Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lasagne

This is the recipe I use for lasagne. I made this one for my neighbours on the arrival of their third baby. My good deed done. Brett was very disappointed when I told him not to touch it! 


Beef mince filling
500 gr beef mince
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 Tspn mixed herbs
3/4 cup stock or just water
Brown mince and onion. Add rest of ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cheese Sauce
3-4 Tbsp plain flour
2 Tbsp margarine
120 gr grated cheese
2 cups milk
salt and pepper

Melt butter, and add flour, stir to combine.
Remove from heat and add a little of the milk at a time and whisk until it is smooth.
Put it back on the heat and stir until it thickens.
Stir in cheese, salt and pepper.

* If you can't be bothered with the cheese sauce, use a bag of grated mozzarella instead. 

You will need some lasagne sheets. I usually start with two boxes. Or if you're that way inclined, make you're own pasta, it is so much better, and worth trying just once.
You will need some extra cheese for the top and some bacon pieces

Don't forget when layering to leave a bit of the cheese sauce for the top.

Start by putting a ladle full of the mince sauce on the bottom of the dish. Cover this with a layer of pasta.
Add a layer of mince, and then a layer of cheese sauce. Cover again with pasta sheets.
Repeat the layering of mince and cheese sauce, ending with a covering of pasta sheets.
Spread the rest of the cheese sauce over the top.
Sprinkle on grated cheese and bacon pieces.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.


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Totally linking at jacana
 
Joining John at Chef Not Included for Chefs Day Off


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beach bums

Saturday we went for a drive down to the beach to meet some friends for a barby tea. It's only a 15 minute drive away to Southend, and then some to drive along the beach to where they were set up. We were half way round the Rivoli Bay beach, a 15 km stretch of sand in between Southend and Beachport.

Summer sporting the end of a black eye. She had a run in with a
table the weekend before.






It was a hot day, and perfect down the beach. The kids had fun in the sea, and the dog had a ball chasing flies.

We were only there for a few hours, the sunset was gorgeous as we made our way home about eight o'clock.
Both the kids had a quick bath when we got home and were straight to bed. They were well and truly tuckered out. Even I went to bed early.

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It's been a while but ecstatic to be
joining Jess this week

Monday, February 25, 2013

Red sun sets


Thursday nights sun set was amazing, I stood outside mesmerised at how it just kept getting redder as it got lower to the horizon. There was no colour in the sky, it was all in the sun.

The day had a yellowy tinge to it as smoke from fires in Victoria made its way into South Australia. Apparently that is why we had a weird sun set. It was cool to watch.

Cockys in our trees, regular visitors in Summer. Front row seats for the sunset.
The birds seemed to be singing louder, and all the crickets and bugs were chirping at full noise too. It was one of those iconic balmy australian summer nights.








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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Peach Pie

I have had peaches coming out of every orifice, ears, arse, you name it. Our tree brought the goods this year, I love it. 

Me and Izzy have gone out and filled up bags and bags with peaches. Her on one side of the ladder and me on the other, and a shop bag hanging on the side. I have frozen several bags of stewed peaches, eaten heaps, made pie for the neighbours, made pudding and now I've made BBQ sauce too!


Peach Pie


Filling
Peaches
1 Tbspn sugar

Pastry
1 1/2 cups flour
salt and 2 tspns sugar, mixed into flour
3 Tbspn margarine or butter
2 - 3 Tbspn cold water

Rub butter into flour. Add water and form into dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
Peel and slice the peaches thickly.
Roll out dough and cover the bottom and sides of the pie dish.
Layer in the peaches and sprinkle the sugar over.
With remaining pastry, cut into strips and crisscross them over the top.
Bake at 200 for 15 - 20 minutes.

Instead of peaches, try other fruit. This is the recipe I always use for apple pie. To.die.for!


If this seems like too much fiddling around, you could always just layer the fruit into the pie dish and just cover the top with pastry. The following photo is just that. Pile up the fruit under the pastry top , the fruit will settle once it cooks down. Cook for the same amount of time.

Delicious with cream or ice cream!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

My memories of Ash Wednesday

This month sees the 30th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday bush fires. On the 16th of February to be exact. It must have been a school day. It was already hot and windy that morning, as we were rushed out of the pool. 

Although we lived in Kalangadoo, my brothers and sisters went to school in Nangwarry, about 15 km away. I remember we were doing swimming lessons that morning at the Nangwarry pool when we were ordered out. 

The next thing I can remember is being loaded on our usual school bus, our usual driver Mrs Cram, was taking us home, along with the rest of the Kalangadoo kids. Well we made it half way there. The daylight turned to night with the blackest soot surrounding the bus. I sat in the very front seat next to the driver, I could sense her worry as the bus struggled to function with the sooty air. I couldn't see a foot in front of the bus, it was so thick. She was worried the bus would stall and we would be stuck.

I don't remember being overly scared myself, I was worried. I was being extremely brave for a ten year old. A girl, a year younger than me cried, I remember trying to console her. I think she was worried for her family. A lot of the kids were getting upset at this point. I can remember it was hot, I was drinking a lot from my water bottle, probably out of nervousness more than anything. At that age I would have had no idea the seriousness of what was happening, how devastating a fire like this was capable of being.

Mrs Cram turned the bus around and we were taken to the Penola high school. At the time she had possibly saved our lives. I am not sure of the time frame, it could have already happened or was close to happening, on the other side of town, tragedy had struck Kalangadoo.

I cried in my pub squash reading this piece tonight. When I graduated primary school, I won the first Williams scholarship, in memory of John Williams' wife and kids. Such tragedy. The fire was so fierce and came so fast.

We were looked after in the library of the highschool, all I can really remember is being given fruit boxes and food from the school canteen. This is where I first saw the book "Where did I come from", I suppose they didn't have it in our catholic school library! 

Mum and Dad came to pick us up in the early morning I think. It was dark when we drove home, all I could see was the purple and orange glow of burnt tree stumps, and I remember the smell. 

When we got home our veranda had fallen down, with the wind I suppose, and I recall all us kids being concerned about the cat. Mum had a patch on her eye, she had got dust and soot in it and had been to the doctor. She must have been beside herself with worry, going through this and not knowing how her kids were coping, and not being able to get to us.

I can still see the burnt remains of the old Rogers mans house, just the chimney stood. A little further down the road, seeing dead bloated cows laying with their legs in the air, in the paddicks. They excavated mass graves and just pushed the cows in and covered them up.

I hope to never have to go through this again, to smell those smells, to see blackened smouldering trees on a sea of ashen ground and dead animals that had no where else to go. Just so devastating.


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