Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope that you had a lovely day. Lily certainly did. She got far too many presents and loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

9 Months

Dear Lily

Last Friday your turned nine months old.

Sorry that this letter is so late. Unfortunately we have all been a little sick and that, coupled with a trip up to Sydney for a wedding, has put me a little behind schedule.

This month has been all about mobility for you. Your crawl is ultra-efficient and ultra-fast - it shocks me how quickly you can leave a room or suddenly appear at my side. You have also become incredibly good at cruising along furniture and climbing. This, coupled with your discovery of how draws and cupboards open, has made things very interesting. The downside, however, of this mobility of yours is that it has made it rather difficult for your papa and I to change your nappy or get you dressed after a bath. Instead you have a tendency to simply take off once naked and we have to chase you around the house wielding a nappy.
This month has also been the month that you discovered your love of swimming. When you see the pool you start wriggling about with joy. Once in you are in heaven. You seem to understand that you need to kick your legs and move your arms in order to stay afloat and move forward. You do this particularly vigorously whenever you spot another little person who you think that you might like to befriend. It is so much fun to watch.

An odd development this month was a new smile that papa and I have nicknamed Jack, because it makes you look a little like Jack Nicholson. It is often accompanied by an intense kind of heavy breathing that only serves to complete the vaguely sinister image. I am not sure where it came from, but it is quite hilarious when you bring it out.

This month you also finally got your first tooth. It was such a relief to see it break through your gum, because it really seem to give you an awful lot of pain in the process. I only hope that your other teeth are not quite so painful when they come through.

Despite your current lack of teeth, however, you have really been enjoying finger foods this past month. Bread, pasta and avocado are your absolute favourites, but fresh fruit always seems to go down well too. Last week we found some blackberries growing on our side of the fence (courtesy of the neighbours) and so we picked a couple to give them to you to try. You absolutely loved them, but we ended up having to strip you down naked and put you straight in the bath in light of how much mess you made eating them!

And now we are heading for Christmas when you will, no doubt, receive an absolute bonanza of gifts from your many many relatives. I hope that you will also enjoy the day and the little holiday that we will take afterwards.

lots of love,
mama xox

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Now I will have to go to the coast these holidays

Ariel's holiday:

Another day at the beach; this one glorious, sun-soaked. It leaves your hair thick with saltwater and your back streaked with sunburn, despite your regular applications of sunscreen. You finish two books: really good books that you don’t have to read for work.

mmm, summer.

Wordless Wednesday - Pingyao City Wall

For other Wordless Wednesdays, go here.

Gift inspiration

If you are still struggling with your Christmas gift purchases (despite my valiant attempts at creating an ethical gift guide), or you would just like to win something, then you might want to check out Crunchy Domestic Goddess' two holiday gift guides - one for munchkins and another for adults.
The munchkin guide gives you the chance to win a gift pack from Hazelnut Kids who stock toys from a range of organic cotton people including Under The Nile. I love their stuff. A friend gave Lily one of their little grape babies yesterday and it is just so cute.

Monday, 10 December 2007

First tooth

After saying that posting every day was a great new habit that I was planning to keep, I then kind of disappeared for a week. Sorry about that. Lily was cutting her first tooth last week and it was unpleasant for all concerned. She was clearly in a lot of pain (poor mite) and crawled around crying like a wounded elephant for most of the week.

It is now through the gum (although it still has to come up a little bit further - why is it taking so long?), thank goodness, and she is no longer crying in her sleep, so hopefully the worst is behind us.

We have been photographing our food though. So I will get some food posts up very soon.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

It's December, in Australia.

Someone tell my why there is fog?

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Vegan Apricot Pie

Now that Summer is upon us, I am trying to focus even more on eating seasonally. And so, starting with the A's, we took advantage of the gorgeous apricots that are now well and truly in season (P picked up a 1kg bag of them for $3 at the farmers markets) and made a scrumptious apricot pie for desert last night.


1 & 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (or non-GM canola oil)
1/2 cup cold water

500g fresh apricot halves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 210C.

Start with the pastry. Sift the flour, almond meal, brown sugar and salt together. Knead the margarine into the dry ingredients until it is like bread crumbs. Add the cold water slowly and mix together. Hold back on some of the cold water to ensure that the mixture doesn't get too damp. Roll into two balls of equal size. Then flatten them and roll them into flat circles.

Place one pastry circle into a pie pan or an round oven-proof dish. Press in the corners and the edges so that it is evenly distributed across the base and the sides of the dish. Poke a few holes in the base of the pastry with a fork and place in the pre-heated oven for around 10 minutes or until slightly browned.

Now mix together the sugar, flour, almond meal, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Place apricots in a separate large bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Add the dry mixture to the apricots and stir thoroughly so that the apricots are all coated.

Pour the apricot mixture into the partially-baked pastry. Place the unbaked pastry circle on top to form a lid, carefully squeezing down the edges to create a seal. Cut some vents into the top in order to let out the heat during baking.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting or it will collapse on itself and be too hot to eat!


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