Monday, March 31, 2014

][ photo safari \\ harvest farmers markets ][

A photo safari of our trip to the Harvest Markets on Saturday. 
Sandy, of Sandy's Sourdough fame. I invested in a guilty pleasure of Sandy's olive bread. It was yummola. Sadly now I will be joining the kids in a gluten free diet. I hoping Sandy will forgive me (our kids are in the same class...)
Rob from Coronea Grove olive oil. It is nice when you have a link with the producers. Rob's wife Jenny was  Ingrid's teacher last year. Ahh, Launceston.....
Vix, from Vix Kitch. Her beetroot relish should come with a warning. It is 100% addictive and should we ever move away from Tassie I think I shall have to fill my bags with as much relish as I can carry. Life wouldn't be the same without it! And she's a lovely lady to boot (I'm not just saying that because she is one of my mother laws best friends...)
And of course the produce....
And the eating....
And then home....

Friday, March 28, 2014

][ i'm sorry autumn, i just don't dig you][

So it's autumn. And as I commented on Jodi's autumn post, I am gaining more appreciation for the change of seasons as I get older. Truly I am. And like Annette, I love soup. And I like to eat soup in autumn.
But in this family autumn signifies a few other changes. Autumn is the time that we have to put the boys on steroids to help them breathe. As the weather cools, the asthma hots up.  Steroids have implications for behaviour and slowed growth rate among other things. I just don't like it. But unfortunately they are just too sick without it. Even with the steroids, they still have their fair share of ambulance rides and hospital admissions. 
Autumn for us also means in addition to the small suitcase of clothes which we cart around after our 4 children on short trips to the park (anywhere really), we take puffers, spacers and nebulisers. Everywhere we go, the asthma box goes too. 
With 4 kids, simple outings become a military exercise. Take this weeks swimming lessons, for example. It was raining lightly when we arrived at the pool, and the weather was cool. Out hop the 3 biggest kids in track pants, jumpers and raincoats. Get the baby out, put the baby in the front pack. Put on mummy's raincoat. Get the big kids swimming bags. Don't forget the puffer box. Right. March everyone into the pool. Inside the pool it is hot and steamy. Strip the 2 biggest kids and make sure they are ready for the lesson, all the while keeping track of track pants, jumpers and rain coats-making sure not to take your eyes off the toddler who has been known to launch himself at the pool fully clothed. Take the toddlers excess jumpers and rain coat off. Take the baby out of the front pack. Take his excess jumpers off. Return the baby to the front pack.  Mummy forgot to take off excess clothing, mummy decides to swelter rather than have to take the front pack  (and associated baby) off again. 
Chase the toddler around as he plays chicken with the swimming instructors while baby cries in the front pack. Baby falls asleep. Just as the lesson finished. Gently help the big kids get their clothes sorted and help the toddler get his coat on all the while taking care not to wake the baby. 
Make it back to the car. Ask the eldest to hold toddlers hand while you sort the car out. Eldest gets distracted and pulls the toddler over, who cracks his head on the footpath (2nd eldest is also distracted). Bend over to pick toddler up. Baby, who is asleep in front pack dangles, head back and facing the open sky, mouth open and blissfully unaware of the logistics of an autumn trip to the pool. While baby is dangling, suddenly it starts raining. Hard. Baby joins his older brother in crying his heart out as it is raining right into his face, up his nose and in his mouth. Eldest needs reminding to get in the car. Again. 2nd eldest does a swan dive into  the car and promptly bangs her shin on tow bar. Baby still being rained on. Baby still crying. Toddler still howling. Finally everyone in car. Call Burger Got Soul to arrange a takeaway. They're engaged. Try for several minutes. Get put through to their other shop, some 200km away.....get the picture??
If it were a summer swimming lesson it would read like this: Took kids to swimming lessons. Took them home in their towels. Had a BBQ for dinner. 
Autumn is the time also when our house, seemingly bulging at the seems has to find room for washing. Washing hanging on drying racks. Everywhere.  The washing seems to grow, to multiply as the season rolls onto winter, at which point the living room transforms itself onto a Chinese laundry, with the children playing on the periphery. I would run it through the dryer but as we have the lights from 6am wuntil 9:30 am and back on again at 4:30 our electriciy budget is already stretched. It doesn't help that on really dreary days the lights can stay on all day.
Winter is also the season where the eldest, not even six at the time, complained about the weather most mornings. "I'm moving to the Gold Coast with or without you. And I'm taking my fishing rod" he snapped through tears. 
But enough about winter. Autumn is bad enough. Autumn, I'm sorry, but I just don't dig you.  
What does autum mean to you?

