Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tabouleh

This story starts at the local IGA, while I was doing our "big" shop, which happens once a fortnight. I had just finished, and passed the "marked down" trolley, which is usually almost or out of date. Of course I have to have a look. I reach in and grab a 59c packet of chips, and a $1.50 bag of burghul. My mind instantly thinks Tabouleh.

I don't really get the opportunity to eat much of it, there is a kebab shop in Centro in Mt Gambier(a town 50km away) that sells it, but it's not often I go there.

We dropped in at Mums yesterday morning. She sells plants she has cultivated, on a small trolley out the front of her house, and asked me if I wanted an Italian Parsley plant. I say no, because I have parsley seedlings coming up like carpet in my neglected veggie plot, which makes me VERY happy. I love fresh parsley. I remembered the burghul I had bought and asked her for some fresh parsley out of her garden, she gave me a shop bag full! Some turnips and carrots, and a bag of watercress came along with it. Last time she gave me watercress I made pesto out of it(with walnuts) and it was great. Mum has a friend who grows it and once in a while she gets a couple of bags.

I washed the parsley, we found two snails, and put them in a bowl for Izzy.

When Brett and I were married the priest gave us a voucher for Target. I shook my head as Brett exchanged it for a George Foreman Slicer, grater, spinner thingy. We've been married nearly 5 years and I've used it a whopping total of 4 times now. It did come in very handy on this occasion to spin the wet parsley. He brought a garlic peeler home from a garage sale a few weeks back, another piece of crap for the cupboard. I'm not one for hoarding so it will end up in the bin at some stage and have shown him since how to bash garlic with a knife to get the skin off.

Isabel and I snipped stalks of parsley, and bagged up two bags for the freezer and a big bowl for the tabouleh. All the while I'm putting snails back in the bowl as they try to escape!

The recipe I used is from a book called 'The history of Australian cooking', another cook book I've picked up from a garage sale. This one came from a sale at the back of the Arno Bay pub a couple of years ago. It has recipes from all over the world in it and the tabouleh recipe is in the Middle Eastern section. The recipe for felafel is there too, which I will be tackling soon as I can use the rest of the burghul in that, and I always have a can of chickpeas in the pantry. I love chick pea salad with cucumber, tomato and fresh herbs.


Burghul and Parsley Salad (Lebanon)
(Tabouleh)
Serves 6-8

3/4 cup burghul                                                      2 Tblsp lemon juice
2 cups cold water                                                   2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped shallots                                        1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups chopped parsley                                          1/4 tsp mixed spice(optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped mint                                    2 tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil                                                      1 cos lettuce

Soak burghul in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and press out water with back of a spoon.
Place burghul in a bowl and add shallots. Mix well. Add parsley and mint.
Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and spice. Add to salad and toss well.
Skin and seed tomatoes, cut into dice and stir into salad. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
Line a platter or salad bowl with lettuce, pile in tabouleh to form a steep mound. Serve as a salad or a filling for sandwiches or pocket bread.

I realise I have no lemons!! Doesn't matter.....I really need to find someone I know with a tree or grow one myself. I'm not about to pack my posse in the car and go out for some. We go out in the garden and pick mint, and lemon thyme, while the burghul is soaking. I always use kitchen scissors to cut up herbs, I find it easier.

It turns out ok, although obviously missing the lemon juice. We have it with baked spuds and snags for tea. Bit boring, but I can't be superwoman everynight!!! :P It made a nice sanga for lunch today with mayo.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Adelaide Zoo


We left Arno Bay on the Thursday and stopped over in Adelaide overnight. It rained all day, and cleared as we came into the outer suburbs. We had pre booked a room at the Grand Chancellor on Currie Street, smack bang in the middle of the city, and arrived about 5:30 pm. Brett took Isabel for a quick swim and we ventured out for some tea. The Quick Wok, a short walk away on Hindley Street, was where we went and it was delicious. I ate most of it one handed, with Summer on the boob. It was near her bed time and she was hungry and wondering why she wasn't wrapped up tight and going to bed. A quick walk down the mall to Woolies for some supplies, where an excited Isabel discovered escalators, and back to our room.

