Friday, April 22, 2011

Remembering special things

I do feel rather Australian but when people talk of beauty my heart is most definately not here but in Britain and Europe. The wild flowers, twitch and trill of birds, green green meadows, bluebell woods, postman pat villages that I'd loose myself in and end up in Stratford-Upon-Avon (what the!?). Going for a drive with my family as a child on a Sunday arvo and finding an old farm house complete with work field and pigeon house out the back. Dating 1600 and something.

I miss the richness of history, language, food, diversity and feeling of European countries and their ancient, ancient places. Some of them shocking me with feelings of spirituality or history or connection of family.. I'm not sure which.

I miss Jersey Royals. I miss Jersey milk. I miss real Haggis. Rugged magnificence of  large rivers meeting and making place names. Rummaging in the wilds and scrumping.
I miss Spanish driving, honking my horn at whatever and offending no-one. I miss hitching up our clothes and walking in the shallows for sandy miles to get to an island castle at low tide. Watching for days in Spring as the buds almost shake with anticipation on the cherry trees and finally burst open. The snowdrops peeping through the snow. The bank of daffodils in Spring at Easter time. I still love that wretched scent.
I miss German Christmas markets with the man yelling "Lecker Lecker" selling roasted chestnuts. Watching wide eyed as we attended Semana Santa and saw the resurrection float being carried by a crowd of men down the streets of Cuenca. Realizing we were the only non-Spanish, non-Catholic people in the whole town - magnificent!
I miss stinky, locally made cheese. I miss the distinct change of accent with a half an hour drive in any direction of Birmingham. I miss my feet being on soil that my ancestors walked. I miss family pub lunches and baltis. I miss the National Trust. I miss that awe inspiring moment of approaching Toledo with it's castle walls intact and very much a part of the city! The adventure. The stone cottages with thatched roofs in the village of my birth.

I don't really have that feeling of being in limbo anymore. It lasts for years and years. I'm sure all first generation immigrants feel the same. I've almost mastered the art of NOT rolling my eyes whenever I hear, "wow this place is so old it was built shortly after the first fleet arrived". My brain automatically inserts interesting history here.

Have I had a good old whinge?! Nope, just said how I feel (well except for that last bit!). I still think this is the best place to bring kids up. I like it here but do miss alot of rich and wonderful experiences from my younger days. I'm very very happy that I can sit here enjoying every burst of remembrance.

Speaking of remembrance. Here's what's been on my mind all week. This special weekend.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hello Mojo

Well it's been a long long journey from my first pregnancy 5 years ago my second 3 years ago and then Post Natal Depression for 18months. Urgh! Hormonal imbalances and crazy brain has finally abated and my cooking mojo (and happy fun mojo!) is back! Everyone's happy. 

Ok so the pic of the preserved roasted capsicum looks.. erm.. unappetizing but they taste very nice. Sweet pickled.

The latest made up recipe is a treat, Apple Almond cake, It's moist like flourless orange cake, except has flour.. and no oranges.
The other night I did a beef casserole with Patritti and the next night when we had the love bird's over for dinner I made the BEST pastry in the whole world and stuck the casserole left overs in it. YUUUUM!

These pics don't really show anything amazing but it's all I've got for now. I ordered some millet flour, rye flour and a whole bunch of nuts, dried fruit and seeds etc from our last co-op order.

Helen (the lady who does the health food orders for me) and I both decided we're sick to the teeth of it. Sooo much work (doing it properly) with nothing in return. Not that getting something in return is sought after, but after doing this damned thing for 7 years now (and Helen for about a year I think) it gets draining, annoying and we end up resentful at those who can't be bothered to pick up on time, pay on time or even get the fact that it's voluntary and share the load a bit.

There are some absolute gems that genuinely are thankful and will help when they can! But generally after each order and the pain in the butt things that happen we don't feel very good about anyone and resent doing it. But how would we get the goodies!?! Aren't most humans motivated by self interest? Of course.

What I DO love is having a home stocked with wholesome ingredients, healthy great quality produce and having the satisfaction of cooking with them knowing the nutritional value is high.

This time I got millet and rye flours to try them out. The rye flour made great sesame rye crackers, nice and crunchy but not too hard. Nice with cheese. It also made GREAT 50:50 unbleached wholegrain and rye flour bread rolls. I know I know, they look flat. I didn't let them rise for very long and it's a sourdough starter so they really needed all day. They were soooo fluffy! Even the next day. PERFECT burger bun recipe. Found it finally!!

 Gotta hurry up and pack these babies before the kids get too comfortable. There's a mouse in this house! I'm sure it won't be interested in the health food. There's plenty elsewhere

I pack dry goods (with oil/moisture content less than 10%) like THIS

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Warm and Fuzzy Chocolate

Thank goodness there are more people getting involved with fair trade. It makes such a HUGE impace that we really have no idea how our small choices affect the lives of others for good and bad.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On My Mind..

 Today we went to my favourite piece of open ground. I took the kids to the veggie garden first and was so happy to see them pointing out the ones that we also have at home. Pretty good for 4 and 2years!!
 This big bertha of a ginger plant was flippin' amazing! It must be so old. Taking cuttings isn't too bad... is it? Na!

 DS1 and his Easter egg basket. 3 picture shrink wrapped hard boiled eggs in a woolly nest.

 Gorgeous Autumn day. We napped well!