Tuesday, 19 May 2009

bitter sweet

At the boys' pre-school, parents usually bring in cakes or sweets for all the children on birthdays. Haribo seem to be really popular and they were all kindly given a bag to take home from one of the parents today, but the teacher (they are so good at observing dietary considerations) didn't give the boys any because of the gelatin content. The boys haven't been that interested in sweets really, (more chocolate orientated) but they wanted some today, so temporarily felt a bit bad that they went without, but I'd actually bought them some chocolate buttons today so they were happy with those.

The sweet scenario will be recitified for the future thanks to these from Vegan Store. I've ordered a supply so the school can keep some in for similar occasions...

It's too early to explain much about certain things but I had the following conversation with Luca:

'can we get some of those red sweets?'
'We'll get some sweets, but not those ones because they've got animal bones in and we don't eat those'
'But mummy, I like animal bones'. (Of course he will like the idea, presented in that packaging!)

Foodwise now, there are so many vegan and vegetarian alternatives for popular foods, thankfully. I don't want the boys to feel like their missing out (it'll only make them want to find out more) but I don't want to compromise our personal ethics either.

Monday, 18 May 2009

food bits and something beautiful

At work, I went to get my black coffee from the refectory and saw a banner up for 'National Vegetarian Week', and accompanying leaflets. So ironic, because the hall was filled with the smell of wafting cooked chicken. Even more so, I've never noticed that smell there before.... shame! When I'm there tomorrow I'll ask what's happening to celebrate the week. Normally, there are usually good vegetarian options including one vegan one.

Recent food bits:

Tofu lasagne from 'How to be dairy free', fantastic recipe booklet. This lasagne is nice because the flavours taste lovely and rich and it's very Italian style with passata sauce.

Made a soya bean and sweetcorn salad (Post Punk Kitchen) which I loved but that Mit thought was ok, maybe a little heavy. I didn't have rice vinegar (which would have made it 'lighter', only balsamic so that was probably the heaviness).

Have you come across
'B never too busy to be beautiful'? (Well, I am, most of the time to even try!) BUT, this company is just a treasure chest of sumptuousness! Beautiful, cruelty free products in gorgeous, fair trade containers. I made a special trip one lovely saturday afternoon a year or so ago to Carnaby Street, London when they had a shop there.(They've closed that one, I think, and moved it to Oxford Street now, and there's also a shop in Covent Garden). The shops have everything so beautifully arranged. I was looking to buy some eye and lip make up for a wedding. The sales people were really helpful and incredibly glamorous- I had been blown in in the wind and rain, no make up and messy, and one of the girls offered to help me choose a lip colour. She rescued me really, as I'd just caught sight of my washed out face in the mirror, trying to apply the dark red lip gloss without a brush... yikes! It looked like I'd just polished off a sizeable jam doughnut! I felt decidely unglamorous. But I came away with eye glitter and lip gloss that were really pretty. And I've just received a new one in the post via online order in time for the wedding this weekend: )

Probably won't blog again until next week when back from Switzerland...am so excited about the wedding and seeing family. It'll be my first trip back, though, since ditching dairy which will be an interesting position to be in in Switzerland. I've got some soya milk packed and will take snacks. I always used to love the cheese and yogurts, so it'll be interesting. Maybe I can find out more about dairy farming when I am there. My impression is that it's much more small-scale and localised, and I always saw cows roaming freely on green hillsides. I bet it's a million miles better than the UK. Also, chocolate... I'll have a good scout around, if there's the chance, for dark...

Friday, 15 May 2009

If coffee doesn't work... just veg out

Coffee and cake- it doesn't matter what time of day, it's never too late for an espresso... but I knew I had to abandon the plans for today I had when even consuming a cup of this, I just wanted to put my head on the table and sleep! We only made it to Tesco to get some glue so the boys could have a sticking session- they love making collages- of anything and everything really, just random pictures cut out of magazines. Rohan's approach to carrot cake today was just to deftly nibble the icing and ignore the rest.. damn. The sneaky carrot and apple, and ground linseesd- all abandoned. But the advantage of having twins when it comes to food is that most of the time, ONE of them will gobble up your efforts with enthusiam...

I think that planning and worrying about your child's diet is relevant to all diets- and depending on what phases and habits the little people are going through... I worry a little about iron from time to time, just because the boys don't eat many leafy greens, just small amounts mixed in other things... so made some apple purees lately with dried apricot (boiled for a couple of mins). When I have doubts or worries I just glance at my Veggie Vitamins wallchart, it's a great quick reference to tell you which foods provide what, and it usually serves to reassure me, because I forget the exact nutrient content of foods we use regularly. Luca asked me what dates were in the supermarket the other day; so we bought some and he really likes them. That surprised me, would never have guessed that! We haven't won Rohan over to them yet... I'm not keen myself I have to admit! How crazy was I to take any delight in shedding a couple of lbs- shortlived. When you are sick, it's almost impossible to envisage enjoying food again... but a week on...of course you do!

Current favourite picture: rocket fun!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Mixture of moments

Sometimes it's little things in the day, small triumphs, that make it great. Rohan suddenly got the hang of riding his bike recently (he's always preferred to trundle it along by the handlebars and watch the wheels). And today, Luca ate 10 chickpeas (a counting game helped!), amongst other things I should say! Rohan's becoming wonderfully and elaborately affectionate (he grabs your face by the chin to kiss, and plants lots of kisses)... I know its corny, but even the busiest days are just peppered with good moments.

Just shaking off a stomach bug that took hold over the weekend for the boys, then Monday for me. The boys made an amazingly speedy recovery, enough to have a complete ball when some of Mit's work friends came round on Saturday. It was a gorgeous eve; Mit's often talks about how great they are so it was lovely to meet them. The food we made was vegan, with some of it being gluten free, as one of the guys is gluten intolerant. I didn't get round to photographing the spread though but it was homemade basmati rice salad, roasted new potatoes with rosemary, veggie samosas (bought, frozen), gluten free cupcakes from 'Vegan cupcakes take over the world', carrot cake (yet again!) strawberries and raspberry salad... and there was heaps of wine, and amaretto, which I tried for the first time.

Am still in the grips of nausea but at least able to cook now, and the one good thing of having that bug (but I would have preferred to do it any other way!) is that it's rid me of a stubborn couple of lbs so the chance of fitting into the dress for my cousin's wedding later this month is looking a little more likely:

Happy to find somethings lovely that's 100% cotton. Made that classic mistake when I bought it (much reduced in a January sale) of buying an optimistic size and hoping for the best! But that was the size left, and I hadn't bargained on all the baking I'd be doing between then and now...

Been trying to do some DIY but shelving it for a few weeks... painting the front door and step was on the tricky side, not so much with the boys, but Marly making an appearance when I thought I was safe to paint and leaving her trail of paws! The door was yellow before, so it was just to smarten it up after the winter bashing.. but no more DIY for a good while I reckon...needed or not!...

These ARE bluebells! Which type though, I don't know...

Dad came up and showed the boys how to plant potatoes:

Spotted a new Cauldron product in Waitrose (I should be doing more shopping at Tesco- more our budget- but Waitrose is on the way home!)

I love this clip, I've watched it a few times now when I'm seeking a smile! Its brilliant that to see a fantastic vegan chef on a mainstream, day time tv show, but you've got to admire Isa's handling of some of the remarks made...