Of Jelly, Apples and Cheesey Biscuits

Today is the first anniversary of the day we left Auckland, but it was a very stressful day so we decided not to talk about it or remember it. Not because we didn’t want to leave, just the opposite, but because it was the culmination of selling, buying, cleaning, packing and moving all by ourselves and it was an exhausting and stressful time. Mum says it took her six months to get over it and aged her ten years and at 88 she doesn’t have ten years to age.

Yesterday I went to see Lucas. I haven’t seen him since his birthday party because Gemma is on maternity leave so she’s at home to look after him. He had his second eye operation on Tuesday, to fix a squint, and he has one very black eye and it is also deep blood-red. He says he looks like half a vampire. I’d made him a jelly treat, he loves jelly and ice-cream and it seemed the right thing to take when someone is recuperating and aged six.

I’d made two jellies, red and green. Half of the green was poured into a small bowl to set and the other half was poured into dinosaur moulds. The red jelly set and was then broken up into rough blocks. So it was the extinction of the dinosaurs, in jelly. The green bowl shape was a fairly rounded volcano. I opened the top and put some red jelly in and spread the rest of the red jelly around (lava) and tumbled it down the hill of the volcano. Then I put the green dinosaurs on the lava and scattered a few green mini marshmallows to make rocks.

He took one look at it and said, “Cool!” He has to have drops four times a day in the eye and they sting so the reward for the 11am drops was jelly and ice-cream. And I took him a set of plaster dinosaurs which I’d painted in many different colours, a gold T Rex, a spotted Stegosaurs, a green Diplodocus and others. They live in a very cool gold tin I got at the op shop. We played with them on the floor and had a rip-roaring battle with the plastic ones and discussed why dinosaurs would retreat to ‘lick their wounds.’ Funny how phrases have entered our vocab and we often don’t think about what they actually mean.

Dyfan is about ten weeks and is gorgeous, a very happy, smiley big bundle of cuddles who is always hungry and loves being played with. Lucas is great with him and we put him in the bouncy net on the floor and played with the dinosaurs and he thought every move we made was hilarious.

On the way home I stopped at a roadside stall and got some organic pears and apples straight off the tree. The apples are green with a blush of pink and they’re the crispest, sweetest, juiciest apples I’ve ever eaten. There’s something enormously enjoyable about biting into a very crisp apple and the sweet juice runs down your chin.

When I got home I discovered that Mother had been cooking. She’d made some extremely yummy cheese biscuits from a recipe in the Edmonds cookbook. It has a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and lots of grated tasty cheese and they’re like tiny one bite cheese scones, ‘biscuits’ in the way you get American biscuits with meals in the South. They were delicious and I suspect we were both sneaking them all day…so it was a day of jelly, apples and cheesey biscuits and time spent playing with the bravest little six-year-old I know.

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