Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Laces and Windmill

Daddy was meant to go to work today but due to the flooding in Qld we have been able to keep him for a little bit longer. However, he is meant to be working from home, so the children and I busied ourselves with jobs all day. First stop school shoes. Look at the darlings. ( I ran into a friend shortly after this pic was taken who thought Ingrid looked like she was off for a hit of tennis - in a Ralph Lauren sort of way!!)
But wait - look a little closer. That's right my little boy is growing up... Yes. Shoe laces!! We have a LOT of practice to do before next Monday (and Mrs Brown strikes me as the patient type) but George is very excited about his big boy shoes. And Ingrid must be growing up too - not a mention about the lack of pink on hers! Not even a whimper! She was pleased that they have 'twin shoes' though.
Then we went to our favourite toy shop on a gift buying mission! Yippee. Love Windmill Educational.

Nadia's Babyshower

Yesterday I had the honour of co-hosting Nadia's baby shower. The lovely Leanne was a fantastic help, even though she couldn't come due to work commitments. Nadia and Leanne had put so much time and effort into mine, I hope we did her justice!! Nadia proved to be a tough customer-avoiding all advances we made to set a date for the big event. We finally nailed her down with a date, which unfortunately was after her due date! But never fear. Nadia was there with bells on, as was most of the physio department from her work. We played some (grown up and tasteful) games. Had a few drinkypoohs and lots of laughs.
A very special thanks must go Sanmy who concreted his Superdad status by looking after our tribe and Nadia & Ianthe's tribe -that's rights folks 5 kids, one man. Aged 5,5,4, 3 (on sat) and 8 months. When the girls and I returned we found the kids fed, kitchen clean and tidy, playroom in reasonable shape, an extremely large amount of gardening done, dinner on the table for us and a sandpit full of happy kids! Wow. Love you darling xx

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Dogs Life

Hi there. Not much to report of late. We washed the dog (he thanked us later). Sam cooked beautiful looking salmon on Australia day - not the traditional lamb, but when have we ever been conventional?? That makes it three in a row - a record for Sam. The night before he cooked his mums cauliflower pasta (really really really yummy ). The kids had to be restrained after their 3rd bowl!! And of course the night before it was Mopsy. Or was it Cottontail? Either way, Sammy has even been heard saying that "this culinary thing is just all coming together for me!"
"Not for a want of trying" says his mum. "Yipppeeee" says the Cat.
"Yummooo" say the kids!!!
Unfortunately Mango hasn't been able to comment as there hasn't been a scrap left over for him. Oh well, there were gourmet dog biscuits at the markets the other week! Poor old Mango will have to wait. It's tough being a dog....

Friday, January 25, 2013

Katter Mad Hatter

Ok, so I know this is meant to be a family blog, all about baking scones and fishing in the local creek. BUT I've got to comment on the Katter Party antics. For those of you overseas the Katter Party can be likened to the Pauline's One Nation, only the Hatter Katter Party was started by a mad cat in a hat & far north Queenslander Bob Katter. Recently one of the Katter's Australian Party candidates has withdrawn her nomination - she made some nasty comments about gay teachers (likening them to paedophiles in her local rag). The party also suspended a Senate nominee for also making anti gay comments.
Big Bad Bob came out hard hitting saying that the comments were stupid (translation "shit aye -everyone will know we're red necks). He also said that the comments were against party protocol (translation "you can think it - you just can't say it, ya flaming bloody galah")
Mr Katter said that he was sick and tired of wasting time that should be spent on serious issue (translation - "quick - hand Tony his budgie smugglers, that'll take the spotlight away from us") but stopped short of calling the comments offensive, inappropriate, outdated, conservative, redneck, small minded....
If you are interested, there is a link to the abc article here. (Good ol Auntie - getting a quote from 'openly gay' Senator Penny Wong. As opposed to the openly heterosexual PM, for instance.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sheep Poo and Pasta

Yesterday we looked out the window, thought what a beautiful day ...

I know, we'l go and get some sheep poo for the garden....
Thankfully our dear old friend Gwenny has enough to share, so we all trotted off to the "Leighlands" shearing shed. Or under it to be more precise.
We managed to get a whole trailer of poo.
A highlight for those under the shed was listening to those playing in the shed. Farmer George was having a little trouble controlling his new sheep dog Ingrid. It was at times tricky to shovel whilst stooped under the shed and in fits of laughter. Farmer George soon dumped his new sheepdog and chased his new poddy lamb (called Ingrid) into the stall himself!!
It was really lovely to see Viv looking so well after his recent ill health. Our efforts were rewarded with a beautiful haul of fresh veggies - zucchini, green beans, pumpkin & rhubarb....
On the way home we deviated to Habitat on a whim as I wanted to make home made pasta. Sue and Prue duly saw me coming in my sheep poo clobber and directed me to the discounted Chinese made pasta machine!!
As soon as I got the machine going I had my usual sous chef ....
....to my surprise George who usually very politely declines any offer to assist in the kitchen came running to have a turn.
 I'm not sure if it was the smell of danger (please switch on your listening ears as you might squish Mummy's fingers flat) or the excitement of a new machine.
Either way we made yummy scrummy pasta together!!!
Then had a ride in the wheel barrow. In in pjs. (clearly not the one which had sheep poo in it).
And tonight, while I spread the poo on the garden, Sam cooked rabbit stifado. Poor thing, he served it up to a vegetarian and two kids who thought it was the best chicken they'd ever tasted!! It did smell amazing though, and Sam took some round to grandma bear who did say it was yummola. Here is a pic, and you can find the recipe here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lemonade Stall Success

Hi everyone!! I wanted to report on our Lemonade Stall which we held yesterday to raise money for the Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal. A huge thanks to Laurence for donating French children's clothes to sell on the day - there is still a boys size 5 shirt left if you would like to purchase it (profits to the Bushfire Appeal). Don't forget she is having a sale on the clothes all week. 
Also a big thanks to Leanne for baking the yummy lamingtons, Erica for the beaut gluten free brownies and to Claire for the fabulous cup cakes. Also a big thanks to Esther for lending us her big brolly. With the mercury climbing to 29 degrees, shade was at a premium and something to be addressed should we have any more charity events in our front yard!!
So, how'd it go?
Well, the day started early, and the first job was whipping the cream and finishing the sponge cake.

