makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Wednesday, July 25, 2012




I love cooking, partly because I find it relaxing. Cooking with children? Not so much. Still, in an attempt to broaden their tastes (approximately 8 out of 10 meals are met with disdain), and because everyone should be able to cook, I've been making a concerted effort to encourage my kids to help with dinner. They've always participated in baking, but I generally do the "serious" cooking myself, perhaps because by 4pm, I quite want to escape to the therapeutic realm of the kitchen and listen to the radio in (relative) peace. Anyway, for the last couple of months, I've set aside one of our days at home for some culinary initiation, the idea being that they help prepare the main meal and a dessert. It's been tricky thinking of recipes that they can really participate in, and also might actually eat, but things which involve lots of chopping seem to work well. Using the pestle and mortar is also met with much enthusiasm. As to whether it's encouraged my kids to be a little more adventurous in their tastes, the jury's out, but I have discovered that they like rice pudding or, as it's known, "that special porridge".


This carrot cake, which the little ones also helped bake for Grandad's birthday, is possibly the best I've ever made. The recipe is from the gorgeous book, The Edible Balcony by Indira Naidoo. Of course, they only liked the icing!

Saturday, July 21, 2012



For a mother of three, I am at 32, on the younger side, but lately I've been feeling pretty damn old. Maybe it's the almost back-to-back viruses we've all been suffering this winter, or the lack of sleep due to our new addition, or perhaps that innocent little comment my daughter made the other day at breakfast... Anyway, it seems to me that motherhood is aging me at some kind of accelerated pace. After I had my daughter, shocked at the state of my eyes, I invested in eye cream for the first time. I was 27, and when I look back at those pictures, I look about fifteen! Suffice to say, I haven't bought any since.  Of course, my body is never going to be like it was before I had children, and I don't really care about that. I am far more comfortable with it now than I ever was before I acquired all these stretch marks and extra bits (back fat, I never even knew you existed!), but I don't think I've really worked out what to dress this new shape in. I've never been much of a shopper, but I always knew what suited me and what didn't, and now, on the very rare occasion that I do attempt to shop for clothes, I have no idea what to buy. It's not only my body that is different (even my shoe size has changed), but my whole life. I don't work and I don't go out drinking anymore, and that was pretty much all my life was before children. I've never been high maintenance, but there were a few things that I always did: wear mascara, paint my toe nails, and wash my hair every single day. Let's just say standards have slipped a lot! Today, I went to the hairdresser - it's been at least two years - and, despite the cold that's hanging about, and the exhaustion at the end of a long week at home with a sick child that won't eat, I feel so much lighter and younger. I guess I do need to find the time to care a little more, and to work out who this new person is.

Sunday, July 8, 2012



I can hardly believe how quickly the time has passed, but my baby boy turned three months old today. We celebrated his "quarter birthday" with a Pear Harvest Cake from Jude Blereau's Coming Home to Eat -Wholefood for the Family.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Guilt and motherhood seem to go hand in hand, and lately, I've been suffering from some major bouts of it. Guilt about not doing anything very well; guilt about how often I say "in a minute", "not now", "maybe later" all day, every day; guilt about subjecting my kids to wet weather and trips on the bus because I don't drive; guilt about whether my middle child eats enough; guilt about not giving enough cuddles; guilt about not being able to sit down and really devote some time to helping my daughter learn to write, because she so desperately wants too; guilt about the crazy mess that is our house; guilt about not buying that much desired bike with peddles because the weekends zoom past so fast; guilt about not spending more of the day smiling adoringly at the baby; guilt about forgetting tummy-time more days than I remember; guilt that the third might well me be "the one that breaks the horse's back", as someone so charmingly commented. Yep, a whole lot of guilt going on here! Still, the kids all seem happier and more settled than they did a month ago, so I guess I must be doing something right... and it's the school holidays and we have parties and a puppet show to look forward to, and maybe a trip to the museum, if I can just summon the energy. Oh, and we've been growing mushrooms, which is very cool, even though the kids still won't eat them.
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