Thursday, January 30, 2014

][ recipe ][ gluten free mashed spud salami pizza

We have made this for years. Long before gluten free or children entered our lives. I think I got the original idea from an old cookery book of mums (maybe originally Betties?). From memory it was Women's Weekly cookbook about potatoes from the 80's. 
This recipe makes a double batch. I have 4 small people with the appetite of 4 small giants. 
][ ingredients
• spuds, kg peeled and chopped
• 2 eggs
• parmesan, 1/4 cup
• milk, optional
• tomato paste, 2 tablespoons 
• sliced tomato
•gluten free salami
• cheese, 300g grated (I used a mixture of grated cheddar and mozzarella)
• fresh oregano
][ method 
• peel and cook the potatoes (in milk if you are using it)
• mash the spuds with the parmesan and eggs
• grease a pie dish (I use my egg and bacon pie dish) and spread the mashed spud on the bottom to form the pizza base. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until set
• heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
• spread the tomato paste on the spud, then top with the oregano, sliced tomato, salami and cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden on top. Serve with a green salad. Enjoy! 

While I was whipping up this taste sensation the kids were playing in the temporary river in our front yard. Last week we jackhammered the concrete path in the from yard. We didn't have a chance to replace it with the white gravel so for the time being we will have to make do with a river. Which the kids think is fantastic!
Mud pies anyone?
Arthur had food on the brain, trying to organise up some chicken chow mein. 
Of course, then came the obligatory hose off!

Gotta love summer xx


As I've been hinting recently we are considering a tree change. I think I mentioned the verandah, rolling paddocks and cups of tea? Well, we are having so much fun with 'the girls' (despite the fact that we haven't even had one egg since Mr TBT hired the jackhammer) that George suggested that we become 'egg farmers'. Now that is a suggestion. Even having the audio recording of Fantastic Mr Fox on repeat all school holidays hasn't put me of. (Seriously, we just had to start reading the book tonight cos we simply hadn't had enough Roald Dahl for the last 6 weeks. The big kids recited the first 4 pages word for word before I even had the chance to open the cover).  
Back to the chicken farming. With so much Fantastic Mr Fox you would think the character Boggis would have put me off the idea. 
Boggis was a chicken farmer. He kept thousands of chickens. He was enormously fat. This was because he ate three boiled chickens smothered with dumplings every day for breakfast, lunch and supper. 
S'pose it's better than Bean...
Bean was a turkey-and-apple farmer. He kept thousands of turkeys in an orchard full of trees. He never ate any food at all. Instead he drank gallons of strong cider which he made from the apples in his orchard. He was thin as a pencil and the cleverest of them all. 
On one of our recent trips to Spotlight Ingrid saw a man matching this description and promptly said {shouted} "mummy- that man looks like Bean. You know, the one from Fantastic Mr Fox who smells like cider and picks his nose!!"
Obviously it was one of the few hot days we've had this summer and of course all the windows were down. Oh well, it's nice to have some sunshine...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Australia Day - To BBQ or Not To BBQ?

It was Australia Day on Sunday. It seems there are mixed feelings about Australia Day. Invasion Day. Day of Mourning. It seems some people are really confused by this, others don't BBQ on Australia Day out of respect for our indigenous people. There is no doubt in my mind that Australia was invaded. Countless atrocities were committed to Australia's original inhabitants. And if you ask me, in several parts of Australia there is a 3rd world still. Where children live in poverty. It is still the indigenous people who are bearing the brunt of the 'lucky country'. 

Did the arrival of the first fleet make this great country of ours? Why do we celebrate our national day on such a controversial date? After all, it's a relatively new phenomenon. It only started in 1994. 

More recently, ugly events such as the Cronulla Race Riots have muddied my view of patriotism. As has this countries disgraceful stance on illegal immigrants. Quite frankly I'm a little ashamed to be Australian when it comes to these two issues, but that is for another post.

My question is then, can we celebrate our national day without showing disrespect for Australia's indigenous people?

We chose to BBQ. I'm really pleased we did, as we had a fantastic day. A day which represented some of the great things about Australia. Even if Mr TBT did don his traditional Australia Day outfit. 


Thankfully he only wears it once a year. Excepting Olympic years. 

As I was rolling the lamb kofta, making the salads (lentil & feta, warm potato, Tuscan bean and cous cous) I did ponder the indigenous community, and what Australia Day means to them. Ill be honest, I don't have any answers. But I thought about it. I thought about how horrifying some of the experiences must have been. I paid my respects.

