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Monday, September 27, 2010

Malva Pudding



I am still feeling really weak and fragile.
I am glad that the schools are on holiday.
Annie and I are napping with Xavier every afternoon.
We are sleeping together in my bed.
It is so lovely and peaceful.

She is so much better for it too.
It makes me wonder if I am putting too much on her by sending her to school every day.
I think she needs this rest as much as I do.

I have no inclination to step out into the world.
I am really happy in my cocoon with my children around me.
Whilst the world is waking up to Spring, I am still in my Winter slumber, it seems.

This virus has really slowed me down.
Enough to look at my children.
To enjoy them.

Whilst the mountain of clothes that I had just managed to get under control, is once again overflowing.

The children made Malva Pudding today.

A traditional South African dessert with Dutch origins.
The one we made here.

It is really easy to make. I didn't do a thing other than measure out the ingredients and pour the batter into the pan.

I haven't met a single person who doesn't love it.
Give it a try.

Here it is in pictures.

Malva Pudding:

Ingredients:

1 heaped tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 heaped tablespoons of apricot jam
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 a cup of milk


Cream together the butter and sugar.


Add the beaten egg and jam and mix together.


If you are sixteen months old, stop helping your sister with the baking.
Eat copious amounts of apricot jam instead.


Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately and stir into the mixture.
Pour the batter into a greased round dish approximately 21cm/8 inches. Cover either with a lid or tinfoil and bake at 180C/375F for 30 minutes.


While the pudding is baking, make the sauce.

1 cup cream
100g butter
1/2 cup sugar
60 ml hot water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Warm together the ingredients until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

Take the pudding out of the oven and prick holes in it. Pour the sauce over the pudding and put back in the oven for 15 minutes or until the pudding is nice and brown.



Enjoy!

You can serve this with custard or ice cream, but I find it rich and sweeeeet enough as is.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This week


The whole family got sick this week.
It started with Annie on Saturday.
She got some magnetic dress up dolls to help her to feel better.
I proceeded to get sick.
So sick, I couldn't believe it.
The last time I was that sick was when I had mastitis.
Not pretty.
And then Xavier got sick.
While I was sick.
Not pretty once again.
Sohail was the last man standing.


And the Spring Equinox came.
And he got sick.
So sick.
It was not pretty.
I am still feeling quite fragile.
Resting a lot.
When I can.
We spent the whole week together as a family.
Even though we were all sick, I really enjoyed the hibernation time.
We picked flowers for Spring.
I took the children to see the ducks at the river.
I took the children on the swings at the park.
Annie and I went to Winterwood.


I have started knitting something special for someone special.
I am slowly entering back into the world.
Just, slowly.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just for the record


I have been thinking lately about the purpose of this blog.

Why do I come to this space?

The biggest reason is that it is a record.

Of my life.
Right now.

And maybe one day, my children will read it.

And maybe it will help them to understand their mother better.
Maybe it will give them some insight into parenting.
Or some inspiration.
Or maybe even a recipe.

Maybe it's because my mom is gone.
And I have so many questions that I want to ask her.
And I can't.

Maybe it's because I would have loved to read her memoirs.

So maybe my children would want that from me.

Maybe.


So when I write here, I think of them.

And I wonder if they will read this one day.

And understand their mother better.
Her good days and bad.
Her successes and failures.

I hope that they will forgive me for my blunders.

And see their mother, just as a person.

For we are all just people.
Trying to do the best we can.
With the tools that we have.

Blessings to you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Barszcz


Annie is still learning all about different countries at school.
A few weeks ago we had South African week.
I went in and made Malva Pudding, which I will post about one day.

I had a fabulous time with her class.
You can read all about it here.

I have not been feeling so confident with Poland week, however.

Even though I was born in Poland, I grew up in South Africa.
My parents brought me up in a Polish household, but over the years, they too became more South African and less Polish.

My mother has passed away.
My father is in South Africa.

I don't have a direct connection to Poland at the moment.

So I have not volunteered to come and talk about Poland.
I won't know what to say.
I only have the essence of Poland in my heart.
And in the traditions that we follow.

If my father was here, I would have sent him to talk all about Poland.
He would have wonderful stories to tell the children.

And I don't feel confident enough to go and cook with the children.
I love Polish food.
But I feel somewhat intimidated by it.

It's not something I cook every day.
And every recipe seems to be quite labour intensive.

So I volunteered to make something at home and bring it in.

I decided to make Barszcz. 
The most traditional Polish soup.

We always have it at Christmas.
I never make it because I think that it's too difficult.
But, I had to tap into those Polish roots and make magic.
So, today, I made Barszcz.

And I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make.

So easy that I will share the recipe.

Because if you like beetroot, you will love it.
It is more of a Winter dish.
But it's still cold enough over here for us to enjoy it.

We eat it at Christmas in the middle of Summer, sweating it out because we try and replicate the cold Christmas in Poland!!

Here is the recipe.
Try it out.

