These school holidays came and went in a whirlwind of park visits, skateboarding, basketball, soccer, play dates, bush walks, camp fires and bike rides.
It is my pleasure and joy to be raising three gorgeous humans who need enormous amounts of physical activity each day. It’s like constantly moving is their oxygen and absolutely essential for their survival.
I am a slow learner, however, and always start off school holidays in the exact same, girly way.
“Boys, lets stay in today. Let’s have a PJ day, watch movies, play with toys, sip hot drinks and catch up on how each other is going. It’s been such a busy term, let’s just go slow today.”
This works NEVER.
And I am declaring it publicly so that you will remind me before the next holidays roll around NOT TO DO THIS AGAIN.
By 9.30am on Day 1 of holidays, I have ordered all cushions back on lounges instead of being used as weapons, I have yelled things like “please get off your brothers head/please take the ball outside/please stop yelling at each other/the house is not a gymnasium/get that skateboard outside/no, you cannot have WIFI yet/you can’t shoot water guns inside/stop swinging on the chair/I asked you to get off your brothers head.”
And then, we all get promptly dressed, pack the car with bikes, skateboards, RC cars, basketballs and soccer balls and head to the park.
Peace at last.
After a couple of days we did get into our holiday rhythm and enjoyed time with extended family and friends amongst many activities.
As exhausted as I am at trying to keep up with them during holiday time, I realise these years with our boys are precious as we make memories and experience stuff together. I know I will look back on them with fondness, remembering the time spent together more than how tired I felt. I hope so anyway.
One of our favourite days was spent with friends picking apples at an orchard. I felt like a real country bumpkin in my cowgirl boots, carrying my red bag and filling it with all types of apples, while recipe ideas swam through my head. Meanwhile the boys ran, climbed the trees to get the best apples, jumped on tractors, ran some more and picked as many apples as they could.
11 kilos in total.
Yes folks, this is the first of a few recipes coming your way with apples as the star ingredient.
I think Apple Picking may indeed become an Autumn school holiday tradition in our house.
This very simple, one bowl cake from the Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter, has minimal ingredients and is a moist, almost friand-like cake. It’s beautiful warm, and if you can have dairy, served with cream or custard.
As school went back today, I thoroughly enjoyed making it, eating it slowly, still warm from the oven and then opening my computer and writing about it. And I did all of that without uttering one word.
I feel better already.
- 2 cups (200 grams) almond meal, (or hazelnut meal)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, gluten free
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
- flaked almonds to garnish
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
- Line a 16cm or 20cm round baking tin with baking paper, on the bottom and sides.
- Combine almond meal, baking powder, oil, honey, eggs, zest and vanilla in a mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Fold in the apple.
- Press into the tin and scatter with a handful of flaked almonds.
- Bake for approx 50 minutes, or until golden and the middle springs back when pressed lightly.
- Let stand in the tin for 30 mins to cool.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature.