Happy Christmas everyone!!
Christmas cooking (with kids): gingerman bread December 22, 2011
Yep, that is how we say it around our house: Gingerman Bread.
It’s very funny to watch kids try to wrap their tongues and heads around funny phrases and words. Especially when they are your own kids and you can just laugh out loud…
Last year when we went to Canada to celebrate Christmas with our Canadian family in the snow, we visited some friends in Vancouver on the way through who had the MOST amazing gingerbread house and scene ever made. Let me tell you. It was amazing. (Note I’m having to tell you rather than show you as I’m such a numpty I forgot to take a photo of the wonderful creation.)
They make one each year, and keep it up on display without snacking or nibbling for a few weeks over Christmas, and when the kids go back to school in early Jan they take it in as a treat for all the kids to eat together. And I was inspired – I’ve always wanted to do one.
So last week I emailed them and got the recipe for the gingerbread and icing, and started to think about making it… Then realised that although it would be fun for me, the two year old in our family would LOVE to help and the house construction and decoration is just a little bit beyond his decorating ability, patience-level and possibly balancing skills. I could forsee typhoon-struck ginger-house with icing dripping from gables aligned with the floor… (I’ve also been wondering about how a gingerbread house would ‘hold up’ here in humid Brisbane… In Canada the humidity is so low you have to have a humidifier on. Here you can almost drink the air some days. I’m not sure that any gingerbread house would have a long-life without ‘growing’ some of it’s own extra-special green decorations.. Anyone have experience with this is Australia??)
So I embraced the idea of just having fun with it and opted for gingerbread christmas shapes.
We invited O’s little cousins and grandma from Canada over and away we cooked. There was lots of mixing, measuring and then cutting.
Then decorating. I put a sheet of baking paper out for each child, in front of them at the kitchen table, and three bowls each for the toppings: smarties, sprinkles and heart decorations. Then a big smear of royal icing on their baking paper and a small palette knife each, and they were off.
We were planning on gifting some that O had decorated himself to O’s teachers and a few other people. On reflection, after witnessing the licking of palette knife, fingers and smarties that went into putting his together, I decorated a few myself to give on his behalf…
But I still love the creations, licks and all!
P.S. Oh, I forgot. They are absolutely DELICIOUS… Thank-you Mickey for the recipe! Yum Yum Yum…..
P.P.S. I am now planning on making the making of these (and a gingerbread house when the kids are bigger) a Christmas tradition in our house.
P.P.P.S. And you may ask – where was the little baby during all of this? Alternately happily rolling around on the floor, breastfeeding and sleeping. She really is a dream child…. !
And she has started eating…. We are going baby-lead-feeding.. December 20, 2011
In other developments around our house, the littlest member of the family has started on her food adventure. I don’t know if I managed to get a photo of her first food (cucumber), but since then we’ve introduced a range of vegetables, a little fruit, and a bit of meat (cooked by her daddy), bread and crackers. Did I mention that you got your first tooth about 2 months ago at 3 months old?? Well, regardless of teeth, you are into food.
I remember when little O first had food like it was yesterday. Avocado. You haven’t tried that yet. Will have to add it in.
Dear Little L:
So far, your favourites have been: steamed / fresh snow peas (preferably from the garden) and turkey. Yes, your Dad cooked a Christmas turkey on the weekend and you are very much into it. We are giving you only whole food: the baby-led feeding approach (read this brochure if you want a quick summary on it). So your sit in your bumbo or on our laps, and get whole bits of veges and other stuff to play with and eat as much as you can of. And since starting, your hand-eye co-ordination has improved out of sight and you have no trouble getting the food from your plate to your mouth. And there is definitely some going down, as is evidenced by the seeds and other bits and pieces I can see in your poo. mmmmm… All good fun. We spoon-fed your brother a bit at the beginning but he really wasn’t into it at all so soon changed to the baby-lead feeding approach. For him it didn’t make much difference – he is just a little skinny thing. You seem a lot more into food so far in general. Thankfully. It is nice to have a little robust baby after the skinny minny your brother turned into at around six months (and still remains).
So around here mealtimes are a family affair. It’s fun to see:
Love and kisses
A sisterly break.. December 19, 2011
A week ago, I headed off down the coast with little Luna and my 3 sisters. It was the first time that just the four (i mean five) of us have ever been away together that I can remember. That is, away without assorted partners, other family etc. (Am I right on that sisters???).
We went out for a few drinks and dinner a few months ago when R1 was up from Melbourne, and it was fun. So when she said she was coming up for a few weeks before Christmas, I took the opportunity to organise a getaway. We headed down to Lennox Heads (just south of Byron), a small sleepy little town with a stunning beach and a lake too. We shared a small apartment that looked out directly to the ocean and where we could hear the waves crashing all night. Played a little scrabble, a few cards, drank a lovely bottle of champagne, ate home-cooked food and just talked.
I enjoyed myself. Little Luna loved the attention.
And I got to enjoy a swim in the ocean by myself. For ages. Without the worry of a two-year old on the beach wanting my attention, nor a baby to swap with a husband… Yay.
P.S. the best part of the weekend was my sleepy head sister R2 waking up first thing on Saturday morning, and before even asking for coffee (her serious addiction), coming into the room and asking,
“Can we dress her up? What do you have??”….
getting ready for Christmas – cherry pie December 18, 2011
Also in the spirit of Christmas and the festive season, I’ve been busy cook, cook, cooking.
Mostly for fun (i.e. not so inspired on the family dinners)…
I’ve been putting together my version of a cherry pie.
Inspired by a sour cherry pie (a tart really) made by the welsh lady here in Brisbane. I’m not even sure she still makes them: I haven’t been into the store in years (it’s on the other side of town and really only totally loved the sour cherry pies). This particular pie was something I hankered after when I returned to Brisbane after living overseas for years: an individually-sized open-faced sour cherry tart with a custard base… mmmm.
When Chris and I first started going out, I talked about these pies and promised to get him one (food has always been a common love). But it took us about two years to actually get our hands on one. She didn’t make them all the time, they sell quickly and we didn’t get to the shop that often. One morning we turned up early, asking for the pies, and recognising that I’d been in a few times over the space of a year looking for them, she promised to cook some right away and for us to come back in a few hours. We did. The pies didn’t make it out of the carpark….
Anyway. I’ve been wanting to make my own version. But with fresh rather than bottled sour cherries. I got myself a wonderful cherry pitter for Christmas (a bit early) from my mother-in-law, and have been pitting cherries like mad ever since. The pie has been practiced so it will be ready for Christmas day (of course, just because you need to practice, we wouldn’t eat a cherry pie for no reason other than liking it!..).
One big fat fresh-cherry pie made with a custard filling from our lovely garden-fresh eggs… Yum…
P.S. And thanks to my wonderful husband for cooking the fresh cherries. It was a joint effort…
Familial likeness…. December 4, 2011
It’s been a crazy busy month, with bouts of a sinus cold coming and (hopefully) going. Hence the lack of writing.
Around here, we’ve been busy GROWING.
Growing things in the garden. But mostly, growing little CHILDREN.
Look at this one!
And I think the familial resemblence (her 5 to my 6 months) is uncanny:
Do you agree??