Friday, December 31, 2010
So for January:
1. Walk for 1 hour a day
2. Read my E.M. Forster Omnibus - comprising Where Angels Fear to Tread, A Room with a View, Howard's End, A Passage to India.
3. Make all the bread products we eat during the month.
4. Do tax paperwork (Have been putting this off!) and make appointment with Accountant
5. Practice Petite Valse (Paul Juon) on the piano until I am profficient.
6. Paint toe nails once a week (treating myself right!)
7. Watch It's a Wonderful Life
8. Learn a poem.
9. Finish Ginger's dress and sew my knee quilt
10. Finish Ginger's Simple Pink Jumper
11. Finish Scrapbooking Ginger's pictures to end June 2010
Now that's done, I am off to watch the Edinburgh Military Tattoo!
Happy New Year All!
|Books Ginger pulled off the shelf.|
|5 minutes later different books off the shelf|
Such a gentle way to see out the old year. Only The Double Comfort Safari Club to go and then another 12 month wait to spend time with his characters again.
I have also been digging into my other Christmas gifts, two of Annabel Langbein's cookbooks - The Free Range Cook and Eat Fresh: Cooking Through the Seasons. I loved watching The Free Range Cook on ABC; set in beautiful New Zealand. Good thing DH pays attention to these little (subtle?) hints! So many meals from these books are featuring on my new year's menu plan. Lucky they are all about fresh, unprocessed ingredients, as according to DH 2011 is the year of looking after his body!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
is just beautiful.
Ginger thought so too.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
In the space of 4 weeks she did her first rolling (7 months), crawling (7 ½ months) and pulling up (8 months).
Her pulling up has progressed rapidly to the stage where she can crab walk along and between furniture. No coffee cup is safe and, oh, the poor dogs!
Here she is last week. It is actually cold enough in our corner of Queensland for her to need all those clothes, despite it being the middle of Summer!
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
My husband told me not to take our dogs. My mother told me not to take our dogs. They had a point, our dogs are rather anti-social beings. Right up until last night I was not going to take the dogs.
But Monty, oh my, he barked and huffed through everything. Fortunately one of the other parishners took Ginger for me as I had my hands full with Monty. I held him in a death grip for the entire service. One, to keep the mud off my clothing (semi-successful) and two, to stop him attacking every other dog in sight. He rather has a Napoleon complex.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The series was filmed in 1973, but the new DVD release has been remastered by the National Archives of Australia. I got my copy from the library. There are 10 episodes in all.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
It really came down to the line on this quilt; I got it finished before Mum's actual birthday but having to post it across the country means it was a little late. I think it should have arrived today so I am probably safe to post pictures here.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
1. Replace the bechemal sauce in your favourite lasagne recipe with a mix of ricotta cheese and cooked, processed silverbeet. I wash my silverbeet, roughly chop it and then sensor cook it in the microwave. Once it has cooled a bit I process it to a fine dice in the food processor.
2. Use it in a canneloni filling. Just mix ricotta, some grated parmesan and some processed silverbeet and stuff into your tubes. Cover with a tomato passata (we used homemade) or favourite pasta sauce, put a little cheese on top and bake for 1 hour in a 180 degree oven.
3. Make Rhonda's Silverbeet and Ricotta pie! Recipe here. We used a shortcrust pastry rather than the filo because we had a legacy box of pastry mix from a former house sitter. If you want to go this method, just blindbake the crust for 1/2 hour than follow Rhonda's instructions.
4. Make Jamie Oliver's Spinach and Lemon Linguine. Just replace the baby spinach leaves with silverbeet.
Recipe is from Jamie Magazine Yearbook 2009/10
6tbsp olive oil
50g fresh breadcrumbs (we used Panko)
When the pasta is al dente, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, and add to the pan with the spinach. Stir in the lemon juice, adding a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen as necessary. Lastly, sprinkle over the breadcrumb and lemon zest mixture, then serve, with parmesan, if desired.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The provincial lady certainly knew what she was talking about. I am finally home after a much longer absence than originally envisaged. We had 6 weeks in the UK taking Ginger to meet her grandparents and great-grandparents. Then upon return we learnt that DH would have an extended absence, so I hot footed it to the West Coast with Ginger to spend 5 weeks with my parents and grandmother. It was nice to be spoiled!
