Saturday, June 30, 2012

Photo a day challenge

I've been doing the photo a day challenge set by fat mum slim which started on January 1st 2012. I'm proud to say I have taken a photo and posted in an album on facebook(I call it fazebook) everyday for the past 6 months.


All photos have been taken with a normal camera, I don't have a fancy phone with instagram, and the phone I do have takes really crappy photos. At one point in March, I dropped and killed my camera trying to take a photo one handed while trying to juggle a baby with the other arm. I had to buy a new camera quick, because there was no way I was going to miss a day. I import the photos onto the computer and fix them up from there, just with the tools on Windows Photo Gallery. I have really been enjoying the challenge, and I would like to share six of my favourite photos from the year so far.


#28 January | Light



#30 January | Nature

#7 April | Shadow

#16 April | Flower

#29 April | Circle

#30 May | Personality

 You can see all the photos I have taken and the challenges set here. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Asparagus Quiche

Mum gave me three tins of asparagus, they'd been sitting in her pantry for a while. I'm impressed they are Australian made and owned, Cowra Gold brand from Windsor Farm Foods in Cowra, New South Wales.

This has given me reason to make Asparagus Quiche. I haven't made proper quiche for a while, I have an easy quiche recipe which has no pastry, and its quick and easy to make, which is probably why. This is the basic recipe, I have added other things like spinach, corn or different types of cheese.




Easy Quiche

3 eggs, 1 1/4 cups milk, 1 onion chopped,
 1/2 cup SR flour, 3 rashers bacon, 1 cup cheese.
Mix all together. Bake 40 mins in hot oven.


I have no idea where I found the following recipe, its in my own handwritten cook book, so I've come across it somewhere and thought it was good enough to keep. I have made it a few times before, but its not one I make regularly. When I make quiche, I usually just use frozen puff pastry. This recipe comes with a pastry recipe and it's well worth making the effort. 


Asparagus Quiche

1 cup flour
90 gr butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbs lemon juice

Rub butter into flour, add yolk and juice.
Add a little cold water if its not coming together.
 Knead lightly and refridgerate.

485 gr asparagus
2 eggs and 2 yolks
300ml cream
4 bacon rashers
125 gr cheese, cubed

Place cheese and bacon on bottom, then asparagus.
Mix eggs and cream and pour over.
Bake for 10 mins in moderate oven.
Reduce heat and bake for 30 mins.





It smells divine as I pulled it out the oven, and tastes amazing.......of course Brett ruined his with tomato sauce.





Thursday, June 28, 2012

Planting Peas


I found a half used packet of pea seeds in my 'seed junk draw', there's all sorts of things in there, but its where I keep the seed packets.

It was such a beautiful day, we had been for a walk and had lunch with friends in the main street. Isabel was still full of beans, so I took her out to plant them.



The veggie patch isn't very big and it has a few things growing, like broccoli, onions, silverbeet and lettuce. There are parsley and dill seedlings coming up everywhere, a thyme plant and some oregano. A couple of stray potato plants have come up, probably from peelings I had chucked on there. Everywhere else in between there are weeds!!!



I pulled the weeds out to clear a patch. Isabel didn't help, she wanted gloves and was too busy playing with my camera! But she did put the seeds into the dirt and helped cover them up. I'm not expecting much to come from them and if there are peas, most of them get eaten before they go inside for the pot anyway!



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

play doh



As all grandparents do, Isabels spot her money every now and then. Pop gave her ten bucks, unbeknown to Nana, she gave her fifteen half an hour later! So she had $25 in her hot little hand, and Nana suggested we go check out the Target toy sale.

I'm not one for going crazy when the toy sales are on, its just not on the top of my priority list. We have MORE than enough toys. We went to have a look anyway, at our local Target Country, I wasn't expecting there would be much there, its not a huge shop.

They did have a lot of toys! We already had a bit of playdough stuff, but there was a huge tub for half price, normally $45 for $22. Bargain!!






There were about twenty tubs of playdough in this tub, and lots of bits and pieces. I let her have three tubs and hid the rest. We are going to be in play doh for a while, but this is the recipe we use when we have none. Its from a book called 'Play together, Learn together', a garage sale find. It has some great activities to do with kids.



You can check out or buy this book here

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winter flowers


Happy Wanderer

I love fresh flowers inside my house, especially when they are from my own garden.  To look at the garden, it doesn't seem like there's enough to get a decent bunch of flowers for a vase. I haven't pruned the roses yet, so there are some roses still giving a flower here and there, and the jonquils are out. My purple happy wanderer is about to go into full bloom, which looks magnificent. The roof has caved in on the arbour it covers, a fine line between rustic charm and falling to bits!! We built it ourselves, so its no surprise, I'm not about to pull it down, the rest of it is still standing strong. Famous last words!!


