...Homemade Rainbows...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

:::Dinner Homegrown:::

From the garden to our table.
Yesterday I cut our second pumpkin.

For soup of course....

No recipe here.....just

Pumpkin cubed
Onion and shallots
Cinnamon, cumin and coriander
Vegetable stock
Salt and Pepper
plus some Evaporated milk....because Pumpkin soup has to be thick and creamy!

Fry off your onions in a large pot, then add spices and continue to fry for a minute or so. Throw in the Pumpkin and mix through spices and onion well....add stock and then leave to boil away until the pumpkin is cooked. Blend or mash, stir through your milk and season.
Then decorate with garlic chives. It needs to look pretty too.

Homemade bread rolls was the only accompaniment that would do. These little rising dough balls are garlic also. Yum.
and voila....soupy goodness with hot garlicky dipping rolls....and a wine for the chef.
This photo was taken amidst Mia's enthusiastic stirring of the thick liquid gold (who could resist?) and seconds before Bam grabbed the tablecloth and yanked....I guess I was taking too long for hungry tummies, wasting time taking pictures of food, again! He just loved it too, as did the highchair and table.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Her crowning glory....

It's finished....Mia's birthday crown.

I can't wait to see her blowing her candles out while wearing it.

Not too long now.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reaped and Sowed.....

Yesterday I finally got to sowing my winter seeds. Some straight into the garden and others into seed trays, aka egg cartons, to be eventually broken up by their cells when the seedlings emerge and planted directly. I've heard both good and bad reports over using egg cartons but we'll see how they go for me.
I just added a bag of organic compost, delivered by the council in exchange for some (well quite a bit) of our excess green waste during the week, along with some cow poo to our new bed for the directly sown seed and we invested in a little seed raising mix for the seeds sown in the trays.
I'm very excited to have new babies to fuss over and watch.
We are now looking forward to also eating Red Winter Kale, Rainbow Chard, more Lettuce, Red Onions and Wild Rocket from our garden.

And, for the moment we have picked our first little handful of french beans which went beautifully with our organic roast chicken for dinner. Yeah we splurged. Meat, especially organic meat is becoming a kind of luxury around here at the moment (not really a bad thing....but a little difficult for a hard working man to forfeit).
Anyway, at the end of the day, it was all admired and appreciated over a nice beer while the aroma of chicken roasting wafted out the kitchen window and the sound of Mia befriending and playing with the children staying at our other neighbours gently filled my ears. A very satisfying beginning, middle and end.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Being Mindful

Mia slept with us last night, a fairly recent and regular occurrence.
It got me thinking about being a mindful and conscious parent. Sometimes when she just won't settle in her bed or creeps in in the middle of the night I inwardly and more often outwardly groan (especially if it's been a rough day) about the intrusion, on both my space and my sleep. But those warm middle of the night cuddles and opening my eyes to a huge cheesy and still sleepy smile just inches from my face makes all the sideways kicks to the ribs and wacks on the side of my nose worthwhile. Besides, the acting out of consuming dream meringues and marshmallows is also amusing entertainment!
Sometimes our days are tough, not rosy at all. Sometimes our days feel filled with raised voices on the battleground of our home and not filled with laughter and play. Sometimes our days are repetitive and mundane, sometimes they are unorganised, messy and impatient and not smooth, fun and beautiful.
Often though I have "moments", little flashes of perfection and joy gifted from my children and these moments I try so hard to consciously commit to memory, to, however briefly, wallow in them, feel them and taste them....be mindful of them. Because I know that one day the battles will be fought and the battleground quiet, the games played and long put away, the house will be clean and time will again be to my desire alone .....and there will be no gorgeous little people desiring to cuddle and sleep in my bed with me in the middle of the night and I know I will miss it and surely grieve for it all.
Tonight if Mia wants to sleep in my bed, it's ok....I promise not to groan. She says she misses me in her bed.....she probably does. She says she is never going to have her own house and that she will live with me forever.....she most probably (definitely) won't..... I'll take the "intrusion" while it's on offer thanks.
I've had these cards for years....well four to be exact. I pulled this one out today.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For the Hen...

the Bride to be that is..... She has sworn not to look at my blog for a week or two so I can post these pics.

