Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote

Rhubarb is growing like crazy in the garden and strawberries are so cheap, tasty and smell delicious. I’m taken back to my Scottish childhood: rhubarb was one of the few things that grew easily and a favourite treat was raw rhubarb sticks dipped in an eggcup full of sugar. My teeth hurt just thinking about it! We would sit in the back garden crunching our way through this treat with dire warning about the poisonous leaves ringing in our ears.

 

I looked at a few online recipes and came up with this one of my own. It’s great added to yoghurt or plopped on top of muesli. 

 Less than half an hour from start to end. I sterilised the jars whilst the compote was cooking. Now I’ve got four lovely jars which may just last a few days in the House of Testosterone.

  

  

Dear teacher

  
Parent teacher interviews last night. Great to hear that these teacher’s know my boy. I know that our beloved educator is going to do a talk to the staff soon. Last week we had a near miss and the lack of awareness could have come at a huge cost to my son’s health. 

It has all been a reminder to us of how vulnerable we are when we send our children off. We hope that the teachers remember who our children are and what they need to do for them: it’s usually nothing but when things go wrong we need them to have a minimum amount of knowledge. I thought I’d been proactive but that was not the case.

I know this job. I’m a teacher too. This makes it even harder as I know what a tough gig teaching can be. I feel conflicted but making sure my boy is safe is my priority.

I wrote this poem at the start of this year when my son returned to school after the holidays. All my nieces and nephews in the Northern Hemisphere head back to school soon as we edge closer to our Australian summer. This is what I’d really like to say to the teachers.

 

muesli slice

  

  

I forgot about this little slice I used to make. It’s quick and easy and you can add in so many healthy extras!  

I keep the slices in an airtight tub in the fridge. Any broken pieces are great crumbled over yoghurt. 

It’s cold today, even for where we live and we are not used to it. We crave full tummies and comfort food. This does both but manages to tick the low GI box (I think!!!)

Maths does not come easily to me! The slices in the above photo look a bit big? Correct! 4 x 3 = 12. Not 18! These slices are worth about 22g of carb instead of 15g. Luckily my sons are better than me at maths.

   

Ratatouille

  It’s was cold Sunday afternoon. I was craving vegetables! A quick look in the fridge revealed an aubergine/egg plant which was bought on a whim in my weekly shop. I had a nostalgia trip to the distant past. It’s funny the relationship between food and memories.

We were a group of students who had to spend four months in France to improve our language skills as part of our degree. We had so much fun on very little money. We were in Montpellier in the South of France and the student cafeteria often made this dish. It was a taste revelation to me. Once we got back home and we regularly made it in our student digs, thinking we were so sophisticated.

So, I made this for me really. I secretly relived my past life as I stirred in each ingredient, a little smile on my face. My children would not recognise this version of their mum.

I also cooked a roast beef, roast potatoes and green beans. I figured this will be a side dish for them and the main meal for me as I don’t eat much meat.

I’ve got a favourite ingredient:

   
 

I bought a couple of jars of this last year when on holiday. They ran out recently but I was able to get on line and order some more.

I like the idea of the rose petals! A touch of the exotic!

I’ve been adding it to soups, cous cous and using it as a marinade for chicken too. I didn’t have any basil to add to my ratatouille so thought this would give it a bit of a lift!

   

A load of crêpes!

  First Sunday morning of the holidays. Two weeks lie ahead of us. There’s time to make a nice breakfast. We’ve always loved crêpes. The pikelet is much heavier than it’s French cousin and leaves you feeling sluggish and heavy. We prefer these. 

I try, in vain,to make my children pronounce “crêpes” properly, rather than the unusual Australian way of saying it. 

I set the breakfast table with little bowls of lemon and sugar, pure butter, pure maple syrup, the berry mix and some creamy vanilla yoghurt.

I set my coffee maker on the stove.

My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he turned thirteen and he became a teenager in hospital. He desperately  wanted his usual birthday breakfast of crêpes, maple syrup and strawberries. I asked the nurses if they would let me bring him his breakfast. I was only mastering the basics of courting carbs so I headed to the supermarket looking for ‘authentic’ crêpes. I found a packet, some strawberries and some ‘diet’ maple syrup. The resulting breakfast was pitiful. I have photographs of my brave boy valiantly pretending that it tasted nice.

A year and a half has passed since then and I’m proud to say the crêpe situation is under control. I make a double batch of this recipe and on the rare occasion that there are leftovers, they can be frozen with a layer of baking paper in between each one. I love it that they can be made in a food processor. A French mum would possibly be horrified by this. There are no lumpy bits so, désolée Madame, the food processor it is!  Like any crêpe mix, it’s better if you can make it and leave it for a while. This never happens chez moi! Once the smell of melted butter hits the pan, it’s game on! It’s quick and easy but don’t turn your back on the pan.

I love the lace like patterns that appear, the tiny bubbles which grow then burst, leaving a web of little holes.

 

We had an extra boy who stayed for a sleepover. He was pretty happy with his breakfast. I have a little shot glass which I find great for measuring out the pure maple syrup for my son with Type 1. It takes ten seconds to do and helps keep his BGL in line (well, as much as we can ever predict that!). He did raise an eyebrow when I handed my son his little shot glass of maple syrup. 

  

More Balls

Baking time again!  Time to stock up the fridge for the days ahead.

Bliss Balls with an ever changing recipe. I make 40 every couple of weeks and have managed to get the carb count to about 8g per ball. These are great for everyone in the family.

I type up most of my recipes and put them in Google Docs. This means I can access them from anywhere. It also means I can share them with my friends.

This recipe is ever changing. My friends laugh as every time they go to access my Google Docs, the recipe has changed.  I’m pushing up the protein content at the moment so I’ve added the chia seeds. I’ve used dried strawberries too and that was delicious. One of my boys thinks he doen’t like walnuts but they’re so healthy! I grind them up until they bear no ressemblance to their former shape. He reminds me often not to put walnuts in.  I nod and say nothing!