Yesterday I went out and picked this lovely bunch, I love the white and green together.


You can read more about the Happy Wanderer here

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mud puds

Like her favourite TV pig, Peppa, Isabel loves to jump in muddy puddles, well any puddle!







Monday, June 18, 2012

Onion Rings

Bretts home today, his dad passed away peacefully on Saturday morning. We were expecting it, and are off to Adelaide tomorrow for the funeral on Wednesday.

I kept thinking it was Sunday today, and cooked a lazy lunch for all of us. Isabel asked for eggs. So I put some potato wedges in the oven and got the eggs out ready. I cut the wedges and leave the skin on the spuds, then drizzle, well Isabel drizzled, olive oil, and ground salt and pepper on top. She likes to get in on the action. She  drags a chair up to the bench quick smart and loves to help.

While the wedges are cooking I have the bright idea to make onion rings. I worked in a fish and chip shop for eight years before I had the girls, and I reckon I'm a gun at frying stuff, I should be!!

My recipe for batter, is how we made it at the shop. Two thirds plain flour, a third SR flour and water. I use a whisk and plastic bowl, one with some give, and beat it like mad to get the air into it. Always turns out great. I coat everything with flour before I dunk it in the batter.

Airy batter and floured onion

So for lunch today we had wedges, fried eggs and onion rings, I should have cooked heaps, because they were so moorish. I could have eaten more!!



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Elmo Schmelmo



I've been building it up for the last couple of months, especially the last week, "We're going to see Elmo!" Today we went to see Elmos World tour. What started looking as third row seats (C1,C3 and C5) turned out to be front row seats! Cooool. It wasn't as packed as the first two shows would have been, being the third show of the day.


The show should have actually been called Abby Cadabys world tour, but I guess Elmo is a bigger drawcard. It was storied around Abby having to make her way to Australia to pick up her new 'unbroken' wand. Of course with a broken wand, it took her a few times to conjure up the letter 'A' to visit Australia. It took them around the world, to China, Zambia, India and there were a couple others, that don't come to mind straight away. The look on Isabels face when Elmo came on was priceless, well worth the 20 bucks for her seat. It was all singing and dancing and some audience participation. I was very entertaining, and I enjoyed watching Isabel enjoy it too.

Super Grover and The Count made appearances, Big Bird, Zoe, and Cookie Monster too, who ate the letter C, because C is for cookie of course!


Ernie and Bert made an appearance, much to the delight of everybody with the oohs and ahs that followed, after they made their way through the "bathroom door". A stage bathroom complete with bath, rubber duckies and bubbles cascading from machines either side of the stage. The bubbles cascaded several times during the show after that.

I booby fed Summer, not long after the show started, and she slept for about 20 minutes. I was surprised she fell asleep, because for the first few minutes all she tried to do was pull off the boob and crane her head towards the stage! She loved watching it too, when she woke.



The funniest bit was when Lady Ba Ba was introduced and given a 'lift' back to Australia at the end. A reworded version of Poker face was sung and danced to and it was all over. We made it out of the theatre and back to the car before it started to pour with rain. A very enjoyable outing. 

Lady Ba Ba along with outrageous outfit

Friday, June 15, 2012

My girls

Dad wanted boys first up.

I am the oldest of five. He got two girls first up, me and my sister are the same age for three weeks. The month after I turned two, Mum gave birth to twin boys, she knew she was carrying two, but the doctor was adamant there was only one. Dad was over the with the news he had TWO boys.

I guess in the early 70's, ultrasounds weren't the norm. I had one with Jake, in the early nineties, two with Izzy and three with Summer! My youngest sister was born just before my fifth birthday. So at the age of 24 Mum had five kids under 5!!

When it came to grandchildren, he got five boys in a row! I had Jake, my younger sister had two boys, and then my little sister had two boys too. I don't think Mum and Dad were expecting any more grandkids, but I added two at the tailend. Two beautiful girls.

Isabel (2), and Summer (7 months)
I'm not really sure about one of my brothers, whether he will add the mix, I hope so. The other got married last year, and they aren't having any. So Izzy and Summer may well be the last......unless either of my sisters go again!!

None of us kids have had twins(I thank my lucky stars!!), but it apparently skips a generation, so one of my kids or my nephews will end up with them. I may be the proud Granny(eek!) or Nanna of twins.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Apricot Slice


This recipe comes from a very worn book, its 30 years old this August. Printed to celebrate the centenary year of the Rendelsham Primary School (1882 - 1982). I can't remember where I got this one from, probably a garage sale and I'm not really sure how long I've had it. It has a disclaimer on the first page that goes -


Somebody Goofed
If somebody goofed and forgot the salt,
Or flour, shortening, milk or malt;
Don't hesitate, best be sure.......
Pick up the phone and express your wonder
To the gal who signed her name down under.




