It takes a lot of eggs to make a Sunday breakfast for this family.

We decorated gingerbread cookies.

Ingrid has had “home skills” at school this year, every other Monday. They’ve cooked and baked and talked about environmentally conscious buying etc.

None of the baking and cooking skills were new for Ingrid, but it seems that going through them at school made Ingrid more confident about them. Or perhaps it was the simplicity of having that one cookie recipe to choose from, that they used at school. (Ingrid likes cooking her favourite recipes over and over again.) In any case, she’s now baked those cookies several times, both to eat and to give away.

Saffron bun.

I worked late today because of an all-day workshop about applied machine learning. (Great workshop, had fun and learned a lot.)

How nice it felt today to have such big kids. Adrian went home from school on his own; Ingrid took care of grocery shopping and cooked dinner. By the time I got home, dinner was already halfway done. No need for me to leave the workshop early or rush home to sort out the practicalities.

Adrian, inspired by Ingrid’s weekly dinners, now also wants to start cooking. For now he doesn’t quite have the skills to do it on his own – he can peel potatoes and chop things but that’s about it – so we’ll be cooking together once a week.

It’s not so much the cooking process that appeals to him. It’s the power to decide the meal.

Today we made mashed potatoes, and chicken nuggets for him and some store-bought veggie burgers for the rest of us.

We take turns to bring Friday fika to work, and it’s my turn tomorrow. I made a double batch of double lemon muffins, and the “double” means that first you bake lemon muffins and then you drench them in lemon syrup. Plus there’s poppy seeds in them to make them even more delicious. I’ve been longing for lemon poppy seed muffins for some weeks already, so the fika at work was a perfect occasion to make some.

Some marketing association has named 4th of October “cinnamon bun day”. Cinnamon buns are ok (except for Swedish store-bought buns which are always covered in large amounts of pearl sugar which I find nearly inedible). Poppy seed buns are much better, though. Ours are an Estonian family tradition – they’re a cross between cinnamon buns and the long poppy seed rolls that are traditional across all of Eastern Europe.

Sometimes I happen to see one of those articles or blog posts about people who sell 90% of their stuff and move into a camper van or a tiny cottage or a river boat, and then live a minimalist life there, and evangelise about how happy it has made them.

Now I am not particularly fond of “stuff” and I can easily imagine having less of it and being happy about it. And I can imagine living happily in fewer and smaller rooms than we currently have. But a small kitchen? Never! Cooking in a cramped kitchen is frustrating and takes most of the joy out of cooking. A large sink is a must, as is a large cutting board, and enough counter space for both the cutting board and all the ingredients and utensils around it. And enough space around the kitchen table so that one can walk around people sitting there without squeezing.

Chocolate balls (made of cocoa powder, butter, sugar and rolled oats) are a traditional Swedish sweet. Super easy to make, and (done right) quite delicious. For an adult version, add some espresso and rum. The one in the photo is a kids’ version: Adrian and his friends rolled their own chocolate balls during his birthday party on Sunday. Some of the boys made bite-sized balls; other balls were nearly fist-sized. The last and largest one we cut in two for Adrian and Ingrid to share.