I saw a quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson on my friend Jo’s blog. It summed up the relentless progress of life which we try to capture with diaries and blogs and photos.
“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”
Cartier-Bresson might have been referring to babies or food when he wrote this. In particular, Sylvia has been making a lot of progress with eating. I am glad she is now eating bread. It opens up many possibilities. At Hellenic Republic a couple of weeks ago she had her first taste of restaurant food – some pita bread. But her favourite food is still fruit. Her little face lights up whenever I pick up a nectarine.
It is busy days here. I return to work in a week so I expect my blogging to be less frequent but I hope to still post regularly. I am already struggling to read all the blogs in my blogreader so apologies if my commenting is also less frequent. (It is also an appropriate time to apologise that my formatting is not great lately as I am having some hiccups with posting.) I have a few nice recipes to post but it all seems slow going. Here is her list of firsts from the last week. Having firsts isn’t limited to babies so I have given E and me a list each at the end of this.
- First swim in a pool – if you can call standing in a corner poking gum leaves in the air vents swimming. I have booked her into swimming lessons this year, which should be fun.
- First missing button on her top – don’t know where or when it disappeared – just hope we might find it before she does.
- First piece of cake – she asked for it and surprisingly ate a few small chunks. Her dad was pleased it was a little neofolk – a vegan plum and walnut cake with a little buckwheat (recipe to come soon).
- First time eating peas whole – she is fascinated by the little green orbs – no doubt she loves green like her mum – she loves to pick them up, study them and put them in her mouth but about half fall out.
- First tomato – hard to know if she has swallowed – so many fall out but I think a few have landed in her roly poly tummy.
- First piece of pineapple – a new love – she gobbles up pieces of fresh pineapple – we have never eaten so much of it before in our house.
- First discovery of how to open the bin - so much fascinating stuff in there for a baby!
- First taste of sourdough bread – not a success – she spat it out. She is still not keen on sour tastes but we will keep trying.
- First time standing up without immediately falling on the nearest wall or piece of furniture for support.
- First taste of lime juice – see below
- First instance of eating from my plate – I have usually stopped the little hands that are eager to dig into my dinner but when she was really upset I did it to keep her calm (oh dear she is already emotionally eating) and because it was a rice and vegetable dish with a squeeze of lime juice so nothing that she couldn’t eat. Much of what she took ended up on the floor. But she felt like a grown up.
- First tofu scramble – I was so happy that she was eating the sort of food we eat. I served it with less seasoning than ours and some of the above rice and vegetables. She wouldn’t eat it from a spoon but picked bits and ate it when I used my fingers. Much of this landed on the floor too but she seemed to like tofu with a bit of tamari. Ours was delicious and great on toast the next morning.
- First taste of tamari – didn’t make a fuss but I suspect a bit of pineapple made it more palatable in the tofu scramble.
- First taste of cow’s milk in her cereal – a complete disaster. She has now given up eating cereal. Some subterfuge might be required. Maybe she just wants to be a vegan. She is not keen on cheese either.
- First play with her new squirters in the bath - who doesn't want an alien squirter in their bath!
- First attempt to climb out of the bath – I put a halt to that as it is not the place for such shenanigans.
- First butter on toast - went down quite well. Of course you can guess which sides ends up on the floor when it gets thrown over the side of the high chair.
- First promite on toast - it was only the tiniest scrape but was not quite as welcome as the butter.
- First time in her new playpen - to save our sanity - especially when she is chasing Zinc.
- First pikelets – she was starving as I cooked the baby pancakes and her little teeth kept biting at my jeans. Once the pikelets were cooked she ate a few mouthfuls greedily. Then suddenly she wouldn’t eat a bit of them. Why it is desirable one moment and not in the next is a mystery but probably has some relation to how desperately hungry she is.
- First macaron – having read about them often on blogs, I finally brought a macaron at Browns. Now I understand the excitement. I might even try baking them some time if I feel really brave.
- First visit to the local outdoor swimming pool – I went with Sylvia and some of her little friends. Reminded me of my childhood swimming in an unheated pool. Reminded me of why I usually go to the indoor pool.
- First experience of taking back an unopened packet of brown rice infested with weevils to get my money back from the supermarket - now I have some suspicions of why I occasionally discover weevils in my pantry - most displeased!
- First attempt at making eggless pikelets/pancakes – not bad – see below.
- First glimpse of digital tv at home – our first viewing was Torchwood. Love the program but have missed many episodes since it filmed on analogue.
- First trip to the Australian Open to watch tennis – more about this in another post.
- First week in a secondment at work
- First opportunity to play with the new set top box for digital tv – he loves having yet another remote control – so does Sylvia!
- First time preparing Sylvia’s breakfast – he has fed her breakfast before but not prepared. However when I am back at work he will have a day at home with her and will need to take more responsibility.
- First time peeling a banana – I can’t verify this but he had to have some guidance when he prepared Sylvia’s breakfast this morning. He looked at the banana in bemusement. I asked when was the last time he had one. He guessed that it might have been 1973. So I guess his mother might have peeled it for him. He has learnt an important life skill.
So many shiny new experiences in our house. So much change. I can guarantee there will be more. I want to try tweaking the pikelet recipe and want to try making pizza for Sylvia (Aodhan liked it so she might too).
Meanwhile here is what I did with the pikelets. I have called them eggless because I used cow’s milk but I am sure they would be easily veganised with non-dairy milk. They are still a bit of work in progress. I added some baking powder because I like my pancakes fluffy rather than flat. These were a bit gooey inside but I still enjoyed them with promite on the plain ones and cream cheese and jam on the banana ricotta variation. Well someone had to eat them!
Adapted from Somthing about Penguins
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1¼ cup milk
¼ cup apple puree
Banana and Ricotta variation
1 banana, mashed
2 dessertspoons of ricotta
Mix flour, baking powder, milk and apple puree (and banana and ricotta if you choose to add these). Drop dessertspoonfuls on a buttered or oiled frypan over medium high heat. Cook til bubbling and then turn over and cook for another minute or two or until golden brown spots appear on the underside. Eat warm or cold on the day you make them.
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