Ingredients

1 kg of beets
1 tablespoon of salt
2 litres of vegetable stock (or chicken or meat if you prefer)
2 tablespoons of vinegar
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Lemon juice
Sugar
Chopped fresh dill or parsley

Method

Scrub and rinse beets clean; rinse with cold water. Leave roots, 1 to 2 inches stem, and skin intact. Place whole beets in a large saucepan. Add salt and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover with a tight fitting lid; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until tender, 1 hour. Remove beets from liquid. Let cool, then peel.

Heat stock in a large saucepan. Slice or grate beets; add to stock. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir vinegar and pepper into beet mixture. Season with lemon juice and sugar to taste. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour; do not boil.

Strain into a serving tureen. Serve steaming hot. Garnish with dill or parsley.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spiral sisters


A new consciousness is developing.
The old, outdated thinking is moving out.

I have to believe it.

We have ravaged our planet and ourselves too much.
We are obsessed with material possessions.
Celebrity.
Excess.
Plastic society.
We over eat.
Over work.

Disconnect.

From each other.

The planet.

Ourselves.

Did you know that in ancient times, women's menstrual cycles were synchronised with the cycles of the moon?

We would menstruate at the time of the new moon.
Our men would make a special place for us to retreat with each other.
We wouldn't cook.
We would be taken care of in this special time.
We would celebrate our roles as women and mothers.
We would lovingly take care of our children and families.
We would not be in competition with each other.

We have lost that.

We do not know who we are.
We call our cycle "the curse".
Pre menstrual tension is laughed at.
We are ridiculed for having ebb and flow in our life force.

It is a beautiful, natural part of being a woman.

A woman that is synchronised with the planet.
The universe.

We can get back to that place.
That place of connection to Mother Earth.

That place of recognition of ourselves in each other.

Each of us needs to start with herself.

If we just slow down.
And take the time to take it all in.
And look after each other.

We need a sisterhood again.

And the spiralsisters have given us a place to start.

This is a blog that was started on the new moon last week.

Two beautiful women who feel the way I do.
Who recognise that we need to be together.

Not in competition with each other.

A safe place where we can go to heal.
To be nurtured.
I hope you go and have a look at their blog.
And follow them.

There is some serious soul food to be found over there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spring blossoms


Rainy afternoon.
Me and my girl were feeling creative.


We got the hot chocolate out.
Sent the boys on an adventure.
Cut some circles out of tissue paper.


Tied them together.
And were amazed as our twigs in the lounge turned into a beautiful blossom tree.
Doesn't it look pretty?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Father's day

It was Father's day yesterday.


Hand made wrapping paper.
Presents in bed.


French toast and fruit for breakfast.
With flowers picked from the garden for Daddy.

Happy Father's day my Sweetie.

I love watching you grow into your role as the father of my children.
In the moment, all those years ago, when I told you that I wanted you to be the father of my children, I had no idea it would be like this.

I had no idea you could be so strong.
And kind.
And inspiring.
And a true role model for our little ones.

I love you.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The chronicling sisterhood of love


I have been very intrigued by Juliana's latest posts on her blog.
She is very keen to build up a community.
A sisterhood. A virtual sisterhood.

I am following along with her on this journey and perhaps you would like to as well?

Who knows where it will take us?

Today she is asking the big questions:

What is your heart's biggest, largest, grandest desire?
What is it you have always wanted to be or do?
Why do you think you are here on this earth?

I have been thinking about her questions for a day or two.
I think that these are the questions I have been asking myself my whole life.
The reasons for my spiritual quests all this time.

And the older I am getting.
The more I am realising that it doesn't matter.

When the answer is, "I don't know", you can be sure that you are on the right path.

The more we live in the future and the past, the more we suffer.
All that matters is this present moment.

In this moment.
All is well.

You are breathing.
You are alive.
You are reading my words.

Breathe.

It is all well.

We go through this life wishing that the past was different.
Hoping for a better future.
But, there is nothing in the past that can hurt us.
It has already happened.
There is nothing in the future that is sweeter than this moment.

This moment where we are alive.

Tomorrow may never come.

I know that in my bones.

I spend my time being the best mother I can be.
Looking after my family.
Trying to create a peaceful and beautiful home.
I am taking care of myself.
Going to yoga classes.
Eating healthy vegetarian meals.
I know that if I am ok, my family will be ok.
A mother is the heart of the family.
She must put herself first.
I work on being a good wife.
I don't think I am doing the best job of that one right now.
I know our marriage is strong.
And we are united in our goals for our family.
And it will survive this exhausting time.
The time with small children.

The time that shows you more than anything.

That this moment.
Right now.
Is what matters.



Because that is where they live.

And we wash our hair in the shower.
But we are already making dinner.

Stop.

Feel the beautiful, clear, water droplets falling on your body.
Marvel at the human advancement.
We turn a switch.
 Beautiful, cleansing water comes out of a receptacle to wash away our worries, fears, disappointments.
To start fresh.
And clean.
Every day.

I am here to live now.

And marvel at the wonder of this world.

It is my daily challenge.
To remain here.

Now.

Because this moment shall pass all too soon.

And I would have missed it if I wasn't paying attention.

What is your answer, to these big questions?
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