Ava is ‘my middle girl’. In very typical ‘middle child’ style, she tries to please and to keep the peace. She is one of the most thoughtful people I know and this is not me, gloating as a Mother (although I am), this is me, writing with much pride, that she is one of the most thoughtful people I know. She teaches me a great deal.
I watch from a distance as she will give up a toy or pen or notepad, to avoid an argument in our house and says nothing nor expects any praise. I watch from a distance as she goes to help her little Sister, still struggling at times in her first year of school, to remember that Pyjama pants are not required under her school dress! I watch from a distance as she covers our strawberry plants, each morning, to ensure the birds don’t beat us to these juicy, sweet red gems. Nothing from Ava says ‘applause please’ in fact she would loathe it which is why everything she does, from that huge heart of hers is so mega special.
Some of the regular guests we have that come to Relish Mama often enquire after our girls. It is special to have this relationship with friends who keep coming back. Some have enjoyed Ava’s recipe’s in the cooking classes they have attended and they have loved it – the dish and her ability. She has the natural ability to throw ingredient’s together and it works. On occasion, one of Ava’s recipe’s feature’s in our cooking class ‘Mid week Inspiration’. It is her lamb cutlet and rosemary recipe. Here is the blurb that is printed with the recipe to give our guests a little info on how this simple dish came to be :
“We have three beautiful daughters all of whom just love to cook. Ava, cooked this dish about a year ago when it was her turn on the pan’s. She had me mesmerized & jumping for joy, all at the same time. She worked with such speed & she literally threw the ingredients in to the pan. Rosemary came from the garden (roots and all) & stock was thrown in straight from the freezer (apparently you don’t have to defrost it first!!!). It was a hit & is now cooked often & enjoyed immensely as one of our family meals.”
This lamb dish of Ava’s is beautiful, uncomplicated and doesn’t scream applause. It is comfort and it is delicious – it is my middle girl on a plate!
When Ava was still home with me, before she started school 3 years ago, we had a lot more time to cook together. Ava often wanted to ‘whip’ up something for Grace to come home to after school (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). This recipe became known as ‘Ava’s coconut slice’. It can be thrown together in 5 minutes and all you need is a bowl and a wooden spoon. It is the perfect slice for kids to cook and it always gets a round of applause from her Sisters, whether she likes it or not. I love this moment because this causes a wee little raise on the outer edges of her lips and then slowly but surely, we see that magic smile of hers. She has done it! She has made everyone happy and she has kept the peace – God love my middle child!
Ava’s’ sweet coconut slice
Makes approximately 20
260g desiccated coconut
230g caster sugar
120g butter (melted & then cooled down)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a whisk
200g of chocolate pieces (use milk, dark or white chocolate – whichever you like best!)
2 large handfuls of frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 180 c.
Get a baking tray that is approximately 20 x 30cm & line it with baking paper.
Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl & reduce the power level on the microwave so it is around 30-50%. Do it for 90 seconds & check it but you may need to put it in longer if not completely melted.
In a large bowl, mix the desiccated coconut & sugar together & then add the melted butter & eggs. Stir to combine. Add half the chocolate & mix gently. Pour & press the mixture in to your lined tray. Top with the rest of the chocolate & also the raspberries & gently press them down in to your on your slice.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until firm & then leave in tin to cool for about 15
minutes. Cut into little rectangles & transfer to a wire rack to cool further before eating.