Australia Day, three years ago I received a pretty important phone call. It wasn’t a mate, calling me five beers in from the comfort of his blow-up backyard swimming pool, yahooing about how it was the best hottest 100 party ever. It wasn’t even a SOS call from a very sunburnt housemate at the beach, begging me to stock up on aloe and coconut water. 

My sister was calling me from the hospital, a very exhausted yet bright voice was on the other end of the phone.

 ‘You have a Niece, Deenie!’

Her name was Zoe Marie, words that just felt a little strange in my mouth. The only other Zoe I knew in my life at the time was a dear friend who I regularly shared a bottle of wine with and drank lots of coffee. As a name for a precious little thing so new to this world, it just sounded odd. She wouldn’t be drinking wine until she is at least 35, clearly.

I jumped into the car, asking myself very important questions like, ‘where on earth am I going to get flowers on a public holiday’ and ‘this chunky, spiky necklace will probably be fine for holding a new born right?’. Clearly, as a fresh Aunt who knew nothing about babies, appearance was far superior to practicality. I was at least going to be in 20 photos with this new little treasure and needed to look incredible. 

After driving aimlessly around the city for a while I rocked up at the hospital, without flowers and found my parents in the hallway, who I may add were sporting a rather impressive, suspiciously acquired bunch of pink roses – my mum has always been a rather resourceful woman. 

She was so tiny in my awkward arms. The last time I had held a new born baby had been at the birth of my younger cousin 15 years ago. I was five and had to sit in a big lounge propped up with pillows while my grandmother placed her in my arms for a photo. That hardly counts right?

I couldn’t believe that this tiny little thing was part of my family. She smelt so new, cried so much and didn’t like it be touched by anyone other than my sister. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to like her at all. 

As she grew, we have grown with her and have realised how unique she is. A baby who never like to be touched has grown into a little girl who likes to do things her way, stubborn like her Aunt and so fiercely independent. She also was holding my hand a few weeks about and turned around and told me how much she loved my watch, so clearly she has also developed a superior sense of style. 

I’d like to set the record clear that I have also learnt to hold a baby, and no longer wear chunky necklaces on visits. 

The past few years our little Australia Day baby has claimed rights of the day and have seen us ditching the beach and beers and playing on the swings with a fairy bread in hand, wearing a silly hat. A worthwhile cause I should think.

I can’t believe this little one is turning three soon, so I’m making a very Australian inspired Lamington bircher to celebrate. She has always been a fan of oats, something I seem to have developed into a cult following on Instagram. This bircher is super easy and sits so much better than a greasy snag and onion sanga for your Australia day breakfast. Well at least, line your stomach with something nourishing and binge at the barbie later with a choice brew in hand. 

Happy birthday Lamington Bircher
Serves 2

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 tbs ground linseed
1 tsp cacao
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp maple or rice malt syrup
3/4 cup almond or coconut milk

To serve:
Coconut cream
Raspberry chia jam
Toasted coconut
Sliced fig

Combine bircher ingredients together and leave to set overnight. In the morning, top with coconut cream, jam, coconut and fig.

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