Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Summertime Scrumping

A nice evening out at the park turned into an even better one, when we discovered this plum tree growing wild and heavy with perfect ripe red fruit. The kids were overjoyed at the sweet little plums hiding all over and under the trees.

Funny thing is there was a fast food drive through right next door. I think our food was faster and better hands down.

We filled our hats and bags and went home a little bit happy and a little bit chuffed at what we had found. I am still stoked that here in the middle of the 'burbs we find plums.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Adventures in Baby Led Solids (Weaning)

So Mini girl is growing fast and exploring this amazing world. The time has come to introduce some new flavours and textures into her diet. There is this new 'thing' called Baby Led Solids (or Weaning) depending on which part of the world you are from. Abbreviated to BLS or BLW by savvy mothers.

This idea is not a new one, I am sure you would hear many a storing about this from your aunties or nana or maybe even your mother. The idea has gather motion with the publication of Gil Rapely's Book "Baby Led Weaning" .

So basically, no puree or prepared 'special' foods for baby. Introducing them to your diet with appropriate guidelines...the usual no nuts/egg/choke-able things. After 6 months, not around or before. Research has shown that babies under 6 months generally dont have the skills to sit up, bring food to their mouth and swallow it. They are just not physically developed enough to do this. Sure there may be some exceptions, but try to give a chunk of apple to a 4 month old...they drop it. If they do get it to their mouth it soon falls out.

It follows 'food before one is just for fun' a great saying that helps parent to feel at ease with their kids not eating three meals a day at six months of age. A breakfast or bircher muesli and juice, lunch of cucumber finger sanwiches and a roast leg o lamb for dinner. Or is that Iron fortified rice cereal, pureed pumpkin and rice for luncheon and pureed spinach and chicken for dinner topped of with some chocolate mousse.

So here are some photo's of Mini girl with her first piece of food, a chunk of apple.

And a few weeks later with some pumpkin soup. She was a bit confused about what to do with the soup, until she finally squished it in her palm and then brought it to her mouth.
This photo needs a bubble..."where is the food gone mumma?"

We followed BLW with our Midi girl and she has a varied palate and tries most everything put before her. The Maxi boy had rice cereal from from 4 months and the assorted puree of pear/apple/pumpkin etc...only now at almost 6 is he starting to try and love various things.

So BLW means babies don't 'choke' on food, as they self feed and regulate how much they put in their mouths and can spit large chunks out if need be. They may 'gag' but this is their natural self protection against choking, it is a skill that needs to be learned. Purees don't add anything but calories to the babies diet. Solid food isn't about calories and breast milk is their main source of nutrition form 6 months to 12 months and then onto 2 years, as recommended by the WHO (World Health Organisation)

It is never to late to start BLW , even if you are using puree or mashed foods you can start BLW

Happy eating.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Op Shop Day 2010

I recently hosted an Op-Shop Day. So basically the idea is this, we swap our crap for more crap. Simple hey? Grab a group of your nearest and dearest and get them to bring a bag or 10 of their clothing, books, shoes and toys that they would otherwise take to the op shop. Let the rummage begin! After everyone has grabbed what they like, bag up the leftovers and send it to the op shop. Your mates win, the op shop wins and the environment wins. We all got new threads for ourselves, our partners and our kids.

We got to see friends from all over Perth and chat and sip chilled tea from Wildflower Botanicals. It was a great day had by all.

Here are some pictures from the day.

Inspired? Host your own...and show me your pictures.

Hulbert Street Sustainability Fiesta

Last weekend we were at the Hulbert Stret Sustainability Fiesta. A great community event held in Fremantle, WA. The whole street shuts down for the weekend to support and display all things eco, green and good for the earth.

Residents of the street sell their pre-loved goods and a few outside marketeers display too. Karri Tree Lane were there with their funky cloth nappies, baby carriers and sling, stainless steel drink bottles and ELK clothing.

There was Scarlet Eve with washable cloth pads and lunette cups. This is a great little business. Also a great way to decrease landfill but using cloth menstrual products.

As well as raw food (personally I like my food cooked, but hey whatever floats your boat) green smoothies. great organic coffee, curry, pizza and dead animal in bun.

