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Monthly Munch: October

The big event was Toby's birthday, which somehow took over most of the month!  Graham's parents visited the weekend before it, when we had his party; then he opened presents on the actual day; then my parents visited the week after, which involved more cake and gifts.  We saw fire eating and live music at the local marina; survived all of us having colds at once; started attending a baby group in the village with Theo; painted a fence and made a Christmas cake.

Toby


- turned four years old!  (I feel like I've been saying he's "nearly four" for months now.)

He said the strawberry plants needed sheltering from the rain

- finally plucked up courage to try the big swings, and discovered he's really quite good at them.

-suddenly decided he would have a shower instead of a bath, which he has never done before.

- enjoys going kayaking with Graham...

The intrepid mariners set sail
...and playing on the playground in his lifejacket afterwards.

Hard a-port!
- drew a bus and said it needed to say London on it.  So I described the letters and he wrote them.


- still entertains his little brother


Quotes:
"Those people are talking tripe!" - about some actors performing Shakespeare

"I'm looking forward to Christmas." - as soon as his birthday was over.

Theo


- is still a smiley chap who now sits up extremely well

- says "mum-mum-mum" very plaintively when he wants something

Modelling a lovely coat made by my friend Sharon

- sees absolutely no point in trying to roll over

Why would I want to do that?
- but will happily pull himself up if you give him a hand, and is just able to stand up while holding onto a sofa or bed for balance.


Both boys keep taking their socks off, so there are constantly small socks lying around.  Here they're both trying the "one on, one off" look.

Thankful for:

- free electricity!  We had solar panels installed completely gratis.

- a visit to Hardwick Hall, which I've been wanting to see for a while

Recipe of the Month: Potato Bake


When I was trying to use up potatoes, I often made one of those dishes where you slice them thinly and layer them up to bake.  The layering stage seemed like a hassle, though, so recently I had an epiphany: why not just dice them and stir everything together?


3 largeish potatoes, in 1 cm dice
1 small carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
100g / 4 oz Gouda or other firm cheese, diced
handful of frozen sweetcorn
250 ml / 1 cup chicken stock
mixed herbs and black pepper

Stir all the diced ingredients and sweetcorn together in a large casserole dish.  Season with herbs and pepper (I found it didn't need salt).  Pour over the stock.

Cover and bake at 150°C for 2 hours (or a higher temperature if you want it quicker).  Uncover and grate Parmesan or Cheddar over.  Bake for a few more minutes to melt cheese.  Serves 2.

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