Monday, February 22, 2010

Thai red chicken curry

I started with Helen's recipe for Aromatic Thai Chicken and added some bits and tweaked some quantities and ended up with this:

Thai red chicken curry

1kg chicken fillet (I used half thigh fillets and half breast fillets)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped (I used one of the larger and milder varieties - 2 birdseye chillies would also work. Or more if you're not feeding whimpy kids.)
1 red capsicum, diced
150g snow peas
270ml coconut milk
125ml water
roasted cashews and macadamias to serve

1. Cut chicken fillets into large chunks and place in a glass bowl with the onion. Mix the garlic, sugar, mustard seeds, curry paste, fish sauce and lemon juice together and pour over chicken. Stir to coat the meat and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a large deep frypan and stir fry chili and lemongrass briefly before adding the chicken, marinade and onion mix to the pan. Cook, stirring, until chicken is browned and almost cooked through.

3. Add the capsicum and snow peas and stir fry for a couple of minutes, then add the coconut milk and stir in well. Add water gradually until the sauce is the desired consistency.

4. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked to your liking, serve over rice and sprinkle a few cashews and macadamias on top for extra yum.

Thai red chicken curry

Sadly I'd got it ready a little too early and by the time Adam got home for dinner the snow peas were a bit overcooked. But it still tasted pretty damn good.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday fragments

Mommy's Idea
Hosted by Mrs4444.

Whenever I come to write a Friday Fragments post I am reminded that it would be a very good idea to have a draft open all week and pop all the little bits and pieces of the week straight in there to be ready for sharing with the world at the end of the week. And then I remember that all those little bits and pieces are being loosed into the intertubes as they happen in the form of my tweets. But tweets are so ephemeral, they appear in people's twitter feeds, scroll down the page and are gone. So I feel totally justified in reproducing the content of them here - with bonus elaboration of course!

Things that made me tweet this week:

1. Adam found this in the garage

What's left after a hunstman moults

It's the exoskeleton of a huntsman spider - it's what is left behind when one moults in order to get bigger. I prefer not to think about the gap under the door between the garage and the hall outside our bedroom.


2. Stripey socks. There was talk on my twitter feed of stripey socks and the need for shoes and clothing that would adequately show off the wonderousness of stripey socks. Or indeed any other kind of socks of awesomeness. And then someone mentioned Fluevog shoes and before I know it I'm coveting a pair of these.

And I don't do shoes, especially ones with heels. But I might have to now.


3. On Monday morning I was at a cafe in Galleries Victoria drinking coffee when a choir appeared on the mezzanine level and started singing. I duly videoed their performance and afterwards went up to the conductor, said nice things about the singing and asked if he was ok with me putting the video on youtube and what the name of the choir was. Turned out they were a choir from St Columba Anglican School in Port Macquarie. When I'd made a note of that and written down someone's email to send a link to, the announcement of "You're going to be on youtube" was greeted by cheering :-) And so they are.


4. I then met up with the completely awesome Emma who arrived from New Zealand on Monday morning and the rest of my tweets for the day went like this:

  • OMG I'm melting! Have been walking round city. Stopping for lunch now.
    We had caught the monorail to the Entertainment Centre carpark, a taxi to Em's hotel, then walked back to the monorail station, caught the monorail to Pitt St Mall and walked down the mall.

  • I've just sat down in a cafe in Strand Arcade and a bloke walked past singing. This is getting weird. Lunch was a scrumptious BLT with an enormous amount of bacon and a Bundaberg ginger beer. Yum.

  • Sitting on Manly warf waiting for ferry after having icecream & paddling in ocean. There's a Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream place at Manly now, and they have free internets! So we clearly had to go there. Then we took off our shoes and socks and paddled! See, proof:

    Emma at Manly

  • Beer! We took a taxi to Chinatown and eventually ended up in a blissfully air-conditioned pub while we waited for Adam to arrive with the kids so we could...

  • Finished the day with dinner at the Marigold in Chinatown. I am knackered but it was totally worth it - fabulous day with the lovely Emma :)


5. I may have ranted slightly about P&C stuff, but that stuff gets no elaboration. I also may have mentioned all the work I was doing on the P&C blog because it's horribly lonely on a blog with no visitors. Happily the school community is slowly discovering it and lots of people have said nice things to me about it. When they look slightly awed by the hours I've spent on it I tell them it's partly about me teaching myself Wordpress blogging stuff and other things and that I'm quite happy to donate my time in that way because I'm getting something out of it too.

And there were way too many uses of the word "it" in that paragraph. But I can't be bothered rephrasing.


6. Wednesday afternoon was shaping up to be a bit of a logistical nightmare but my mother was awesome again: "My mother turned up to play kid-taxi driver thus turning my extremely stressful afternoon into a perfectly manageable one. I luffs her."


