Snacktastic: avocado toast

One of the joyous things about breastfeeding is the ravenous hunger that must be sated with tasty things, which taste all the better because your body is crying out for sugars and fats like it’s running a marathon (which, metabolically, it is!).

The only hunger I’ve felt like it before is post-scuba-dive hunger, where you’ve spent an hour underwater metabolising like crazy to keep warm but too distracted by all the fish and coral and beautiful dangerous things (hello shark! Hello anemones!) to notice, and then you heave yourself and your tank back onto the boat or beach, and peel off the heavy wetsuit, and dry off in the sun, and suddenly: starving. And everything tastes so good!

Anyway, multiply that by 50 and it’s comparable with breastfeeding hunger, in my experience.

And while often I just want to eat, like, several handfuls of chocolate biscuits, or half a tub of ice cream, or cereal bars spread thickly with Nutella–sometimes I have the wherewithal to make a healthy plate like this, which is so good in a different way, and actually sates the cravings for longer.

Note: this is only good if you can get ripe avocados.

Avocado, basil & chilli sourdough

This is the simplest thing in the world to assemble, but as I’m just getting started with recipe blogging I’m going to write the whole thing out. 😊

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado per person (half if barely hungry)
  • 2 slices of sourdough per avocado
  • 1 large handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Few fresh basil leaves (coriander if preferred), rolled then thinly sliced, to form ribbons
  • 1 dried chilli, finely chopped
  • Wedge of fresh lime
  • The nicest olive oil in your kitchen

Method

  • Toast the toast
  • Halve the avocados 🥑, slice within their halves then scoop out with a spoon. Use any remaining avocado as a spread first, then fan the slices on top.
  • Arrange tomatoes as desired
  • Scatter with chilli and basil
  • Drizzle with oil and lime juice
  • Season with flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Double-F Flapjack

In the early weeks of learning to feed my twins, I was breastfeeding them both every 2 hours, including overnight, as well as giving top-up bottles, and expressing, every 3-4 hours.

Each night felt like a surreal marathon running parallel with the time when I should have been being rejuvenated. By 6am each day I would already be a wreck. These flapjacks helped. A lot.

Ingredients:

  • 450g oats
  • 300g margarine (or butter if richer & greasier is appealing)
  • 80g demarera sugar
  • 120g golden syrup
  • 60g treacle
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g golden linseed (“flaxseed”)

A note on ingredients: oats, almonds and linseed are all supposedly good for stimulating milk supply. Anecdotally I would agree but there is no published evidence for their efficacy. However they were definitely good for sustaining my blood sugar and sanity during otherwise dark and hangry times.

If you know someone who is in the early stages of learning to cope with a new baby, these would make an EXCELLENT gift.

Method:

  • Melt the margarine, sugar & syrups in a big pan.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the nuts, raisins & seeds.
  • Stir in the oats (slowly but surely the mixture will come together)

Get a standard-sized baking tray. Line it with baking paper. Scoop the mixture into the tray and press down.

Bake at 180’C for 20 minutes; longer if you want it crispier, however the longer you cook it the more the sultanas will be scorched.

The kitchen should smell great by the time it’s cooked.

I scour it into columns and rows with a knife whilst it’s still hot and soft, then leave in the tin for at least half an hour (realistically: until I next get 2 minutes off from baby-wrangling).

Once cool, I lift out the whole slab on its baking paper and break it into squares. Bits that fall off get eaten first. The rest goes in a tin that goes on the kitchen counter by the kettle… or on the bedside table.

When Lightning Strikes Twice…

⚡️🍀⚡️

Hey, we thought. Let’s have a baby! 

or rather, we thought: Let’s stop trying not to have a baby, whilst very aware that when a woman’s in her early thirties (me) the chance of getting pregnant straight away is pretty small (just under 1 in 7, or about 15%), and fully content with the idea that it could take months or even years to actually conceive said baby.

Oh really? Said fate, or Sod’s law, or whatever you want to call the power that makes unlikely things IMMEDIATELY happen at maximum intensity.  Feeling pretty relaxed about all this, are you? We’ll see about that! 

Lightning struck twice that first weekend; exactly 8 months later, our tiny twin girls were born, and it’s fair to say that nothing since has been the same…

⚡️🍀⚡️

We’re now 4 months in and I have come to realise that I need a place for the whirligig of rants, ruminations and eureka moments that form the mosaic of early parenthood in the internet age. It’s remotely possible these bits and pieces might be interesting or helpful to other people, but if – as is way more likely – they are not, then this will still be a tidy little time capsule for me, which my future self might return to, to re-live these strange early days with the wry fondness of hindsight, that would otherwise have been lost in the mists of sleep-deprivation…

AKA if I don’t write it down it’ll be gone forever as I currently have the memory of a cartoon fish. 🐠