Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So Good

Posted by MANDI at 8:25 PM 3 comments
These delightful little cookies are sooooo good, maybe just not all that good for you. Well, they'd probably be alright if you just had one or two but... self control has never been big in my world.

There are about a trillion variations of this recipe floating around. In fact, I don't even know where this one came from. It's handwritten, and it's in my writing. This is most likely to mean that I pinched it, ahem I mean was encouraged to copy it, from a friend or family member. I'm sure I remember my Mum making these in the dim distant past so it might have come from her. Wherever they came from, just make them. They aren't a true light and flaky shortbread but they are a very nice buttery cookie that go down a treat with a cuppa, in the lunchbox, or as an after school snack. The recipe makes 50 cookies and they last well. Okay, maybe not it our house but they do keep well in the cookie jar.

A couple of things worth noting - last time I made these I found the mix very crumbly and hard to pull together. This time round I used slightly less flour maybe 2 1/4 - 2 1/3 cups rather than the 2 1/2 listed in the recipe. I found that this worked heaps better and made no difference to the taste. I also found it hard to pull the cookie dough together in one lot so I kneaded it as one lot for a short while then divided it in half and worked each half. If you've got the shoulder strength, go for it. If not, dividing the mix worked a treat.

Refrigerator Cookies

250g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar mixture
2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat butter, sifted icing sugar and vanilla in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Sift flour, in two batches, into butter mixture. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 25cm log. Enclose in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to moderate 180C.
4. Cut rolls into 1 cm slices; place on greased oven trays (I used baking paper) 2 cm apart. Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn onto wire racks to cool.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Brainwashed Much?

Posted by MANDI at 8:08 PM 2 comments

My poor babies never stood a chance. They're in their Dad's Carlton shirts. Which is not to say they don't have their own, just that it's more fun to be dressed up in Dad's gear. So that they can take the idea of supporting their footy team to extreme lengths.

Yep, footy season has started and, as the team song says, We are the Navy Blues!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's A Winner

Posted by MANDI at 5:22 PM 1 comments
We had this for dinner a few weeks back and it was a surprise (well, to me) hit with everyone. Offspring #2, AKA Little Miss Fussy, gobbled up her serving and declared it to be deeeee-lishus while Offspring #1, AKA Garbage Guts, went back for seconds and was trying for thirds as well. I'll happily admit that yes, it is kid food but when it tastes good, isn't too difficult to put together and everyone in the house eats their dinner without complaining I think I'm onto a good thing. In fact, I've grabbed the leftovers out of the freezer and we're having them for dinner tonight.

Don't be put off by having to make your own dough for this one. It's the easiest dough recipe ever. I don't have texas muffin pans, as required in the recipe, I just squished the scrolls into my regular muffin pan and ended up with slightly smaller ones.

Meat Pie Scrolls
from The Australian Women's Weekly Little Pies and Cakes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small brown onion, chipped finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 rindless bacon rashers, chopped finely
300g beef mince
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
50g butter, chopped coarsely
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pizza cheese

1. Heat oil in large frying pan; cook onion, garlic and bacon, stirring, until onion softens. Add beef; cook, stirring, until beef changes colour. Add undrained tomatoes, paste, sauce and stock; bring to the boil. Reduce hear; simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat stir in parsley. Cool.
2.Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two six-hole texas muffin pans.
3. Sift flour and sugar into medium bowl, run in butter with fingers. Stir in milk; mix to a soft, sticky dough. Knead dough on floured surface; roll dough out to 30cm x 40cm rectangle.
4. Spread beef mixture over dough; sprinkle with cheese. Roll dough tightly from one long side; trim ends. Cut roll into 12 slices; place one slice in each pan hole. Bake about 25 minutes. Serve top-side up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Deliciously Surprising

Posted by MANDI at 6:14 PM 1 comments
Last week I grabbed some zucchinis from the clearance trolley and then they sat in my fridge for a few days longer. I used one in my vege bake the other day and then was searching for recipes to make full use of the remaining zucchini. There's nothing worse than scoring a bargain, in this case two zucchinis for less than a dollar, then watching that bargain wither, die and turn to slush in the bottom of the fridge.

