Tag Archives: food

Making easy Baklava with children (helping, not IN them)

I loved this post from Round the World in Eighty Bakes and am still in awe at Lauren for making filo pastry from SCRATCH.  We’ve made this cheatin’baklava before and it’s the closest to actual mud pie cooking with kids I’ve come across.

There were a few barriers to the smooth running I was hoping for but we soldiered on, dripping in butter, stuck up with syrup, pistachios adorning our eyebrows.

I could have sworn I had a bag of shelled pistachio nuts… well I didn’t so Zeph kindly set to shelling. My poor old (about 15 yrs) food processor choked at the grinding. A bit of experimentation showed it could manage about 10 nuts a time…so some of the prep took slightly longer than I expected.

We took about 400 g of nuts. We chose walnuts, almonds and pistachios. We left some out, whole and some chopped for decoration and to vary the texture.  

75g of sugar

25g butter

couple of cardamom seeds, crushed.

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

I usually put half the nuts and all the rest and whizz until it’s really really fine then add the rest of the nuts and grind until they’re rubble. This is much easier when your processor works. We also did just the walnuts and almonds first and made the flat baklava then did the pistachios after and added them to the rest of the mix so we could get different tastes. This is the mud pie element as you can mix it up and experiment to your heart content. I usually put out the big bowl of nut mix then some smaller plastic bowls for the addition of; rose syrup, orange oil, citrus zest dried cranberries, whole nuts, vanilla extract, stem ginger, ginger wine,rum – the moon’s your limit…

 We used two packets of ready rolled filo pastry with six sheets in each packet. The first packet got entirely used up in the flat cakes. I simply cut the six sheets in half which fitted my square tin and put six layers on the bottom – all liberally daubed with a mixture of melted butter and sunflower oil by my willing helper, I did put a square of substantial parchment paper on the bottom, mainly to aid with extraction

 

Then we pressed a generous layer of the walnut and almond mixture all over it and topped with another six layers of filo.  I carefully cut into squares before popping into a medium oven for  30/40 minutes. (Until golden brown)

 Secure in the knowledge that there was a tray of delicious cakes already cooking the next pastry packet was given over to experimentation. Much butter was spread, drops added, shapes rolled, pinched and packaged then sliced and adorned with nuts and fruit. Some methods work better than others – the very best I think was the cylinder/sausage roll approach but everything was ultimately edible… 

 

When this tray went into the oven I put the syrup on to cook. To make the dark syrup that looks best you need to caramelise some sugar first. For my own peace of mind this bit is utterly child free. Hot sugar is  a fearsome thing but not particularly difficult.

I put 100g of white sugar and 50ml of water in my very best thick bottomed pan and put it on high heat. DO NOT STIR (I have no reason for this but my granny’s advice…I think it makes it grainy) Do not do anything else, surrender a few minutes for this, it doesn’t take long but does need your attention. It will boil ferociously, wait for it to turn a gorgeous reddish brown and to smell of fairgrounds then add CAREFULLY 300ml of cold water (make some of the 300ml up with some lemon juice for a citrusy twist) and another 100 ml of sugar and a generous swirl of honey. Again do NOT stir and wait for the lump of caramel to dissolve into the boiling mass.

As the pastries come out of the oven spoon the hot syrup over and leave to soak up.

Serve with strong coffee and an insulin producing pancreas.

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Drops in the desert and depression awareness week *waves pom-poms*

I really, really must break my blogging drought.

I’d like to break it with something pithy, witty or maybe a useful tute or recipe.

I fear this is unlikely…

I would like to share this link the wonderful Rachel from Growing Things and Making Things left in a comment. I genuinely think watching Henri has got me through recently – I regard it as medicinal. We’ve all started soundtracking any gloomy moments, I caught Zeph doing it while regarding his toothbrush this morning. Brilliant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M

It was  a brilliant week away – new foods were tried, museums and galleries visited. Plenty of bus and tube travel racked up – a fair amount of mooching. Nitro ice-cream was eaten. Zeph and I saw this;

http://www.auroraorchestra.com/event/peter-and-the-wolf-live-2/

Steve, J and Ida got to hang around on the Southbank in the rain waiting for us. Ida and Zeph threw tantrums. Ida sat down a lot.

