Monthly Archives: May 2011

Letting go…

When I was pregnant I did not realise that I would go through a process of missing my bump once the baby was born. Well, I did. Even though I had a beautiful child in my arms, I missed the presence of my bump. Little did I realise that this was the beginning of many steps throughout life, separating from my precious baby. A continuous weaning of sorts until she reaches womanhood.

Looking into the future

Tonight is the first night that my child is spending away from our home. Seren is staying with her grannies’ (yes, that is plural and that story has enough material for ten blogs!) and her excitement at her impending first sleep over was a joy to experience. She is three years and three months now. Seren had her bag packed yesterday, toothbrush and toothpaste and all, including ten random books. Some motherly intervention led to a more sensible bag being packed. 

Seren’s grannies were as just excited and off I sent them in the car like giddy school kids. Seren is going to have so much fun and freedom in their house. What child wouldn’t like to stay in an artist’s country retreat, surrounded by an oak wood, wild stream, acres of meadows, and an enchanted castle next door.

Still, the house is so quiet now without her smiley face. It makes me think of what other moments in her life I will have to let go… the first day she goes to school; the first night she stays at a friend’s house; when she goes on school trips and the day she finally says she is moving out and starting her own life.

The act of letting go for me as a parent is not just associated with physical acts of separation, but also with allowing the development of oneself as a person. I, as a mother, am going to have to cope and deal with Seren growing up and forming her own ideals and opinions. I know that coming from a different generation I will probably not always agree with what these opinions will be but that I will have to accept and respect them.

Anyway, Seren’s little sister Olwyn misses her big sister. Every now and then we hear “where’s Sewen?”. Although Seren and Olwyn share the usual quibble found between siblings of that age, normally concerning who gets to play with Anna the doll, they are like peas in a pod. Olwyn misses Seren but at the same time she is relishing the undivided attention of her mother and father. I can only hope that we teach our daughters to always love and appreciate each other and help build a strong foundation in their relationship.

Say cheese! Our attempt of taking a photograph of two toddlers while smiling.

What steps of separation have you gone through with your children growing up? How have you coped as a parent in the act of letting go?

3 Comments

Filed under Family, Motherhood

Food for thought…

Flavour thesaurus

 

The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit, Bloomsbury, London, 2010

I got this book for Christmas as a gift and I think I have a crush on it. I secretly get butterflies in my tummy when it is time for bed because I get so excited at the prospect of reading about mad flavour combinations. The only problem is I usually get hungry at the thought of all this good food and end up having dreams about asparagus or something.

This book is great for the amateur who is afraid to break free from recipe books and trust their own instincts. However, it is also brilliant for those who have an appreciation for food, like me. In my opinion, this is just a good read let alone a wealth of knowledge about the food world.

The author, Niki Segnit, has a good sense of humour and is not afraid to say if something sounds disgusting if she finds something so. Although in her introduction Segnit does state that everyone’s taste buds differ and that your cultural background also determines to an extent how you sense and describe flavour. I thought this to be very perceptive of her as a writer catering to a wide audience. This is reflected in the selection of recipes and foods in Segnit’s book. They vary from American to Chinese, to Japanese, to French etc. Segnit makes the book accessible for those who may not be master chefs and familiar with the lingo of the kitchen. She also gives recipes of her own. But she does not shy away from recipes of renowned chefs, such as Nigel Slater, Ken Hom, Antonio Carluccio and Nigella Lawson, either.

The book is informative and gives the history of certain foods e.g. how the bulking out of chocolate with ground hazelnuts eventually led to the invention of Nutella. Each food is given an introduction which gives a general description of its appearance or taste, titbits of history and how to prepare it. Included in the rear of the book, as well as a general index, is a pairings index, which I have found most helpful to glance through, when I am looking for some quick inspiration.

What have I learnt from this book? Trust your instincts (and taste buds) and don’t be afraid to experiment with flavours.

5 Comments

Filed under food, Recipes, research

The Isabella Plantation

I was recently on a work trip to London and my colleague took me to Richmond Park and we went for a walk through the Isabella Plantation. This place is truly stunning and a feast for the eyes. We came at the right time of the year as all the Azaleas and the Rhododendrons were in their full glory. I walked into a wall of sweet smells and bright vivacious colours as I entered through the beautiful wrought iron gate.

Winding paths
A child’s paradise
Kurume Azaleas
Kurume Azaleas
Azaleas
Azaleas and Rhododendrons
The wild stream
Peg’s pond

These little mandarin ducks take time to reflect on the important things in life!

 

5 Comments

Filed under Family

Bun in the oven!

I felt like making something different for brunch. I came across this recipe on a great blog – http://mygrandparentskitchen.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/bacon-and-eggs-in-a-roll/

It is very simple to make. All you need is:

  • as many bread buns as you need
  • eggs
  • bacon
  • herbs; parsley, oregano etc.

Cut the buns in half and scoop out the inside of the bottom half. Keep the top half for later.

Make sure that you make a decent enough hole in the bun. Otherwise the egg will spill over the edges.

If you have children, let them help with scooping out the bread and picking off the leaves from the fresh herbs. In Seren’s case, she will probably eat everything. I caught her quite contentedly shoving chives into her mouth, “making them disappear” as she said.

Next, place short strips of bacon into the holes. Then crack an egg on top of the bacon.

Seren loved helping to make this and enjoyed even more the act of eating it!

6 Comments

Filed under Family, food, Recipes