Next we put signs on Elphin Rd, balloons on the front gate, toys set up on the front lawn for the kids, popped the tables on the front veranda, arranged the fresh flowers, put out the goodies...

.. and even had something should our customers wish to stay a while...lots of people asked me where we got our Deer Colleen lemon print.  You too can be lucky enough to own one - click here to go to her etsy shop!

... and of course started making the lemonade....
A rather slow start to the day had us wondering wonder if we would be eating sponge cake with home made black current jam for breakfast lunch and dinner...

We had some lovely families and new neighbours drop in, mingle for a while then head off to a day at the beach.

Then, all of a sudden it got a little crazy (thanks to Fiona for her wonderful customer service skills)!! Old friends, new friends, grandparents and great grandparents arrived - not to mention a few 'drop ins' who had seen the sign and had come to contribute their bit. One bloke had clearly been to the beer festival the night before and thought a home made lemonade or 4 and a couple of rock cakes would help him with all his woes... The award for our best customers has to go go to Simon W and Sam McQ for being our best customers - the prize is my everlasting friendship and appreciation! They even commented that we weren't charging enough!!!

When our last customers finally left we surveyed the damage...a front veranda COVERED in lemonade (nothing a hose wouldn't fix), two very tired children who, due to multiple rations of lemonade, biscuits and lamingtons looked as though they wouldn't sleep for a week (nothing a few hours on the trampoline wouldn't fix), several kilos of home grown lemons (nothing a day of preserving wouldn't fix) and a rather hot and exhausted sleeping Cairn Terrier (nothing a well placed sprinkler couldn't fix).
Then there was the very heavy money tin.  Too heavy even for our most determined, middle child to carry. We counted it... Amazed we recounted it.... Wow. Yes. We really did raise $247.90. Woooo hooooo yippeeee. Thanks everyone!! Great work and thanks for coming! If you didn't make it and would still like to donate you can do so here!
We had the perfect end to the day with a beautiful dinner at friends Abdul and Safa's - yummy yummy spicy dinner with the most amazing eggplant dish I think I've ever tasted. We even got to take some home and I had the rest for lunch today. Beautiful. We finally rolled the kids into bed at ten pm. If only that equated to a sleep in the next morning....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Market Day

This morning we got up bright eyed and bushy tailed and headed off (scooted/rode/trotted) to the Harvest Farmers Markets, here in Launceston. What a beautiful day it was.

And what a haul. This is what we came home with.
  • • cherries-1kg
  • 41 Degrees Smoked Salmon Rillets & Cornies
  • •Vix Kitch Madras Chutney (wow. Seriously good. I know it's a big call, but it's nearly as good as her Beetroot Marmelade. Nearly.)
  • •Ciabatta from Manu Bread (and a cheeky croissant for me)
  • •Apricots-1kg. 400g of which can be seen here on Arthur's face.
  • •Ritual Coffee - the Amelia blend of course.
  • •A farmed rabbit for the BBQ. (chicken, if Ingrid asks). And a cheeky rabbit pie for Sam.
  • •Strawberries-1kg. And a cheeky ice cream for the kids.
  • •Fresh beetroot, green beans, tomatoes
  • •Fresh haloumi & some Bulgarian Meadow Cheese
  • •Honey
  • •Snags from Black Ridge Farm
  • The flowers on top are from the Tasmanian Natural Garlic stall.  Beautiful, but you can also snip off the seeds and pop them in salads and stirfry's.  I've been snacking on them all day, they are slightly garlicky and really tasty.
Wow. Not bad!! Needless to say we had a yummy yummy lunch. Now as you all know I am not one to mix continents (darling I will NEVER put sweet chilli sauce on spanikopeda. Never.) however I think I may have found my exception to the rule!! Ciabatta - with the meadow cheese and Madras Chutney. Heaven.
For dinner we had the snags and a haloumi, green bean and watermelon salad. Yummola - best haloumi I've ever had.
Just toss the haloumi in flour and then grill on the BBQ (2 minutes each side) and toss with blanched green beens (or you could grill them too), watermelon, mint, lemon juice and olive oil.

Following lunch, the kids and I went off to Stuart and Sue's to collect more lemons for tomorrows stall. Think we have enough now!! It's been really lovely finding lovely bags of lemons left on our back door - thanks everyone.

And then something REALLY exciting happened.....

Now, after baking a sponge cake, rock cakes, choc chip biscuits and blueberry muffins I am sitting in from of Miss Fisher re runs. I'll let you in on a secret. I want to BE Phryne. If only to obtain her hat collection.... 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lemonade Stand

Things are heating up for our lemonade stand, which will be held on Sunday to raise money for the Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal. 
Baking has started in earnest with batch of ANZACS produced and more yummy items on the way. Please being spare change, a reusable cup (your planet will love you) and any baking you would like to contribute. We will also be accepting donations of home grow lemons! We are open 10-12!!!