But, what domestic disasters awaited us when we got home! Mice had moved in and attacked our store cupboard - fortunately it only cost us one bag of flour. But, the droppings were everywhere and they had even nested in our foot stool - so that needs recovering now. And our dog sitter had allowed the dogs on the bed. With the red clay we have here for soil that meant red dog footprints all over the flannellette sheets, the cotton blanket, quilt cover and pillow cases. Fortunately many hours of scrubbing by yours truly and the wonderful Spring sunshine of last week has restored them to their former whiteness.
So, the last week has been spent gradually restoring order to our nest. I still have a pile of filing to tackle and deep spring cleaning to do; but undoubtedly that will happen in due course. I intend to make the most of our lovely spring weather - while it lasts - to get lots of washing done (so many cloth nappies gone through each day!) and let Ginger have plenty of tummy time in the speckled shade. She seems to be able to do more time on her tummy if she only has a nappy and singlet on. She certainly needs her tummy time - the determined little critter will not roll over by herself. At 5 months she has only rolled tummy to back once!
Monday, May 31, 2010
If you are traditional cloth nappying......the snappi-nappy. It replaces the nappy pin and is so easy to apply. About, $5 at Coles.
If your baby insists on being held....all the time....the ergo baby carrier. It leaves your hands free to get on with some of the necessities of life. Mommy Coddle brought them to my attention. And they are brilliant. I can highly recommend the Australian stockists Babes in Arms. They got it to me overnight, and we are out in the country. If you purchase the insert for it you can use it with a newborn. Baby girl always looks so snug cocooned in it and settles almost immediatly.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Fotunately, I have Nanna's cavernous recipe folder to find some inspiration for these sort of meals. It does seem that older style menus were much friendlier to the wallet with the focus on simple, fresh ingredients. We tried Cabizza last night and it was a hit. The recipe says it serves 6 to 8, but I assume that is as a side as this quantity merely served my husband and I as a main meal. But, my husband was hungry!
CABIZZA (originally from the Sunday Times)
1/2 medium cabbage (shredded)
2 tspn vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup plain flour
2 medium tomatoes (finely sliced)
6 spring onions (finely sliced)
2 slices ham (chopped)
3/4 cup grated low fat cheese
Brush the base of a large saucepan or frypan with the oil. Cook cabbage and garlic until just tender. Cool to room temperature. Stir in eggs and flour. Press evenly over base of lightly greased 30cm pizza pan or shallow dish. Bake at 210C for 10 minutes. Place tomatoes evenly over cabbage base. Sprinkle with onions, ham then cheese. Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes until cabizza is browned.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I was holding my place in the book with my Persephone High Wages bookmark (which came out with the last biannual). I didn't realise the irony of this until I read Simon's post on High Wages. It turns out to have been a most appropriate choice!
Obviously, as the title indicates, one of the saddest aspects of the first world war highlighted in the book is the number of women who either lost their lover / fiancee / husband in the war and never found anyone else to fill the gap left in their affections, or those who never found a lover at all. Which is worse, I guess, comes down to whether you hold to "love and lose" as preferable to never having loved. The stark reality, though, was that for those women of age during the war and those that came of age at the war's end there simply were not enough men left to go around. The issue was even more pertinent for middle and upper class women as, relatively, the officer class ( with whom they were likely to find their mate) suffered much higher casualty rates than their men. Nicholson gives the reason as the officer's leading the men into battle, as well as the simple fact that many working class men were not healthy enough to join up in the first place. I remember my high school teacher commenting on the irony of this not being healthy enough to go and die!
Singled Out has the tagline "How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War". But, I don't think the word 'survived' goes far enough to explain what some of these women did. Yes, some did just survive on low wages and without the fulfillment of their dream to marry and have children, but others embraced the freedom their inability to marry gave them and went on to establish thriving careers and enjoyable home lives.
Nicholson highlights the change in perception of unmarried women from "surplus women" to valued contributors to society. On page 323
Not being married allowed....[women] .... to play to their formidable strengths. They were pioneers. Single women like this changed the world they lived in. And there were so many of them: scientists, teachers, doctors, politicians, lawyers, artists and explorers. The vivissitudes of life - ridicule, prejudice, disappointment - had not subdued this parade of indominatble ladies. A thread of determined ambition ran through them. They would fly, they would discover, they would build, educate, help, cure, protest, transform.
Singled Out tells the story of many of them - both famous and forgotten. My favourite story was that of Gertrude Maclean who set up the Universal Aunts business for " capable ladies with all the auntly virtues: good health, time to spare, maturity and a can-do attitude" (p. 299).
