Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chicken noodle soup

Today was not a good day, but it ended well. In fact dinner was pretty much the only thing that went right today, even Caitlin liked it.

Chicken noodle soup

250g thin egg noodles
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 punnet of fresh baby corn, cut into bite sized pieces
6 mushrooms, sliced
150g sugar snap peas
breast meat from a BBQ chook, chopped
1.5L chicken stock (Don't want it too strong or salty, I used 2 Massel salt reduced cubes, which are supposed to make 500mL each, in 1.5L of water)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Cook the egg noodles as per directions on packet and drain when done. While they cook heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add ginger, garlic, corn, mushrooms and sugar snap peas and stir fry for a minute or two. Add chicken and stock, bring to the boil. Add drained cooked noodles, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Serves 5 with seconds for the bottomless pit disguised as the youngest child. It could have done with some shallots but there weren't any at Woolies when I went shopping tonight.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Well, hello there poss!

This evening when I came home, after dropping Tom at his drama class and then dashing up to the shops to grab some groceries, I pulled into the driveway and in the process transfixed in my headlights a dumpy little ball of fluff that was about to venture up and over our roof. It was no doubt heading for the back deck in the hope that the birds had been fed today and that there might be some leftover apple cores to clean up. Apparently the thought of braving that vast expanse of tile while being watched was too much for it and it headed back into the branches of the tree that overhangs our front deck instead.

It then stayed perched above the front door while I brought in the groceries, took a series of blurry dark photos with my phone - flash going off in its eyes all the while, rummaged around looking for Tom's camera, turned lights on and off, and eventually came back to subject the poor creature to even more blinding flashes in order to get these photos.

Ringtail possum

Ringtail possum

Let's see if we can get a bit closer

Ringtail possum

Must you keep pointing that thing at me?!

Ringtail possum

Maybe if I sit verrry still she'll go away...

Ringtail possum

I should probably go and put some apple out by way of apology.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Feel Good Friday is a weekly meme hosted by The Girl Next Door Grows Up (click the button above to go visit her). This week Liz at Eternal Lizdom has stepped up to the mark to host while The Girl has a break. I've seen Liz and others post to the meme over past weeks, it's a nice warm fuzzy idea and I could do with some warm fuzziness, so I'm joining in.

I'm going with the list prompt - 5 things that made you really happy this week.

1. Our Yulefest holiday

At the end of last week we went to Moss Vale for 4 nights and stayed in a big house with a pool table, tennis court, slightly inadequate heating and an open fire place that insisted on filling the house with smoke before settling down to be pretty and toast marshmallows. It was awesome! We were there with fabulous friends Ariane & Crash and Toni & Andrew, there were 8 kids between us, and I'm pretty sure I can safely say everyone had a great time. On Saturday evening there was roast turkey with stuffing, ham, baked veggies, Christmas pud with custard, fruit mince pies, white Christmas slice, a gingerbread house, vast quantities of booze and totally inadequate sleep.

I baked a gingerbread house and some extra 2D house-shaped slabs for the kids to decorate thinking it would keep them occupied for a while. Not so much. Don't get me wrong, it all got decorated, it just didn't take very long AT ALL!

Fastest gingerbread house decorators in the land
Decorating the gingerbread house

Saturday night Yulefest dinner

2. My tablet weaving, I'm quite happy with the way this latest one has turned out.

Just starting out on the ramshorn pattern.
Ramshorn pattern on the loom

3. Clara cuddles, they always make me happy.


4. Last night's dinner, a variation on this recipe. I added a diced capsicum, used an 800g tin of crushed tomatoes and baby spinach. It was yummy.

Garlic prawn risotto
Garlic prawn rissotto

5. The fact that when I typed the title for this post it came out as "Feel Goof Friday" :-)

Fancy a few more feel good offerings? Head on over to Liz's and check out some other FGF posts.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Extensions and renovations or "I can dream can't I?"