I had some amazing cakes made for my birthday;

Lemon,strawberry and peppermint. Together – fantabulous. Honestly – you’re going to hear Heston chatting about them pretty soon I think…

In other news – did you know it’s depression week? – well more accurately, depression awareness week. For once I’m way ahead of the game. In case you’re not and you’d like to be more so this is a great link:

http://www.depressionalliance.org/

Depression touches all of us, I mean – you know more than five people right? – it is serious yet not the end of the world. There is help if you need it, as usual there could be more. Worst of all is the shame associated with all mental illness.

Speaking out and sharing is what scares the shame spectre away.

I live with depression, I suspect I will all my life. I am capable, strong and resourceful, my life has moments of immense joy and frequent flashes of happiness which I treasure.

I medicate and apply structures and routines that help me. I am grateful to still have my life, I value it. Depression is one part of me, it is not all that I am but I see no reason to be ashamed of it or hide that aspect of me.

The garden is looking beautiful, lots of fresh green and blossom. The showers mean everything is gleaming. The clematis that has clambered up the eucalyptus is turning its palest pink flowers to face the brief shards of sunshine. It twines serenely through the wind thrashed branches. My washed out bunting flaps wildly, we’re all waiting for sunnier days.

I’m sure they’ll be here soon.

 

 

Things to do with spaghetti and sausages

I refuse to slope off to bed yet again without managing a post.

There’s lots of stuff jumbling around in my head but it never seems to make it to the blank white screen. And, just as in the morning you’re left with a few tattered fragments of a hard nights dreaming,  now I’m here – the pithy and witty thoughts have fled.

It matters not as I’ve something really special to share from a lunchtime adventure. Weeks ago on a vomiting tour of Bristol I bought Ida a magazine from the Arnolfini bookshop. It’s called Okido and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It has held her attention much longer than many other things and I was charmed by the style and quality of it. Each edition is themed and this particular one was habitat – a word which I presently hear quite a lot of. Don’t get me wrong – I am glad, just a little weary…

Anyway one of the pages had this suggestion for construction play and I have been nagged to the edge of my, already perilous, sanity. Today I succumbed.

 

Try not to notice the playdough fingernails. We did wash our hands, honest to Mab.

Yes  – what we’re looking at here is building things with frankfurters and raw spaghetti. You can use vege sausages, they need to be hotdog style ones, whichever you pick.

 

 

I mean, I knew she’d enjoy it but who knew I’d get such a kick out of it as well?  

 They did end up more like odd DNA models than anything an architect would recognise..unless they’d trained at the Dr Seuss academy.

 It was the most joyful hour I can remember for a while. Turns out Ida knows what a tripod is and can construct one, how did that happen?

Then, once our creating thirst was quenched, we tipped the lot into a pan of boiling water.

 Do avert your eyes from the squalor. My kitchen floor is a flylady hotspot of ginormous proportions.

A scant eight minutes in the pan and DA DAAAAA

 I really feel I can’t fully convey the satisfaction in eating the deconstructed structures. I’m laughing to myself again at how much I enjoyed that bowlful. I can only urge you, with the zeal of a new convert, to go forth and build then eat your own sausage spaghetti wonder.

 

Beautiful Things on a cold day

Brrrrrr – it is freezing here today! So much for a thrifty fuel bill winter… The kids are in the grip of coughs and colds and I’m in a truly miserable funk.

Lovely.

So here’s a picture of Mittens our slightly aloof cat.

She loves Steve best and really views the rest of us as impediments to her access to him. She’s not a huggy kind of cat but has been surprisingly tolerant of Ida, especially since she’s willing to share scraps of chicken and fish surreptitiously at the dinner table.

I think she has the most beautiful whiskers.

I’ve read a lot of other people floundering around in post New Year gloom which makes me feel less alone. Certain recent events have prompted a bit of navel gazing and self-analysis. Enough for me to book some appointments with my therapist.

The last few days of administering cuddles under duvets, putting Bagpuss and Totoro in the DVD player on demand, wiping noses and making endless rosehip syrup hot drinks has left plenty of time for introspection. Not always a bad thing and I feel though I’ve taken another step along a long road.

As usual plenty of Beautiful Things litter my path;

* It was MumandDad tea last night and we had a fish extravaganza – which included these very exciting razor clams which were in an irresistable paper bundle at the fish stall.

We could afford five which we cooked carefully like mussels and it turned out only Zeph and I liked them so we scoffed the lot! Huzzah!