I also thought about all the new citizens who became official Australians on that day. I find this really exciting, thinking about the great diverse range of people who can now call themselves Ozzies, and pondering the great (positive) impacts and influences they might have on our society. I also thought about the members of our communities who are already making amazing contributions, and whom may have been recognised on the Australia Day honours list. This always makes me think of my grand father in law who has an OAM for his service to his community, and of my dear friend who has an AM for her service to agriculture. There are some fantastic people in this world and Australia Day is one of the times you hear those feel good stories. 

Being a family with four children, most of the guests were children. As we looked around we saw children with incredibly diverse backgrounds. Children with Dutch, Saudi, Algerian, Flemish, Turkish, Burmese, Danish, Ukrainian and German heritage. We had also invited families with French, Indonesian, Chinese, American and Indian backgrounds, who were unable to come. I think we had all major religions covered on the guest list too. All playing, completely oblivious to world politics or religious tension. 

We had most professions covered too. Doctors, hospitality workers, allied health professionals, tradesmen, teachers, realestate agents, disability support workers, small business owners, naturopaths, accountants and more were invited....all of whom play an important part in Australian society as we know it today.  While the children were playing, the grown ups had some ripper conversations and debates. 

But most importantly we had good food and good friendship. Which to me, is a perfect way to spend a beautiful summer day. Which happened to be the 26th January. 

Ps. It wasn't a real Australia Day BBQ. We didn't have a pav in sight. But we did have some rather patriotic jelly. 
That's right folks. Green and gold striped jelly is tipped to be the next big desert in restaurants around the country. You heard it here first!!
Oh, and I made my first slice. (Would you believe?). I've become an old hand at baking, but this was my first slice. Peppermint Chocolate slice. What do you think? 

Monday, January 27, 2014

52 Project

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014. Only, in typical fashion I'm a bit late starting. Ahh...better late than never. This was started on the Practicing Simplicity blog. So while technically this is 4/52, it's my first crack!
:: Rupert.... sleeping angel. I thought if he could see how beautiful he is when he's sleeping he might take up sleeping as a hobby. Or at least dabble in it occasionally. 
:: full conversation about something. Not sure what it was, but he was very passionate about it!!
:: Ingrid...cheeky monkey caught on camera trying to get me with the hose!!
:: George...with the smile that lights up my life...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Taking Stock...

This is an idea I've seen on a couple of other blogs. Here, here & here. Thanks for the idea!!

Making : homemade mayo

Cooking : frittata, lentil & feta salad, white bean salad, warm spud salad, lamb kofta, mint slice, and striped yellow and green jelly - all for Australia Day!

Drinking : green tea. 

Reading: blogs. Lots and lots of blogs. It's fun!!

Wanting: an iPad. Time to move into this century. (I still haven't joined Facebook).

Looking: lustfully at tree change destinations. Green rolling hills, a wide verandah to sit and sip tea...

Playing: peek-a-boo. 

Wasting: time. Rupert is the most smiley time waster in the world!!

Sewing: cushions for the play room. 

Wishing: the last of the school holidays are quick and painless.

Enjoying: listening to George & Ingrid playing together

Waiting: for my copy of Vantastic to arrive...

Liking: that we have decided to stay gluten free.

Wondering: if we went caravaning whether we could modify mobile sheep yards to make a giant play pen around the van to keep Arthur in?

Loving:building our nest with the love of my life. 

Hoping: we keep up the good run. Nobody has been to emergency all year.

Marvelling:at Arthur's speech development. It's suddenly falling into place. Last week he said as clear as a bell "birds. Over there. Birds".

Needing: a few changes in life.

Smelling: Dahl. (Dinner in the slow cooker).

Wearing: my new yellow shoes. 

Following: the leader, the leader, the leader, we're following the leader....

Noticing: lots of bees on the front lawn.
Knowing: daddy is going back on a week on week off roster feels soooo much better.

Thinking: a lot about what is important in life, and what is important to the 5 people who mean everything to me.

Feeling: a bit clueless, if I'm honest...
Bookmarking: lots of idyllic cottages in Country Style. 

Opening: the hen house every morning.

Giggling: at the chooks. I know they're only chooks, but they make me smile. Except early in the morning when I open Arthur's curtains and Scuzzy gives me the evil eye til I let her out. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

All work and no play....