In the morning, we ventured out before check out. Isabel was gob smacked by the amount of people, waiting for buses and crossing the roads. There were no shops open yet. As we made our way down Rundle Mall, we laughed at Isabel confidently strutting along a metre or two ahead of us, she was having a ball. Brett remembered a cheap clothing shop in James Place we had been before, lucky for us it opened at 7:30 and we had a spend. It was around 9am, we decided to make our way back to the hotel, pack up and head to the zoo, while the weather was on our side.

The first animals we came across were Funi and Wang Wang, the resident pandas. They were very active that morning and mesmerising, their personalities were instantly obvious, and it was a joy to watch.

We headed straight to the childrens zoo, there were chooks roaming free, guinea pigs and rabbits. Isabel enjoyed the interacting with goats, sheep and deer in the petting zoo with Brett, as Summer and I watched on.

We had a great time wandering around, and we managed to see everything in about two hours, and the rain stayed away. It was about that time that Isabel started losing interest anyway and made our way out the gates. It was only then that I realised we hadn't bought a parking ticket! Lucky for us there was no ticket on the window, or do they post them out. I have no idea!! Isabel fell asleep before we got to the tollgate on our way out of Adelaide, she'd had a big morning in the big city.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Coconut cake

No sleep for Isabel today, she's two and a half and rarely has a sleep during the day any more. I need to keep her busy, so she doesn't drive me up the wall,  soooo we're baking cake.

I had a look through an old and tattered cook book I have, I think I bought it long ago at a garage sale. It's actually a really good book, with great recipes, the 'Beachport Pony Club Family Favourites'. I'm guessing its from the mid 80s, complete with the names of people who have supplied the recipes. It even has little sayings here and there between the recipes, for example:

Possibly nothing arouses more false hope than the first few hours of a diet.

Man begins to cut his wisdom teeth, the first time he bites off more than he can chew.

True friends are like diamonds, precious and rare
False friends are like autumn leaves, found everywhere

The man who seldom finds himself in hot water, is the man with a wife, several daughters and one bathroom.

We had the ingredients, so the Coconut Cake it was.

3 Cups SR flour                      1 heaped cup coconut
250 grams butter                     1 and a half cups milk
2 Cups caster sugar                 4 eggs

Pour milk over coconut and leave to soak. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add a couple of tablespoons of the flour before mixing in the milk and coconut. Then add rest of flour. Cook in a large slab tin for 40-45 minutes at 180.


I only used half the recipe, because I only had two eggs! The recipe doesn't call for it, but I put in the zest of an orange. I didn't take any notice really of how long it took to bake half the mix, I just took it out when the middle sprung back when pressed.

I always line the tin with paper, in this case the camp oven lid, in hindsight I could have used a normal tin. It makes it much easier to get the cake out, I have had too many stick to the bottom.

It smelt awesome when it came out the oven and tasted even better. I just iced it with icing sugar mixed with water, and a bit of colouring in it.



You can read more about Beachport here

Friday, May 25, 2012

Road trip to visit Poppy John

Poppy John adores Isabel and Summer

Saturday(19th May) we set off for Arno bay, thats where Bretts brother lives. Our visit is to see Bretts dad, John, he used to live there, but has recently moved into the old folks home in Cleve. He's turning 90 later in the year and his health is failing him, so we thought it was best we went to see him now. Plus, he had a new granddaughter to meet.

The trip is about 1000 kilometres, with two kids in tow, it takes longer with stops for feeds and nappy changes etc. I really wasn't looking forward to the trip at all, never am. We stayed in Gawler overnight, at Bretts sister house, and went the rest of the way the next day.

We arrived at nearly 6pm on the Sunday. We decide where we are going to stay, the choice of two caravans, in the main house or "the unit". Bretts brother(Jacko) rents out two units he built next to his house. About a month ago, there was a murder-suicide in one of the units, and YES!! we stayed there!!! It was a bit freaky, but all good, the insurance company had it cleaned and refurnished, but I bet we were the talk of the town that weekend.

