Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Goals

Unusually, for me, I have given a lot of thought to my resolutions this year.  I have decided not to set resolutions as such but set up to 11 goals each month; it being 2011 and all.  Some goals will take considerable organisation, effort and development of new skills; others are quite straightforward.  A lot of the focus is on making projects I have wanted to do for a long time a priority.

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
Self Development
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!

Post Christmas Days

So much reading has been going on here.  DH has been absorbed in Nicholas Monserrat's The Cruel Sea, and Ginger has been positively devouring (in a literal sense) her board books.

Books Ginger pulled off the shelf.
5 minutes later different books off the shelf
For my part I have been tearing through my stash of Christmas books.  It has become a post-Christmas tradition for me to spend the lead up to the new year wallowing in Alexander McCall Smith's latest offerings. 

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!

On next fortnight's menu:
  • Lamb, Rosemary and Apple Sausage Rolls
  • Green Bean and Peanut Noodles
  • Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart
  • Baked Lemongrass and Chilli Chicken
  • Chicken and Mint Salad rolls
  • Couscous with Beetroot and Almonds
  • Silverbeet, Feta and Pinenut Roll
Yum Yum!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ginger's New Doll

Ginger’s custom doll from Little Jenny Wren arrived in the lead up to Christmas.
A present from her Gran.
The doll
is just beautiful. 

Ginger thought so too.

Her shoe is worthy of further inspection!

Now living on a  high shelf until her best friend learns not to eat her. 
And, perhaps, thinks of a name!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Retromummy Competition

Retromummy is hosting a competition with a lovely prize.

Do check it out!

Ginger Makes Her Stand

Well, since I last posted a {This Moment} photo Ginger’s development has taken off. 

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

Christmas and its immediate aftermath

Well, Christmas has come and gone - and I never got on here to blog in the leadup to it.  The leftover roast pork is gradually being eaten up, as is the pudding and remaining Christmas baking.  Had a lovely Christmas day with just the three of us.  Up early as Ginger rose at her usual 5am.  Awestruck by her presents!  Played with the wrapping paper rather than the toys but has spent the last two days giving them a thorough working over.

Ginger heads for the pile of presents (I hasten to add not all intended for her).
All for me!
Made it to church and then DH baked a lovely roast and made his final pudding and brandy custard preparations.  Lunched at 12 and the roast pork (free range, don’t you know) was a definite hit with Ginger! 
DH also did potatoes a la Jamie Oliver’s Christmas with butter, Clementine juice (in our case orange) and sage.  Yummy. 
Pudding was a success – despite it not being his Grandma’s official recipe.  We asked her for her recipe as we had so enjoyed a pudding she made a couple of years ago when we spent Christmas in England, she posted us one and the pudding was made; only for her then to tell us that she didn’t follow any particular recipe in making her puddings.

Pudding with garden variety Holly  – homegrown cherry tomatoes and rosemary
Grandma's Christmas Pudding
(makes a huge quantity – we made a third of this amount )
225g raisins
225g currants
225g  sultanas
200g mixed peel
225 shredded suet (we used copha )
500 demera or muscova sugar (we used brown sugar)
225 fresh bread crumbs
75g  plain flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
40 blanched chopped almonds
1 carrot grated
1 cooking apple, grated
2 lemons, grate the rind and squeeze the juice
3 eggs, whisk with the brandy
150 mls brandy
knob of butter

Add all to a large bowl.
Mix very, very well and leave to stand for a while.
Butter the pudding basin and line the base with paper.
Tip in mixture top with disc of paper and pleat foil to cover the top, tie on.
Cook in the top of a steamer or on a trivet for 5 hours.
Check regularly to make sure it doesn’t boil dry
Store for a month.
Cook for a further 2 hours before eating !!!

Wintery weather made it perfect for a hot midday meal.  The rest of the day, boxing day and today have been occupied with reading (Christmas loot), knitting, planning for the year ahead, playing with toys, bread baking, general pottering and watching the rain streaming down our window!   A delicious way to conclude the year.