Monday, July 11, 2011


On this Wintery, cold Melbourne day I'm dreaming of  a pleasant cafe outing with clear-nosed children! It's not really so cold but, I become a little 'whiny' when the temperature drops below fifteen so I'm looking back (just a few weeks) to warmer, sun-shiny days and some cafe outings we've enjoyed. Perhaps we'll have another tomorrow? It might be a nice way to celebrate her second visit to the dentist; bravery should be rewarded! Not that I'm expecting the dentist to do much more than count her teeth, ask her how her brushing is going and give her a sticker! I must be projecting my horrid experience with braces!

Occassionally, I ask my kids to brave a local cafe so that I can enjoy a pot of chai or English Breakfast tea because one, I'm addicted to both and two, sometimes it's nice to be served! It takes such patience on their behalves, a patience that's mostly rewarded by a 'babychino' and something sweet to eat.

Back at the end of May when my eldest sister was visting from northern NSW, their patience was tested on more than one occassion! And recently, we've been visiting a cafe in Flemington with friends following Elsa's weekly swimming lession. This is a particularly good spot to stop because of this shop, located in front of our table of choice. This is clearly a stop for me but the kids find their own fun.

I hope they recall the sweet rewards of our cafe stops in the same way that I recall the delights of the David Jones cafe in Sydney where Mum would take me for a reprieve as I enjoyed the delights of a vanilla milkshake, cream-corn on toast (I know!) and perhaps a scone. For now for my kids, it's all about the train spotting, exploring the streets, watching the people, and clearly, the eating and drinking too!

Cafe bound with their aunt; something to truly relish as this aunt lives far away

And sometimes we simply take the 'cafe' with us and enjoy some train spotting with treats and drinks in hand.  And then chat about all things train-related in the aftermath! ( I really need to learn some things in this regard!).  It's often not until a few trains have sped past that Rafa is used to the noise; it' hard to believe looking at the photo below but, in no time, he's screaming with delight as each train approaches.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


We've tried a few apple cake recipes in our time but, this has to be our (current) favourite.  For this, I can thank this book with it's central themes of giving and recieving in the context of an old women's quest for apples for this cake. When eventually she suceeds through some serendipitous bartering, she cooks and devours the entire cake. I have to say, I'm confident I could equal her efforts but, I did opt to share with the family. What great control I displayed!

The recipe is a little time consuming but completely worth the effort. The result is a delicious half cake - half bread loaf . One day a few weeks back (when we still had some decent sunshine!), we enjoyed the cake with friends at a local park/gardens and I can't help but include some photos from that morning.

And heck, while I'm at it, you might as well have our other favourite (!) apple cake recipe. Tis' the season afterall - the apple one that is. This recipe provides a use for that leftover morning porridge. Yesterday it provided a good afternoon tea for the kids and their cousins, and us sisters of course! So quick and easy.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cake
1/2 cup oats
1 cup water
Make porridge and add 125ml butter to the saucepan (with porridge) to melt
Combine following and add the above
2 eggs
1 cup S.R Flour – sift
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder – sift
Bake 180 for about 35 mins

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Something was preventing me from sending this off. Her gift seemed incomplete. Then it struck me, what about her wee, little, lovely toes? Where are the woolly 'bits' to keep those warm? Though I'm sure her parents have her very warm and snug, I couldn't resist completing the outfit with some socks using a pattern here and this yarn to match the hat. What a pleasure these were to knit (and a quick pleasure too,  which is an added bonus!). Oh, beautiful warm baby toes, they're just the best don't you think!?!


Last Friday was Canada Day. It actually wasn't Canada Day in Canada until the next day but we celebrated on both the date here (1st July) and there. Since, of course, Australian's don't celebrate Canada Day you'd think we'd simply choose between the days but, we had so much planned that it seemed appropriate to spread it out over both days! And so we did.

I decided that we needed to explore the First Nations perspective, in the very limited way that we can and  in a way that was appropriate for the kids. So, we focused on our First Nations story books (Kids Books has a good supply) and occassionally looked on line for related images. Elsa asked whether we can sleep in a teepee next time we go to Canada?!  There I was thinking I'd introduced untenable dreams when we found this and now I'm dreaming too. Perhaps one day. For now, we made plenty of paper teepees and totem poles. We had fun and learnt some things too!

We also had our fair share of pancakes with maple syrup and these shortbread biscuits made with the help of these (perfect  for our celebration!).