Some of the recipes are still in pound or ounce measurements and fahrenheit temps, but has a handy conversion page at the start of the book. It contains some great recipes, and use it often.

It has sayings scattered here and there -

A man wrapped in himself makes a very small parcel.

One of the mysteries of life is how a boy who wasn't good enough to marry your daughter, can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.

Swallowing your pride occasionally will not give you indigestion.

I haven't played with this recipe at all, but have had the thought of using dried cherries and adding cocoa for a cherry ripe slice. 


Apricot Slice (P.Chapman)

Cream 4 ozs butter with 1 cup sugar, add 2 eggs, 1 cup plain flour,
 3/4 cup coconut, 1 cup chopped dried apricots, 1/2 cup milk and a dash of vanilla. Bake for 1/2 hour at 375 deg. Ice with vanilla icing and top with walnuts.


Using the conversion table 4 oz is 125 grams, and 375F is 190C.


Dried biscuit dough on this page!


You can read more about Rendelsham here http://www.wattlerange.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=329


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shoe box



So many things go unnoticed in our busy lives and there are always little things that we forget. One of these things was the date I had painted on our shoebox, it was just a quiet moment sitting in the kitchen that I glanced and noticed it. This has been where all of our shoes have lived for 12 years.


The box was from Dads shed, I think it was a crate that truck parts had been delivered in. I painted the inside black and adorned with wild flowers, then oiled the outside to highlight the wood. When I was pregnant with Jake, 20 years ago, my mum and I, went and did a folk art class. It was the start of a love of painting old things and making them useful and interesting pieces for my home.

My potato and onion bin, is another favourite. There were many comments from people when I started it, that it was an old outside dunny can. Probably was, but it was hardly used. It was slightly rusty inside, so I took to it with a wire brush, and made sure I washed it well. Painted it all black and painted dolls on it. I painted a purple ribbon coming from one of the handles into the bin, where a dolly is climbing in. I love it. It's been housing my spuds and onions for about 15 years.





 A more recent project is the toy box. I found it at a market for $25, when I was pregnant with Isabel, about 3 years ago. It was already painted black, so all I had to do was add some artwork. I painted the teddy bear panel on the lid from a picture in a craft book.

I don't do much painting, but there will be something that comes along once in a while that I see potential in, this inspires me, and ideas and creativity flows.






Saturday, June 9, 2012

The cat and a quiet weekend

I got out the shower tonight with the cat screaming at me, I've realised I haven't fed it today. Brett and Izzy left for Adelaide yesterday to see Poppy John, he was flown there last week, he's not in good shape. I did remind Brett to change Isabels nappies, feed her and make sure she has a drink, I think it's probably just a mother thing. Sometimes I wonder if he has a clue at all! I'm sure he'll do fine.

Brett is the usual animal feeder. We have fish, birds, dog Rosie and the cat. She came to us from Bretts sister, she was giving away animals when she had her son, about 7 years ago. We just call her Puss Puss, but her name is actually Point Three, it doesn't get called that much. I put a bowl on the floor in the kitchen, because I know if I put it out the back, the dog would wolf it down, or protect it so the cat wouldn't even get a look in. Now I have to try and catch the bloody thing to put it outside, I hate it. If she's laying on the bed and I walk in she darts under the bed, it shits me no end when Brett goes to sleep with her on the bed. I don't know why he doesn't put her out before he goes to sleep. It doesn't happen all the time, thank god. The only time that cat wants to know me is when I'm pregnant, it's the only time she's ever come and sat on my lap.

I have had a quite weekend, just me and Summer. It's a nice break to have just one baby to cope with. I actually woke this morning thinking that Izzy was still asleep and realised, no, she's not here. I did the usual things, dishes, washed clothes and did the cycle of bringing yesterdays in on the clothes horse and hanging the washed stuff out in the pergola, or is that patio or deck even. I'm not sure of the right name for it. I'm going to have to look that up! The weather isn't very kind to getting things dry at the moment, and probably wont be for months, the dryer broke down last year. Cleaned the bathroom and the pantry, I almost did the can't be stuffed thing, but thought I'd better do something while I didn't have Izzy here.

I've cooked and frozen baby food and made foccacia. I let the bread maker mix the dough, and cook it in the oven. I love the smell. A friend came over earlier and gave her half, I'll have some for lunch tomorrow, there's some silverside in the fridge that needs using. The last two nights I haven't had to cook for anyone, it's been bliss, I had sausages in bread with sauce tonight!! Mum cleans offices, and on Fridays she cleans out the fridge. There was left over mud cake and strawberry sponge she couldn't throw out and dropped off some here last night, so that was my Friday night dinner! It's back to the grind tomorrow afternoon though, when they get home. Until then I will have to enjoy my time being a mum of one and a whole lot less mess.