My goodness we have been up to our elbows in work. We started renovating the cubby. We may have done things a little backwards by making the decor before we started on the real work. 
That's right! Pom poms. We're mad about pom poms at the moment.
We made them ourselves. I'm not sure if it was the pirate costume but George was right into crafting again. In fact he was in such a pom pom making frenzy 
That he decided to decorate his youngest brother during the pom pom break (with stamps from a recent party bag). 
Next to clean out the cubby. 
Then the fun began. The kids cleaned cubby and the kitchen. 
And then the fun began...
As much as the big kids had much enthusiasm for painting lets just say that it's probably a good thing that we will need another coat of paint. I think I might do that once they start school. Bless their cotton socks. 
Daddy came home and we decided to press on with the front yard. We had been breaking our backs, I mean concrete by hand and this time we decided to bring in the big guns:
And of course we had to take the rubble to the concrete recyclers. 
Don't worry, the little kids got out of the heavy lifting. 
All in all its been a big couple of days and I look forward to sharing the completed projects soon!!
Oh, and I made the most delicious home made mayonnaise this evening. Soooo yummy. 
Oh and we've started sewing the cushions for the play room. Busy busy!
Chow! Looking forward to Australia Day!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Damn You Facebook

I'm not on Facebook. I've never been on Facebook. I had never planned on being on Facebook. Only something recently tempted me... But more on that later. Mr TBT had never been on Facebook either. Then he misplaced a friend. Dear ol Douglas went off to work in India. All good and well. We had the odd email, the occaisonal phone call and all was well. Then Douglas (and family) went off to work in Mongolia. Where he disappeared off the planet. Not a word. Zip, zilch, nada. In fact, nobody had heard boo.
"There's only one thing for it" I said to Mr TBT, one morning. "You'll have to join Facebook to find him"
"Nah, she'll be right". Weeks past. Months even, still no word. "Bugger. I'll have to join Facebook" he said. "Bingo! I found him".
Now I'm not saying Facebook doesn't have a roll. It did the trick. But then Mr TBT recieved a flurry of messages. Most either chastising him for joining the dark side (!!) or messages that were completely irrevelvant, inappropriate or downright boring. "I'm going to close my account" he said. Easier said than done. Several hours later (and lots of rude words) he closed his account. "Damn you Facebook" he said.
Fast forward a couple of years and Mr TBT updates my phone for me. Except something goes woefully wrong and the whole phone is wiped. Friends phone numbers, Arthur's baby pictures-all gone. "You'll have to get on Facebook" I say, innocently. "Bugger off" he said. (By the way, if you haven't heard from me in a while, please get in touch. I've lost all my phone numbers, and I'm not on Facebook).
So, thus far I've been quite proud not to be on Facebook. I have had to get friends to get information for me from businesses who only have Facebook accounts. (If you are one of those businesses, please spare a thought for those of us living in the dark age. Please make your page with public access).
I can live without Facebook. Facebook doesn't run my life. So what tempted me? This

The lovely people over at My Bearded Pidgeon are having a giveaway. I thought it woukd be perfect caravan decor (remember my secret desire to whip the kids away on s little road trip. Around Australia.) Only thing is, you have to be on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Instagram. Or Piniterest. I'm not on any. Boo hoo for me! Actually I did make a twitter account once. But I've never use it. I don't even know the login.
I also love this world cushion.

Not to mention this lovely one.

And this!

If you want to pick up one of these beauties, head over to the My Bearded Pidgeon etsy shop here. If you are lucky enough to be on Facebook, Instagram, Piniterst or Twitter and want to win yourself a cushion go the their blog here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunshine in an Apricot

I love visitors. Especially when they bring home grown food straight from their garden. A few weeks back we came home to find a bucket of greengages at the back door. 
They were absolutely delicious. Thanks Laurence! This morning my mother in law (aka Gandy to the kids) rang to say she was dropping some apricots off-picked freshly from her tree. "They're like a ray on a fruit" she said. Wowsers. They certainly are. Hmmm. Yummy. Thanks!!

Mango Chicken

Our chooks have attitude. Lots of attitude. Just ask Mango. Mango is our dog. A somewhat loveable (he doesn't actually like me, but that's another story) cairn terrier. He's a fairly independent lad, who isn't entirely wrapped to be sharing his domain with 2 chooks. Especially 2 chooks with attitude. He has, at times thought about having a crack at the chooks. He only has to think about it and well, he ends up being chasee, rather than being the chaser.  I kid you not. One dirty glance in the direction of chooks and they turn on him, wing flapping and squawking with glee. I did feel for the little dog the other day when I looked out the window to see Mango piss bolting at top speed across the front yard with not one, but two chooks in hot pursuit!
That evening, I defrosted some chicken thighs (stir fry) only to find they were off. Oh well, I thought to myself, Mango will have them. I plopped them in his bowl. Mango looked at me as if to say "you've gotta be kidding!"
I don't know what they're putting in chicken these days, but since that evening the tables have turned. Mango has new found chook confidence. George relayed a story to me the other this morning. 
"Mum, Mango bit Scuzzy"
"What did Scuzzy do?"
"Pecked Mango"
"What did Mango do?"
"Bit Scuzzy again"
"What did Scuzzy do?"
"Pecked Mango again"