He was charmed by the way they bubbled and hissed when we rinsed them and is now set on finding somewhere we can go and gather them ourselves. I find his interest and willingness to try new things really heartening. 

* All the coughing, wheezing and nose mopping aside there’s really nowhere nicer than on the sofa, between my darlings, under a cosy duvet, watching a bit of Studio Ghibli.

* I’m absorbed and pleased with working out some animal masks for a possible order. I have some fairs booked and am also building some stocks up for them. There is a pile of woolly felted purses slowly growing. Recently I felted a grey cashmere charity shop find and can’t resist stroking its luxurious smoothness every time I pass the pieces stacked by my sewingbox waiting to be transformed.  

* I noticed I was talking myself out of an opportunity lately. It was very I can’t-ish hidden under a sensible rationalisation. I want to stop internally running myself down – and it’s all too easy to slip back into the habit. Whilst not wishing to turn into a self-help cliché I really resolve to stop building my own barriers. Although this is balanced with recent events reminding me to keep my boundaries in place.

* Exhausting all this therapy mumbo- jumbo eh? Luckily snot and howled requests for hot drinks don’t let me wallow too long.

* On the walk to school this morning it was sooo cold my toes ached but  so glimmery- the whitebright sun dazzled us every step of the way. All my dusty corners feel illuminated. It is gloriously invigorating.

We Can Cook! Tomato & Cheese Pinwheels

Katy is a BIG hit in this house. I’m actually quite fond of this particular kids programme, for a start they actually cook real food rather than a series of ever odder food art/sculpture and I’ve also really seen the benefits of the way they help the children perform tasks by describing the kind of movement they need to do. Parroty pinchy fingers and grr-y claw hands have helped with the frustrating preschool tasks of button doing up, green pepper ripping and egg cracking in this house.

Anyway these were inspired by a recent episode.

Tomato and Cheese Spirally Pinwheels

We started with a packet of ready-made puff pastry. You may make your own pastry if you wish – this VERY simple recipe already took about 3 hours to do because everything takes a long time when you’re three so it’s packet all the way for me…

We also assembled; flour for dusting, tomato purée, cheese, basil and black pepper. We added to the basic recipe; olive oil, paprika, fruit vinegar and the scrapings of old tapenade in the bottom of the jar.

First we rolled out a rectangle of pastry. More challenging than it sounds. Especially when one of us is dead set on eating most of the pastry raw…

Then squeeze tomato purée onto the surface – making a smily face with it is purely optional. Then I swerved from the recipe adding some paprika, a dash of sweet vinegar (I use one from a local shop which is vinegar mixed with fig must but any will do including balsamic) and a drop of olive oil and  a smear of tapenade. (None of this is essential..) Then mix it all together with the back of a spoon and spread it out over the pastry.

A bit of pepper – and what kind of face? She’s having a lovely time people, really.

Then grate a light snow of cheese over the top. (All over the surrounding floor and table is entirely optional)

This is a good bit.. pick and rip basil leaves, strewing them artistically over your rectangle. The basil is sadly not homegrown, I just can’t keep them going over the winter. My mum manages it on her windowsills but she has virulently green thumbs and house that doesn’t reach my dank and mould levels. It’s 60p supermarket pot of basil which did the job admirably then ended its short stalky life enlivening a pot of soup.

Now for the tricky bit, rolling it up. Not the easiest tasks for small hands but she managed it. The idea of doing the same thing side by side is I will resist the temptation to lean over and do harder bits for her and she can watch my hands and copy. It’s a technique that works well in coaching with children and I’d recommend it. This was the hardest bit to keep my hands to myself in though.     

Or maybe this bit, the chopping up…  Still the roll is quite robust though they benefit from a small reshaping squeeze as you place them, spiral up, on a baking sheet. Ida managed perfectly well with her small knife and we talked about the saw-saw-saw movement she needed to use and why she needed to be careful with her fingers.

Then into the oven for about 15 minutes baking and…   Ta Daaaa!!!

They taste great and have worked brilliantly kept in a airtight box and reheating a couple at a time for snacks. Zeph’s had them in his sandwich box as well.

The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the bowl of eggwash on the table. It didn’t get used in these but in the sausage rolls we made next and to paint what felt like the entire room which I mentioned before…

I’m not going to bore you with the sausage rolls but we grated two apples in with the sausagemeat which was a resounding, scrumptious success. I’m always going to do it from now on.

