Food

full as a goog…

Wow my head has been full lately (which has made me absent from my beloved blog). Full of what? There are a few people (who may or may not be related to me) who would say ‘not much’!

But it’s true. My head is full.

Full of dyslexia and dyscalculia – so much time spend researching and trying to create ways to help him learn and show him that he has an ability rather than a disability).

Full of meetings with teachers and working out plans for the next year.

Full of work and going through a merger that leaves me see-sawing between ‘this sucks’ and ‘this will be great’. I’m sitting on the fence at the moment.

Full of trying to work out ways to get our house renovated before it falls down around our ears.

Full of trying to instil in the boys how important it is to have goals and be working towards something. Anything.

Full of just trying to get the boys ready for school before I go to work.

Full of working out how to fulfil my own personal goals and feed my creative outlets and needs.

Full of trying to get a vegie patch going that I haven’t looked at for 3 weeks.

Full of trying to be an involved mother who is creating memories and a strong value base within my children.

Full of trying to get the motivation to start exercising and lose weight (this is on my mind more than I would like. It looks like I will actually have to exercise! OMG).

Full of worrying about those 3 boys, and their health, wellbeing and happiness.

So full, that sometimes I have to pull the plug and let it all empty out. I think that now is one of those times. Drain all the thinking, and let it just be…

Phew…

 

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^^^Time for another outing I think…

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Projectitis….

I have a serious case of Projectitis.

I love projects….art, craft, photography, writing, cooking, gardening….anything creative. I love planning the project. I love starting the project. I love telling people about the project.

Am yet to finish a project…

I have a whole list of projects I want to do. I fact, I have many lists. I even used to have a book. I called it my ‘Ideas Book’ and I used to write down all of my ideas and projects that I wanted to do.

One of them was to publish a book.
I think I might just publish my Ideas Book!

In all seriousness, I am in fact planning a ‘projects’ book, but that is a whole other story…*boom tish*…

Anyway, I have in progress a cot quilt for a new baby nephew. I am sure he will find it handy when I finish it…when he is 18.

Last winter I started crocheting a blanket. I vowed to finish so I could use it last winter. Now I vow to finish it by the time I am 50 (I am now 41).

I started sewing a tea towel last weekend. I am sure I will finish it this weekend.

I bought fabric to make a Family Flag. You know, like a big American college flag but with our family name on it. I don’t know why, but I just liked the idea. It will happen one day.

I bought a heap of fun dress up stuff (even though I have teen and pre-teen boys who have never dressed up) to have fun with a homemade photo booth. That lasted for all of 5 minutes.

I even ordered a gorgeous pack of kimono quilting fabric that came this week. I don’t know what I will make, but I love the fabric.

I also bought 2 little packs of gorgeous hand printed scrap fabric from Umbrella Prints (http://www.umbrellaprints.blogspot.com.au/) with the intention of entering their Trimming Competition where you make the scraps into something super-duper creative.

But I would like to actually start AND finish something. So I decided that in order to get a project completed I had to keep it simple (as if sewing a tea towel were not simple enough). So what did I come up with?

Cooking the boys bright coloured pancakes\pikelets for breakfast.

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And you know what? It was easy, fun and yummy! AND I finished it and have even cleaned up after!

Recipe
2 cups self raising flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
Food dye

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Mix ingredients
Divide into as many bowls as you need for your colours.
Add enough food colour to get a colour of your liking.
Cook as pancakes or pikelets.
Top with golden syrup.
Eat!

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Keeping it simple baby!!

Putting the clown wig to good use below……

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To blog, or not to blog…

I love blogs. But not all blogs.

Blogging. It’s a weird thing. Do only other bloggers read your blog or do non-bloggers (aka normal people) read it too?? If only other bloggers read it, what’s the point? And I know bloggers are meant to be supportive of other bloggers (and specially women too. Actually, do men even blog??), but oh my god, some blogs are so boooring. And really, the grammar and punctuation, let alone the ability to turn a phrase, is…how do I put it…average…crappola…(yes I am a blog snob)…And if I read another blog giving their version of spag bol that their kids love, I will scream… or the highly controversial debate of it being ‘spag bol’, or ‘spag bog’…and please don’t tell me which one you think it is, because I don’t care!!

A woman I work with said to me…oh you write a blog, WHY?…Hmmm, why indeed?? That made me think about it. I don’t have a massive need to share every part of my life, but clearly I am very witty and undoubtably hilarious, and my children adorable (otherwise why would I show so many photos of them?). Let’s not forget sarcastic. But I blog because I love writing. I have loved writing since I could write. When I was 10 years old I was selected to go on a creative writing camp. Two kids from each school in the region were selected to go, and I was one of them. I loved it, and I will never forget it, even though it was 31 years ago (no, really??. Yes, really).

