The morning had been cloud shaped. But the wind blew the sun in through the glass doors at the right time, and threw it onto the fire and the planes of faces that created for you.
Your baby blessing crafternoon.
For a few sweet hours, the door was swinging and the wooden arched hallway down which you will first be led felt the steps of friends.
I asked for a trinket from each friend’s home: a twig, a stone, a shell. Something that had been there a while and looked as if it wanted to move on, so that we could have these things with their stored energy with us if we are lucky enough to birth at home. Because objects hold the embedded traces of the people they have known.
With the rhubarb ginger cake and cacao crispies, the cheese and sharp apples, we sort of forgot much of the crafting bit. But we have made some birth messages since to hang on ribbons around the room and we have flags now flying in from friends all over the world.
It is important to me that baby knows his or her whanau here and overseas. This garland of messages will be kept all its life. These welcomes and encouragements. These promises of dream fulfillment, beauty, adventure and joy from all parts of the globe.
Messages from the people who love this baby already. Those who, as one friend wrote in Japanese and English: ‘have all been waiting for you.’
This sugarfree glutenfree cake is inspired by the Dorset apple cake that my mother used to make every Harvest. I’ve altered the fruit, added ground almonds and used rice malt syrup instead of brown sugar. It offers a lovely nutty, not too sweet cake that is sort of deliciously doughy, yet light. The kind of cake you need to eat by a fire with the cooling sun sliding down the walls.
2 cups of ground almonds
1 ½ cups spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
5 tbsp olive oil
2 free range eggs
3 tbsp rice malt syrup
6 stalks of rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
1cm piece of root ginger finely grated
½ cup coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Add all ingredients except the rhubarb to a food processor and blend briefly until combined.
Pour half the batter into a prepared cake tin and scatter the rhubarb pieces on top. Pour the second half of the batter in and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.