With a Hen's Lunch on the horizon in about a week, and on strict instructions for no cheesy Hen's novelties (amen) my dear sis still needed something a little special for the day, so I made these for the occasion......

A Dotee Keepsake....
And a little book for messages and wishes from all "the girls".....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

:::Habitat Day:::

Scents of cinnamon and honey broke into my dreams this morning and I woke to the reality of warm freshly baked WHO bread for breakfast. Delicious. Some hot tea, fruit...pear, banana and home grown papaya... and a very quick icy dash to the garden for some mint and we spoiled ourselves with a delicious home baked breaky before heading out early into the cold windy morning.
It's Habitat Brisbane Day today and we strolled down to our "park" to join in with our local bush care group. First we enjoyed a great wildlife show. One of the stars below. I had to include this picture as this pythons markings are just so stunning.
We were lucky to view and touch turtles, bandicoots, sugar gliders (my very favourites....I remember a wonderful weekend at The Mouses House with Hubby where we spent the evening sitting out in the cold with red wine and a rather large number of possums and sugar gliders, even climbing on our hands, that came from everywhere in the rainforest. Gorgeous animals!), and a barking owl in addition to two pythons.
We then joined in with some re vegetative planting!
and mulching......
Now every time we walk to the park, and across our little bridge, we can watch the plants and trees we planted grow.

Water, water everywhere....

A bit of an update on some green happenings in the backyard this Saturday....
Roger arrived Saturday morning tools and new shiny tap in hand and installed this little beauty near our patch for us.....

It's fantastic. This is my new toy and the vege gardens new best friend. It is fed from our water tank up the front side garden and now makes watering the veges (right down the back) soooo very easy. Roger's however probably looking at this piccy now criticising his work (stop it Rog!). The hose gets a very decent pressure (we did not install a pump for our tank) to the last bed...perfect! It feels so strange to hold a hose over garden beds again....it almost felt like we were being naughty.....a real indulgence...it's been a long time with water restrictions.
And to finish our day we received a great stormy downpour late in the afternoon laced with hail to refill what we used from the tank today easily.

And as for the rest of the garden.....
my french beans are coming along with plenty of baby beans...some of which have already been taste tested by the little girl. I was donated two more avocado seedlings......this one has now been planted in the back garden (complete with "Max-proof" tree guard) and the other will go out the front.
After a little deliberation we picked our three jaggerty lanterns and the remainder of the vine has been removed from the shed now. I'm a little chuffed but was somewhat unsure about the small mutant looking one.....
but Mia didn't care it became her new baby for a while.......
until we cut it, gutted it, stuffed it and baked it for dinner tonight!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


This week has been busy. I feel like I have spent most of my time behind the wheel. This has been my view. Well actually this is the very brief but better part of my driving view where I can actually imagine for a second we are not in suburbia.
I don't like the thought that I've been behind the wheel so much....one because, well, it's not the greatest thing for our environment is it, nor my favourite thing to do, and two

our fuel gauge usually looks pretty much constantly like this these days....
I don't know where the week has gone and what I've really done with my days other than fighting a new cold; swimming lessons; driving to Kindy; picking up from Kindy; grocery shopping; flower girl shoe shopping; baby dress shirt shopping; Hen's lunch inviting/phoning and booking; wasting time department store sale catalogue shopping for Mia's upcoming birthday, for items not even in stock! (Slightly infuriating....hence why I rarely shop at stores...including their insistence on stocking rubbish children's toys anyway); bridesmaid dress fittings at my poor Mum's (a fantastic sewer but a worrier); helping my sister with making her feather hairpiece; more Kindy drop offs and pick ups plus a Kindy disco. So with a renewed dislike and determination to avoid shops and shopping centres (and driving) and a new sounding voice (thanks germs) I am soldiering on. You may have guessed we have a family Wedding coming up....yes in 3 weeks my beautiful younger sister is tying the knot!