Luckily I happened upon a recipe that I thought would fit the bill perfectly and, even better, let me take part in Magazine Monday too. Ivonne has kindly let me know that I don't have to post the recipe on a Monday, I just need to let her know so she can link her Magazine Monday post to it. This recipe for Zucchini Cake was fabulous - there was nothing difficult about the cake and the result was nothing short of spectacular. It's full of fruit, moist, rich and bursting with flavour. It also keeps really well and tasted just as good 4 days after I'd made it. I made a few changes, simply because of what I did or didn't have to hand, and they are noted in the recipe. This one is definitely worth repeating.

Zucchini Cake
from delicious. magazine, November 2003

1 cup plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g grated zucchini
150g raisins
150g sultanas (I used 300g sultanas, you could easily get away with less)
75g chopped toasted pecans, plus a few whole, to garnish (I used walnuts, straight from the packet, roughly chopped)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil

Lemon icing
1 cup sifted pure icing sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1-1 1/2 tbs lemon juice (because of the citrus 'issues', I didn't use the lemon rind and used about 1 tbsp lemon juice and a little water - it turned into a heavy glaze rather than proper icing which suited me perfectly)

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of a 25 x 10cm loaf pan.

Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Add zucchini, raisins, sultanas and pecans. Whisk together eggs, vanilla and oil, and stir into dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1-1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, combine the icing sugar, rind and juice and stir until the mixture is smooth. When the cake is cold, drizzle with icing, allowing it to run down the sides and top with extra nuts. This cake keeps well for 4-5 days in an airtight container.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Couldn't Resist This Cuteness Either!

Posted by MANDI at 12:54 PM 1 comments

Monday, March 23, 2009

Too Cute To Resist

Posted by MANDI at 8:39 PM 4 comments

I went to a quiz night on Saturday with some of the mums from Offspring #1's school. We'd decided that we'd take a plate of nibblies each, figuring that at least we'd have something yummy to eat if the quiz questions were too hard! As usual, I left it till the last minute to decide what to make and was catching up on a few blogs when some gorgeous little morsels caught my eye.

Those of you who read The Pioneer Woman might have seen that she recently had guests to stay at her fabulously remodelled Lodge. Chief amongst the guests was Bakerella who showed the others how to make, among other things, Cake Balls. They looked irresistible but upon further investigation I wasn't entirely sure I'd not put my whole table into a diabetic coma so I made a couple of changes and came up with something sweet and pretty that was made to feel very welcome at Table 21! It wasn't brain surgery - I bought (nope, didn't make it sorry!) a nice moist Madeira cake, crumbled it and then squished it into balls. I popped them into the freezer to firm up and then dipped them in melted chocolate and drizzled white chocolate over for decoration. As you can see I had a go at some white chocolate ones too and they were a big hit with the kids.

Although I was pleased with how these turned out I didn't think they were much of a contribution in the scheme of things so I also whipped up an Olive and Feta Focaccia - I love this more and more each time I make it. For someone who has never been a big fan of olives I'm fast changing my mind.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Playing With My Camera

Posted by MANDI at 8:38 PM 0 comments

My very fabulous hubby bought me a new camera for Christmas and I've spent the past couple of months being not very adventurous with it. I'm ashamed to admit that I begged and pleaded and then bugged and nagged until he caved in and agreed that I could have it. I'm even more ashamed to admit that I really haven't done anything with it - it's got way more zoom and lots of extra features - that I didn't do with my old camera. I've always planned to learn more about photography but between kids and cooking, washing and cleaning, work and... well, let's just say I've been pretty good at putting it off. It's fair to say that my very ordinary pics do look better simply because they're taken on a better camera but I could, and should, be doing a lot better.

When I arrived home from work on Friday my herb garden was almost glowing in the late afternoon sun and my chives were alive with bees and flying ants. Initially I just thought the flowers on the chives were pretty and that they'd make a nice pic. Then I kicked myself up the butt and played with a couple of the settings. While I'm the first to admit that these photos are not perfect I'm dead proud of how they turned out. Even better, I showed them to Hubby (aka Mr I-used-to-teach-photography-to-high-school-kids) and he was impressed by them too.

