I was so proud of my boy and his friends, who came together just a few weeks ago to form a Gaelic youth choir. Many of them are very young and have have had to learn some very complicated songs by ear. And they won their first ever competition in the Inverness Music Festival! And my wee lad is quite shy so it was just wonderful to see him quietly pleased with himself.
And I'm proud too, that all the girls wore one of my flower badges...