Foccacia with mixed herbs on top

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Winter Garden


I don't mind how much it rains, but I hate being cold. I am always wishing my life away at this time of year, wishing Spring would hurry up and come.



It's all not that bad though, because things are happening in the garden that I look forward to. Like the green growth of bulbs popping up through the soil. Its exciting to see, because I know that beautiful flowers are on their way, the jonquils are flowering now.

The leaves are gone from the silver birches, the plum, nectarine and peach tree. Leaves are still hanging on for dear life on the crabapple. The tamarisk tree is bare too, having a rest before Spring sees it burst into a blaze of pink. I can't wait for Spring! I love having fresh flowers inside the house, the pickings are pretty slim in winter, but there is always something.

I look forward to pruning the roses, I find it almost theraputic, not for the thorn pricks though. I think it has something to do with getting rid of the old to make way for new growth and beauty. There is an excitement in the anticipation of what is to come.


Hyacinths emerging
The week I had Summer (in November), the roses were in full bloom, and for the few days we were in hospital they must have doubled, because the show as we drove down the driveway with our precious new baby was breathtaking. I was in awe. It was as if they knew she was coming home.

I'm not supposed to, but the prunings go in the green bin. For the amount of money I shell out for the bins on council rates, I'll put whatever I darn like in there! As long as its green waste. The weather is supposed to be cold, but sunny on the weekend, so I might get to doing it then.

We had a couple of good days last week and I poisoned the edges and where ever else the couch and kikuyu had invaded. I like to do it myself, because Brett just doesn't do it properly. He's not a gardeners arsehole, I even had the argument with him about what it does and doesn't kill, as he waved the wand around willy nilly!! Last year I mentioned that the fruit trees needed pruning, so he took it upon himself, I was angry and could have cried at the state of my trees. There was bugger all fruit this year, so I'm hoping they will bear more next. I also need to spray the peach and nectarine trees for leaf curl before the blossoms come back.

In the meantime I will try to stay warm and cosy, and endure enjoy the time inside with the kiddlywinks.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Me time

Its 6:43 am, I've showered, swept the floor, having a cuppa tea and done the whip around Facebook, Twitter and now I'm here. I've been up since 3 am, summer woke up and it took me an hour to get her back to sleep. I was holding and shooshing her on the rocking chair when Brett left for work at 4:15. I hadn't showered since Sunday and had decided to stay up and get some things done, for my own sanity.

Me time, which I usually get at night, has eluded me for the past couple of nights. I've layed down with Isabel to get her to sleep and fallen asleep myself, only to wake up at 1 or 2 in the morning, still in the clothes I'd been wearing that day. This morning I trudged off to my bed, taken my bras off, jeans and got my jammie bottoms on and got into the cold side of my bed, only to be welcomed to the stench of a farting party that my husband had been throwing.

I enjoy my me time, I sometimes feel like I don't get enough. The only time I get away from the house on my own is when I nick down the shops when Brett is home. This maybe happens twice a week, usually on the weekend. I really do need to insist on some timeout for my self, but when?!!! This is something I am going to have to sort out. Like a haircut for starters!!

Later today I am going to regret staying up, but now, as my 2 yr old pitter patters down the hallway, I'm so glad I'm showered. I'm so glad I've swept. I'm so glad I got a cup of tea in peace and I'm so glad I got to sit in front of the computer without her climbing all over me or shouting "MUUUUM" at the top of her lungs. Now to get on with the other 500 things I have to do in my day.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sultana Loaf

I have no idea where this recipe come from, but I have it written down in my own recipe book, a school exercise book.

Most of the recipes are handwritten, and lately, printed and stuck in with whatever is closest at that time, sticky tape or glue! 

It's pages are very discoloured with butter, flour, egg, you name it!! It is written there as currant loaf, obviously I didn't have them and changed it to sultanas. I haven't experimented with other teas or fruit...yet!

I'm not a coffee drinker and wouldn't really make it with coffee in it, but it may work. It is important to let the mix cool, because I haven't before and its turned out a completely different cake, not a better one! It could do with some more flavour such as orange zest or mixed spice.

It's a great cake, without eggs or butter, especially when I find myself short of these things. 

I always line the bottom of my cake tins, in this instance, I had used the last of the sugar, and cut the paper bag to line the tin. Recycling at its best!




Sultana Loaf

1 cup sultanas
1 cup sugar
1 cup hot tea

Mix together to dissolve Sugar. Let cool.

Place 2 cups of SR flour in a bowl.
Gradually stir in tea mixture to make a smooth batter.
Bake in loaf tin at 180 deg for 45 mins.