Posts Tagged ‘food’


June 1, 2014

We spent most of today walking around Paris again.

We are lucky enough to be staying almost next door to the Marche des Enfants Rouges, so we started our day by having a good look around there.  Our appetite for food-tourism piqued, we then walked over to Rue Montorgeuil, another foodie paradise.  As well as patisseries, fromageries, charcuteries etc, we found a little book-and-puzzle shop, where the children each chose a book – Babess found a version of Little Red Riding Hood in French, Pearl found a translation of Guess How Much I Love You, and Fainjin, ever the rebel, found a big Where’s Wally book – in English.

It was a fair bit more walking to the Louvre, where we found the glass pyramid bathed in warm sunshine and surrounded by throngs of people.  Already tired from the morning’s walking, the children were most dismayed at the sight of the queue to enter.  It wasn’t all that bad for the time of day and year, and was moving reasonably quickly, but we decided not to push the issue (after all, there would just be more walking and probably more whining inside the museum) so we returned to our home quartier and the Marche des Enfants Rouges to pick up a lunch to eat in our apartment.

After a substantial meal of smoked salmon, brie, chevre, salad and fresh bread, followed by a range of delights from the local patisserie, we had a bit of a break before heading out to walk it all off again.

This time we went back to our friend at the souvenir shop near Notre Dame, and as promised the other day he gave us prices less than marked for our t-shirts and the kids’ choices of souvenirs.  Onward and southward, over the Seine again and into the Latin Quarter, we ran the gauntlet of restaurant owners trying to entice us in for a 4pm dinner, and eventually washed up at the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Babess loved the statues of queens past and ran around finding out their names.  We found the playground… and the queue of families waiting for admission… and turned to the merry-go-round for entertainment instead.  Pearl was too big for it, but Babess & Fainjin enjoyed their ride.

After a wander in the shade and some people-watching, it was time to hop on the Metro and head home again.  Babess has been singing and talking non-stop all day long.  I can’t believe she isn’t absolutely worn out – I am! It is now 9:15pm and she is still talking.  At this rate she will send both of her parents stark raving mad.

In other news, Fainjin’s tooth fell out during dinner.  We shall have to see whether the tooth fairy includes France on her regular route.

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

Oh, b….ananas!

July 8, 2013

I put a piece of fruit in each child’s lunchbox every day – or a pouch of fruit puree.  Fainjin in particular much prefers the puree, and will occasionally rant and rave at me in the morning if he spots a banana instead of a pouch in his lunchbox.  I always tell him to take it anyway in case he’s hungry, and somehow he always is and it gets eaten despite the protests.

Every so often we’ve seen “banana protectors” at the supermarket, special banana-shaped boxes designed to keep your banana bruise-free in transit.  The children have been enchanted, and I have been dismissive.  Just eat the banana first, before it gets rattled around too much!  The price of the boxes was off-putting too.

Then last week I spotted banana boxes for under $2 each, and on a whim decided the kids could have one each.  When I brought them home, it was like Christmas.  They were all so excited, couldn’t wait to take a banana to school.  Even Fainjin didn’t want fruit puree the next day.  For less than $6 I had an outstanding success!

Today was the third day the children have used their boxes.  When we got home after school and they were bringing their lunchboxes out to the kitchen, Fainjin looked rather shamefaced.  “Mum… when I had my lunch, I think I threw my banana box in the rubbish with the banana peel.  I’m really sorry.”


© UpsideBackwards 2013.


January 6, 2013

Dinner tonight was chicken and rice with vegetables.   Babess “finished” and put her plate on the bench – and I noticed she had eaten her rice and veges but not any chicken.  I’d only given her a couple of little pieces in any case, so I called her back and told her to eat them.

She ate the first one, then looked at me.  “Hey Mum, is this chicken made of real chicken?”

“Yeesss….” I wasn’t quite sure what she was asking.  I’m not in the habit of serving faux chicken (although my own mother was guilty at least once of serving rabbit and calling it chicken).

“Does it say ‘boock boock’?”

“Well, it used to.”  She looked at me, and I could swear she raised a single eyebrow.

“It’s dead now.  That’s why we can eat it.”  I didn’t think I really needed to go into details.

She popped the second piece in her mouth, then went to find her brother.  “Hey, Fainjin! Did you know, this chicken is made of real chicken?  That says ‘boock boock’?”


“But it died.” sad voice “So now we can eat it!” happy voice

“Yeah, ‘cos it dies, then the supermarket turns it into meat.”  Big brother was happy to show he already knew all about it.

