Thursday 5 June 2008

A general round up.....

This will be a bit of an hodge-podge of a post, I have lots of things I want to blog about but it has been one of THOSE weeks, you know what I mean, a sick child, rain, computer playing silly buggers, rain, errands that HAVE to be done despite the rain, a mossie bit my eye lid which then swelled up so it looked like I had been out with Mike Tyson, you know, one of THOSE weeks.

I can't remember in what order any of this happened so here is this week in a jumble...

BabyEbi got his cook book out and we made green spaghetti which looked lovely

but he decided he didn't like it, which took me by surprise since he is usually a human rubbish bin, so I had to rustle up something else to go with his salad and I ended up making pasta omlette for Daddy Ebi and myself with the green spaghetti leftovers.

We have been getting postcards from all over the world from the postcard snack swap with some great recipes to try out, finding some of the ingredients will be a challenge too, not that anyone included anything super strange, most people would think that you can pop to your local supermarket for such things as peanut butter and rice krispies. Not here! At least I know where to get hold of most foreign goods now and I have a mental list of which stocks what.

We have been working in the Montessori room but at shorter periods of time, with babyEbi not sleeping well at night he seems to only to be able to cope with one or two activities at a time, which is fine. When we went to Chichibu a couple of weeks ago I bought a bag of 'gems'. I put them into the colour sorting bag which he still enjoys doing, he loved the new objects to sort and spent a long time looking at the pretty gems. I could do with coming up with another gem activity for him, any ideas?

He got out the knobless cylinder patterns usually he picks the most complicated ones to do but this time he picked all the mono coloured ones but did each color.

He also had a session with the brown stair and pink tower and did some of the extension exercises.

In the last week or so he has shown a big interest in writing letters so he is work through an ABC book, I know which letters he can write already so we have been doing 3 a time with one or two of those being letters he can already do but now we are getting to 'new letters' I think we will drop down to 2 each time. Watching his face when the penny drops and he figures out how to write a new letter is amazing, it is one of those moments when it all seems worth while being a SAHM. He has also started to take an interest in capital letters too, up to now I have just introduced the small letters but if he asks what something is I tell him 'it's big buh' or what ever. I think he will pick the big letters up in next to no time. from teaching ESL to kids for years I always had a better result with the kids reading/writing if I concentrated on the little letters first and only taught them the phonic sounds.

When I was looking for something else I found these little wooden balance games that I bought ages ago, he spent a long time working with these. The banana puzzle is actually really hard and he gave up and made a shinkansen instead. I have a couple more of these little games in the cupboard, I think I will keep one on the shelf and rotate them.

I did finally finish my friends present but we haven't given it to her yet so here is just a sneak peak. Liv chose the fabric and had an idea of what she wanted me to make, so with a rough sketch and a pile of fabric I set to. Liv has a good eye and picked out fabric that she though Kym would like, I would say she did a good job because two of the mix were the same designer as some scraps Kym had given me to sew. When I was making it I did have a few mental block sessions when I couldn't figure out what to do next but got there in the end and managed to add a couple of little jojoebi type goodies into the mix. I will show you the whole jumbo of a project once we have given it to Kym.

What else? Amanda at contacted me about a feature she is writing and wanted to use some of my bento ideas, I can't wait to read the article although I'm not 100% sure what it is about. I do love the Japanese style lunch boxes though and hope they catch on back home, so much healthier for the kids and fun too, who wouldn't like to tuck in with these guys? (well maybe a veggie wouldn't)

We have been enjoying window jelly art, these jellies are for sticking on glass and mirrors and are a great addition to babyEbi's round window in his room - shhh, don't tell him, but I often sneak up for a play too!

Finally, I wanted to introduce you to the lovely local dish of Stoke-On-Trent (home to Wedgewood, Doulton, Spode and many other famous ceramic companies) known as oatcakes. The best way I can think of it to describe them is that they are like a thick crepe and usually eaten with savory fillings such as bacon and cheese. My fav is baked beans and cheddar cheese, soooo good. Luckily, by shopping around I can now by mature cheddar in Seijo and baked beans in Yamaya International Liquor store and the oats I can get at the local supermarket. This is MY comfort food and when you have had a crappy week there is nothing better.....

1tsp salt
225g oat flour (whizz porridge oats in the processor until fine)
225g plain white flour
7g yeast
425ml warm milk & 425ml warm water
1 tsp sugar

This will make about 12-16 oatcakes depending on the size of your pan and how thick you make them, they should be quite thin but it takes some practice. The first time I made them I only managed 8!

mix yeast with warm milk/water, set aside for 5-10 mins

mix together all dry ingredients in a big bowl

pour liquid into dry ingredients, mix well to make a batter

cover with a damp cloth for about an hour

cook like you would English pancakes on a little oiled griddle/frying pan. The batter is quite thick so just use the ladle to push the batter to over the base of the frying pan. It will be a bit bubbly and when the batter looks dry on the top flip over and cook for a minute or so on the other side. Remove from pan and cook another.
They are freezable if you have too many or will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

To serve put the oatcake on a plate, fill with cheese, baked beans, sausage, bacon, fried mushrooms, tomatoes any thing you fancy...and roll.
When I was at college there was a small shop that only sold oatcakes but with every filling you can think of, the lads on my course all went for the 'full English breakfast' oatcake, which was a very messy affair!

Well, I had better finish off there before blogger explodes, this is post 199 which means the next one will be full of goodies, there will be freebies and give-aways, jelly and ice-cream, dancing in street, champers and strawberries.....or maybe one or two of the fore mentioned ;o)


  1. hi - thanks for stopping by at Pomegranate Dreams. I came over to say hello and became so engrossed I couldn't stop reading. What a lovely blog!

  2. Here is an all time favorite "gemstone" activity from my classroom--the children's AND mine: rice 'n rocks. Get a BIG container-think punchbowl- and fill it about half full with uncooked rice. Hide the rocks in the rice and you're off and running. For little ones just use sensorially-- the fun of hunting and enjoying the "treasures". Later I make a game. Children turn over a numeral card and have to find that many rocks. Eventually I use this work to introduce addition and number sentences. love it love it love it!

  3. oo, i remember eating oatcakes at uni. i think my favourite filling was mushrooms fried with garlic and with cheese melted on the top - or ham and cheese.

    totally unhealthy. totally good ;-)

  4. hi,
    sorry for a slow reply to your question on my is FAB robot fabric, I think your little boy would love it :-)

  5. Hi Jo,

    I just discovered your knobless cylinder patterns (they're beautiful!), and I would like to download them - however, I live in the US and can't print A4. Do you have suggestions for how to print them on 8 1/2 x 11?


  6. Hi Jennie,
    I am just guessing here as I haven't tried it myself, when you go to print does it have 'print to fit page' or 'scale to fit page' option? Although this would change the size of the pieces a little.


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