I glance over my shoulder and see Lucas has scribbled all over the picture in his Paddington Bear puzzle book. “Lucas do you know what you have done wrong here?” “Mummy I made it better”. Not wanting to stifle his creative growth, how could I argue his beautiful Picasso like scribbles are anything but great art? However I still felt he needed to learn not to draw in books. “Yes it is a beautiful drawing but we cannot draw on books, I can get you some paper to draw on” “Mummy I didn’t draw on the book I drew in it”. At this point Andrew can’t contain the laughter and my attempts to discipline our son fail as I’m clearly being outsmarted by a two year old!
In recent weeks we’ve done some “pre-school mornings”. Often centred around tractors it has been amazing to see Lucas soak up new things like a sponge. Whether its been making pies for the team, digging for white beans with letters drawn on buried in fake mud (Tanzanian ground coffee which went off) with all his toy tractors and diggers or painting or reading. Lucas continues to be an unintentional comedy genius.
Our close friends Sian and John are expecting their second baby any day now and we asked Lucas if he’d like a little brother or sister one day? He pondered the question for a while and responded,”mmm, no I want a rabbit”
These same friends recently introduced us to Pingu which Lucas loves and has taken to mimicking.
We had been noticing some new unusual behaviours such as putting his cardboard pot for bricks over his head then proceed to bang it with a stick as he happily potters around the flat, opening up his shoebox and putting the lid and bottom on like shoes and skating around and the pinnacle was his over enthusiasm for imaginary fishing at the weekend which resulted in him falling in the swimming pool! All behaviours we accepted as unusual but probably normal for a 2 year old, that was until we travelled to Nairobi on Friday for my exam and we let him watch Pingu on the way (which he hadn’t watch for a few weeks!) and I soon realised he is a growing clone of Pingu!
Some of the behaviour learnt from Pingu has been very sweet
Others less so…
There are very few films I’ve watched in their entirety and only one film I have ever watched back to back. It was on an aeroplane pre-Lucas! Julie and Julia (Julie sets herself the task of cooking all Julia Childs 300+ recipes in a year and writes a blog about it) in it the Beef Bourginion takes centre stage as the pinnacle of Julia Childs “The Art of French Cooking”. So it of course had to make part of a bake here. I have adapted it slightly as instead of mushrooms I’ve used pumpkin… a little more Kenyan! I think TV/films are a bit dangerous in this family…
Recipe – Pumpkin and Steak Pie
250g Plain flour
110g Cold cubed butter
1kg Rump steak, diced
200g back bacon diced
300g cooked pumpkin cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp soy sauce
350ml red wine
2 tbsp cornflour
Handful chopped fresh parsley.
1. Make shortcrust pastry as in twice baked tomato, feta and walnut tart. Once chilled roll out to 3mm thick and cut out circles slightly bigger than the pie cases or dish.
2. To make the filling place all the ingredients apart from the parsley and corn flour into a large piece of greaseproof paper and make a sealed bag around it, wrap in tin foil then place in an oven dish (incase of any leakages!). Bake for 1.5 hours at 180ºC
3. Remove from the oven and pour the juice into a saucepan and add the corn flour, stir until thickened then add in the remaining cooked ingredients and the chopped parsley cook gently for 20mins.
4. For the pies, I made small ones in tin foil separate cases but you may wish to make a big one and just use which ever dish you feel most appropriate. Fill each pie case with filling to the top. Brush beaten egg on the underside of each pastry top and crimp around the sides of each case until well sealed, then brush the top with beaten egg. Prick the top with a fork to allow steam to escape.
5. Place in the oven for about 20mins until crispy and golden brown.
Hot out of the oven
The team tucking in
The building on the right is where I sat my GP exam, apparently I was the only person in Kenya sitting it…