Cooking Marathons, Sweetie Pictures & Time to Write

This week, I have rediscovered the meaning of alone time. With the kids back at school, I’ve had more time to sit down and focus on writing without the usual accompanying interruptions. I think I’m programmed to go in search of coffee as soon as I drop the kids off because I kept gravitating towards coffee shops until I realise all over again that they’re closed! I’ve set up my own little writing station at the table with candles, good background music and coffee pot coffee instead. I haven’t missed the change of scenery too much and try to turn a blind eye to the mess around me πŸ™‚

My mum used to make a delicious parsnip and apple soup, so I tried to recreate it this week. I added some curry powder like she used to and it worked out really well. I like soups that have two opposing elements to them. I find it easier to batch cook on Sundays now. I usually make some soup, bread and snacks for throughout the week.

I dug out a recipe for Christmas rocky road and adapted it to use ingredients I had on hand. I like the fact it calls for whole glacΓ© cherries. They remind me of Rudolph noses, even if it isn’t quite the season for them yet πŸ™‚ I left out the edible glitter and amaretti biscuits but might make some more with all the trimmings when December gets here.

This weekend, we went for another walk in Montalto. It has become like our second home πŸ™‚ The girls paid another visit to the witch’s house and we met my dad there for a walk and a picnic. The girls spent a long time in the adventure playground. I like the fact that it’s similar to the park at Stormont, without the same volume of people. The girls got some chocolate babyccinos with marshmallows and I had a mocha and got to sit on a bench with a book for a while πŸ™‚

Today, we stayed at home and did some crafts. I wanted to try the ones from my artist friend Lina’s website. You can find her craft corner here She has some great ideas for crafts for kids. I’d even like to do some of them by myself at a more leisurely pace when they’re at school πŸ™‚ First, we tried the concentric circle art. We found random circular objects to draw around and I got out some chalk pastels for the girls to try. They were probably the messiest choice I could have made, but it was good for the girls to try a new medium and learn how to control the smudging πŸ™‚

Afterwards, we did the sweet pop art (also from Lina’s website.) I had put aside the few sweets wrappers that hadn’t been torn to shreds πŸ™‚ I’d like to try this activity again with more wrappers and create patterns and more pop art-style pictures. They ended up a bit more like just sweetie wrappers stuck onto paper, but the girls loved arranging them and sticking them on πŸ™‚ One of my daughters told me she made a crow out of hers. I like when they come up with their own ideas, even if it deviates from what I’d originally intended to do πŸ™‚

My sister kindly gave the girls some Timbits, so we were able to use the treat box for our house craft. Since Halloween is over, I decided to start working on a Christmas one instead of a haunted house πŸ™‚ We cut out shapes from cardboard to make windows, a door, a Christmas tree for the window, a wreath for the door out of an egg carton. I drew bricks onto cardboard so the girls could paint them to look like walls. I plan to add sequins and ribbons, etc to it when we glue it all together, but it is still at the drying stage πŸ™‚ So, I’ll share the finished project with you when it’s assembled πŸ™‚

I had a major cooking day today. It looked like there had been a flour explosion in the kitchen, and for once, it was because of me instead of the kids πŸ™‚ I made some carrot and ginger soup and some Greek flatbreads to go with it. I baked some more of the fudgy brownies we are addicted to, and the girls helped me by licking the bowl πŸ™‚ I prepared a roast dinner for today and I made some berry crumble to go with it. It feels like that kind of day πŸ™‚

When the weather brightened up, the girls got to play in the garden. They played at planting “seeds.” (Some nuts and pumpkin seeds they stole from the kitchen.) Hopefully our garden isn’t overrun with nut trees and pumpkins now πŸ™‚ (Although I’d probably be secretly happy if that happened.) Then we made some smoothies and my daughter looked through a cookery book, announcing everything she wants to try making πŸ™‚ I find that cookery books are a good diversion when the inevitable declarations of boredom come at you πŸ™‚

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