Lesson learnt. I'm going to make time to lean more about my camera and make an effort to take better photos.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Oldest Child

Posted by MANDI at 8:31 PM 4 comments
I know you've seen us celebrate his birthday, you've seen the cakes we've baked, the parties we've held and you probably have a pretty good idea of just how much we love Max-the-dog.

A couple of months ago Max was terribly unwell and we thought we were going to lose him. To say that I cried a lot would be a fairly big understatement. He spent several days at the Vet clinic on a drip, drugged out on antibiotics and having more tests than you could believe. He seemed to recover, though he didn't exactly bounce back, but within a week or so we was right back at the Vet and, again, things weren't looking good. Coincidentally, and completely unrelated, our neighbours dog was also suffering and they were just as worried and just as upset.

Of course this was when my neighbour and I decided to go to the movies. And without really knowing what it was about we went to see Marley and Me. Big mistake. HUGE mistake. Anne and I pretty much sobbed our way through the film - for those who haven't seen it the Marley in the title is the dog and the film is about him and his human family, from the wedding day to Marley's arrival to the births of the children and beyond. We sniffed and cried and mopped up tears and in the end we both pretty much just sobbed. Sadly the neighbours pooch, Billy, didn't make it. The kids and I bought a Bay tree and we gave it to the family so that they could plant it in their yard as their 'Billy-tree' and we grieved with them.

Meanwhile Max slowly, slowly improved but we were warned that if he became ill again the Vet wouldn't be able to do anything and we should be prepared for the worst. We were offered a few scenarios that included mega-expensive surgery that might not even fix the problem and had to make some hard choices while we paid the steadily mounting Vet bills, cried, and struggled with guilt at not wanting to, or being able to, spend the kind of money. They were talking thousands of dollars and we'd already spent a not-so-small fortune and a good portion of our savings on his treatment.

He started off on a heavy regime of drugs, some prescribed ointments and a special diet and the first day that he barked at the postman we were so darn happy you wouldn't believe it. The first time he barked at people walking along the street the neighbours rejoiced with us. And the first time he ran, yes ran, across the yard Hubby and I beamed as though our first-born had just walked on the moon.

Max has continued to improve, his drug regime has been cut down considerably and we yell at him to shut up when he barks at the phone ringing so life is slowly returning to normal. He's getting old - he's eleven and a half now - and he's slowing down but he's getting back to being his happy, silly self. He 'talks' to you when you come in from work, he rounds the kids up in the backyard, he runs away from his bath and he bangs his dinner bowl on the brick paving when he thinks we might possibly have forgotten to give him his dinner (you know at, like, 5.30 in the afternoon!).

We're all so happy to have 'our boy' back. But, I feel like going through this with Max has almost given us a preview of what's to come and I don't want it. It made me fully realise what an integral part of our family he is. He was my wedding present to Hubby and the kids have never known our family without him. And I just want to keep him forever.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm Not Convinced

Posted by MANDI at 8:35 PM 0 comments
My usual caramel tart recipe turns out a wickedly delicious result everytime but... it's a bit fiddly. When I saw this recipe for caramel tarts in a cookbook I was given for my birthday I thought I'd give it a go. It had fewer steps, fewer ingredients and looked simple. Then I discovered that I've lost the knack of making caramel, even the easier-than-easy, fools version of caramel. Gone. Kaput. Over.

I burnt the first batch. Probably should have just stopped there but I'm nothing if not stubborn so I soldiered on and had a good go at stuffing up the next lot too. I saved it, sort of, but I wasn't exactly happy with the result.

You'd think, after that lead up, I just wouldn't bother posting this recipe. After all, I don't blog every single thing I cook. Some aren't worth it, some don't turn out and some are just too much of a pain for me to suggest that people have a go at it. And I wouldn't have except for one little thing. Almost everyone who tried one thought they were great. And they asked for the recipe. And a few even said they'd like to make them. So in the interests of... something, here's the recipe.