And I think blogging is an ego thing. Love a bit of feedback. Gotta love an ego boost. But if I ever get to the point of blogging about ‘spag bog’ vs ‘spag bol’, or publishing pics of a great ham sandwich I just made, please tell me to end it then and there (blogging, that is).

Though, don’t diss the recipe blog.  I love a good cooking blog.

Must go and plan my next blog…I leave you with a photos of my adorable children…well, just the youngest one actually, cos he is super cute…

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I made it!

Wow, I made it to Christmas and beyond!

I do love Christmas, but like most things you get so busy and there is so much stacked on with school, work, juggling school holiday child care, and other social activities that you lose the feeling of ‘joy to the world’ a bit. And you are pretty exhausted at the end of the year anyway without heaping all that on it.

And really, that LAST thing you want to do is go to the School Presentation night where you have to sit through 500 kids being called individually on stage – kill me now!  Luckily the teacher’s band at the end was great and finished it on a high note.  But I’ve said it before; I am not one that loves a school concert, production or music night.  It generally gives me a stabbing pain at the thought of sitting through it.  And just because a cute little girl does singing lessons, doesn’t mean she can actually sing and should do a solo!

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Why is my child always the one behind the pole or microphone!!

It didn’t help that Richard was overseas for the 10 days leading up to Christmas, and got back on Christmas Eve! I had to do all the events: school, church, and social, SOLO!  It didn’t worry me going by myself, but it did mean that I couldn’t fob anything off onto Richard.  I went to a Christmas Breakfast that I had booked for us as a family before he went away.  I didn’t realise they would seat the kids on a separate table, so when I got there, they showed me to a table set for 1!  That was a bit sad.  Luckily the boys thought they were too old for the kids table and asked to be seated with me.

And during that lead up to Christmas I had so many blog posts I wanted to do in that time, but like sands through the hourglass, time escaped me.

But I am back…

We did have a great family Christmas full of great food, great company, and good cheer.  And I managed to do most of my shopping online or with local Mt Eliza shops (check out http://boutique.kaamer.com/).  I tried not to go overboard and get crap for the sake of it, or get the boys stuff just because other kids their age have it.

But it is almost a relief that it is all over.  I don’t mean Christmas Day, but the whole season and lead up to it.  Now we can just chill out and relax and get into the business of having a great Australian summer.

For the next week anyway, until I go back to work….


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Coming to an end…

My holidays are nearly over and I think I have the end of holiday blues!  The weather has turned cold and it has rained on and off the last couple of days.

Days like this are a distant memory…

I have spent my holidays doing so many things that I have been meaning to do for so long, or just can’t squeeze into a weekend.  I have put my vegie patch in, I have mowed the lawn, and revamped the chook pen, ready for new chooks before the end of school holidays. I have done a bit of sewing, a bit of photography, and a heap of cooking & baking.

But most of all I have chilled out with my boys.  We haven’t done much.  We couldn’t be bothered doing all those nice activities that I planned.  All we wanted to do was hang out at home, and if it was sunny, hang out at the beach. Arch was lucky to get out of his pyjamas most days, and I can say that at 5:37pm today, he is still in his pj’s.

I have 2 more days left, and I think we will get some good weather, so hopefully we will get another visit to the beach in.

Then back to reality…*sigh*…

On another note, I bought a Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master (BKM), which is a Thermomix knock off!  For those that haven’t been introduced to a Thermomix yet, it is a blending, chopping, stirring and cooking masterpiece, and does it all in ONE POT!!  And for the mere sum of $2,000+ you too can have this masterpiece in your kitchen.  *gulp*.

Well, needless to say, I DIDN’T pay that (but I can say that for my girlfriends that HAVE purchased a Thermo, not one has voiced any regret!!).

The BKM can be purchased for $299 at Target!  Yippee!  And whilst Target all over Australia have been sold out of the BKM, I can tell you there are a few left at Target Mornington (Vic).

When researching the BKM I would giggle at the outrage of the Thermomix cult members about the cheaper version.  And truth be told, if I paid $2,000 for a Thermo, I would be outraged too.

Don’t get me wrong, I am under no illusion that I will get a $2,000 masterpiece for $299. But what I do get is a nearly as good piece of equipment that has revolutionised my kitchen, and as someone who has never baked cakes and muffins for my children, those boys are wondering at what sort of luck has befallen them with all the muffins I am churning out!

I will have to start working out a list of good quick dinners in the BKM to churn out when I go back to work on Wednesday….

I impress even myself!….

I just have to quickly toot my own horn here…I am very impressed with myself!

As per usual, not much in the pantry for the school lunchboxes. So what did I do? I made pancake muffins, fruit pastries and cheese and promite scrolls.  All before I left for work at 7:15am!  See?  That is why I am impressed with myself!