I've spent a large chunk of today sitting hunched over pieces of paper, drawing, erasing, leaping up to measure walls and furniture, drawing some more, looking up dimensions of various household goods on the internet, erasing again...

I think I get it from my mum, I have vivid memories of her doing the same thing (only without the internet research) trying to work out whether it was possible to add another room to the back of the house so the piano could be moved out of the front hall, or if putting a long skinny lap pool in the back yard was a good idea, or if we really needed a garage and what other use that space could be put to. No building work ever eventuated though the piano did get a new home in the lounge room once my brother moved out and his room became the TV room.

When we bought this house nine years ago we did so because it was in a great location, a short walk to the train station, close to my parents (babysitters ahoy!) and we could afford it. We could afford it because, among other things, it lacked a dining room, the kitchen was in dire need of gutting and the downstairs laundry and bathroom were a half-finished disaster area. But there was space to extend and we figured we could cope with its shortfalls for a little while. Apparently we're really good a coping because all I've done in those nine years is draw endless variations on plans for extending and renovating. Everything else is in pretty much the same state as when we moved in. Except for the bits that are nine years more the worse for wear.

My exercise in wishful thinking, let me show you it.


The front of the house is at the top, entry from the street is into the lounge room off the front deck. The dining room and back deck don't exist at present and the stairwell is currently off the kitchen where there's a cupboard and shower in this design.


We have a very steep driveway leading down to a double garage that runs right through to the back of the house, it's a drive through garage in fact, just in case you ever want to fill your back yard with vehicles of some kind I suppose. At the moment the gym is Adam's study; the garage has a small room built into the back corner off the bathroom; the bathroom has a toilet, some half done plumbing for a shower, a stairwell and a laundry in it; the main bedroom doesn't have a wardrobe, or a door; the gym is in the main bedroom (which is really a rumpus room and is a thoroughfare to the backyard); and the garage is never going to have a car in it again so I've given up pretending. The billiards table is currently languishing in the shed at Adam's mum's place, and I'm not sure if Adam's brother has any interest in it so whether we can lay claim to that or not is a little uncertain, but I hope we can, it's something of his Dad that means a fair bit to Adam.

So, now all I need is to get these plans drawn up properly, find a builder and win the lottery.

No worries.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Winterfest 2010

We've been time traveling again. We even packed our kit in our TARDIS to get there (I mean, I knew we were buying a big car when we got the VW van, but ye gods, the amount of stuff we can fit in there is incredible! It really is bigger on the inside).

Our weekend was spent at the Winterfest Medieval Fair at Parramatta Park being part of the living history display.

I wove bits of wool and melted bits of glass and watched jousting. Adam did some wood turning on the pole lathe and helped one of our new group members get started on making a pair of shoes. We had a scrumptious lamb stew for Saturday night dinner cooked by Adam and Jess over the camp fire. The kids beat each other up with our collection of rubber weapons and did a little bit of wood carving and pottery.

The very lovely Deb (aka Oonagh), from Canberra, was brave enough to come and stay at our place on Friday and Saturday night (we didn't camp over, it was easier to come home and besides, the cats like it better if they get fed) and she brought me the new linen underdresses she has made for me because she is awesome and actually likes to sew. Unlike myself, who, although I'm assured I am awesome in several ways and incidentally can sew, hates doing it and therefore doesn't.

It was lots of fun.

And I failed to take even one single photo.

ETA: But luckily other people did.

Around the cooking fire. Photo credit: Deborah Lane (oonaghsown)

Saturday night dinner. Photo credit: Deborah Lane (oonaghsown)

Making glass beads. Photo credit: Deborah Lane (oonaghsown)

Deb and I hard at work sitting at the craft display. Photo credit: Deborah Lane (oonaghsown)

Other Winterfest pictures around the net:

"Winterfest 2010" by Avaery on Flickr

"Winterfest 2010" by Stephen Finlay on Flickr

And a couple of videos too: