everyday

Scenes from early autumn

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To identify the woodpeckers pecking the trees near our trailer - they're nor shy of shameful.
To think, and rethink, and build with winter in mind, helped by friends who wear banana stickers on their foreheads.
To forage and cook, and share and trade for fresh sourdough bread. Always with a some knitting nearby.
To dream about the next batch of chickens.
To dream about the house-to-be.
To overcome insecurities and make new things for selling. And to have the support of your beautiful friends.
To try new kitchen adventures and laugh at the little one sniffing the air. To dive into warm apple and cinnamon, because the weather forecast says rain next week.

When in doubt, go out

Yesterday was one of these days - no matter how many activities you try to prepare for your child, nothing seems to go right. Times two!, since it's two children now with the sweet daughter of the couple staying at the B&B.

After a morning of playing with wooden toys and attempting some reading, all in between crisis and grumpiness,  we decided to get outside in the Nature - of course! With the children on the back and the dog by our side, we walked to leave this tiny village and followed one of the many meandering tracks around. In our minds floated the idea of spotting some deer, which Sam has been lucky enough to do quite some times already.

We did not spot a deer. What we did spot was this special place with a lagoon and a low creek. The children loved it so much - they could run around, splash in the water, play with the dog, throw sticks... Everything they are happy doing, and all on their own while we sat down and ate apples. We even found some crayfishes! Dutifully accompanied by shrieks, manic laughter and excited screams, pointed fingers and ahs and ohs!

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What a simple yet important lesson: outside is where they (we all!) learn the best. Sometimes, as parents, we feel like staying inside, enjoying the homely comfort and drinking hot tea while knitting - believe me, I know! But stepping outside, slowing down to a child's pace and honest interest by everything they see can lead to beautiful adventures. And we can just sit back and watch them learn the world by directly experiencing It, touching and smelling and listening and observing and everything else we often dismiss.

As my friend Susana put it so well today, when in doubt, go out.

Slow saturday + recipe

The rain patters on the roof and there's a lovely scent of baked apples in the air.

We're having a rainy weekend, keeping us inside and forcing us to slow down. The last couple weeks have been so full and we've barely enjoyed a cozy day in the house. Our land hunt has been quite time-consuming and we spent our first week here in a frenzy run around, talking to old people and being shown pieces of land (I'm talking 13 pieces of land in six days, my friends). Although we may have already found the patch of earth where we would like to live, we're still keeping our eyes open! And, last week, Sam has been to the guest house finish some work and receive renters, while I went to the capital with J to visit friends.

So these rainy days have actually been a blessing. Everything around here gets this really magical look - the oak trees shrouded in fog and the mountain top shying away. Like a dream land.

We enjoyed a stop in the rain to wrap J on to my back and go for a walk - not too long, though, as the water started dropping down again.

Walking back home, we prepared an apple and pear speculoos crumble to warm our bellies and share with the people living in the land with us - I had spotted a speculoos spice mix in our friend's kitchen, but you can also make it from scratch, as described below.


Apple and pear speculoos crumble

INGREDIENTS

Topping

  • 40 g butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 30 g chestnut flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey

Filling

  • Four apples
  • Four pears
  • Grounded cinnamon
  • Powdered ginger
  • Powdered nutmeg
  • Powdered cloves
  • Six cardamom pods, shelled

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Peel the fruits and cut them into cubes, then place them, alongside with the spices, in a casserole and cook on low heat until soft
  • In a mixing bowl,  combine all the topping ingredients and, using your fingers, mix them thoroughly until it feels like sand
  • Spread the cooked fruit on the bottom of an overproof dish and cover it with the sandy mix
  • Cook for about 15 minutes in the oven on medium heat

I sprinkled our crumble with oats that had been tossed in a pan with butter and honey before placing it in the oven - because I'm crazy about oats.

Serve with a cup of steaming hot ginger tea!


I hope you are all enjoying a slow weekend. What are you up to?

 

Happy new year!

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  Have a happy merry wonderful 2017.

We are returning home from a couple weeks in Brussels, a capital full not only of people but also of fear and distrust. What a contrast, coming out of our calm mountains, to walk in the streets alongside with military and their cars. To have the train stopped because of a false bomb alert. To know that, for a few instants, we shared the same gare with the crazy man that had terrified Berlin.

City life can be a beautiful thing. People are close by, organize themselves, create networks and endless activities, culture is at hand-reach. But more and more, we feel it just isn't the place for us.

I hope the year will bring to all of us peace and criticism, in a world seeming shattered, where we often feel uncertain and scared.

As I always do, I've written a list of wishes and decisions for the new year. It includes things like reading more books, studying more plants and casting on more knitting projects, but also really valuing family time and finding the piece of land of our dreams. Focusing on love - the things I love doing and making, the people I love, the places I love.

Love brings happiness, and I wish that your year is full of those. I think our world really needs it. ♥

A change of landscape

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We took the van this weekend and went to the seaside. It feels so good to go out and explore new places.

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It looks so calm. But actually!, *ka-boom* this is the stage of the biggest wave ever surfed! Wow!

I finished knitting Sam's sweater over a delicious fish soup at dinner. It was my first sweater project so it makes me really proud top see him wearing it. He chose the model!

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J loves the sea, but specially the sand. She could probably spend hours alone digging holes.

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Knitting, always knitting. I'm now working on a pair of Lambing Mitts to offer my papa for Christmas. After working on something as big as a sweater, it's cool to do something you can actually finish in a couple days...

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