Thursday, May 27, 2010

Aevryn Aevryn

Aevryn turned three today. Hmmm. I could swear it was just yesterday that I woke up on that oft-predicted by Lily Sunday, certain in the knowledge that I was having a baby that day. Then just 13.5 fabulous hours later, Aevryn was here. One of my first memories of her, is scooping her out of the water and then looking down to see if she was a boy or a girl, but her umbilical cord was in the way. She was a bit snuffly and had to work some gunk out for a few minutes, and I remember feeling so certain that she was going to be a boy that I didn't really investigate. Dave said that as soon as he saw her face, he knew she was a girl. He was also certain that she was a girl the entire time.

The last few months, whenever you'd ask her when her birthday was or how old she was turning, she'd proudly declare "I'll be May in Three." All day today when I'd remind her it was her birthday, she'd grin and say, "I May!" I'd gently inform her that she was three because it was May now. Sometime in the early afternoon she said, "Oh! Is it May today? I THREE!" Heh. I love those little lightbulb moments.

She is also learning her letters quite stealthily -- much like she did with her colors, when one day last summer she spontaneously informed me of the color of every car we walked past in the parking lot. Today, when I was decorating her cake, she exclaimed, "Mama! You wrote a B on my cake!!" Maybe a half an hour earlier, she had handed me a piece of paper that she had written Bs all over. Her other favorite letters are A, K and T.

I made her quite an experimental cake. It turned out well. It reminded me of those huge "cookie cakes" you can get, since it was chewy and sweet and thin.

Aevryn's coconut-date cake:

2C (~8oz) dried coconut, unsweetened, no preservatives
1C water (maybe coconut milk next time?) + 1/4C
20 dried dates, pitted
1/4 C palm shortening
1 1/2 tsp GF/corn-free vanilla
1 Tbsp maple syrup (didn't need it)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Soak the dried coconut in water/liquid for at least 30 minutes. The coconut will start to rehydrate.

Chop the dates well.

In a food processor or good blender, buzz the rehydrated coconut flakes + dates. While it's running add remaining water, shortening, vanilla & salt. We don't do cinnamon or cloves or nutmeg at the moment, but those would be mighty tasty here, like a "spice cake".

I poured it all into a well-greased spring form pan and baked it for 75 minutes at 325*F. Next time I might bake it for longer at a lower temp.

Frosting was 1/4C (4Tbsp) palm shortening + 1 Tbsp maple syrup, whipped together. I could have used half as much, but I was using a piping kit and needed a larger amount. If you're doing the cutting the tip off a a baggie trick, you could make just what you need to use.

It was moist and sweet and delicious. You could pick it up with your hands. I think with some tweaking, it could easily become a nut-free, grain-free "granola" bar recipe.

And it was amazing with the coconut milk ice cream: 1 can of coconut milk + 1 tbsp maple syrup + 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix well then chill in fridge until time to pour into ice cream maker. You could also freeze half of a can into ice cubes and then blend the frozen coconut milk cubes plus the remainder of the can, chilled, in a blender, with the syrup & vanilla.

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