The oldies at the home loved the two girls, there was one particular lady who asked me five times in 15 minutes what Summers name was, dear thing. We visited John on Monday and took him to the Darke Peak pub for lunch. It was then that we realised how immobile and frail he had become, just the walk into the pub was exhausting for him. We had lunch and took him back to the home for a rest.

Tuesday we visited again and on Wednesday, Brett went to pick him up and brought him back to Jackos to spend some time in his old home. It was great to have him there. He gets confused easily, and was sitting on the couch and asked "Are we at Annettes now?", which we were. I'm so glad we went to see the old fella and he spent time with his two youngest granddaughters. I hope we get to see him again.

Precious photo, Summer holding Pops hand

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Photo of the Week Collection

A compilation of previous 'Photos of the Week'


Week ending 13 May 2012
'Ebb Tide'

This rose is planted in my garden, along the driveway, it smells divine.





Week ending 20 May 2012
'Isabel'

The beautiful eyes of my eldest daughter.




Week ending 27 May 2012
'Electricity'

Taken just outside Port Augusta, near the power plant.





Week ending 3 June 2012

'Lion'

Taken on our Adelaide Zoo visit.




Week ending 10 June 2012

'Jonquil!'

Excited about the first jonquils to come up. Great part about this time of year in the garden.





Week ending 17 June 2012

'My girls'

Summer and Isabel




Week ending 24 June 2012

'Windflower'






Week ending 1 July 2012

'Fresh'

The beautiful flowers I had in the house this week, from the garden




Week ending 8 July 2012

'My three babies'

Summer, Jake, Isabel




Week ending 15 July 2012

'Fairy lights'

Morning rain on the silver birch




Week ending 22 July 2012

'Rosie'

Our dog Rosie passed away this week



Week ending 29 July 2012

'Lichen'

Taken on an outing to Lake McIntyre




Week ending 5 August 2012

'Tulip'

I bought myself tulips from woolies, I had to take a photo, the inside of these flowers are beautiful



Week ending 12 August 2012

'Bee'



Week ending 19 August 2012

'Happy Wanderer'






Week ending 26 August 2012

'fleeting glance'

At the Valley Lakes playground, Mt Gambier.
A fleeting glance and Mum and she was off.



Week ending 2 September 2012

'Carmens 39th'

Sisters night out on the town.







Week ending 9 September 2012

'Plum blossom'

The plum tree is in blossom this week. Hopefully they all turn into Satsuma plums this year.



Week ending 16 September 2012

'happy girl'






Week ending 23 September 2012

'googs'

Black chooks white egg and brown chooks spotty egg




Week ending 30 September 2012

'a roses promise'

The garden is full of rose buds. Another month and the roses will be keeping their promises and putting on a show. I love it.



Week ending 7 October 2012

'freddo frog smiles'

Summer, after nanna brought round freddo frogs





Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pizza night

Every so often Mum will decide to fire up the brick oven, and this always means pizza night.

When we were growing up in Kalangadoo, we had a huge brick oven out the back yard. Mum used to make a massive amount of bread dough, which made about 22 loaves of bread. We were treated to home made bread and other scrumptious treats like empanada. Everyone in town would have known Mum was cooking bread, with the waft of fresh bread permeating from our backyard. We even had one particular neighbour who always would make her way down to visit on these days, we could see her coming and knew she was coming to scab a loaf of bread! Its one of the things we still laugh about today.



Last year, Mum and Dad decided to build a wood fired brick oven in the backyard of their current home. They had help from family and friends, and it was a great day. Old friends of the family came over from Penola to help, as Dad had helped them build one at their house years earlier.

A tradie friend of Dads came to help, as he was interested in how it was done. He did most of the building, and Dad tried to remember how it all went together, and Mum putting her two bobs worth in, on how she wanted it. The one they built is a quarter the size of the old one, she doesn't need to cook for a family of seven anymore.

Dad removing the fire into a wheelbarrow and Mum getting
a wet cloth to wipe the ash off the bottom, ready for the pizza
to go straight on the hot bricks.
We turn up at Mums, we don't bring anything. She has made pizza dough, and has all the makings out in the shed, where she has tables set up to roll out dough and make our own.

