Thursday 10 March 2016

How precious the young, how precious the old

I saw from the window of my car,
As I was speeding by,
An old man.

He walked like my Father did,
one short shaky step after another,
looking forward with concentrated eyes,
that told you in no uncertain terms
that this was work.

The world had changed
from a place of confidence and freedom
to a whirlwind of frighteningly infrequent familiarity.

My Da would, as he walked towards you on his shaky pins,
give a characteristic wave and a happy smile.
To see a friendly face, a welcome in the road,
made him happy.

I looked in the rear view mirror,
and glimpsed you, the future.
The one I named after the Father I loved.
And I wanted to stop the car,
and chase after the old man,
and show him you,
and watch him smile,
that I might glimpse what Dad's smile might have been.

How precious the young,
how precious the old.

Home Spun Mum

I often cook and bake with little Bertie. It's chaos, but fun. When I'm in the kitchen, Baby Cloister is on the work surface in his bouncer, and we play the 'Mummy is pretending she is on a TV cooking programme' game! I narrate everything I do, pass things to Bertie for him to hold, let him sniff the smelly ingredients, stick his hand in the ones that won't be too messy to clear up. It sounds and looks ridiculous:

'Today, Bertie, we are going to be making, Orange, Vanilla and White Chocolate Muffins. Okay?'
'Goo, GAH!'
'Here, have a wooden spoon to hold, that's interesting isn't it?'
*Wooden spoon flies across the work top* 'GOOOOOGAH!'
'Oh dear, you dropped it, would you like it again?' *pass spoon*
'What we'll need is
2 Eggs, (no you can't hold those)
125ml Vegetable Oil (It has a red label, look at that!) *grins* 'GURGLE'
250ml Full Fat Milk
200g Brown Sugar
400g Plain Flour *Bertie sicks up down his suit, needs to be mopped up, a commentary on this ensues - 'Oh dear! What caused that then? I need to mop you up, don't I? Shall I sing a song? -The big ship sails on the ally ally oh, the ally ally oh, the ally ally oh... ' -

3 tsp Baking Powder (comes in a funny little box, would you like to hold it?) *Baking powder is observed then thrown down*
1 tsp Salt (For a reason I do not understand, you're not allowed this until you are big)
200g White Chocolate Chips
Vanilla Essence
1 Clementine, squeezed

'What we do is, preheat the oven at 180C, that's quite hot. We line these muffin tins with cake cases, they make a good noise, feel?' *scrunch, scrunch, smile, chew - a few less cake cases are now useable*.

'We crack the two eggs into this big bowl (that makes a good noise, doesn't it!) and whisk them with the electric mixer *Whirr Whirr wide eyed face*.
'Add the sugar, and whisk until smooth' *whirr, whirr: smiles and giggles*.
'Add in the vegetable oil' *whirr whirr: gurgle, slight grizz, pass the wooden spoon back*,
'and the milk' *whirr whirr*
'We are looking for a nice smooth batter, what do you think?' *Bring mixture closer, spoon it up and let it fall back*
'We should squeeze this clementine now' *Cuts little orange in half and squeezes into cake mixture it with hands, pulling a face, laughing and saying 'Ewwww'*
'Here, smell this' *Lets Bertie smell orangey hands, he tastes the juice left on my fingers and pulls a face, then smiles - his first taste of of orange juice* 
'And add the vanilla' *Let's Bertie sniff the vanilla essence from the bottle, he pulls a face*
'Mix!' *Whirr* 
'Now, we need to fold in the flour, baking powder and salt, very gently, we don't want to make the muffins tough!'
'Add the chocolate chips! You'll love these when you are big'.
'Now we are all ready to put this into the cases! We need to fill each one three quarters full, look like this *demonstrates as if she's on the telly, looking to camera (sorry, I mean baby)*. It gives them room to rise *said as if she's a pro*.
'These will smell yummy in the oven, we need to bake them for 25 mins, stand back (as if a baby in a bouncer on the work top can stand back), it's hot.'

Cooking is often interrupted, and things have to be left half done whilst we play games, change a nappy, feed, nurse to sleep or do some other thing.

EDIT! I make these using CLOTH now, and they are ace. They just get washed alongside the nappies and then I make up the mixture and start all over again.

Yesterday, after we made these muffins, we made baby wipes for the first time. I have been using WATER WIPES until now, I like them because they have no chemicals, but they are expensive, so a little internet research and we have now made our own according to a recipe which pleases us.

1 1 / 2 cups Boiled Water, cooled
2 tablespoons Almond Oil
Tiny squeeze of Organic Lavender and Chamomile Baby Soap
3 drops Lavender Essential Essence
Premium Kitchen Towel (the sort that won't break)
Plastic Storage Tub

The hardest part is the first part, you need to cut the kitchen roll in half, length wise. Use a very sharp knife and be determined. Place the half you are planning to use into your plastic storage box. Mix together the other ingredients in a jug. Poor them gently over the top of the kitchen roll. Leave for 10 minutes. Gently remove the inner cardboard core of the kitchen roll. Place the lid on top of the container, and squish it down to close it. Turn the container over and leave for a further ten minutes.

Ta da!

You can use these for about a week (if they last that long), then make some more. It works, it's got no chemicals, and its cheap! You can find a version of this recipe on Earth Mama, and better instructions!