#505 Home-made food

Baby girl was hell-bent on some sickly sweet treat from the bakery today, so I succumbed. It was a pink meringue, and looked something like this

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but it was long, like a plait. There were two m&m blue eyes, and sprinkles throughout. At home, I broke it into chunks for her, and popped a piece into my mouth to see what was so good about it. I tasted some kind of bakery taste, but not necessarily a pleasant one, and something oily. It WAS sickly sweet. I didn’t think baby girl would last with it, knowing her palate, and yet I left the room and left her to it…

I was making my Nutella-filled baked cinnamon doughnuts. I too had a disposition towards sweet things today – maybe it was the cold, dark and dreary weather, and the menacing clouds hanging over us and threatening to spill with rain at any second, that made us need the sugary pick me up.

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As I was near the end of the process, my doughnuts now out of the oven, and close to buttering and sugaring them up, baby girl ran in.

“Yuck!” she was saying. She appeared to be spitting, and needed some kind of help so I went over to where she had been eating her meringue while watching endless Nickelodeon in the other room.

A few pieces had been eaten, yet several chunks were still there on the table, with one wet, clearly chewed up and spat out piece.

“This is too sweet baby girl. I knew you wouldn’t eat it.” I told her we would pack up the uneaten pieces for another day, and I cleaned up her spat out piece. She needed water, and it was here that I crouched to her level.

“You know baby girl, this stuff is no good. What Mummy bakes is the best. You know when Mama was a little girl, she only ate the cakes that Baka made? Home-made food is the best honey, know that.”

I went back into the kitchen with such conviction, with baby girl happily gulping down water and converted, behind me. Home-made food, no matter the dish – savoury or sweet – was always going to be a fresher, healthier, and smarter option compared to store bought or processed ANYTHING. Even as I finished off my Nutella doughnuts and reviewed the ingredients in my mind (caster sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, milk, egg) they were all pantry/fridge standard staples, and though yes butter and sugar prevailed, I’d rather that than artificial colourings and sweeteners. This is the stuff the old, old, old generation used. This was the stuff to eat, when you ate sweet. Anything home-made, ruled.

Anything home-made RULES.

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It’s a lesson I knew I was always going to teach baby girl, and today I was grateful in the knowledge that I received that much-necessary education from my own Mother, by her words and strong example, so many, many years ago.

Thanks Mum… as always, you are totally right 🙂

 

 

 

#475 Saturday Night In no.2

Last weekend, I was absolutely HANGING to get to this weekend.

Birthday bash? Big par-tay? Night out with girls? Wait, no – night out with Hubbie?

No, no, no, and NO.

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend, all week, because all I’ve really wanted to do was nothing.

Absolutely, positively, NOTHING.

I have embraced Winter in its entirety and officially started hibernating, you may think. And this is part true. In fact, a post about how great Winter is will follow in due course (true story).

But all I wanted this weekend, was to have no plans. Nothing to do. Nothing to rush and be busy about. I’m actually feeling quite anti-social, in that I’ve been looking forward to nothing else but hanging out and spending some quality time with Hubbie and baby girl. The madness of May, with all of its big celebrations and festivities, and just as many stresses and headaches, although all for a good cause, has just left me tired. Just needing me time. Just needing, ME, to do NOTHING.

Just for a little while. I know that in a week or so, or a few if this cold perseveres, I’ll be up and at it again, and partying just as hard as any 21 year old, as hyped up as any kid that’s just eaten a bag full of smarties, and buzzing just as hard as a beekeeper’s pants. I assume they buzz sometimes, you know.

But tonight, was bliss. It was so much nothing, that it really was the perfect remedy for any previous party sores and shenanigans.

I made a herbal tea when I got home from work, and sat with baby girl on my lap, watching Paw Patrol. She leant her head back against me as we sat watching animated dogs on TV. I breathed.

Later we got takeaway – where along with my Pad Thai I snuck in some cheeky Nutella Puffs (basically deep-fried pastry filled with a slab of yours truly), and along with a delicious glass (or two, or more) of 2014 cab sav, I inhaled. Again.

Later again, baby girl sat on the couch with me after I had taken a hot shower, and now while watching Dora, leant her head on my shoulder. Awww 🙂

A picture perfect night. Just what the doctor ordered. And still, the night ain’t over yet…

 

#386 The age of Innocence

Tonight, baby girl hugged and kissed a star lamp. How much more delightful can she possibly get, at age 3?

When she gets presents for an occasion, usually in bulk, like at Christmas, or her Birthday, it’s not too hard amongst the frenzy of new ‘things,’ to pop a gift or 7 away, for a later date.

I like to draw things out. I can see the insane joy in her face when I later take out her presents, all fresh and brand new and exciting, as it’s suddenly something interesting to play with. She has no idea it’s been sitting out of reach on the top drawer of her cupboard the whole time. The only thing she knows is “Oh! New toy!”

I can get away with it at this age.

She received this star lamp for Christmas. And because she had a little fairy lamp that we were using in the meantime, I popped the star one, you guessed it…

Her fairy lamp was going dim. I mean, I could have just changed the batteries, as I’ve done so many times before. But I needed an excuse to take out the star lamp, albeit another battery-operated one, but what the hell.

It looks a lot like this:

lamp

Only in red.

Hubbie and I put in some batteries and set it up in her room, and then as bedtime approached I asked “do you want a surprise?”