Before the pizza goes in, and bit of flour is thrown on to the bottom of the oven to see how hot the oven is. If the flour burns too quickly, the oven is too hot.


We eat pizza until we are bursting at the seems, and it doesn't matter how full we are, there is always room for Mums strawberry dessert pizza. Its delicious.

She puts strawberry jam on the base, then cream cheese with vanilla, topped with fresh strawberries. We have done cream cheese, banana and choc chips before, its just as good. I'm thinking I might try some mini marshmallows on it next time.

Mmmmmm!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chocolate cake

Isabel and I made chocolate cake today. She enjoys cracking the eggs, adding the measured ingredients to the bowl and stirring. This is the recipe I always use to make chocolate cake, its so easy.

Put two eggs in a cup, fill with cream. Add 3 quarters of a cup of sugar and beat until thickens. Add 1 cup of Self raising flour and 2 Tablespoons of cocoa. Bake for 35 minutes. Ice when cold.

I sometimes put some orange zest in the mix, to give it a jaffa twist.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The tatts out the bag


Jake and Jo (the girlfriend) are staying at his Nannas(my mum) for a few days. Made sushi rolls earlier, and took some round, because he loves them and thats what mothers do. 

First thing I noticed is he is sporting an earring. OK, cool, I thought.
Took a photo of the kids all together, because haven't taken one since Summer was a week old.


I brought the conversation back to the earring.  "Looks good,  next thing, you'll be getting a tattoo". I'm not sure whether its mothers intuition or what, but my immediate thought, and I said it out loud (in a jokingly, jovial way), "You've already got one, haven't you?!!". The smile on his face gave it away, "Where is it?!!" was my next question, he turned and walked away down the passage saying "nooo, I haven't got one". 

So in walks Jo, and I ask where Jakes tattoo is. She laughed and says, "Oh,do you know about that", grabbing her arm. BINGO!!! I don't know what the big secret was, he's an adult, why would he feel he needed to keep a tattoo from me? He's had it for about a month. Anyhoo, I went down there and had a look, in a funny way I was proud of my big boy. I made comments about sweating bullets, and ask if it hurt etc, of course he said no. I don't have any tatts, so I wouldn't have a clue. Here's the tatt, that is now, out the bag.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Feeding time(at the zoo)

The high chair came down out of the loft in the shed last night. It's that time again! A bit of White King and it was ready to go.  It's the same high chair that Isabel used, it belonged to Bretts sister, and was used for her two boys, a little over 20 years ago!

Summer is 6 months old tomorrow, she's been having purees since she was 4 months old. This was her first real go at chunks of vegies, pumpkin, potato and carrot. She did pretty well, although by the end of it, there was MESS!

I'd always fed her in her rocker, usually me sitting on the lounge room floor, about an hour before we ate. When we ate our tea she sat in her rocker next to us or up on the table.


Last night she had her usual pureed vegies at 5, then joined us at the table and we all ate together for the first time as a family.....together....it was a bit spesh. The start of many more memorable meals around our family table.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Leaky Nappy



Sunday night I climbed into bed, about 10 pm. I usually have my nightly shower, I couldn't be bothered, left my top on I had worn all day, and put my jammie bottoms on. I layed my head on the pillow....wetness. Only at that moment did I remember that Isabel had been in our bed that morning.

When I got to changing her nappy, it was soaked along with her pjs, and my immediate thought was 'shes been in my our bed'. I don't need to tell any mother how busy and distracted one becomes during the day. I'd forgotten to get around to checking the bed for 'water' damage!

So I felt around on the bed, a wet patch just below the pillow. I just let out a sigh and turned the pillow over and put it over the wet patch. I tried to drift off to sleep, and as I usually love to sleep on my tummy with my hands under the pillow....under the pillow go my arms...wet!! Oh the hardships!! Needless to say I fell asleep amidst the leaky nappy incident and it now being Monday afternoon, I still am unshowered. Bring on shower time tonight.