14 November 2009

Happy Feast of St. Martin!

 I  believe that it is actually on November 11th (as noted over at Appletarte) but it is celebrated here today. One local Maltese  tradition for St. Martin which is still carried on here is giving children small cloth bags full of nuts, dried fruit and fresh fruit. My husband's parents however remember walking through the small streets here as children carrying lanterns made of pumpkins and singing. Mostly they remember fondly the shadows of the lanterns cast on the walls.
Today I made a traditional Maltese St. Martines Cake (it is delicious) and has become a favourite for runner for the start of the Christmas holidays in our house.
It tastes lovely and makes the house smell  of christmas, cinnamon, oranges and cloves... !
Here is the Recipe

Maltese St. Martins Cake
250 grams dates chopped
200 ml boiling water
125 grams self raising flour
(if you live where there is no self raising flour then use one cup white flour and 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder).
200 grams toasted hazelnuts or walnuts
100 grams dried figs chopped
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
zest and juice of one whole orange

First let the chopped dates soak in the boiling water for at least one hour. then add in the other ingredients (setting aside a handful of the nuts to sprinkle on top), lightly stir and bake at 350 F or 180 C for 30 min.
Simple as that and so good next to a hot cup or tea or coffee.

*Note it is not a very sweet cake so if you like you can add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar but really the dried fruit and orange juice sweeten it just fine.

11 November 2009

Bit a South London ...bit a Brooklyn

ok some new music has gotten under my skin....feel the urge to share, these are the XX - listen (twice if you can.. the second time round and it starts to sound really quite good). Maybe it's me- Brighton- bit of Electrolane... who knows...let me know what you think!

also of note is this good looking childrens book- listed among the New York Times best illustrated new childrens books... like the bizarreness...amid normal every day...(perhaps this is also evidence of the fact that I  have a house full of deep sea appreciators.)... oh sorry this book  (TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA ) says it is meant for 12 year olds... darn. .. 

but this (All The World)  looks good too! 

ok- some more melancholy type music- for your rainy day ears... Sharon Van Etten
...oh Brooklyn,  home to so many gifted artists!!

10 November 2009


Um... so  some months ago I bemoaned organized parties, favors, etc. and well I now need to do some confessing ... I crossed over - I went deep into the party favor realm,

 but tried with every inch  NOT to give in to plastic crap and too much sugar-in-wrapping... so after some thought and late night sewing and painting sessions I came up with these for my littl rock collecter girl child (aka too often lost in the middle child).

In truth this was really her first 'party' complete with friends from 'school', written (and enveloped) invitations, games and party favours!

She (now four year old), enjoyed every tiny bit of it (specially dragging round her extremely quiet yet devoted big brown eyed boy who she adores). There was musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey and pass the parcel.  The chocolate cake came out better than anticipated and kids went home sugard up and  tired out, clutching small cloth bags filled with home made tid bits. One local Maltese mom commented to me when she saw the gift bags"..well you certainly must have a lot of time on your hands...." how can I possibly say... are you off your rocker... this is pure and simple nutty somewhat guilty mum slash/crafter... nonconformist who can not sit by and let Disney make profits on plastic s#$! from china speaking. Sorry I am usually not very aggressive but ... this comment took me off guard, naturally I smiled politely and shrugged my shoulders.

The earlier mentioned shy boy (notice the heart on his crown) made by hers truly, rock collector Madame.

Aside from the airplane addicted boy who went into run around- zip up mode from the get go (he isn't so good at handling excitement or change in routine..thus.... we often refer to this fellow as our spirited child).  Meanwhile little D. proved she was not only a star greeter and host  but a dancer and a champ at particpating in every activity - she nearly won at musical chairs to everyone's disbelief!

We may have a few years of quiet picnics in the park now ... till I build up to a joint girl party in full glory (no nothing pink).... will give it a year or so....

p.s. It is my lovely mother in laws house featured in most of these photos- this is where the party was held (logistics I won't get into here).

09 November 2009


As autumn storms rumble overhead and flashes of lighting light up the windows, the house falls quiet again. Another day ending...the children all bathed and tucked into bed.
A short while ago from between the requests, whines, spills, homework spread, cooling chocolate cakes and bubbling vegetable soup came the memory of a song.. a song that from first hearing it got under my skin and enchanted me, and now I turn to hear the soaring voices again... cascades of melody melancholy dark depths and soaring hights... (if you haven't seen it, in my humble opinion it is well worth  taking the the time to find)  The Chorus, a French film.

Here is a bit of what I am talking about. this is a fancy version of the particular song that swooped in and pulled me out of feeling defeated amid the mess, ticking clock and long list of things I did not manage to get done today.
*funny thing was when I did find it and play a few songs, all three children stood completely still, oddly transfixed.. in particular little Destructo who at the end started trying to sing with it.

08 November 2009

unassuming beauty .....Gidra

Not sure what it is called in English but after a small mix up at the vegetable stall I ended up with this (had asked for beetroot greens).  I was so struck by the beauty of it that I decided to take it home with me.
So thought/challenge of the day, find something of beauty in a place you don't normally expect to find it.

Wowzio Live Activity Feed

Related Posts with Thumbnails