And on that bombshell revelation I shall leave you, wiser in the wisdom of leaving small people alone with beaten egg and with a small daughter who has expanded her knife skill repertoire.

A good afternoons work.

Anticipation

Tomorrow Ida is three.

I do get absurdly sentimental around their birthdays, it seems to highlight how fast time moves and quickly they change. Part of my open heart plans is embracing change. I suppose I fear losing something dear  but surely love is never lost?

She is wildly excited but slightly confused about how time works. Last week, slightly worn by the “is it my birthday now?” question, I made a chart for her to cross off the day at bedtime – to help her count down to the big day. Of course she marched into the kitchen the next day with black marker pen all over her hands convinced she’d conquered time by crossing off ALL the boxes to move the schedule along a bit.

What touched me most was how powerful she must feel, to control her world so easily. I wish she could hold on to that but I suppose I’m one of the people squishing it out of her with all my rules and health and safety rules about knife juggling, stair surfing and road crossing.

Having tea with my friend this morning, Ida roared her disapproval over coat putting on time and N made me laugh by observing that life with a toddler is like living with a very small, ferocious T Rex.

 I find it really unnerving  seeing the less lovely sides of my everydayness parroted back to me. It’s true – I say; “Right now” and “I’m starting to feel CROSS..” and “This is not acceptable” all in those growling menacing tones through my teeth….

Yesterday Zeph asked what Jesus’s middle name was.

because apparently I say Jesus H Christ.

I didn’t even know I did.

*sigh*

Anyway back to the birthday prep. Today we shopped for Ida’s birthday tea which she is allowed, according to tradition, to choose. We may have to tinker with that one as she’s picked;

Olives, sausages on sticks, avocado, beetroot, mussels, anchovies, bread and vinegar to dip it in, iced gems, a pineapple and a tray of assorted samosas and pakoras.

Nothing wrong with the choices – just not sure it all hangs together.

We also bought things to decorate the cake with. This year it will be yellow with dolly mixtures, chocolate buttons and marshmallows on… and star candles. I may seem grossly indulgent but I am very charmed by her calm certainty and her clear vision.

I’ve sewn her a fairy skirt and silver butterfly wings and Zeph has dipped into his savings to buy her a drinking cup with a meerkat at the bottom and I just went out to Asda (always a fearful prospect late at night with all the lost wandering the aisles – blank eyed, hair buzzing with static under the fluorescent lights) and purchase two very shiny foil helium balloons which now hover, bursting with promise, over the table laid for breakfast. Walking home through the dark clutching them firmly I felt stuffed with joy and excitement myself.

Balloons, the birthday banner, a small but happy pile of presents, a tiny pink hyacinth by her plate and pain de chocolat for breakfast. I can’t wait to see her face all lit up and happy.

Wandering thoughts

I was obviously paying more attention to the television than I thought last night.

 It was on at one end of the room while I was sewing at the other. I woke up from a very specific dream about the Worcester sauce factory where there’d been a terrible industrial accident which had killed four people. Recounting the bizarreness to Steve, as we stumbled into clothes and attempted to dress Ida, I was laughing about the fact only those four people knew what went into the sauce so the recipe had been lost forever.

“Yes – that’s right.” he said tersely. “It was on Jamie’s cooking thing last night – only four people can add the ingredients – I think there’s only forty odd people working there all together…”

Really? I expect it’s written down somewhere though eh? I like to think of it in a chest at the end of some kind of Temple of Doom style labyrinth. Or a scroll sealed in a lead box then  hidden in the bottom of a barrel of fermenting anchovies.

What amuses me is how much goes in unnoticed. It’s also a bit alarming, especially when I bend my mind to subliminal advertising…

Lots of the trees around us are very near to leafless. I love the patterns the branches make against the blank skies. We are also loving all the secret bird nests that have been revealed. We walk through a sheltered housing courtyard on the way to school and the landscapers have recently been there pruning back all the hedges and bushes. One shrub’s haircut has revealed a tiny delicate nest near the top. If I lift Ida up we can peer in to the meticulous woven lining. Every time she checks  that a little bird made it, “with his beak and his toes?” and I say yes again, in the proper tones of wonder and respect. Today on the five minutes further walk home she told me a story about an Ida bird who had fallen out of her nest and a monster and a Daddy bird who lifts her up safely.

