Mini frittata


Inigo adores these. I have to fight him off to stop him from eating them before he gets to school. These are mushroom and fetta, chopped into a mini muffin pan, then I pour over a mix of egg and gream and bake. Super simple, but they do require a bit of forward planning. They also freeze relatively well, so if I get organised I can do a few different types to keep in the freezer for days when I can’t get creative.

The dip today is yoghurt with grain mustard.

And now I am off to research school junk food policy, after finding out that the crappy canteen food menu is now even crappier. Met another mum in the school yard who is really angry about it, so we’re going to team up and see what we can do.

Perilla onigiri


When I worked in a Japanese nightclub, the chef taught me how to make Japanese rice balls (onigiri – translates to “housewife obligation). In their most simple form, they are a triangular wedge of leftover rice. My favourite was yaki-onigiri, which are grilled with a special sauce, and I never learned how to make them. There are many variations, with things like grilled salmon or pickled plum inside, or made from rice seasoned with furikake.

There are loads of different furikake, and most of them contain bonito (dried fish) so they aren’t suitable for vegetarians, but this purple one (my favourite) is. Perilla is a glorious herb that is largely unknown in Australia, though you can find it in places like Cabramatta, and it dos crop up in Vietnamese restaurants. The flavour is indescribable, and not really a lot like the furikake. I also doubt that the colouring is natural, and the list of ingredients does go a little bit beyond what I consider to be real food, but as a treat, I don’t mind now and then.

Inigo has had his social life at school pick up a bit, so he has been saying that he “doesn’t have time” at lunch to eat, and he’s been coming home with uneaten lunches. Oh, to be so popular 😉

The traditional Vegemite sandwich


This one has apple slices with sunflower nut butter, which does taste a lot like peanut butter (and is yummy with apple slices!), but it isn’t dangerous for kids with allergies. So glad I tried it, we can’t give Inigo anything including nuts for school because there is a kid in kindy (not his class) with anaphylaxis. So that rules out most of my favourite baked goods, and a few treats as well.

This is a good way to get a bit of protein into his lunch when I don’t have a “main” with protein, and he loves it!



Some mornings I wake up and think “thank goodness I thought about lunch last night, I’ve got a plan”. But many mornings run more like – “holy cow, what am I going to feed the kid today? I really should have gone shopping yesterday”. This was one of those days.

I had some mini pizza bases in the fridge, and my friend Marion had given me a small jar of zatar to keep in the freezer, so I got out of bed a little early, mixed the zatar with olive oil, smeared it on a pizza base, and popped it in the oven for 20 mins.

I put plain yoghurt in the mini dipper, and the treat was leftover Indian fudge from my dinner the night before 🙂

Five and a half

My Squishy is about five and a half now, and the conversations just get more and more interesting. My grief journey has taken me on some twists and turns, and I am ashamed to say that I haven’t always be the parent I want to be to this amazing kid. I absolutely recognise that I am doing my best, and that my best has to be “good enough”. But I am also so passionately in love with His Squishyness that I think he deserves the best.

A week or so ago he told me that his favourite place in the world was “wherever you are, mama”. High praise indeed for a kid that likes to play me off against his grandparents for “my favourite person this week”. I think I got lucky because both sets of grandparents are in Europe for a month, but I’ll take it.

Then on Sunday night, as I was trying to get him to go to sleep so we could watch Dr Who, he told me that he likes me, but he doesn’t love me. It took a while to get from him what he meant, but apparently it’s because I yell.

Yelling seems to be an easy rut for parents to fall into, and while I am usually pretty good about not yelling, stress does bring the yelling a lot closer to the top of my parenting toolbox. And it spent a long while there in the early days of losing Archimedes and Aubrey. This kid has had way too much crappy parenting, and I am making a public declaration right now that it has to stop. Two days in and I haven’t raised my voice once.

Today Mrs D. did some more reading assessments with him, and he’s gone up a few more levels in reading. But apparently she hasn’t finished, so there might be more progress once she gets to do more testing. He’s started to do some year 1 number work, and and was given another commendation today – only three more and he’ll get his second bronze certificate!

At bedtime, I am reading Heidi to him. At first I thought that he only liked the story because the sound of my voice lulled him to sleep, but as we got further in to the story he told me that he was sad that Heidi had to leave her Grandfather, and there were tears in his eyes. I explained to him what empathy was, and how seeing how someone else was feeling sometimes hurts us, but it also helps us to be a good friend, and helps us to support others and to be kind.

I downloaded the book from the Amazon Kindle site. It was free, volunteers take old texts and convert them to ebooks, which is great, but you do get the odd typo. And one quirk – the chapters are numbered in Roman Numerals, which of course, Inigo demanded an explanation for.

And tonight, he needed me to teach him how Roman Numerals worked before I was allowed to read the book.

When your five year old gets more interesting email than you do…

Nanna and Gonad are in Europe, today they are on foot in France discovering castles. Inigo requested a picture, as he has only ever seen them in picture books, and wanted to be sure they are real.

So Nanna sent a picture of her at a castle.

And tonight I was chatting with one of his Fairly Odd Parents on the phone. Paula and Jason moved to Melbourne when Jason got a job as a beamline scientist at the synchrotron. Jason’s job has been explained to Inigo in very broad terms, and he gets the impression that Jason is the go-to guy for science matters.

Recently he’s been asking me what air looks like. Since he understand the difference between invisibility, and things just being too small to see, but beyond that I am not much use, he decided to ask Uncle Jason. And less than two hours after the question was posed comes a beautifully constructed email, with age appropriate language that isn’t patronising, and some beautiful images to illustrate the concepts.

Every kid should have an uncle with a PhD in inorganic chemistry.

Too much

Sorry for the amount of radio silence on the blog at the moment – uni is a bit crazy at the moment, but after my perception exam tomorrow I hope I will have a bit more time.

We leave for Vietnam in less than 2 months, and I still have the bulk of the trip to plan (and pay for!). I have changed my name, but I haven’t got my passport yet, or arranged visas. Nor do we have a house sitter or pet care organised. I’m not too worried, it will work out, because it HAS to!

Parenting – doing it right

Once in a while I (amongst all the feelings of guilt and blame), I get the feeling that we aren’t doing such a bad job of this parenting gig.

On weekends, so that Mark and I can get a lie in, Inigo is allowed to play on the iPad for a while.

This morning, I walked in to find him listening to music.

Bohemian Rhapsody.

“It’s one of my favourite songs”, he said,as my heart swelled with pride.

Just as Mark’s did when he said earlier in the week, “Daddy, I love Star Wars, but I don’t like Star Wars Episode I very much”.