Caramel Tarts
from The Australian Women's Weekly Little Pies and Cakes

18 butternut snap biscuits
395g can sweetened condensed milk
60g butter, chopped coarsely
1/3 cup (75g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice (yep, I even put this in!)

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease two 12-hole shallow round-based patty pans.
2. Place one biscuit each over the top of 18 pan holes. Bake about 4 minutes, or until biscuits soften. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently press softened biscuits into pan holes; cool.
3. Combine condensed milk, butter and sugar in small heavy-based saucepan; stir over heat until smooth. Bring to the boil; boil, stirring, about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and dark caramel in colour. Remove from heat; sir in juice.
4. Divide mixture among biscuit cases; refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Restaurant Quality!

Posted by MANDI at 8:35 PM 3 comments
I made the topic of tonight's post a few weeks ago but haven't got around to blogging about it yet. Actually, truth be told, I've got about 8 or 9 recipes to blog - normally I'm thinking what I can cook to blog about but at the moment I'm trying desperately to catch up on all those one's I've already made. At least it has given me an opportunity to re-visit some recipes/dishes that we enjoyed the first time round, like Di's Vege Bake (dinner last night... so good!), our other new favourite chicken dish, and some cookies that seem to find their way into the pantry rather frequently.

This chicken schnitzel wasn't at all difficult and the end result was fantastic. It was gobbled up quickly and then Hubby and I enjoyed the leftovers in a seriously delicious schnitzel and salad roll for the next day's lunch. Don't be put off by getting goopy hands from the flour, egg, crumb mix - it's completely worth it!

Herbed Chicken Schnitzel
from Bill Granger's Simply Bill

4 chicken breasts, skin removed
60g (1/2 cup) plain flour
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
160g (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil (didn't have any, used thyme instead)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon butter
125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil

Put each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten slightly with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Cut each flattened breast in half. OR, you could do what I did and slice them in half so you each chicken breast becomes two thin chicken breasts! Waaaaayyyyy quicker and quieter.

Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season with pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. In a second bowl lightly beat the egg and milk together. Mix the breadcrumbs and herbs in a third bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dip each chicken fillet in flour to coat,m then in the egg mixture and lastly in the breadcrumbs.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and cook the schnitzels for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through (don't overcrowd the pan: cook them in batches if necessary.) Drain on paper towels and keep warm until all the chicken is cooked.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let Them Eat... Broccoli

Posted by MANDI at 8:45 PM 1 comments
cAs previously reported we've been busy in the yard, particularly getting the vegetable garden back up to scratch so we could do some planting. The kids weren't so thrilled with the work involved but they did have lots of suggestions about what we could grow in it. They bounced ideas back and forth like a tennis ball - Cucumbers! Tomatoes! Corn! Lettuce! Then Offspring #2 threw in the zinger. CHEESE! After we finished laughing we had a chat about where cheese comes from (well there's always cheese in our salads so I guess I can see her point LOL) and went back to work.

This is what the vegie garden looked like just a couple of weeks ago.

Then we got busy raking and weeding, adding some good nutrients and a trailer-load of Vegie-mix soil. Hubby very kindly shovelled the trailer out and then spread the mix and then I let it sit a few days while I planned and plotted. Yesterday, after school, the kids and I took ourselves off the local nursery and checked out the vegie seedlings. I, very sensibly, didn't go mad. We limited ourselves to just a few different vegies for now and I got them into the ground today.

Sadly we weren't able to take up the kids suggestions as we're heading for winter here. Instead we planted some cooler weather vegies and in a couple of months we'll be eating lots of...


and Cauliflower

as well as beans, snow peas, English spinach and leeks.