Monday, March 24, 2014

][ pesto \\ glorious pesto ][

I love love love pesto. So I was very excited to find a massive bunch of basil at Alps & Amici last week. And at this time of the year too!! I smelled it before I saw it. Divine. I also invested in some good quality Parmesan. I used local olive oil (Coronea Grove) which I recently bought at the markets. I'm always so amazed that so few and such simple ingredients can bottle such a yummy result. It tastes like summer to me. That night we enjoyed fresh pesto tossed through warm pasta. Last night I baked chicken parcels with pesto in the middle and today I enjoyed it spread on a salad sandwich (Manu Bread of course).  I'm eying off this soupe au pisto recipe too....

How do you enjoy your pesto?

][ 52 project \\ 12/52 ][

This week there is a little linky party going on over at Practising Simplicity. So if you are enjoying my 52 project pop over and have a look see at the other projects.
:: Rupert....gets so very excited at bath time. What a possum!
:: Arthur....a menace on wheels. 
:: Ingrid....pretty in pink and ready to party. 
:: George....born to run. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

][ a drive in the country \\ ross, tasmania ][

Today was a really lovely day. We had planned to meet the Grumpies in Ross, halfway between Hobart & Launceston - a meeting in the middle, as we called it. After several backwards and forwards conversations concerning the weather we decided to brave it, and go for a picnic. And boy am I pleased we did. While the weather was chilly to start with, it brightened up after lunch and allowed for a chance to feed the ducks, take a walk in the country and to explore the town. I'm not a religious person, but I do enjoy looking at country churches. The family names engraved on the walls give a fascinating insight into the community and history of the place. And to top things off we went the long way home. A lovely drive in the country, while the children snoozed in the back seat! Bliss. 

][ lunch box idea \\ pita bread chips ][

I don't know about you, but I always seem to have one or 2 pita breads left over at the end of the packet.  And they go mouldy really quickly.  Have you ever made pita bread chips?  If not, here's how to do it.  Pop the oven onto 100 degrees. Cut the pita breads up with kitchen scissors into triangles.  Mix in a couple of cloves of minced garlic, some chopped fresh oregano and enough oil to lightly coat the pita triangles.  Spread out on a lined baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes, or until they are lightly toasted. Enjoy!  Kids love them in their lunch box.

On the topic of food, we popped into our favourite vegetarian cafe, Fresh.  I enjoyed my hot blackcurrant and corn muffin (perfect for a windy Autumn day),

and Arthur definately enjoyed his savoury scone and baby chino.

Happy Autumn!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

][ 52 project \\ 11/52

:: Rupert....fairly unimpressed that he has been drawn on and painted with porridge in the same morning!
:: Arthur...after eating an entire batch of hummus by the handful. 
:: Ingrid...back last week when the weather was warmer!!
:: George...woo hooo!

Thanks to Uncle Dan for the last 3 photos!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

][ dinner at mine // egg & bacon pie ][

Last week saw Mr TBT's birthday roll around for another year. I can say that, because for a couple of months I'm younger than he is!! Being a man of habit, his dinner request was for egg & bacon pie. But I mean look at it. Not bad for a vegetarian cook huh?

Like to make EBP at yours? Sadly, this one isn't gluten free, but I'm sure there is a gluten free short crust pastry recipe floating round cyberspace somewhere. 
I made 2 batches of the thermomix short crust pastry. While it was chilling I fried 12 rashes of bacon (diced) with 4 cloves of garlic. I then cooled and drained the bacon on absorbent paper while I rolled the pastry out and popped the bottom in the greased pie dish. I put the bacon in the dish and made little nests for the 6 eggs which I poured into so that when the pie is cut each person got a whole egg. 
A little tip: crack each egg into a glass first, then pour it into a pie. That way it is easier to retrieve any shell if needed. Sprinkle with parsley, put the lid on (don't forget the air vents and to make it look pretty) and brush with egg. Bake in a moderate oven until lightly golden. Obviously I didn't taste it, but the family tells me it tasted good!!
I bought Mr TBT some books for his birthday.  

