Kiwi Fruit

kiwi fruit

I am attempting to ‘buy local’.  Which takes a little bit more effort than you would imagine as I have become completely sucked in to the supermarket, ‘You can get anything you want right here’, ideology.

So, for the first time in my life, I’ve ordered a fruit box, vegetable box and a couple of other bits, from the local market, which they delivered to my door, at my convenience, the other day.

I cannot tell you how many boxes this has ticked for me in my emotional life.  I do, of course, realise that if I delved a little further, I may not feel so jubilant, and indeed, a few steps further down the line may see me mourning the planet and the worthlessness of everything.  However, unlike the prophet of doom, I try and put things in perspective, being a firm believer in the ‘pebble in a pond’ theory.

Which brings me to my subject of the day.  As part of our fruit box, we received a large amount of kiwi fruit.  We don’t, as a rule, buy kiwi fruit as no-one, except me, eats the things.

However, I am embracing the challenge and have found a couple of rather splendid kiwi bread recipes which I am going to try out.  Meanwhile, I have started introducing them gently and today made a banana and kiwi smoothie with a splash of cranberry juice in it.

I tell you what, it’s absolutely lovely.  And, although the sharp kiwi hit is still there, it doesn’t expose itself until the very end, which I think is very palatable.  More importantly, even the wee boy enjoyed it.  That’s one brownie point right there for me.

And just as a little aside, did you know they used to be called Chinese Gooseberries, as they originate from China, and are, in fact, a berry.  Moreover, they are one of those no nonsense, makes everything more healthier, uber fruits.

So may I suggest you pop off to your nearest local grocer and get yourself some of these gorgeous jade jewels of wonder?  Or perhaps see if you, too, can order local, online.

Meanwhile, here is a little snippet of the type of conversations the wee boy and I are having at the moment.

Wee boy:  Mummy, did you know there are five seasons?

Me:  No, I didn’t.  What are they?

Wee boy:  Summer, autumn, winter, spring…  and disco

*grins from ear to ear*

Christmas Sparkle

Fairy Dust

Well, well, well – how long has it been since I last posted anything?  It seems like forever, but is, in fact, only a few days.

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year, what with the darkness descending so early on in the day, time seems in very short supply.  I know, it’s the same 24 hours at this time of year as the rest of the year, it just feels shorter.

Not only that, but every day there is one form or another of celebration happening, be that birthdays, school pantomimes, christmas parties, or local winter fayres.

This weekend, along with all the other bits and pieces going on, the smoothie bike re-emerged for it’s winter fayre outing.  And so, to add a little magic to the smoothies, I created some very special fairy dust to sprinkle on top of each one, which I have to say, made me gasp with delight every time.

Now for those of you not naturally drawn to all things sparkly you may not realise it, but in the isles of home baking there is a little pot of magic hiding in between the various colourful icings and sprinkles.  It is something I had never imagined would be possible all those years ago whilst making Christmas cards, but thanks to someone who I like to think must be very dedicated to all things sparkly, it has arrived.

Well, what is it?  I hear you ask.

Edible glitter.

*Leaves a moment for you to gasp in awe and wonder*

Not only is this pot of pure fairy dust edible, it can also have things added to it, giving it the smell of Christmas.  I know, how miraculous.

I added cinnamon powder to both the gold and silver edible glitter which meant that every time I sprinkled a little bit onto the smoothie, the slight aroma of Christmas filled the air.  You could, of course, put in whatever spice you fancy. Nutmeg, for example, would work just as well.

The important thing is to add the sound effects whilst sprinkling.  I find that makes all the difference in the world.  Especially to small people who are already gearing up to the most magical event of the year.  Well, most of them.  To be honest, there were a couple of children who were not interested in having magic fairy dust sprinkled onto anything, but I understand it may not be to everyone’s taste, visually.

And now, we are heading into the final few sleeps until Christmas.

So much to do, so little time…

Making Smoothies

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It’s not every Summer Solstice that you wake up with a clear blue sky, in fact, I don’t remember the last time it happened.  So today started perfectly.  Breakfast outside, sunlight twinkly through the trees, and a day filled with expectation.  Moreover, this is the first outing of the year for our ‘Smoothie Bike’.

It’s a wonderfully simple idea.  A bicycle that has been reconfigured with a liquidiser on the back, so as you cycle, the bike goes nowhere, but the energy you use powers the liquidiser, which has any combination of fruit and liquid you fancy within it.  The harder you cycle, the smoother the juice.

In theory anyone can give it a go.  In practise, the bike only works if you have a certain length of leg, which can cause a slight problem so often you end up giving a hand via the pedals.  It’s an interesting look.

So, today we are at a local school’s summer fair.  It’s beautiful.  There is a plethora of home cooked curry, cakes and nibbles.  The always popular bouncy castle, the Back2Front stall, helping those who are interested, plant small vegetables to pop into pots and put anywhere in their outdoor home space, clothes in a glorious array of colours, circus skills, a cafe… you get the drift.  And then there’s the smoothie bike.

Now most of you will have, at some point, encountered the ‘School Fair’.  Children are giddy, parents are weary, and there’s always a grandma who has been dragged along, but would rather be home.  And it is no exception here.  The upshot of this is that most of the children are asking their parents if they can have a go, whilst the grandma silently ‘tuts’ in the background.  The added hurdle with the smoothie bike is that although children always see the potential, adults either buy into the idea straight away, or have to see it in action to even start to see the joy it can bring.

So we begin.

Initially there is not much interest in the notion of cycling for your smoothie, but gradually momentum builds up and we find ourselves needing two sets of arms and desperately trying to remain calm amidst the chaos.  Glorious, but not for the faint hearted.  And not, it seems, compatible with the colour white.  So, many of the children who give it a go, walk away with pride, loving their smoothie because they put the effort in to make it, unconcerned that they are slightly splashed with smoothie pink on their otherwise perfect summer fair outfit.

And me? I leave with pink feet, smoothie stained fingers, and a dull ache in my lower back from ‘pedalling’.  Oh, and as I return home and catch my own image in the mirror, I notice I have been sporting bicycle chain oil across my forehead.  Nice.