School holidays. My daughter is 5, almost 6. My son has just turned 2. I can hear him now chatting in his cot, he will (hopefully) fall asleep soon. My daughter has just sung him a lullaby, a ritual that started three weeks ago and not a day has been missed. We have spent the morning outside. My daughter talks a lot, my son barely talks at all. They play rescue games. She clasps her hands on the rope from the swings and begs for help, declaring she cannot hold on any longer and is desperately crying out for her hero to come to her rescue. This two year old hero has different names everyday, this week he has been Richard, Dennis, and Edward. We do not know a Richard, Dennis or Edward so I am a little perplexed as to where these names come from. He obeys. Follows along. I think that is all that is required.
Being two is tough. Especially when you have few words. At times I can see his frustration. He cries, but really he is just begging for us all to understand. The more he talks, the less he cries. Everyone is happier when they are understood.
Being five seems ok. You’re fairly independent, you don’t mind playing baby games, yet you can also take on the big kid stuff. Sometimes you like to test the boundaries, get a little defiant, be the grown up for a while. But mostly five is just fun. It seems to be a place where you understand enough but not too much.
This is a beautiful phase. My kids play together all the time now. They make each other laugh. The baby has become fun, the sister has become a best friend. I think the time these two have together these holidays will perhaps be amongst the most precious time they have so far shared.
I am very proud of them. I love watching them play. I love watching him copy her, obey her instructions, defy her instructions. I love watching her help him, pick him up when he falls, take on the tasks that are still beyond him.
At night they kiss and cuddle and go their separate ways and each morning they greet each other like long lost friends. It is a pure and perfect love. I hope it is never tarnished by age, by life, by the loss of innocence.
Chocolate Dipped Fig and Pistachio Truffles
1 firmly packed cup of dried figs
1/2 cup natural pistachios
1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
Place the ingredients into your blender or food processor in the order listed above. Blend at high speed until the mixture resembles a fine crumb and easily sticks together. Using damp hands press heaped tablespoons of the mixture into approximately ten even balls and place them into the freezer for 1 hour to set.
Minutes before you remove the truffles from the freezer prepare your chocolate.
3 tablespoons soft coconut oil*
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa
1 tablespoon honey
Place the ingredients into a small bowl or ramekin. Using a fork, briskly mix the ingredients until they are well combined and you have a lovely, smooth chocolate.
Remove the truffles from the freezer and dip half of each truffle into your chocolate. If you can refrain from eating them place the truffles into the fridge to set.
If you have chocolate left over you can spoon it into silicon mini muffin moulds, place in the fridge to set and enjoy as chocolate disks.
* If your coconut oil is solid you can place it in a small heat proof dish and very gently soften it over a bowl of boiled water.