Monday, 10 October 2011

Silence in the house

School & kinder has gone back after a two week break.

My newly turned 3yo is in bed asleep.

There is a strange silence in the house.

One I haven't heard for two weeks......

I love having the chaotic sounds of the kids around.

I love not being woken by alarms.

I love looking over at the couch at the spray of children woven in amongst each other watching old fashioned cartoons to start the day.

I love taking our time over breakfast.

I love the weather of the September holidays.

Although this time the rain kept us inside for most of the first week.

But the sun came out & out came the Scrabble, Upwords & the play outside.

The recently turned 5yo is a self taught reader and was ever so happy to join in.

We all loved his starting words.

First this:

and then this (our favourite!):

The last Saturday before we went back to school we headed to our favourite beach.

A little hidden treasure of a place that we generally have to ourselves.


I love those days where you are sustained by nothing more than a packet of dry biscuits, a few sandy apples and the glorious sea air where time is forgotten.

It was the most magical day of our holidays.

All 5 were immediately involved in something.







It soothed me momentarily from the tug that I feel every holidays of trying to give all of my children- now at such varying levels of development- something to enjoy.

Here is a pictorial essay of some of the moments from that day that I will treasure.

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix.  The word apparently originates from the Arabic word for 'Pound"-as the mix of spices & nuts is pounded after being dry roasted.
I make my own mixes although it is relatively easy to come by in various shops now.
I love to make my own as I can depend on it's freshness and also mix up the flavours to my own taste.
The following recipe is the one for the latest batch I made. 
I used it alot over the holidays on my breakfast.  
It is also lovely sprinkled on Basmati rice to serve alongside tagines or other middle eastern foods. 
I was thinking the other day how lovely it would be on a pan-fried fillet of fish too, with a squeeze of lemon juice. YUM! I am going to do that this weekend I think!
Once you have made it store in an airtight container & it will keep for months.  I hope you will find yourself sprinkling it all over the place! It is sooooo delicious & super easy!

  • 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts (or hazelnuts)
  • 1/2 cup of pistachios
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano ( I used my own dried Oregano from the garden- or substitute with the Greek dried )
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a good grind of WHITE pepper
Heat a heavy based pan over a medium heat.
Add nuts and roast till fragrant and just turning brown.
Remove and set aside.
Add the spices & sesame seeds to the same pan and roast till fragrant.

Add the nuts to a mortar and pestle and pound till coarse- alternatively use a food processor and pulse till the mix is coarse.  Be careful not to overprocess.
Place nuts, sesame seeds, S & P and spice mix in an airtight jar and sprinkle generously!

As we were on holidays I lazed over breakfasts and used my Dukkah quite a few times.  
One of my fave brekky's was : Dukkah sprinkled geneorously on top of soft poached Organic eggs with a sprinkle of freshly chopped dill & a squeeze of Lime juice on toasted sourdough with lashings of avocado.  Good enough for any time of the day!

On holidays I feel in love with this track. I played it many times......


  1. Beautiful post and stunning photos! I love those starting words for Mr 5, very nice indeed. The beach looks amazing and it's truly lovely to hear of you enjoying such a blissful day there with your lads. xx

  2. Gah - just left a comment but wiped it when I screwed up my login! Lovely post - I love hearing your deep enjoyment of these days with your brood. They're too short, the holidays! Also, love the dukkah - another fave we have in common. :-)

  3. Beautiful photos. Love those days that cement your life as blissfully wonderful.

  4. Such beautiful photos, sounds like the most perfect day. x

  5. I specially loved the stone throwing shot - Guy with his boys - and the big boy digging. Darlings all. xxxxx

  6. I bet your house seemed so big and quiet today.
    It looks and sounds like you guys had the most wonderful holidays. I hope you can keep a bit of that beachy feeling with you for a little while longer. x

  7. I so admire your approach to school holidays. Relaxed pace and take it as it comes. No pressure. A true chillaxathon for you all. Your kids are a very lucky and lovely bunch. It was very different at our place and often feel very sad about it. Always stressed and wishing they were over...because, sadly, working outside the home and 4 weeks annual leave just does not work with 12 weeks holidays! : ( I was always juggling and stressing ahead of time, what on earth I would do with them when I had to work.
    Any who, we all survived.
    Love that Dukkah recipe...simply and sooooo tasty. Might whip up a batch this weekend.
    Beautiful snaps, catching the holiday mood so perfectly.

  8. Hoping this will work: I loved this post Ruth. I sat there reading it eating the night before's roast dinner for lunch amongst the detritus of a house abandoned from the daily deadlines of school and work of which on Monday's I'm absolved.
    A curious silence also pervades our house during these times. Gazing at my own strewn clothes, brekkie dishes and the tumble of bed linen I almost feel like an intruder carefully stepping amongst the footnotes of other peoples lives.
    These moments are at once liberating and scary to me

  9. Oh Ruth, you know I am right there with you on the subject of hols, and back-to-school-heartache!
    Gorgeous post. And such beautiful photos you've shared. SO glad you had a chance to kick back and relax for a spell.

    Much love C x x

  10. Between your brekkie with your dukkah and Kurma's
    I gotta get cracking!

  11. As one of 5 children, I loved the September holidays the best. We would always head up the east coast of Tasmania and stay at our cousin's shack. My parents were both school teachers so they always had the same holidays as us. We just used to hang out, playing card games, reading and visiting beaches (even when it was chilly). I'm sure your boys will remember these holidays as fondly!


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