I’m still reeling from it. A whole proper story that started, once upon a time and ended with hurray and a triumphant jump in the air. For someone clinging to the idea she’s living in the moment, observing the everyday, how did I miss this? My beautiful golden baby walking around conducting invisible worlds. Of course I did know, because that’s what imaginary games are, children swimming through a landscape they’re constructing from behind those clever eyes.

But I’m still blown away by the recital. It has to be my favourite beautiful thing so far today. Although it’s vying with the careful setting by of two cashew nuts from Ida’s morning snack bowl. “In case we meet a squirrel..” The kitchen smells overwhelmingly fragrant as I’m cooking persian chicken for tea (marinated in garlic, sumac, allspice and paprika and stuffed with bulgar wheat and lamb mince studded with almonds,pine nuts and pistachios.)

Zeph was immensely cheered by the prospect of M&D coming for tea tonight as it means a “proper” meal and not rice soup or sardines on toast. Wednesdays really have become our version of sunday roast with the post meals constructed from left overs and the pre ones from stock cupboard staples.  

The yellow snail on the front gate and the smell of paint from a house being renovated we passed on the way home spring to mind as well. I love the smell of paint – it seems so hopeful to me.  

Ida is humming as she’s colouring and I’m about to do a bit of patchwork bag piecing which is my favourite bit. I feel pretty content and make the most of it – like when you get tired into a clean bed and stretch your toes out luxuriously.

Easy peasy apple pie

Have you been watching the Bake off on the BBC?

God love Mary Berry. Cake as well – thank everything for cake and meringues and pies. Which leads me to this easy-to-do-with-a-wo-year-old Apple Pie. The enamel pie dish was my Granny’s. As is the not-really- recipe method.

Peel some apples. These are from G’ma’s tree and are a sharp eater so they don’t need much sugar.

Then slice them up, you’re aiming for even flat slices you’ll be able to fan out…

it doesn’t really matter though and cooking with small people is all about going with the flow. Then butter your dish;

Next it’s pastry. Now today we happen to have spotted a packet of ready-made ready rolled short crust for the bargain price of 50p in the reduced food fridge which does make the pie making truly easy peasy but home made shortcrust pastry isn’t that hard and it’s definitely cheaper and less additive ridden. You just need to do this bit ahead so it can rest in the fridge.

You need half fat to flour. Plain flour and I use half butter and half veg lard. Dice up the fat mix it loosely into the flour and put the bowl in the freezer for ten minutes (ish) with a glass of water. Take out, rub until it resembles breadcrumbs then mix together with the cold water, bit at a time until it comes together. Work until you have a nice fat smooth ball (not too much) then wrap in clingfilm and stick in the fridge to rest (maybe an hour) Ta da pastry.

Or, if you’re like us today, lazy and lavish, undo the packet, slap on a bit of flour (because there still is rolling to do despite what it says on the packet…)

I’m really fond of this roller. I find it makes rolling stuff out in small places easier and since I’m not blessed with acres of worktop I’m very grateful for that. It’s easier for small hands as well.

Drape the half of pastry you’ve rolled out over your plate. If you’ve got holes, patch them with a bit from the edge. It didna matter.

Fill with your apple pieces, you’re trying for an even layer…

Sprinkle with sugar, you don’t need much but add to your own taste. (if you’re using cooking apples you will need more)

Then some cinnamon, this bit will probably need a joint effort as you want it everywhere not just in one place.

Mmmm, cinnamon smells so good! Then roll out your other half and drape over the top. Lots of overhang is good – trim it off then use a fork to press the edge.

We use all these lovely trimming to make decorations; (and small pastry crocodiles.)

 Going with all the autumn love in this house at the moment we went for various leaves..and an acorn…and *cough*  a worm.

 Then paint the top with beaten egg.

 then sprinkle with sugar and bake in a medium oven till it’s golden and smells delicious. 

 It really is easy peasy and you can tell that because voices were not raised and tempers were not lost. Miraculous no? 

My M&D are coming for tea tonight and we’re having this for pudding. We made a special stop off at the shop for cream on the way home from school.

The excitement levels are high. I’ll try and remember to take a picture although I suspect I’ll have to be quick.

Little legacies, thought full food.

 
little legacy A small thing handed down by a predecessor
Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by predecessors.
 
This is a link up over at the Alexander Residence – hop over and read some of the other wonderful posts this week..
 
