It’s the last day of the summer holidays and I’m feeling sad that it’s all drawing to a close. Things for us all are going to change a lot in the next month (more on that another time). And though we all do well with a bit of structure around here the chance to play, relax and just be together has been wonderful. My boys are, after all this time, firmly attached and entrenched siblings. And as with every sibling relationship there is a lot of love together with annoyance, frustration, screaming and in spite of their ages, mutual respect.
Yesterday Mr 6 remarked that the summer has been his best yet, bless him. We took the foot off the pedal a bit and relaxed our pace and in so doing created opportunity for us all to be a family. To let the boys be kiddos, get dirty, do things at their own pace. It’s worked too and I sense they’re energised and refuelled for the year ahead. There have been some beautiful memories….like this…..
Mr 6 is a voracious reader and for Christmas we bought him several books including, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” which, along with Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair and The Secret Garden, was my favourite childhood book. Though he could read it by himself we’ve been reading a few chapters at night together and it’s been such good fun. It also happens to tick off another challenge on my reading challenge list, “a book from my childhood”. I have to say that I loved this book just as much now as I did when I was 7. And the words are incredibly beautiful. Case in point:
“Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning – either a terrifying one who’s turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life
and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now.”
When we read this, Mr 6 looked up at me and said, “Woah Mum, that sounds like the way you talk.” which is quite the compliment but maybe reading things like this is part of the reason I do, in a way, talk like this.
It’s a pleasure of parenthood to weave your own childhood loves through the narrative of your own children’s lives which is what I do with books and food. That’s easy for me to do with my beautiful firstborn as he is so like me in many ways.
And in thinking about the year ahead this week I got my baking back on to prepare for the return to school days. Mr 6 is as much of a fan of breakfast as I am (which is to say he isn’t!) so when I spied these homemade pop tarts from My Whole Food Life I wanted to give them a try. My kiddos are pretty good with healthy versions of not so healthy things like pop tarts (especially as they’ve never tried the original!) but I knew a hybrid of healthy and not would work best so I combined the original recipe with this one from Smitten Kitchen (which by the way is a blog that never steers me wrong).
- 2 cups wholemeal flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil/butter – soft but it doesn’t have to be totally melted
- Teeny dash of honey or other sweet syrup as you prefer
- Teeny dash of cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons almond milk (you could do normal milk if you don’t have almond milk on hand)
- 1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry), beaten and set aside
- Your jam of choice – we had raspberry on hand and also some homemade stone fruit jam
- Your choice of nutella or other awesome-y goodness – I used the natural cacao and hazelnut spread but won’t next time as my loved ones acted as if I had poisoned them when they tried this version
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Combine flour, cinnamon and coconut butter in a large-ish bowl, when it comes together add in the honey and egg and knead the dough (I kneaded in the bowl but whatever you like). You could do this in a food processor but I couldn’t be bothered washing mine so did it by hand, it didn’t take long.
- Refrigerate dough for around 10 or 15 minutes until it’s feeling quite solid
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured bench until it’s quite thin – I think around 1mm is optimal but I’m not an exact cook
- Cut the dough in pretty even rectangle shapes – you need to have enough to make a top and a bottom – I think mine were around the 7 cm by 5 cm mark.
- Place about a heaped teaspoon of your preferred topping in the middle of one of the rectangles and brush around it with egg wash
- Place another rectangle on top and use a fork to press the edges down together and prick the top of the pop tart a few times – this is to let the steam out and it helps them stay crunchy
- Continue until all are done and then brush the top of them with remaining egg wash
- Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until golden brown and cool on a rack
- Try not to eat them the minute they come from the oven!