And since broccoli isn't high on #2's list of favourite foods I'm hoping that growing it ourselves might make her a tiny bit more enthusiastic about it. We still have more to buy, and plant, but I'm happy to have made a start.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Magazine Monday: It's A Date

Posted by MANDI at 8:13 PM 3 comments
This recipe has been kicking around in the ugly binder for way too long. I kept pulling it out then deciding that the kids wouldn't like it/I didn't have any dates in the pantry/I'd best use up the blackened bananas and make Donna Hay's Banana Bread yet again instead. I finally put the recipe on my kitchen bench so that it screamed "make me" every time I stepped foot in the kitchen. I finally made it yesterday figuring it would do for lunch-boxes this week and if the kids didn't like it, well, Hubby would have battled manfully through. To declare this an instant hit would be an understatement. It was pounced upon by the smaller members of the household and Hubby wandered in from the yard demanding to know what "that great smell" was. In fact, this was so good warm from the oven with butter melting into it that I was a little concerned about how it would stand up the next day. The worrying was pointless. If anything, this is actually better today. I think we just found us a new favourite! It didn't hurt that the whole thing is mixed in a saucepan making the cleanup nice and easy too.

Date Loaf
from Australian Table magazine, June 2009

1 cup (140g)chopped dates
3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
20g butter, plus extra to serve
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1. Preheat oven to 190C or 170C fan. Lightly grease and line base and sides of a 14 x 21cm loaf pan.
2. Place dates, sugar and butter in a large saucepan. Stir in boiling water and boil on high heat for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in bicarbonate of soda. Fold through beaten egg and flour. Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool and serve sliced with butter or store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Visit To The Doctor

Posted by MANDI at 8:12 PM 7 comments

In the course of our visit to the specialist for Offspring #2 today he felt that she needed to have some allergy tests to help us rule out (or rule in!) some of the things that needed to be considered. In all she was tested for 20 common allergens today and the results?

Nil. Zip. Nada. She had absolutely no reaction to any of the common household allergens - dust, grasses, dog hair, cat hair, etc, etc. This is absolutely fantastic news though it does present its own set of questions. Generally she'd show a reaction to something today and that would help us work out the trigger for her asthma. If it is asthma that she suffers from, it's 99% sure she'd have had a reaction to something today.

So... the newest theory is that it's not asthma at all. It's probably recurrent croup which presents quite similarly and is treated in a similar way. We're continuing with the meds she was on, as they seem to be working, and we're also trying a steroid treatment. Please don't tell me all the negative things about kids and steroid treatments. Believe me I've read it, worried about it and eventually decided that this is the best course for now. #2 is to see the doctor again in a month when he'll check up on her and reassess the new meds he's put her on. I liked the doctor, he agreed with a number of points that I made (good tactic that, agree with the Mum!), explained everything clearly and was quite happy to clarify points. I haven't ruled out other options, such as naturopaths, but we're going to give this a good shot.
PS: No, she didn't wear spots and stripes to the appointment. She wore what I laid out for her and then changed into her own selection when we arrived home. I do have some standards!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just Asking for Trouble

Posted by MANDI at 8:41 PM 3 comments
It's one thing for me to demand that no-one touch dinner until I've taken a photo of it for my blog. It's quite another to have a child refuse to eat until I've taken a photo for the blog!

To be fair I did have the camera out and was taking pics of the best chicken schnitzel you'll ever taste (recipe will be here shortly) and Offspring #2 felt it was only fair that since I was snapping pics of my dinner I should snap pics of hers, and her brothers, too. And yes she's quite the connoisseur, as you can see by the tomato sauce carefully placed on each and every item on her plate.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Another Sandwich!

Posted by MANDI at 8:15 PM 1 comments
At our school we have kids with a bunch of different allergies and, as a consequence, a number of different foods are banned. The two that most readily spring to mind are peanuts and eggs. The kids are not allowed to take any food containing nuts or nut products and, while food with eggs as an ingredient are okay, they are not to take foods with whole eggs in them, ie egg sandwiches, hard boiled eggs in salads, wedges of bacon and egg pie, etc.