7. By Thursday night I was a little worse for wear: "I'm too shattered to even muster an arrrgh! of frustration tonight. All I've got is a whimper. *whimpers*" I am seriously looking forward to this time next month, when I will no longer be the P&C President and ThingsTM will become Somebody Else's Problem. It's been satisfying and I feel pretty good about what I've done over the last 2 years but I've also had enough and it's time to move on.


8. Adam has been brewing, we have homemade ginger beer in the fridge and there is a bottle of mead brewing in my lounge room.

Brewing mead

This is the first time he's done mead, it'll be interesting to see how it turns out!

And there you have it, my week in tweets. Apologies to those who'd been along for the ride the first time 'round, if you've read this far!

Now you can all head on over to Half-Past Kissin' Time and check out the rest of the Friday Fragmenters.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Anglo-Saxon cooking spree

This little book has been sitting on the shelf in the kitchen for a while now waiting for someone to feel like embarking on a culinary adventure. Around about lunchtime today Adam declared that he was going to cook an Anglo-Saxon feast for dinner. So he did (with the odd anachronism thrown in).

The book is Tastes of Anglo-Saxon England by Mary Savelli and the blurb on the publisher's website reads thus:
These 46 easy to follow recipes will enable you to enjoy a mix of ingredients and flavours that were widely known in Anglo-Saxon England but are rarely experienced today. In addition to the recipes, there is background information about households and cooking techniques.
Adam decided against wrestling with a new bread recipe and went with the dinner rolls recipe he'd used just recently. This time I have a photo. Tom helped cook them and was therefore convinced that he should be able to eat as many as he wanted - I think he scored three in the end.

Dinner rolls, some with poppy seeds

Dinner rolls

Our main course was Bræde Sceapen Flæsc, otherwise known as Lamb Roast. The leg of lamb was placed in a baking dish with a mix of chopped carrots and onions, stock, cider, flour, ground coriander seeds and dried sage leaves poured over it. It was then covered and slow baked, resulting in tender meat in an absolutely scrumptious gravy - the fat content of which we will not be thinking about!

Roast lamb with delicious gravy of evilness

Roast lamb Anglo Saxon style

Dessert was Bæcen Æpplas (Baked Apples). Cored and peeled apples were stuffed with chopped pear and peach, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, butter and honey and baked till the filling was cooked and bubbly. They weren't particularly photogenic but they were utterly delicious.

Half-way through eating his apple Tom said "Can I have another bread roll?" to which I answered "No!" A moment later he announced in great surprise, "For some reason I'm already full!" Yeah, that would be the vast quantity of meat, baked veggies and bread rolls you'd already eaten Tom...

Baked Apples

Baked apple

And, just because cooking three things at once wasn't enough for him, Adam also made Æpplas Syfling (Apple Butter) with honey, pepper, mint and cumin. We tried some on the bread rolls, rather nice but VERY sweet.

Apple Butter

Apple butter

I'm stuffed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hamlet: The Macro Summary

What more could one ask for than Patrick Stewart and David Tennant in a performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet?

The macro version of course!

What's that you say Capt Picard, sir?

And sherlockiangirl did!

Go now, yes right now, and enjoy the very fabulous Hamlet: The Macro Version

Good things

It was a little scary how much of this I ate before thinking "Hmmm, that might be enough."

They're from the lovely Juliette who I know through the kids' school and who occasionally comments here, she decided to spoil me with real flowers instead of virtual ones after reading my recent posts. Thank you so very much Juliette, they made my day and I've been enjoying sitting here on the lounge with that gorgeous display visible over the top of my laptop screen all week :-) Almost all the blooms are open now and they're lasting beautifully.

Today's lunch with my Dad - rockmelon, proscuitto, haloumi, tomato, token baby spinach and turkish bread

Lunch with my Dad

I went along with Dad to see his psychiatrist today and had a quite reassuring chat about what the family can contribute to looking after Dad and helping him to get well and so on. Apparently we hadn't done too badly on figuring out the right things to do - everything we'd come up with got the nod from the doctor. We then went and grabbed a few groceries and headed back to my place for lunch. I discovered Dad had never had haloumi cheese, an omission that could not be permitted to stand. "It's a bit more-ish," he said. "Isn't it just!" said I.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

21st Down Under Feminists Carnival

The 21st Down Under Feminists Carnival is up at The Radical Radish. Head on over, avail yourself of her offer of a cuppa (disclaimer: may require kitchen activity of your own!) and settle in for some fabulous weekend reading.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday fragments and Linkfest No. 15

Mommy's Idea
Hosted by Mrs4444.

