Monday, 26 November 2012

Low, and I mean REALLY low, budget Christmas gifts for him.

This year DH has bought himself an electric guitar both for Christmas and his birthday (which are almost at the same time), so I am not allowed to spend on Christmas presents for him.

On this low, really low, budget, this is what I've come up with...

If I have time, I have an old beige-ish skirt and grey winter shorts that could turn into a funky cap following this pattern :

I've found lots of inspiration on Pinterest :

I really want to make that one.

And I've got the fabric, a soon-to-be recycled blue laundry bag that DH was going to give to the charity shop, and a piece of fabric I found in our charity shop! In a blue shade too. All I need is find something that will act as 'gripping fabric'... Any ideas?

I won't make handkerchiefs but squares of a soft fabric (found in the remnants bin of a fabric shop for 60 p) to clean spectacles.

Again, if I have time!

This :

And this, I will definitely do :

Finally, I have done DD1 and DD2's portraits, so I would like to do DS now (and one day DD3 too!).

You can find links for most of these ideas on my Pinterest profile,

Copyright 2012 MotherGoutte

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dairy and egg free cupcakes

With DS's diet at the moment - no milk, no eggs, making cakes is a bit tricky!

I made a cake for his birthday, using soya butter and egg replacement powder and madeira cake recipe (same proportions of sugar, flour and butter). The cake tasted nice but was quite dense and greasy.

I had another try reducing the amount of butter. In fact I ran out and didn't even have half of the weight of the flour! It was greasy but dense again and a bit rubbery, not as nice to eat as the first attempt.

Then the other day DD1 and DD2 made some cupcakes for school and DS and I had another go. We used:
6oz flour
6 oz sugar
1tsp baking powder
3 heaped tsp of Ogran egg replacement powder + 6 tbsp soya milk (although the instructions say water)
3oz soya butter
A drop of vanilla extract
85% cocoa chocolate that we cut into 'chips'

We put the flour, sugar, baking powder and egg replacement powder in a bowl, mixed them together. Then we added the milk and vanilla, mixed a bit. Then the butter and mixed thouroughly, adding a bit more milk to make the dough a bit more 'creamy'. Finally the chocolate. We placed a generous tbsp of dough in our cupcakes cases and put in the pre-heated oven (180°). They cooked for longer than usual cupcakes, around 25mn (or until they start to take a golden colour).

They were just right! Light, not too greasy nor too dry and tasted yummy.

And we finally got an appointment for DS in hospital to find out what exactly he's allergic too, so maybe he will be allowed something back!

Monday, 19 November 2012

My Mum's paupiettes

I felt like sharing a recipe today. So here is one of my Mum's specials, ideal to cook in advance if you're planning to entertain and just warm up while you're having drinks with your guests!

For 6 :
6 turkey or veal steaks
500g/1lb Sausage meat
2 x tinned tomatoes
1 cup Red wine
2 or 3 cloves Garlic

Roll some sausage meat into a turkey or veal steak and tie with cooking string. In a hot pan sear the 'paupiettes' on all sides. Add the tomatoes, wine, garlic (chopped) and seasoning. Cook for at least one hour on low heat or in a slow cooker.


Thursday, 8 November 2012


Yesterday I was walking my little boy to preschool and another boy was behind us and said very loudly "A. is not very nice!" I didn't hear his mum say anything but he repeated "A. is not very nice, he's not very nice at all!"

As you can imagine my blood boiled as I saw hurt (or thought I saw hurt?) on my son's face. I itched to say "Takes one to know one!".

I know my son is boisterous and he likes to play tough with his friends (there is in particular one of his best friends with whom he always wrestles!), but he is also generous, always sharing treats he got to eat, and he also shares his toys quite well for someone his age (he will be 4 in January).

Then this morning the same boy was at preschool. They had a table with lots of plastic creepy-crawlies, magnifiers, twizzers and egg-shaped pincers to 'catch' the things. DS came to the table and reached towards one of the pincers, two being in front of THAT boy.
Well, what do you know, the boy seized both of the pincers waving his hands and swatting so DS coudln't have one! DS just moved away and the boy put the pincers back on the table. So - and there I might have behaved a bit childishly - I took one. The boy protested "I need two!" to which I answered sweetly "No you don't." Then I gave him one of the tweezers and said that way he would have two different things.

Well, it was only reasonable that he should share the pincers! And it turns out HE is the not very nice one!!

Have you ever felt like that, like you could quarrel with a 4 yo for the sake of your own child?!

On a more serious note, I do realise that they're only 4 and everything goes at that age. It's more the fact that the mother let her son vindictive mine that shocked me, but then I don't quite have the nerve to go into an Outnumbered like discussion with another mother (Mum discussing swapsies)...!

Monday, 5 November 2012

The boy and the intruder

An old post, well... not that old but still. Here goes !

Once there was a boy called Max. Max was four and lived with his Mummy and Daddy and his dog Doodle who was his best friend in the whole wide world. Max was a very happy boy until...

One day Max's Daddy came to pick him up early from school, which was a bother as Max had been building a rocket. It looked like it was going to be the best thing he had ever built but it would certainly be ruined now. The inspiration would have left him by tomorrow! So Max  cried all the way home.

When he arrived home, however, Max understood what the rush had been and why his parents needed him. A Thing had invaded their home and it was terrible !

The Thing was very ugly, just like the aliens in Max's favourite TV programme : red, scrawny and wrinkly, with little claws of hands. Well, probably claws. His parents had managed to encase them in protective gloves to spare themselves of the deadly poison they must scratch you with.

The Thing quickly transformed Max's house in a mass of mess, ten times worse than what Max could achieve in a whole week!

The Thing made a terrible noise when it was hungry, piercing and blaring. It made your eyes water. And it was always hungry, even during the night.

The Thing always farted and pooped and the smell was terrible, worse even than brussel sprouts.

The Thing needed to be guarded at all times and Max's parents did not have so much time anymore for Max.

Worse, the Thing was here to say. Max's parents had said that they could not send it back (Max had asked).

Worse still, Max's parents were getting fond of the Thing. Max had heard about it on TV. It happened to people who were kept prisoners and Max and his family were certainly like prisoners...

Months passed and Max learned to just live trying to ignore that the Thing even existed. Life was not as it had been before but it was ok. The Thing was still braying and stinking but Max's parents were getting better at dealing with it. Max even started to forget what, exactly, life had been like before.

And then suddenly something quite extraordinary happened. Max was playing with his favourite rocket. The Thing was lying beside him, watching. Max engineered the launch of his rocket, which involved lots of weird noises (Max loved making weird noises). And the Thing laughed! A big, rolling, gurggling laugh that made Max feel something very strange. He felt happy and proud. He felt that what him, Max, did must be very special if it could make the Thing laugh in this way.

And from this moment Max thought that it might not be too horrible, after all, to have a little sister.

Copyright 2012 Mother Goutte

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Fear is one of the feelings I remember the most from after I lost my first baby. I was afraid of so many things... I once told a friend how each time I visited the cemetery I, for a split second, saw a threatening figure in the gate post, and she said : "Let me know when you're not afraid of it anymore."
Everything felt so alien in my small world of new mum without a baby, and the whole world around me seeing me as a childless woman.
I was afraid of going outside, in our village, and bump into people who had seen me pregnant and would ask questions. I didn't feel that many people would be able to hear what I wanted to say about my son : the infinite sadness of his absence but the joy, also to be his mother...