The photography in Woolsheds is amazing, and Mr TBT spent the majority of the weekend with his nose firmly stuck in it!!
The Agrarian Kitchen, if I'm honest was as much for me as him. But at the end of the day his taste buds will also benefit so it is a win win situation. Perfect! The recipes are sectioned into the seasons. The styling and photography is beautiful and the recipes divine. I mean check this out:
The Agraian Kitchen is located in the Derwent Valley near Hobart. They run scrumptious cooking classes. You can read all about them here!  It looks amazing. My friend Heike just posted about her experience at one of their cooking classes on her blog. Check it out here. Well worth a read, and her photos are fantastic. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

][ cup of tea with me ][

This is my last Blog with Pip task. Just on that. If you are considering enrolling in the  class - you should. Now. Here. You can meet my fellow graduates here!
So the task is to host a cuppa with yourself. So if is the first time you've been over, welcome. How do you take your tea? 
My name is Cat, and I live in suburban Tasmania. My hubby is a FIFO worker and we have 4 kids under 7. So it isn't unusual for me to placidly sip on a green tea whilst changing a nappy, walking the dog, hanging washing, blogging and practicing yoga all at the same time. (Yes, my middle name is Superwoman, now that you ask). 
I'm am supposed to talk a little about my inspirations. At the moment? Survival! But one day, when the kids have grown up a little I will be able to list a wonderfully diverse range of people and places without blinking an eye. I do wistfully waste much time reading other beautiful blogs. Local is Lovely, Foxslane  and Are We There Yet? all cement my view that my place is in the country. Preferably somewhere warmer than where we are now (note to self. Stop reading That Summer Feeling). 
Heike's blog makes me want to pack all 4 kids into a caravan (along with my favourite copy of Zen for Mothers) and dash across the Nullarbor in hot pursuit.  Subscribing to Heart Organising means that I have loads of great ideas about getting my shit together. One day...that will also be the time to finish designing and formatting this blog. Once organised I shall use some of Pia Jane's ideas to make our home beautiful. Mrs Woog makes me giggle, and Jodi makes me think. I like the way Pip thinks.  
I love love love spicy food. My favourite tibble would have to be a G & T. My favourite place to be is on my mothers farm.  Unfortunately it's a couple of hundred km to the nearest Indian restaurant and the local pub only sells gin by the UDL. But it is in the subtropics.   My other favourite place to be is out on the water, rowing or coaching rowing. (Usually without the G & T). My dad was a journalist, my mum a teacher. I had a sister, have a brother and spent the first 6 years of my life sailing round the world on a yacht with my family. If you spot any typos please contact mum or dad as I was homeschooled until year 2. I wouldn't homeschool my kids in a pink fit. 
That's me. Where is your favourite place to be??

Monday, March 10, 2014

][ 52 project \\ 10/52 ][

A photo of my children every week this year. This weeks 52 project brings photos from a family wedding. With a few extra scenery shots to set the mood! As seen on:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

][ stock take \\ february ][

Watching: our garden slowly transform itself into a jungle. 
Wondering: what our au pair will be like??
Honouring: my children and my commitment to being a mother. 
Cooking:  schemes, mostly! Also, enjoying cooking en mass for all the family who are visiting for the big wedding tomorrow. 
Hearing:  the crickets. 
Thinking:  a lot. About stuff. 
Anticipating: something will become of the thinking....
Changing: things up on this blog a bit. The Blog with Pip course has given me loads of inspiration, and given the time, there will be new themes, designs and my own URL. Look out. Bettie is planning world domination!!!!
Motivating:  myself to get fit. 
Hoping:  the universe gets its shit together about a few things we have had on the boil for a while now....
Helping: myself to a day at the salon. First time I've been to Bliss in 2 years. Can you believe it?
Interpreting:  Ingrid's drawing of the dress she would like me to make for her to wear to the wedding. 

Stressing: about asthma as the weather cools off. 
Feeling:  pretty lucky huh!
Attempting: to make outfits for all 4 kids for the wedding. I'm just a tad behind. 
Making: a big effort not to be grumpy when I'm tired. 

Pretending: that I'm not too disappointed to have missed out on an amazing opportunity last week. 
Realising:  there is more to life than always being in a rush. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to stop and have the curiosity of a child?

Waiting: I'm not. I'm sick of waiting. 
Loving: all the possibilities in this wide world. Not loving the decision making process. 

Would you like to play Pip's game?? Here's your list. Have a try.