When you get to the bottom of this post don't forget to come back up here and click on this link to Half-Past Kissin' Time so you can go check out all the other fabulous Friday Fragments posts!

I missed fragmenting last week and I've barely blogged at all recently, I ought to have a whole bunch of stuff to offload. Let's see what's lurking in the corners of my brain...


I spent Saturday night in a small, inadequately air-conditioned room, with a fabulous group of women from the Hoyden About Town blog community, singing loudly and hilariously for 3 hours. Karaoke is so much fun even if it does result in a sore throat the next day. We did everything from Meatloaf and Cold Chisel to Abba and Simon & Garfunkle - there was even a rickrolling courtesy of FP. I'm already looking forward to next time!


David's first 2 days of high school at the end of last week were a great success, he came home happy and excited, telling us all about his classes. Then on Monday and Tuesday he went to the Year 7 Orientation camp at Vision Valley and came home exhausted and miserable having been separated from his friends both for the activities and for sleeping arrangements, fed pretty crappy food, and generally having a rotten time. What a massive waste of time, effort and money. I had to bully him out of bed and off to school on Wednesday morning, he was in tears and I was so close to giving in and letting him stay home. I had a good cry myself after he'd gone and spent the day in a state of anxiety over whether he was going to have an ok day. Fortunately he came home much happier again, it seems actual classes at high school are a Good Thing. Except for PE - he's not at all pleased that they're doing bush dancing.


We've been harvesting quite a good crop of tomatoes from Tom's vegetable garden, perfect for slicing nice and thick and having with cheese on Sao biscuits.

Tom's tomatoes

Tom's tomatoes


Things with my Dad have been slowly improving and we're on our way to having the money side of his life sorted out. I'm now managing his finances so if things start to go off the rail again I should know straight away. I feel somewhat weird and conflicted to be in this role especially as when Dad is well he really should be perfectly competent to look after all this stuff himself. I'm going along with him to his next psychiatrist appointment so I can have a chat to his doctor about it too. Dad's still pretty vulnerable but he's a lot better than he was 2 weeks ago and I'm fairly confident that he's not going to end up in a major depression. So that's good.


I finally got myself a Diva cup after more than a year of intending to do so. It is awesome. That is all. (Actually, I can say plenty more so if anyone has questions - ask away!)


I finished reading the first Sookie Stackhouse book, I enjoyed it enough that I instantly picked up the second one and started on that. Good thing I bought the box set of 7. The fact that it took me a week to get through the first book says something about my state of mind though, I'm finding I can't concentrate on a book for more than 30 minutes at a time. Stress sucks.

And now for some links:

At Hoyden About Town Lauredhel posts on the ILCA press release "For Haiti Orphans Wet Nursing Can Save Lives"

At Upside-Down Adoption Atlasien posts about "The Dangerous Desire to Adopt Haitian Babies"

Chally of Zero at the Bone hosts the Thirteenth Carnival of Feminists

I need one of these.

Jill at Feminitse posts about "Tim Tebow and the anti-choice Superbowl ad" and also links to a YouTube ad responding to the Tim Tebow ad featuring Sean James and Al Joyner (none of whom I know anything about but apparently some people are interested in the stuff these people do and say).

Deborah's new car and new hair made me laugh :-)

Monday, February 01, 2010

18 years

I was 18 years old when we first started talking about "when we're old and grey." When I came home and told my Mum that we were planning on getting married her reaction wasn't quite what I was looking for, she was wary of me committing so young.

One of Adam's friends took it upon himself to tell me to back off, I asked why he was telling me he had a problem with Adam and I being engaged, wasn't he Adam's friend? I was so furious that I made him drive me to Adam's place and tell Adam what he'd said to me. I don't think he was expecting that.

In the end we took the path of least resistance and agreed to wait a while before making anything official. It didn't really matter to us in any practical sense as we had no intention of either moving in together or marrying till a few years down the track anyway. But I'm still kind of irritated by the assumption that I didn't know what I was doing way back then.

Eventually there was a dinner, and a proposal, and a ring. Which all felt kind of staged, as though we were going through the motions in order to satisfy other people's need for formalities. I think I'm a bit deficient in the romance department because I'm quite sure Adam remembers it all rather differently. We told my parents and his, my parents threw an engagement party for us and I gave up half my wardrobe to storage of household goods that wouldn't be used for another 18 months or so.

Originally we'd planned for a wedding date after I finished my university degree, but after a year off to work in a bookshop and then starting over in a new course I was still a student when the 1st of Feb 1992 arrived. We were married in the church I'd grown up in, I was 21 and as long as there was no mention of the word "obey" and we were "husband and wife" rather than "man and wife" I was happy.

18 years, 3 kids and a whole lot of living later I'm still happy, still married and still in love.


Not too bad at all, I think I'll keep him.