There were drummers and singers and buskers galore! It made for a great vibe to the event.

Here are some happy snaps, taken with my phone, not my usual quality.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Sweet Treat

My children have asked me for lots of things, a pet snake, a swimming pool, a puppy. Today I granted them one wish. A snake...no just kidding. The number one thing on my list of things not to feed my children. Doughnuts. I can hear you tsk tsk-ing on your computer chairs. But wait hear me out. I cooked them in a small amount of oil and the recipe has a small amount of sugar and butter. Anyways here is the recipe

4 tsp dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk

3 Tbsp caster sugar

100g melted butter

4 1/4 cups plain flour

3 eggs

oil for cooking

caster sugar and cinnamon for dusting

Yeast, water, milk and 1 Tbsp sugar in a bowl, mix and set aside until frothy. (10 minutes or so)

Add butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the mix and gently mix with a butter knife. Mix until a sticky dough forms. Add a little more flour if it is a bit too sticky. You want it coming away from the bowl and but still soft. Cover bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour (or doubled in size)

Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Roll out dough to 1cm thick. Use some sort of round cutter, I used a cup. If you have the correct tools for this go for it. I do not. The original recipe says to let them rise again, I didnt. This was not for any reason other than I misread the recipe and had three children hanging off me. So the point is, you don't need to let them rest again. After cutting out I poked a hole through the middle with my finger and stretched it out

In a high sided pot heat about 5mm of oil, this can be vegetable oil, sunflower out, peanut oil whatever you have that has a high smoking point. Not Olive Oil. Wait until oil is very hot and gently place the doughnuts in the oil.

Have some tongs handy and when dark brown turn. Place on paper towl when both sides are done. Then toss in cinnamon sugar.

Let me know how yours go...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Seasons They are a Changing

I can feel the warmth of spring. The sun against my neck as I walk in the garden. The changing light where the sun now reaches. The life changing, growing, blooming in the garden. The seedlings planted in Autumn have survived the frosty winter and will soon be ready to eat. A few spring onions have already been devoured. I cannot wait to eat the beetroot. I adore home grown beetroot. I roast pumpkin and beetroot with fetta, greens and pine nuts. Yum.

I look forward to planting up the next season crop, I am thinking melons of all shapes and sizes to be planted where we had little bonfires earlier in Winter. Some lettuces and maybe even risk tomatoes again. My history with tomatoes is poor. I can grow little cherry tomatoes but anything bigger just doesn't work. I would love to have enough to make some relish and sauces for bottling.

With each new season it feels like a time to refresh and refocus on things i want to achieve and create. Typically Winter is the slowest time for me, I an less motivated as the weather cools down and the rain and wind stop any gardening work outside. This Winter has also been filled with caring for Mini baby so not a lot of time to be gardening.

So here's cheers to Spring, and all its warmth!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wet Felted Book Cover

I wanted to experiment a little and use up some odds and ends of wool. I am busy this weekend and will miss the workshop held by Nicole and Emily, which was felting a journal cover. So I knocked up this little sucker for my A6 art journal. It is a little book I can keep in my bag for when the mood strikes and I need to jot it down before that sieve of a brain I have loses it. Forever gone into the ether.

Pretty groovy don't you think? I used embroidery thread to patch up some of the little holes and to turn in the edges, as it came out a bit longer than required. All up it took about 40 mins and then a day to dry in the shade.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Flying time

Yes it has been a while. This Mini bubba is growing fast and demanding my lovely attention, which means less play time for me. As I type she is sat on my lap between my crossed legs and is sucking on my shirt. Yum. It will match the puke on my shoulder, and i will no doubt forget to wipe it away before I pick up the Maxi child from school today, leaving me with wet spots and puke milk smell. Nice.

Mini girl is 5 months old today, she enjoys eating her toes, gurgling and puking on most everything.