This weeks legacies from Kate and Penny brought tears to my eyes. I’m lucky enough to still have my Mum and reading these memories make me treasure that even more than I already do.
 
My mum was very young when I was born. One of the great benefits of that is the wonderful opportunity this gave me to be close to my grandparents on both sides. In fact I also remember three of my great grandparents very well.
 
The thing I love most about Penny’s legacy project is how it reinforces my heart-felt belief that the things I do everyday guided by my Granny’s voice in my ear are what keep her honoured and revered in my heart and make her alive to my children. She was a born instructor. A memorable, strong-willed vibrant woman.
 
I’ve written before (and linked up here before as well) about all the tiny cooking rituals she’s seeded in me. Reading Penny’s post about sewing with her mum makes me think so sharply of our cooking lessons.
 
I joined the cooking rota relatively early. My parents both worked full-time and my sister and I had chores to do when we got home from school. My mum had cooked for her entire family from an early age and could not see why I couldn’t be responsible for two dinners a week during my later years in junior school. At the beginning things were left for me to prepare with instructions but as time passed I had to look in the fridge or larder and plan from the (usually sparse) ingredients there.
 
It was my Granny who showed me how. Standing in her kitchen with an apron cooking alongside her she wound me round with  a steady stream of instruction, story and superstition. Pacifying spirits, making small helpings spread a long way, weaving magic with the cheapest cuts and mysterious innards, balancing health with spices, healing hurts with carbohydrates we passed the years.
 
Every single day I do something in my kitchen that my Granny told me to never forget. Today I’m boiling butter beans for a bean bake and there’s a tomato in there with them.
 
I don’t know why.
 
but I’ve done it without and it’s not as good.  
 
Always a splash of milk in with tinned tomatoes, cheaper the meat then the lower the heat, okra thickens better than cornflour, sniff the melon to see if it’s ripe, always, always put in the bone – that’s where all the flavour is.
Cold hands for pastry, wet hands to make meatballs, if you add bread they go further and taste lighter. Always pass salt to the gods.
 
Start meringues with a slice of lemon wiped around the bowl. Less is more for allspice and it numbs the heart as well as the tongue. A drop of vinegar in the water to poach eggs and if you put an apple in your potato sack it’ll slow the shoots coming. Dust your fruit to stop it sinking in cakes, salt smothers flame on a grill and always, always keep a crust and some cloves on your windowsill for good health and luck.
 
You can always stretch a meal to welcome a guest, good hospitality is your honour and pride.  Respect food, there’s literally someone dying out there for lack of it. Meals cooked with love say – I care about you, I have woven this with my hands and my knowledge and the best my purse could purchase and I offer it up, friend, loved one, to sustain you and bring you pleasure. 
 
 Every time I look in my cupboards, fridge and larder and mentally juggle ingredients to conjure up a meal she’s at my shoulder. Truthfully I can’t think of a better way to honour her and her memory. To keep her alive in my life and for my children.
 
Zeph already salts correctly. I find myself quoting her truths to him as we cook together or as he stands by watching.
“Why are you using a eggshell to fish out that broken bit?”
“Like calls to like…”
 
So it goes on. Soothing and familar. Small, everyday and earth shakingly, world formingly important.

Duck stuff

We went to Stratford Park in Stroud today. We caught the bus that takes an hour winding through twisty steep country lanes just so we could peer into tiny walled gardens and pick our favourite cottages.

Everything is still luminously green but autumn was definitely in the air. Streaks of red and gold caught my eye and the ground in the park was littered with beechnuts, tiny green acorns and the occasional conker.

It’s a great park but we’d gone especially to see these guys;

 Ah – ducks. They just make me feel good. I like the sound they make, the way they walk, the way it feels when they peck your hand for bread. I’m especially fond of their feet…

 Once we’d filled them up with penicillin riddled spelt bread (lucky ducks…) we found a bench for our picnic;

 Look at that – we know how to picnic let me tell you! The kids polished off most of it. Ida was very taken with the wooden chopsticks that came in the sushi sandwich pack and insisted on using them to eat everything. My favourite picture is this one…

 Basically Ida has swiftly stolen the last nori roll and hastily stuffed it in whole. Like a samurai picnic-sushi thief. Outrageous. Zeph was only mollified by the appearance of a squirrel to hand feed with  mum’s lunch nut selection which she grudgingly allowed.

It was a great day.

From troubles of this world I turn to ducks.. F W Harvey