For a mum whose kid would have a peanut butter sandwich every single day if he could this can prove a little difficult. I refuse to send jam sandwiches every day, he no longer likes polony (devon, bologna or whatever it's called in your part of the world) and isn't over keen on other cold meats in his lunch. He will happily eat a salad sandwich (I know, weird but easy!) but some days we don't have salad-left-from-the-night-before and I don't have time to start shredding lettuce, grating carrot and generally ballyhooing around the kitchen. For those times this recipe is fabulous. Savoury muffins make a nice change from sandwiches. They can still be sliced in half and spread with butter, just one fills a little person's tummy very nicely and if you use this recipe you'll still have a bunch in the freezer for next time. Offspring #2 was the only member of our household to not take an immediate liking to these and I think it was the capsicum that did it. If that's likely to be a problem in your house simply substitute something else or, gasp of horror, leave it out altogether.

Pizza Muffins
from The Australian Women's Weekly Little Pies and Cakes

4 rindless bacon rashers, chopped finely
4 green onions, chopped finely
3 slices (120g) bottled roasted red capsicum, finely chopped
3/4 cup pizza cheese
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (ummm... call me chicken but I used parsley instead!)

basic muffin mix
2 cups self-raising flour
80g butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a 12-hole, 1/3 cup capacity, muffin tin.
2. Cook bacon in heated medium frypan , stirring until lightly browned. Add onion; cook, stirring until onion softens. Cool.
3. Meanwhile make basic muffin mix.
4. Add capsicum, cheese, chilli and bacon mixture to basic muffin mix; mix gently to combine. Do not overmix; mixture should be lumpy.
5. Divide among holes. Bake, in oven, about 20 minutes. Stand muffins 5 minutes before turning top-side up, onto wire rack. Serve muffins warm (they were great warm but they were also just fine at room-temp.)
basic muffin mix Sift flour into medium bowl; stir in combined butter, egg and buttermilk.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What A Clever Hubby!

Posted by MANDI at 4:49 PM 3 comments
Well, the thunder storm appears to have played havoc with the equipment in the shed and study but the house, apart from the modem on the computer in the kitchen, escaped unscathed. The computers in the study, along with the reticulation kind of went 'phut' so we need to talk to our insurance people about that. But... Hubby, being the tech-a-nalogical type of bloke he is switched modems, did something a bit magic-y that I don't understand and hey presto, shazam I have a working internet connection again. YAY.
I've been doing lots of cooking and have a bunch of recipes to share. I've got a great one for school lunches that I know a few of you (hey Kaz!) are going to love.
We've been very busy in the garden on late. Hubby hired a jack-hammer last weekend and went crazy on some of the big rocks around the place. It's all part of the big plan but gosh, we've got a lot of work to do yet. This morning we've cleaned out the vegie garden, weeded, raked and tidied it up then moved some good dirt that was in a different spot into it. We still need to get a trailerload of manure to dig through it and then we should be good to plant. Hopefully we can get the retic fixed pretty darn quickly and get some vegies happening in the next couple of weeks. Then we get to start on the chook pen - it's standing but needs lots of work to make it a suitable home for the couple of chickens we'd like.
In all of this we've been special guests (ie, the only guests) at a number of concerts held in our own yard. One memorable event was under the nectarine tree while today's offering was 'near the swings'. The offspring have regaled us with songs and stories while Hubby and I have applauded and cheered as directed - they get quite stroppy if we clap at the wrong time. One of our favourite bits was when they'd exhausted all their material, ranging from AC/DC to more sedate songs learned in music class at school, but were not going to let us get away. #2 started on Twinkle twinkle while her brother encouraged her to "break it down, girl!" I have no idea where he came up with that one but I think he needs to watch far less television, especially repeats from the 80's!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Darn Thunderstorms!

Posted by MANDI at 8:54 AM 1 comments
Okay, last week was quiet on the blog front but I was fully planning to make up for it this week. Then we had a massive thunderstorm on Saturday night. Like, MASSIVE. The windows were rattling, the walls were shaking the whole house was lit up by the lightening and even I, who loves thunderstorms, was a little rattled by it! The next morning we checked the yard but no real damage had been done, just a little extra raking was needed. We thought we'd got off nice and lightly until I went to check my email... my modem was fried.
So, no posting until I get that sorted. But don't forget me, I'll be back as soon as I can!

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