These kids crack me up.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Home again

October 6, 2012

We are home again, all thoroughly spoilt by our time in Australia.  We had (mostly) fantastic weather, caught up with several friends and some family, visited lots of fun places – including Questacon about 7 times! – and ate wonderfully well.

We got home after midnight last night, so it was a late wake-up this morning, especially because of the current 3-hour time difference between here and Melbourne.  Getting the children to bed on time this evening was an exercise in futility, too.  They went into their bedroom in their pyjamas at 7:30, but there was a lot of giggling, singing and playing until well after 10pm.  I expect tomorrow will be a late-ish wake-up too…

Today we have unpacked, done the laundry, and generally settled back in to being home.  The children have loved being back in their own bedrooms with all their books (Pearl) and toys (Fainjin and Babess), and had a good time riding their scooters in the sunshine and inspecting the garden with me.

The irises are opening up nicely, and there are even some ranunculus making a nice display.  The sunflowers the kids planted just before we left have sprouted – at least a few of them – and we have more seeds so will plant some more this coming week.  Of course, the weeds have appreciated our absence even more, but we’ll just keep working away at those.

I’ll miss the delightful creations at Brunetti‘s, but at least I have another week of school holidays to work them off by taking the kids for long walks!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Reasons to visit Melbourne: great food, trams, and your own bathroom

October 1, 2012

The children are enjoying being in Melbourne this week.  They are very enamoured of the trams, and Fainjin is particularly keen to ride on an “extra-long one that is blue”.  He must have seen one go past and decided it looks especially sleek.

We went out for dinner last night, or rather stayed out as we had been out most of the day.  When I suggested we feed the children in town before going home, The Dad started looking at fast-food sort of places, but I cried foul.  Melbourne is known as a foodie city, and I wanted real food, a bit of an adventure – nothing that would challenge the kids toooo much, but something a little out of the ordinary.  Pearl readily agreed to the idea of Chinese food, as she had enjoyed going to a yum cha with friends in Canberra last week.  Fainjin was more reluctant – no surprise there – but he will and does eat plain rice, and in the end he was quite happy.  We found a likely-looking place in Chinatown, but they had no table available, so we wandered a little further and found another one.  It was very child-friendly, and had lots of Chinese people eating in it (always a good sign).  It also had a window from outside into the kitchen, so the kids could watch wide-eyed as the chefs prepared meals.  The chefs smiled and waved at them – another encouraging sign.

The Dad and I shared a spicy duck dish, while the kids stuck to fairly plain fare of rice and pork dumplings, but everyone was happy.  Dessert was very large bowls of chocolate ice-cream for the children (none of them could finish it!), and The Dad and I shared a bowl of mango ice-cream and a plate of glutinous black rice in coconut jelly – absolutely delicious!

This morning Fainjin noticed that the master bedroom in our apartment has an ensuite bathroom, and exclaimed in disgusted envy, “Babess!  They have their own bathroom!  Again!”

Babess came running to look, and tsked in sympathy with him.  “We should come to Melbourne by ourselves, when I’m a Mummy and you’re a Daddy,” she said, “without Kate and [The Dad].”  “Or Pearl,” agreed Fainjin.  The Dad and I were heartily amused that this would be their motivation to return!

Today we spent most of the day at Melbourne Museum, mostly looking at dinosaur skeletons and playing in the playground.  It’s a great museum, but the biggest attractions for the kids were the set of oversized Lego blocks in the play area and the colouring-in activity in the upper gallery.  That was fine, it gave us time to catch up with the friends who were accompanying us.

Afterwards, they played in the gravel courtyard outside, bringing us “crystals!” (bits of quartz) with great excitement and staging running races for which they devised their own handicap system to accommodate the different ages and sizes of the several children present.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

English Toast

August 31, 2012

The children are having a sleepover with The Fabulous Auntie B and their cousins this weekend.  Pearl was chatting with her older cousin and mentioned that she prefers to stay with Nana, because Nana makes her french toast for breakfast.

Older cousin said, “Well, if you ask Auntie B very nicely, we might get french toast for breakfast here!” (It might perhaps be noted that older cousin is plenty grown-up enough to be capable of making french toast himself… just in case he reads this!).

Fainjin looked a bit anxious, and asked – by way of checking – “But if I ask Auntie B nicely, she will make me english toast, won’t she?”

Older cousin was amused, and asked him what english toast was. “It’s toast, in our language…”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


August 15, 2012

Our daycare provides morning and afternoon tea and a cooked lunch for the children.  They are very good meals, and children with allergies, intolerances, and other requirements are well catered-for.  They also give the children the opportunity to try food they might not get at home, for whatever reason.