And my indulgence in this weeks slight chaos? 5 minutes (yes in the car...where else?) looking at this view in the rear view mirror waiting outside Kindy in the afternoons. Good times! Great memories! (Why are our Mum's and Dad's always right in the end? Some of you may recognise it......
I promise some prettier hopefully creative and crafty photo's soon....

Happy quiet weekend all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

:::Dotee Dolls:::

I finally had a go at making a couple of these. I originally saw them here on this blog.

I'm fairly happy with these two little girls, and of course Mia has put her order in for one and is calling them "bad babooshka's".

She has asked for another babooshka (what is it with matryoshka's and little girls?) for her birthday... I was thinking I might give one of these (or something similar) a go.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Our women and old roses

This old photo came into my hands last week and in honour of Mother's Day I thought I'd post it. This is me, babe in arms, at my Christening with my Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. 4 generations of women, now 4 generations of Mothers. Something that connects us as women in a way other than familial.....a deep understanding of what it means to be a woman with children, of love so deep it was unimaginable before, of sacrifice, of hard work and joys, of seeing your face mirrored in little ones, of the incredible miracle of creation and the realization that so many others have tread here before you in this new world.

"Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws."
~ Barbara Kingsolver

Mia picked this old rose from Mum's garden yesterday. It is one transplanted from my Grandparents garden. You know the old "real" roses that smell so sweet and rich, and feel velvet to the touch? I wore it in my hair for the afternoon and placed it by my bedside before sleep. Despite it's size and dwindling outer beauty it's deep scent filled the bedroom all night. To me that is so much more beautiful than any rose or flower you could ever purchase. A reminder of times of old when quality was appreciated over mass production and outer beauty was appreciated slightly less.

Happy Mother's Day Mothers.

The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.
~William Goldsmith Brown

Friday, May 9, 2008


There is still sewing happening here I promise. Well...a little anyway.
And not just by me!

So cute. When I was excavating old "stuff" recently I found this little gem from my childhood. My Holly Hobby machine. How I loved this! And it really sewed.
We haven't tried it with batteries yet. Unfortunately it is quite rusty now but the mechanism still moves around fine by hand. The needle is a bit too blunt for fabric but has been sewing paper no problem. Mia has been honing her seamstress skills and it has had pride of place on her little table since it was resurrected to the land of the living once more.

As for my sewing, well, I haven't been posting photo's because I have mainly been sewing a few gifts (while the garden has been taking centre stage). Once they have been given I will probably post some pics safely then.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bread rolls and family fabric....

I've been using this tablecloth a lot lately. It's one of Thelma's. I'd say a more "modern" acquisition. It reminds me a lot of my early childhood...evening meals, picnics and gatherings. I love it.

And how funky are those colours and that border?

The other night I made some bread rolls to go with our dinner from this recipe.
These were so fresh from the oven when I took this picture that I was nursing a slightly burnt finger.

I love how you make the yeast prove manually in this recipe and not just throw everything into a bread machine and press the button. It is a much better recipe to the bread rolls I usually make. I remembered how much I just love the smell of fresh yeast in the kitchen.

My tablecloth hosted our home cooked meal beautifully. I don't remember my Grandmother baking bread but I'm sure she did in the early days. I'll have to ask Mum. I do remember there always being fresh vienna loaves from the bakery, the wooden breadboard (I can picture it clearly), the bone handled butter knife and the smell of the kitchen and it's wood burning stove. If you want to bring a tear to your eye (on the theme of baking bread and Grandmothers) I recommend you read this beautiful post.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Green Goodness