In line with the title of the post I wanted to reflect on time passing by so quickly. When I had my first child, he is pictured above. The days seemed to drag a constant feed, play, sleep, feed, play, sleep and so on. Your life with one child is so focused on their every need they become your world, your passion your work in progress. If they sleep you furiously tear around cleaning, scrubbing, ironing, folding. And if, like my first child dont favour sleep, you get frustrated and anxious that you can never get anything done. Third child on, the baby falls asleep 10 minutes before school pick up, so I pop her in the Yamo and Midi girl and I trot off to collect the Maxi child. When she wakes I do the washing, cleaning dishes or meals. When she sleeps, I relax. Tea. Cake. Book.

You start with one set of ideals when you have your first child, then it rapidly changes as you realise your baby did not read the same book you read about sleeping and feeding. You grow and adapt to them. Learning from each other everyday, every mintue.

With each child you fine tune your skills, iron out the creases and more clearly define your parenting style and ethos. With each child comes more confidence and more freedom. You give yourself leway to make some mistakes and learn to not stress the small things, but embrace the challenges and the difficulties that arise.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Simple Sunday

What came first the toast or the egg? A nice way to end the weekend, a fresh laid egg and some toast. Midi child loves looking for the eggs each day, now the chooks have starting laying again. It is a precision exercise, collecting the eggs. The chooks, always want to escape. So we distract them with clumps of grass over the fence or turn on the hose and i quickly dash in the gate before they here me sneek up. The have good hearing, if I ma not quiet enough I get srung and we have to devise another dasterdly plan to fool the feathered ones.

Why is a chook escaping so bad? As amusing as I look trying to catch a small brown chook with a babe in my arms, they also tear up my vegetables, turn over fresh mulch and crap all over the verandah. I love their eggs but loath their path of distruction through my garden.

So now the new week has started, also the new month and I am already planning next weekend. Mundaring Markets on Sunday and a dinner with friends that night.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mundaring Truffle Festival

Oh my freaking god! I have just returned from the Mundaring Truffle Festival via Little Ceasers and A Hills Dweller's house. What a day! I saw a macaroon tower made by Choux Cafe as well as sampling their divine Almond Croissant and Pistachio and Chocolate Snail. They were just too tasty, it may even be worth the drive to Swanbourne to get another.

As well as loads of local producers there were some international ones. Loads of truffle infused things, like cheese, olive oil, honey and macaroons. The kids enjoyed the adorable iced cookies made in Swan View by Sophisticake. For the record we had a Ladybug and three white horses.

We had fudge coming out our ears. Fudge-a-licious, Fudge-tastic and Fudge A-Go-Go.

I did not taste a truffle, but to me they smelled like a mix of boot polish and wet earth. I am sure they taste great, the pasta and truffle people let off some nice aromas as we passed by.

The kids played in the bushes and we drank GOOOOD coffee and watch the truffle dogs (a Beagle and a Kelpie cross) sniff out truffles. Those puppies were very cute.

The only photo I got was this one.
It is Mini in her Mini Hat. A good lesson for me to take more pictures when out and about.

So note for next year: take more money and take more photos!

Friday, July 30, 2010

a mini hat for the mini one

It is amazing what a small bundle of merino can produce. Well that, some warm soapy water, bubble wrap and some vigorous rubbing. After having the pleasure of visiting a wool/fibre store in a far far away land (we are not in the Hills anymore Toto) I purchased some dyed merino wool tops. This beautiful green and blue clourway as well as some black and some Tussah Silk Tops dyed in 'Autumn' shades.

The black is set aside for a dear friend, who I wish to make a cloche hat for. I bought the Tussah Silk Tops to put a little design on the black hat. I will use the silk tops to fancy up a few other things too, it adds such a beautiful sheen to a plain wool.

This was my first attempt at a small felt hat. I had previously made one for myself, but used wool batting which is the tops spread out flat, it makes it easier to get a consistent thickness. I was quite proud of myself, as I only got one small hole in the top of the hat. The rest of the hat is fairly even. Go me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

An afternoon in winter

Here are a few images to get the ball rolling, so to speak.  It's a cool winters day and we are gardening, which means chainsawing, burning and giving the yard a good seeing to. We felled a few old trees for some more wood to see us through these frosty nights. Burnt scrappy bits that have piled up in the yard since the summer storms.

The ash and burnt earth left behind will made a wonderful space for planting some watermelons and punkmelons in a few weeks.

I took a moment to catch the last of the afternoon light  in the garden.