sunday in the kitchen

His climb up the stairs was louder than usual...more of a stomp, really. It was earlier than usual too. My eyes focused just long enough to read 6:04 a.m. on the clock. 'Why so early on a Sunday morning? They never get up this early on a school day!' I groaned to myself, but I looked forward to our usual morning snuggle, hoping we would both drift back to sleep for at least another hour. "Mommy, can Nathan and I go outside to play?" he asked, jumping up and down on the wood floor. This child had no interest in snuggles. "But it's 6 a.m.!" I groaned out loud. "But it's snowing, it's snowing, it's snowing, it's snowing!" he pleaded. "But it's still dark out! Wait until the sun comes up!" "Pleeeeease! Pleeeeeeease!" I couldn't say no. I was too tired for a fight. And really, a little extra quiet is not a bad thing on a snowy Sunday morning! "Fine, just don't leave the yard," I relented, tucking myself back in for a bit more shut-eye. Well, what I expected to be one hour outside turned into several hours. They played right through breakfast, came in to grab a quick bite to eat and convinced G to take them tobogganing. This gave me almost an entire day to catch up on projects that are approaching deadline and to bake a yummy cake for them to enjoy when they finally decided to come in from the cold. Oh, the first snow is always such a joyous time for those boys of mine! Here are a few snapshots from their snowy weekend - oh, and a recipe for Apple Upside Down Cake.

Apple Upside Down Cake
Bottom Layer
6-8 apples peeled and sliced
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 C Earth Balance margarine
1/2 C date puree (I make a lot of this ahead ot have ready in the fridge by putting 2 C dates in a saucepan with about 1/2 C water and cook until dates are soft. Puree with hand blender)
3/4 C buttermilk (dairy-free buttermilk can easily be made by adding 1 tsp apple cider vinegar to your favourite milk substitute)
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat over to 350F. Grease a round baking dish (I used my spring form pan which worked okay, but place on a cookie sheet to catch drips from the bottom while baking). Peel and slice apples and mix with sugar, oil, cinnamon and ginger. Place in bottom of pan. In a mixing bowl, blend together margarine, date puree, buttermilk, flax seed, and vanilla. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour over apples and bake for about 45 minutes or until a fork comes out clean. Let cool, then remove ring from pan, place a large plate on top of cake and quickly flip upside down. Remove bottom of pan. Slice and serve! I topped our slices with some coconut milk whipped cream (place can of full-fat coconut milk in fridge overnight. Open can from bottom and pour out coconut water - this can be used for other recipes like soups or curries. Scoop out coconut fat, add  a couple of spoonfuls of honey, and whip it up!).


i wanna grow up

"I need some advice about growing up," he asked, "like how to drive and how to shave." Please don't be in such a hurry, my youngest child, to trade flying free on the top of your bike for strapping yourself into the responsibility of a car, to trade your hand-drawn beard for real whiskers. A time will come soon enough when you will look back on this day and long for the simple worries of a seven-year-old, like how to keep that beard from washing off in the bath.