For the pastries, I bought Borg’s organic pastry.  It is expensive but I do have to say it is nicer than the homebrand stuff.  For fruit pastries, cut a defrosted sheet into 6 pieces, slice up some strawberries or apples (I also use frozen berries), lay them on top, sprinkle with sugar.  Bake.

Cheese and Promite scrolls.  Scrape some promite (or vegemite) onto a piece of pastry, sprinkle with cheese (I use tasty cheese), roll up and cut into 3 pieces (makes decent sized one) or cut up smaller for bite sized.  Bake.

It’s that easy.

Now for the pancake muffins….

Mix 1 cup self raising flour, 1 egg, 1 cup of milk and some sugar if you wish.  Whisk.  Grease some muffin pans.  Half fill with pancake batter.  Top with slices of apple, or frozen berries, or anything else you want.  I put on a sprinkle of sugar. Bake.

And I just baked them while I was in the shower.  And then baked another batch whilst I did my hair and makeup.

I am so good…

It started with such promise…

Ahh, spring time!  It was so lovely and sunny last weekend.  Spring held such promise.  I bought everything to setup new vegie patches.  I planned on clearing out the chook shed for some new chooks and even some ducks.  I was all motivated and inspired.

What happened?

In true Melbourne fashion the weather changed and we are back to cold, dreary, wet weather! Oh well, I can’t always use the weather as an excuse to sit inside and do not much!  And I have been a bit inspired lately, so I must grab that and make the most of it before it all leaks out like sweat….

So what is my inspiration at the moment…

Simple living, vegie patches, creativity, writing, photography, sewing, and after talking to other Mums from school this morning (yes, I blame you Caroline Bailey!) also whole foods and making foods from scratch, how it can affect learning and health…..too much!

What will I focus on?

Simple living and slowing down…cutting back on kids’ activities.  Thankfully we don’t do too much, so a big ‘tick’ on that one.  I will do the vegie patch and chooks next week.  I promise.

Creativity…will focus on writing and photography. Make my blog more regular, and am working on photography pieces for an upcoming exhibition.

Whole foods…will start at the health food shop this morning and get some spelt flour and see what my bread maker can do with it.  I will pay more attention to ingredients and try and make more food from scratch.

So this is my spring time focus.  Now all I need is the sun to come out give some warmth….

Here is a bit of sunny warmth…a photo taken by my 11 year old son, Ed…

OK, I admit it…

I have a confession to make. A confession about an obsession. A compulsion. An addiction….

I am addicted to…COOK BOOKS. Yes, that’s right.  Cook books!

Now, I know I am not alone.  There are many of us out there.  People who can’t help but buy a cook book from the sale table at the book shop.  From the stacked display at Target.  From the books on sale at work or kinder.

I just can’t help it.

I sneak them in. I hide them under my growing collection of craft and sewing books. I have even cooked from some of them! I stick them in with the kids’ books.  I have them upstairs. Downstairs.  In the playroom.  In the study. They’re popping out everywhere.

 

I have some amazing cook books.  I like to just sit on the couch and read them like a novel.

I have every soup cook book you can imagine.  Every quick meal for the busy person cook book. Every Stephanie Alexander.  Every Jamie Oliver.  Every Maggie Beer.  (I even have The Cook and the Chef DVD’S. And I am sure I will watch them one day.).  I have Japanese, French, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Moroccan. Indian.  Even a traditional family Jewish cook book gifted to me by a Jewish client.

Richard wasn’t too happy when I pointed out my new Weight Watcher’s cook book and all the meals I planned to cook from it.  I must do those meals this week…

I have “Mrs Beaton’s Family Cookery” that was my Grandmother’s.  I am guessing it is from the 1930’s. I love the advertisements in this one. Oh to be a housewife in the 1930’s.

 

My prized possession is a cook book of my Great Aunt’s, which must be from the 1940s. It is a recipe index book that has hand written recipes and newspaper clippings.  My Great Aunt was a single woman living in England.  She moved there from Australia.  She was engaged to be married, but her fiancé was tragically killed during the war (maybe a result of the war – I don’t know!). She never married.  Sad…She worked in the newsroom of BBC, and was secretary to Basil Dean, an English actor, playwright and producer.  What an interesting life she must have led, especially for a single woman in post war England.  In her recipe journal, there are recipes by Elizabeth David and many newspaper clippings by a woman named Claire Butler. There is even a recipe written on a serviette and tucked into the pages. I wonder where she was when she decided to jot that one down?

     

I have never cooked from this book. But I love to sit down and carefully go through the pages imagining the dinner parties that this cook book created.  The conversations it started.  And the stories that the collection of recipes tells about her life. The dinner parties.  The cocktails. A whole different world…

   

I wonder, in many years when I am long gone, what stories my recipe books will tell about me.  Which books are in pristine condition, which recipes have food all over them and pages stuck together, which recipes will be passed down, and what the stories of favourite meals will be.