For example, I’ve never been keen on tinned beetroot, so it’s not something we have in our pantry.  You can imagine my surprise when one of Babess’ teachers mentioned that Babess is quite a fan of the stuff.  Apparently she will sit and munch slices until it’s all gone.  I had noticed some clothes coming home stained red, but had assumed they were playing with dye or red paint that day.

I asked Babess about it, and she said yes, she loves beetroot!  And when we were next making a shopping list, she asked me to get her some.  So of course I did.

Tonight on the bus home she was telling me how much she likes white sauce.  That’s another thing I’ve never been all that keen on – I don’t mind it, but I don’t make it for myself as a choice either.  Babess tells me she loves it, and she knows how to make it.  It’s not just ordinary white sauce, though.  “You have to put green stuff in it.”

“Parsley?” was the only green stuff I could think of to add to white sauce.

“No,” she corrected me firmly.  “Lettuce.”

That’s going to be a funny-tasting white sauce, I reckon.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

End of term

June 29, 2012

Here we are, half-way through the school year.  It’s just the blink of an eye since I was apprehensively anticipating Fainjin’s first day.  I’m scared to blink again because I’m sure when I open my eyes it will be Christmas.

Fainjin’s class ended the term with a bang.  They had a shared lunch, a disco, and an (optional) dress-up day.  Everything was themed around the letter of the week, which was S.  We suggested he wear a soccer strip (as he does every day), but he shrugged off that idea.  “I’m going to be Spiderman!”

So Spiderman went off to school this morning with his salted chippies (I knew other industrious mothers were making square sandwiches, scones and sushi, so I took the easy way out for once).

He had a great time.  He came home bubbling over with enthusiasm about the disco, the dancing, the lunch… “What did you eat?” “Chippies, some lollies, and a bikkie.”  “What about the sandwiches, scones, sushi, sliced fruit that was there?”  “Nahhhhh…”  Well, it was a party.  And there was another question nagging at me.

“How many Spidermen were there in your class today?”

“Seven!”   (and some of them were girls).

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Birthday party fun

June 24, 2012

Today we hosted Babess’ birthday party.  Six of her closest friends came bouncing down our driveway, parents in tow, to be greeted with squeals and laughter.  There is nothing more exciting than seeing friends you normally only see at daycare come to your house.

When everyone had arrived, presents opened and ooooohed over, The Dad took them all outside with a bottle of bubble mix each.  Thank goodness it was a lovely day!  We’ve had a few shockers recently, but we got sunshine and no wind when it really counted.  The neighbourhood was awash in bubbles in no time, and there was – again – much bouncing and squealing of laughter.

Bubble mix exhausted, they came inside and tumbled over each other to wash their hands and sit up for afternoon tea.  I had made a “caterpillar cake” – about 20 cupcakes in a row, with gummy-snake “legs” on each one except the head, which had marshmallow eyes and a drawn-on smile.  Each segment/cupcake had a letter of Babess’ name, a “4”, or a heart/star/swirl design.  I was quite proud of it.  I did notice that most kids ate the lollies but not necessarily the cake part though.

Birthday feast!

Apart from cake, there were chocolate crackles, chippies, fruit, milky-way racing cars, sausage rolls, cheerios (cocktail sausages), fairy bread and juice.  Much too much food.  Never mind, fairy bread for dinner won’t kill our family!  Attending adults were well-fed too, and a couple of large pots of coffee went down well.

As the sugar took hold, we shooed the kids outside again and my wonderful niece set up a “tattoo table” so all the little ones could choose temporary tattoos for arms and hands – and even legs.  Then there was much running around and exploring the house and playing with toys, as the adults chatted and enjoyed a bit more than the two-second “oh hi, nice to see you” conversations that you tend to get at daycare drop-off and pick-up.

Babess’ birthday ink

Eventually, things wound down as kids got tired and were taken home before reaching meltdown.  I did not do “goody bags”, and no-one missed them (huzzah!).  I did threaten to send extra chocolate crackles home with anyone whose present contained more than 100 pieces, but it was all good-natured fun.  Even the ones who gave Babess a huge beading kit laughed.

HOW many beads?!?!

Babess thought it was a great party, and Fainjin enjoyed it too.  I’m pretty sure the guests had a good time, and we didn’t set fire to anything, spark any allergic reactions, or have any accidents drawing blood.  I think we can call it a success.

(I still want to be invited to a Lego Robotics party at Stimey’s house, though!)

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

It’s all in the marketing

January 18, 2012

The Dad: “Babess, would you like to try some of this yummy pide that Mummy made?”

Babess: “Naaaaah.”

The Dad: “Um, how about some special pizza?”

Babess (excitedly): “Yeah!”

And that is how Babess came to eat pide (Turkish pizza) for dinner.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

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