Of course a 3 year old wants a surprise at bed time. Stalling is what they excel at.

So we took her into her pitch-black room, I fumbled with the switch on the lamp, and

Ta-da! The room was alight with a warm glow from her new lamp.

She was rapt. She looked at it in admiration. She held it, carried it about. She hugged it, even doing her “awww” bit as if she were hugging a baby. She then kissed it.

She hugged and kissed her lamp.

And you know what? It was freaking adorable. It was beautiful. She is at such an innocent stage, so naïve to so many of life’s treasures, experiences, and discoveries, and it is precious. She is amazed and takes great joy in the smallest of things, and I find it inspirational.

She sees Nutella on the table during breakfast and exclaims “Oh!” before clapping excitedly.

She jumps up and down when we tell her we’re going to walk  to the park.

She hugs a friggin’ lamp because it’s red, it glows, and it’s a star.

How much more simple can you get? How beautiful life is, when things like this make you happy? When you appreciate them to the degree that they bring you irrepressible joy?

I hope to nurture those innocent qualities in her for as long as I can, for as long as she will let me.

In fact, I hope to keep it alive in me while I am at the task. I actually think this gratitude blog, is helping me to do that too…

 

 

 

#337 Food Truck festival fun

The Mornington Food Truck festival runs from now, up until Sunday the 29th of January. We ventured over this evening with the MIL, to check out the digs and of course, grab some food truck food.

I had the meaty paella:

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Honestly, for $12 it was underwhelming. (Foodie SmikG is coming out now) I only had one prawn in my container, the portion was meagre at best, and though it was spicy and had some good kick, seriously for that price I expected more than two spoonfuls with a sprinkling of rocket on the side.

Yes, I know we’re eating from trucks, people. But the quality of food FROM food trucks has increased substantially in the last few years, something most people in Melbourne would be well aware of. Anyway.

Baby girl had some chips, Hubbie a steak sandwich, and the MIL also went the burger route, as we sat within the greenery alongside the racecourse, under the shelter of the grand old trees, feeling the cool evening breeze sweep in.

There were rides as well, which baby girl and I participated in yet again… yep, the teacup ride. And baby girl saw some clown heads moving slowly side to side, which she wasn’t too sure about so she just let Mum and Dad win her a prize. Those open clown mouths are pretty scary.

It was a pleasant evening, and to be honest despite the paella, I just wanted to be out and about amongst people enjoying MY town. Nothing gripes me more than seeing people from out of town enjoying our precinct, knowing that we can’t due to time restrictions and work commitments! So just by being there tonight, I was happy.

Grateful. 🙂

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And to top off the night? We took home some Nutella-centred churros from another food truck, and had them at home… they were still deliciously warm and crunchy, nom nom nom.

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(Apologies for the photo, the churros tasted a 1000 times better than what is actually shown).

It was the food highlight of the night, and a lovely way to end our evening adventure.

#148 Convenient doughnut proximity

I don’t need to tell you all the details of my difficulties from today. That will surely come to you very soon in my ‘Things That Shit Me’ series, over on SmikG…

No. But what you do need to know is that I had enough just prior to 3pm. As in, ‘that’s it, I’m outta here, put me on a rocket and send me into the galaxy’ type enough. After packing a tired and cranky baby girl in the car and reversing out of my parents’ driveway, I spontaneously turned and said to her “do you want doughnuts?”

She, poor thing, had also had enough. Her eyes nonetheless sparkled with tired excitement. The decision was immediately made.

15 minutes later, we got home with this

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And tonight we will devour this

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I already sneakily ate one mini cookies and cream doughnut. I had to. Man Hubbie’s lucky I didn’t smash a few big-sized donutella’s before he got home.

I really needed it. And in that moment, leaving my parents house, I was so grateful that the famous Mick’s Place milkbar is literally a minutes drive from their place. I’ve written about the milkbar and the beginnings of the Nutella doughnut craze before, but now I am expressing gratitude for it. The way Xzibit pimps dirty shitty old cars over on MTV, so too has this milkbar been pimped to an unbelievable food-porn level. And being on an average corner in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne, a milkbar that I frequented too often as a teenager (which Hubbie still hangs shit on me about)…. well I couldn’t be prouder.

I actually need those doughnuts to find a supplier in our Seachange location. It is a must.

 

#129 Baking when I’m buggered

I feel like crap. I hate admitting I’m sick, but… you know.

The one image keeping me up today was the thought of carby, sugary foods. I think the possibility of eating such goods gave me a burst of energy, strong enough to endure making these:

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Baked cinnamon doughnuts with Nutella filling. All together now – YUM. (I would normally insert an exclamation mark but I just can’t manage the energy of it at the moment).

They are fairly easy to whip up. I love them. Hubbie loves them. So does baby girl. We only have 3 left.

Although I feel like shit, I am grateful for easy recipes like these that give you much needed happiness and comfort.

(#52) The A-Z April Challenge: N – Nutella Doughnuts

Nutella. Doughnuts. Need I say more to be grateful for? Let me place a photo right here.

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I first wrote about my obsession with the doughnut of hazelnut chocolate back when the craze hit us hard mid last year. Now with the colder weather approaching, doughnut season is upon us yet again.

Gratitude to the doughnut-plus-Nutella combination. Appreciation plus on this Saturday night fuelled by coffee, Kruskovac, red wine, the best company and sweet pastries 🙂

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