I thought I'd quickly share a few backyard happenings.
I finished my new veg bed...number 5 (well almost...I need to add more compost to the layers as I really don't think I have enough nitrogen producing goodies in there yet). It's only a littly, this bed, but is providing more lovely growing space nonetheless and will hopefully produce some yummies for us in the future. This pic was taken pre-assembly of my attractive fowl and canine repelling fence. Better a little bit of ugly than a whole lot of heartbreaking destruction. My black Russian tomato is displaying it's first flowers. They are so large and dense....just lovely. And look at all that tomato hairiness.
Here's one of my "jaggerty lanterns" (thanks pooh bear) growing on the shed roof. The hear the neighbours have been eyeing it off. I have 3 at the moment, losing one I'm thinking to fruit fly (?)...it was the one I hand pollinated. Hubby says that's what I get for trying to play god. ;)
And my, soon to be munched, lettuce is looking so lovely I had to include them. What wonderful greenness.

Happy gardening.....

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Painting Wall

Earlier in our week we got creative. The day that I managed to squeeze in some significant (for me) garden changes, digging and dipping of hands in beautiful dirt, Mia had used all the garden tools and hammered about all she could manage to hammer in the garden. She needed to "create" and release some artistic endeavors on something else.
We have a "dead" patch of yard at the moment, recently cleared. It was time for some nature art to brighten it up.
This only lasted a short while...colours not quite vivid enough....a little restrictive in size etc. So.....having a first bright idea for a while now, Mummy dragged out some old board stashed beside the shed, forgotten after it's removal from our bathroom where it formed the backing of a very dodgy cupboard. Well actually it wasn't forgotten for a little while back when it was being slowly diminished piece by piece as I used it for disposable palates for my oil paintings (how I long to get back to that!).
After nailing it onto one of our fences it became a huge world of textures, colours, wonderful tactile "mushiness" and characters of any and all imagining. A wonderful artistic world to lose ourselves in for a while. It has been transforming every time we use it, like a living creature. Each time I walk out the back door now I am hit by colour out of the corner of my eye. An ever changing piece of outdoor garden art. And there it will live waiting for the next idea, escape, creation and rather large bit of fun!
And what's even more fun than this is being able to paint with our feet (and bottoms if we choose) firmly wedged in the sandpit!
(please excuse the inside out nature of the artists attire but who cares what you wear when you're creating right?)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Makin' Baby Food....

This morning was "Makin' Baby Food Morning"....the nicer part of my morning but I promise not to go into that.
I started thinking in the silence of my work, as you do, that it is really satisfying to prepare my own baby food and it's quite nice to be back there doing it all again this time around. It's such a simple thing to do taking only a couple of hours once every week or two. I simply puree whatever my chosen food is, cook (preferably steam of course) and freeze in good old ice cube trays to later transfer into labelled bags to be stored in the freezer. At a later date I just start to mash instead of puree when bub is ready for a lumpier version, and then only until bub is ready to eat finger food with us. Not long really.
I am quite proud of the fact that to this day I have never even purchased a single jar of food. My only purchases have been some organic rice cereals for starting out, that's it. Once that quick stage is over I then start cooking my own Congee (definitely omitting the salt that's included in these instructions) from rice. I'm not keen on this as my baby's first food because it still has a slight lumpy texture to it and so I find it's not as smooth as I would like for those first little mouthfuls....well at least when I cook it anyway.
I have been called something similar to conservative about introducing foods to my kidlets, waiting a week or more between food introductions and definitely delaying things like meat and dairy etc but I feel safe in knowing exactly what is in their food, that it is fresh and that I am giving their digestive and immune health the very best start I can. I can also say so far that I have a 4 yr old Daughter who will try almost everything strange and eat every vegetable and "odd bod" (what I consider most delicious and slightly gourmet) bit of food she is given, if hungry of course....that includes chilli, curry, tuna, herbs, olives etc. Her favourite vege is currently zucchini which recently and suddenly overtook broccoli. We are yet to see if Mr Number Two proves my method works. ;)
I don't know if it's saving us money as well. I haven't crunched any numbers. I don't even know what a jar of baby food costs but I know what preparing my own is worth to us.