Another year has flown and what a year! Highs, lows, fun times, not so fun times. For me, 2017 has been a time where I’ve focussed on my career and family. My youngest daughter has started pre-school and while she loves it, it’s taken a little one for this spirited one to settle into the new routine of her Montessori pre-school.
2017 was also the year where my middle daughter started ‘big’ school. Going from Montessori to a public primary school was quite easy for her and she’s thrived and done very well. She’s one of those kids that loves to learn anyway – which is lucky.
For my son, 2017 has been a year of cementing friendships and perfecting the art of lego making! With his two closest friends moving to another school and overseas, the next year is going to bring lots of changes for him.
For me, I’ve managed to do a few things that have been on my ‘to do’ list for a long time – getting chickens and continuing my gardening around the house. Work has rewarding with me having completed some great projects and made wonderful friends. The year ends however with me saying farewell to my previous job and welcoming another one.
As the year ends however, I like to work with my children to give family something home-made, from the heart and special for Christmas. This year, I decided on home-made granola! I like it because it’s simple to make and you can be creative with it. It also went down a treat!
Here is what you need:
5 cups of rolled oats – this is the base
1 ½ cup puffed corn
1 ½ cup rice bran
½ cups goji berries
¼ cups cacao nibs
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cups pumpkin seeds
½ cups pecan nuts
125 ml Maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil melted
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Pre-heat the oven to 160° C
Cover baking tray with non-stick baking paper
Mix all the ingredients except the goji berries and puffed corn.
Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and mix through.
Spread on a baking tray and put in the oven
Once it’s starting to look golden – add the puffed corn (this is so that the puffed corn will be crispy, but not burnt)
Depending on how you like it, you can leave it a little longer (it should take about 20 minutes all up) until it is more toasted
Removed from the oven and mix through the goji berries. Set aside to cool.
Once cool add to jars and decorate as you please.
Enjoy – nooshejan!
May you have a peaceful, healthy and prosperous 2018 full of love and joy.
I had this old wheelbarrow and its tyre became flat. I couldn’t figure out how to pump it and after taking it back to the store I bought it from to see how I could get a new wheel, I was told it was easier to get a new wheelbarrow. Rather than throw it out, I decided to upcycle it into a mobile garden with the help of my kids. The great thing about having a mobile garden is that you can move it to suit your needs. For example, there are places in my garden that are very shaded in winter and other areas that would be too hot in summer. I can use the wheelbarrow to move the garden to suit the season.
This became one of our projects during the school holidays. First we painted it – they chose all the colours and actively painted the wheelbarrow with little assistance from me.
We then visited a gardening store where each child got to choose a vegetable and a flower to plant in the wheelbarrow. They chose some interesting ones: cabbage and cauliflower and some regular ones like carrot and strawberries. I planted some Chinese greens too because they’re fast growing. It is only when you have your own garden that you realise the effort and time it takes to grow food. So I think one of the positives about growing food with children is to teach them patience. In spite of this, the fast growing and not likely to fail Chinese greens were also planted to keep the kids interested.
The beauty of this activity is that the kids were involved in the whole process. They were so excited to choose the colours and to paint it and then again to choose their own flowers and vegetables to plant. The flowers as well as attracting bees, were planted because they add colour and are pretty.
They’ve really loved this activity and have taken great pride in it. My daughter almost daily visits her strawberries and counts them. After we harvested the Chinese greens, I had my son help to cook it up and we had it for dinner. So another benefit is that they’re getting healthy eating habits too.
I understand that not everyone has a house or access to space to grow food. Many schools have gardening clubs, so kids can become involved there. At home, it’s possible to grow some herbs in the kitchen, or if you have a common area, you can help to start a verge garden or community garden of sorts. Many edible plants grow really well in pots on balconies. You can even make a mini greenhouse using an old plastic soft drink bottle. I think the important thing is to be creative. Look at what resources you have and start a project today!