Sunday, 17 August 2014

August in the Vegetable Garden

I'm so excited about how well our veggies are growing since moving to Melbourne 10 months ago. I've decided to try and keep a monthly photo record of what's happening. I'm also starting a garden journal so I can keep track of when I planted each seed or seedling and how they went. We've had a few days of beautiful Winter sunshine lately and getting out in the garden has been so nice. The smell of the daphne flowering is divine! I love how easy Winter veggie gardening is - you just watch it grow.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Granny's Apple Slice

My Dad's mother, my Granny was a country baker and preserver extraordinaire. She lived her whole life in regional Victoria. The Country Women's Association, the local lawn bowls club, the church auxiliary, the show society and countless family occasions all to benefit from the myriad of treats. She showed her care and concern by bringing food (and flowers usually). One particular was our favourite. Granny's apple slice. My brother even said the other day that he thinks the apple slice was the first food he ever loved. My Granny now has Alzheimer's Disease and is in full time care. She can't talk to us or bake anymore. At a recent family get together I brought her apple slice to share. It was just as divinely sugary and buttery as ever!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Heirloom Baby Blanket

This is a luxuriously soft and oh-so-beautiful baby blanket I recently finished for a dear friend's new baby boy. It's the Heirloom blanket pattern from 'Vintage Knits for Modern Babies' - I do love that book! Knit in Blue Sky Alpacas organic worsted cotton in colour 'sleet'. The first time I've knitted a blanket and my biggest ever knitting project. The yarn is so silky soft and the pattern very easy after a few rows. All the hours knitting allowed for lots of positive manifestation for a wonderful birth and life for this new babe. I did have some doubts around one third of the way through: Would I finish it? Would it be appreciated? What will I do if I make a mistake I can't fix? What if one of my children pull it apart when I'm not looking? In the end, that's just all part of the meditation for me. I can learn to let go of the fact that all those hours of knitting might be pulled out in only a minute of my back turned, or that it might not be finished in time for the baby's birth. I'm very very very proud of how it turned out, and my lovely friend did appreciate it :) So excited to welcome new babies to this wonderful World. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Digging Deeper

We're here. A family of four. Emma, Joshua, Elijah and Amélie. Lots of things have changed. We now live in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and have done since our little girl was only three weeks old (she's eight months now!). Life is very different building our new home here, away from many friends and family. We're happy though. Really happy. Individually, and as a family. People ask "What's been going on?", and I can only think to answer with how many loads of washing I've done. So here's some of what else fills our days. 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Creamy Celeriac Soup

I remember the first day I heard the word 'Celeriac'. I was in a first year Food as Medicine lecture and I remember thinking - "Did she mean to say celery?" It soon became evident that this was an entirely different food and my sheltered regional upbringing was obvious! When I was asked in the supermarket this week by the checkout assistant "What's THAT?", it brought back those memories. 
Celeriac is a root vegetable in the celery family which is bulbous and has a thick pale coloured skin - which you cut off. Inside is flesh that looks a bit like parsnip really. Being a root vegetable it is packed with minerals and fibre, and perfect for soups and roasting. Give it a go! 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Dehydrated Fruit Snacks

There's been such lovely sunshine the last few days! Nothing like a frost in the morning and then sun on your back during the day. I'm loving it! I've had my dehydrator out making some snacks - which are so easy. I've had a surplus of apples so I made what Elijah likes to call 'apple chips' as well as some apple and rhubarb fruit roll ups. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Naturally Dyed Play Dough That Smells Good Too

Play dough. What a classic! It's so inexpensive and easy to make, why wouldn't you? I don't keep food colourings in my pantry so I needed an alternative. The thing is this play dough is coloured not by chemicals, but by food.  It can also be spiked with essential oils for different mood benefits like calming, energising or focussing. It also helps kids learn that colours are all around us in nature, and that we don't need chemicals to make things colourful. Not to mention all the creativity that playing with play dough encourages. What a great kids activity!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Iron Boosting Power Salad

It's a fairly well known medical fact that kids can get low in iron easily. It's actually the main reason that  iron fortified rice cereals like Farex are marketed as 'the best first food' for babies (obviously I have other ideas!). Aside from kids, iron is essential for everyone and in high demand when pregnant or breastfeeding. Iron is used to carry oxygen around the body in our red blood cells. This means that it is essential for balanced energy levels, motivation, concentration, learning and also helps to boost our immune system's defence against infection. An iron deficient child is usually pale, restless, lacks concentration, is learning slowly, has slumps in energy and frequently gets infections. Remind you of anyone? It is actually one of the most important nutritional factors in the prevention and management of attention and behavioural disorders like ADHD. Here's some ideas for helping your family eat and absorb more iron.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Homemade Natural Chest Rub

I don't know about you, but I find coughs unnerving. A bit of a snotty nose or a scratchy throat somehow seems less complicated than a cough. I certainly meet a lot of parents with concerns about what they can do for their children who are up all night coughing and spluttering. The concept of inhalation of herbs, oils and vapours is by no means a new one. All traditional cultures have plants used for smoking, steam inhalation, chest rubs or poultice for the management of symptoms of colds, flus and coughs. This is an easy home remedy which contains no petroleum based chemicals or additives like the widely used varieties you can buy from the pharmacy or supermarket.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Green Pasta

This is a meal that plays to all my cravings at once: pasta (even if it is buckwheat soba noodles), vegetable greens, eggs and a vinegary dressing. It's also one of those meals that Dada Avocado would politely eat without commenting much it was lucky it was just the little one and I home for dinner! The recipe is a variation of this one from Naturally Ella - a truly inspiring collection of recipes. So healthy! And what's more, the joy of watching my toddler eat it.