She is only 8 months old, but baby Mélanger has taught me a thing or two.

Typically driven by the impulse to constantly think 5, 10, 20 paces ahead, I can often focus too much on the future, to miss out the here and now.

But my little bundle of cheeky and mischievous joy has changed that.

She has forced me to be appreciative of the moment.  To bask in a rapturous giggle….To witness a slightly coordinated clap….To cheer on her first tentative cruising adventure.

She has made me aware of the small detail.  The small patch of curly hair on the back of her head….How she favours one hand over the other….Which toys she prefers.

And she has made me enthusiastic to seize the moment.  To stop and point out the birds chirping in the trees….To throw out the baby food plan and try something new on a whim….To let my hair down and sing, dance and laugh to entertain her.

So what has this got to do with this month’s theme?

In baking, the ingredients of fruits and nuts can be overtly used, but often can be subtlety used.  Not necessarily concealed, but not necessarily explicit.

So, with the new skills my daughter has taught me under my belt, I want to simply see and appreciate a recipe.  Be more aware of the small detail.  More aware of the ingredients.  And simply enjoy the act of baking without any other consideration.  (A big step for me!)

I hope you enjoy the selection.