Skip to main content

Monthly Munch: January 2016

Wow!  The start of my third year doing Monthly Munches!  Hope you're still enjoying hearing what we've been up to.  Sooo... this month, I feel, has mostly been a sorting out kind of one.  I've been doing some new year house cleaning, Graham and I have been figuring out what to do for some kind of gainful employment.  Toby has been practising on his new bike and scooter, and Theo has been learning to talk and going to bed awfully late.

Toby




- had his first 'Forest School' day at school, and came home happily plastered in mud.

- built a snowman with friends and dubbed it Mr Chillyman Coldhead.


- "I want to draw something.  What shall I draw?" is a constant refrain.

- had a great time at our New Year's Day party, having a "chocolate party" with the other kids up in his bedroom.

- is getting better at dealing with things that scare him.

Theo



- is learning numbers ("free, four, free, four") and colours ("reeaaadd, brue!")

- is losing more blonde every time I take him for a haircut


- does this thing where he lets himself fall straight from vertical to horizontal on our bed.  Aren't you meant to have some instinct where you catch yourself?

- waves cheerfully at the dustbin men every week.  I think they look out for him now!

Thankful for:


- the life of our neighbour Dave, whose funeral we sadly attended this month.  Even in the short time we knew him, we had many reasons to be thankful for his generosity, knowledge, helpfulness and cheerfulness.  He will be missed.

Recipe of the Month: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Potato



This month I have been trying out some recipes from Nigella's Italian cookbook, Nigellissima.  I can recommend the lasagna with ham and eggs in (Quick Calabrian lasagna), and this is another recipe with ingredients that sound strange but actually work really well.  I like the way that you just boil everything in one pan - no separate frying of onions or anything - and then mix it up in the baking dish.  Her original recipe was to serve eight, so I have reduced the quantities.  I thought some tomato slices on top might be nice too, but when it came to it I forgot to add them.  Maybe next time.

300g brussels sprouts, halved
200g penne or fusilli
1 medium potato, diced
100g Gruyere cheese, in 1 cm cubes
75g ricotta
25g butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 small sage leaves, shredded
25-30g Parmesan, grated

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt generously.  Add the sprouts, pasta and potato and cook for 8-10 minutes.  Pour some of the cooking water into a mug, then drain the rest off.  Tip the pasta and veg into an ovenproof dish (I used a 20cm x 20cm Pyrex dish).  Add the Gruyere, ricotta and a good splash of the cooking water, and mix well together.  Add a bit more ricotta or water if you think it needs it (mine waited a while before it went in the oven, so I added a splash more water just before I put it in).  Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

Using the same pan to save on washing up, melt the butter and add the garlic and sage.  Cook just for 30 seconds or so, then drizzle over the pasta.  Scatter the Parmesan over the top, and put in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden.  We had ours with garlic bread and green beans, and with similar accompaniments this quantity would comfortably serve four.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Theme Week: Air

A beautifully wide theme which can cover everything from blowing bubbles to spotting planes.  Sorry for the belated blogging! Activities 1. Straw painting Toby loves straws at the moment and usually has at least two in his drink, sometimes up to five!  So I thought he might enjoy a spot of straw painting.  We dolloped watered-down paints onto a big sheet of paper, and blew air through the straw to spread the paint out.  The results weren't quite as spectacular as I'd hoped, but it was quite fun.  2. Balloon on a string Toby had already been introduced to the idea of blowing a balloon up and letting it go whoowheeewhooo around the room, so we tried the next stage up - racing it along a string. Thread straw onto long piece of string. Tie string across room. Blow up balloon. Tape balloon onto straw. Let go.  Wheeeeee! Duck! 3. Paper aeroplanes Yeah.  This and the balloon on a string was my attempt to keep us entertained on a wet Bank Holiday Monday.  Ver

Reckoning with righteousness

  'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' The preacher was reading from the book of James. It was a passage all about how faith is useless if it isn't accompanied by good works - actually feeding the hungry instead of just saying you'll pray that they'll have food! And James used Abraham, that patriarch of the Jewish faith, as an example of someone whose faith showed up in action. 'Hang on,' I thought. 'I'm sure I've seen that quote in one of Paul's letters, too.' I flicked back a few pages and found it in Romans 4.   'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' But in this passage, Paul is arguing exactly the opposite thing! The whole chapter is about how we can't  earn righteousness through works, but only by faith. And Paul uses Abraham as an example of this, too. Abraham was righteous because he trusted God, not because he followed the law. So the exact same quote is use

Reading for Spiritual Formation 2021-22

Do you read books in order to live a better life? I read books for lots of reasons, ranging from escapism and enjoyment to information and obligation.  In some sense, every book we read lodges somewhere inside us, affecting who we are and how we react to life.  I am the product of many books (far too many, some would say!) Not my library! (Image: Pixabay) Last year, though, I read four books with the specific intention of growing spiritually.  These four books were chosen by the Renovaré Book Club.  Renovaré Book Club Renovaré wasn't a name I'd come across before.  Turns out that it's a Christian group founded by Richard Foster (who wrote Celebration of Discipline ) and involving Dallas Willard (who wrote The Spirit of the Disciplines ), which probably gives you a good idea of their emphasis!  I was impressed with the quality of resources offered with the book club - podcasts, articles, discussion boards, online Q&A - and I also thought they'd done a good job get