Singled Out makes revealing reading and I think would be enjoyed by anyone who reads literature of the 1920s and 1930s. After all, many of the women who wrote then - including Richmal Cromptom and Elizabeth Goudge - had been 'singled out'.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
One of the recipes we had planned to make was the Easter Cake from the Nigella Lawson Feast Cookbook. You can find the recipe online here. A chocolate overload, but oh so good!
First.... open the two bars of chocolate necessary for the cake and topping. I love the gold wrapper contrasting with the rich, dark chocolate. I always have aWilly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory moment when I see that - you know the scene when they sing "I have the golden ticket".
Then chop the chocolate. Or, if you have just had a cesaerean haul in your husband to do the heavy work of chopping.
Bake and smother with chocolate cream. Note: I would probably halve the amount next time from what is called for in the recipe as this is a very rich cake. Then pile on the candy chocolate eggs. And, enjoy. Utterly divine!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
After just 2 weeks, it feels like we have never been without her. It also feels like I have never had a full nights sleep:) DH finishes his paternity leave in the middle of next week and I can't believe I will be wholly and solely responsible for her during the day. We are still feeling our way forward with tentative toes, learning as we go and it has been a joint effort attending to her thus far.
It truly is possible for there to be love at first sight because I have loved baby girl from the moment I saw her. And, there is that feeling of fierce protection because I want to protect her from everything that could ever hurt her, always. Baby girl, at two weeks old, I love:
- the way your downy hair feels under my chin when I nurse you.
- that you sometimes grip my finger with your hand while you feed.
- the little smile of contentment you give when you wake up and find that you are being held.
- your perfectly formed finger and toes - I can't believe your big toe is the same size as my pinky fingernail.
- observing you watch the light bounce off the wall.
- the little squeaks and squeals you make while you are sleeping.
- watching you enjoy your bath, bouncing off the sides just like we saw you doing in the 12 week scan.
- the little owl like expression you give when you are being burped.
- watching your little cheeks and arms and legs getting chubbier.
- the way you open just one eye to check out the world while you are dozing.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Fortunately today something to break the monotony of the days- a parcel arrived from my mother-in-law in the UK. Mostly, it contained the makings for baby girl's nursery curtains but there was also the most delightful book. I just have to rave about it in case anyone else has a baby they are buying for!
Well known Australian author Mem Fox has teamed up with UK Illustrator Helen Oxenbury in '10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes". The words are gloriously simple, but the sentiment is beautiful. There is lots of repetition of words - so perfect for young listeners. The Penguin Books Australian website has a sample of the illustrations. I hadn't heard of the book before but it turns out it was on the New York Times bestseller list for 18 weeks.
The premise is every child around the world has, " as everyone knows" , "10 little fingers and 10 little toes"; and your own special child also has "3 little kisses on the tip of their nose". Too lovely.
Here is Mem Fox singing it!.... http://www.memfox.com/mem-sings-a-book.html
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
1 cup coconut
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup condensed milk
For the icing:
1 1/2 cups icing sugar (sifted)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp hot water
Combine biscuit crumbs, coconut and lemon rind in a large bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan, add condensed milk and stir over low heat until combined. Pour butter/milk mixture over crumbs and mix well. Press firmly into a foil lined 18cm by 28cm lamington tin. Refrigerate.
Monday, February 8, 2010
We are told that the Darling Downs is in severe drought, with the dams having less than 10 per cent capacity. However, it has done little but rain and storm since we arrived. And, this is the middle of summer! Many mornings we have awoken to thick fog covering the range. It sometimes takes until 10-11 am to clear. We drove to church last Sunday with visibility of about 2 metres. Slightly nerve-racking when you are turning across a major regional highway. The picture below is the view from off our patio - you might be able to tell there are not many houses around us.
We might have an hour round trip into Toowoomba to do shopping but there are certain advantages to where we are living. We have discovered the local YMCA markets, which are full of fruit grown locally in the granite belt- this being an established fruit growing area.
This week we are indulging in plums - three types from three different growers. The small ones are sugar plums, the large red amber jewels and a large black variety which I can't identify!
These Kookuburra's were on our back fence when I got up to make the breakfasts this morning. They had another friend but it flew off when I opened the back door to take the pictures. They seem to live in one of the trees over the fence.