Monday, January 30, 2012

Purple Congo Gado Gado (say that 10 times quickly)

When I went to write this the monitor died, then the flash card wouldn't read and the computer said the disk had been corrupted. Needless to say it has taken a bit of the joy out of blogging fixing these problems. Don't you just hate computer problems? They're so boring and time consuming, and that's putting it nicely. I wish my card would stop messing with the dark side. I bought a new card reader but I think the disk is the problem so wasted some money as well.  The good news is I did manage to rescue my pictures, of which there were many, using some free software. I have no association with this business but if you have similar problems I can recommend using Mini Tool Power Data Recovery. The software is free for the first 1GB of rescued data. It was amazing how it even found pictures I had deleted from months ago (handy to know for the accidental delete) and it was quite user friendly.

A recent harvest wrestled from the earth.  Some of the carrots are becoming firmly wedged and I am reminded of a story about a turnip. I loved hearing my mum tell this story as  a child, all that pulling and effort. There has been the odd snap at our house - an unscrewing action seems to work better

There is much enthusiasm for digging for potatoes at our house - the little one climbs over everyone to get in on the act. These are Kipflers and Purple Congos which taste like a yummy normal potatoes and are not at all sweet, despite their rich colour. Amazingly these tough old beetroot that were going to seed still tasted good when grated up.
Home made Satay sauce, noodles and free range eggs. Did you know if you play dodgem cars with your eggs in the saucepan (shaking them so they bang into each other) they peel much more easily? - first time I have tried this trick and it worked a treat! (One got broken by the big Bowerbird before we used the ricochet technique).

Last year I talked to our kids at school about eating a rainbow and it really struck a chord with my own children. The littlest comments on how she will make a rainbow on her plate frequently. We managed a good part of the colour spectrum in our Gado Gado, It was interesting to see how each family member arranged their rainbow. I am in love with the Puple Congos for their colour alone.
 (Papa Bowerbird)
(Mama Bowerbird) 

(Big Bowerbird)
Only the middle bowerbird's rainbow is missing - that's because it's dominant colour was white and not so exciting.

We made Gado Dado in December with our harvest but this one is definitely prettier.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

School Holidays crafting baking

That big one of mine is getting so independent.  She's often in the mood for baking and jumps on the computer to find a recipe or a new craft activity. She's embraced the blogging ethic and is even taking photos of her activities.
 Cinnamon Biscuits artfully arranged by the Big Bowerbird.
 Pipe cleaner craft (love how she set up this picture)
 Playing crazy games

The entertainer 

 Flourless chocolate cakes with hazelnuts, fudgy goodness.
  I'll have to put up the pictures of the World Peace Cookies she made later, they're as good as Gandhi.

 I'm going to miss her when she goes back to school, feels like the holidays are rushing by.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Playing With the Harvest


We've always thought our cherry plums weren't edible, and left them for the birds to feast on. However, after decent Spring rains, these ruby red plums looked much plumper and more inviting, the little one beckoned for us to pick them. On tasting they were surprisingly sweet and delicious.

The little Bowerbird discovered they also make a great toy and built a cherry plum wonderland on a lazy hot summer day. Middle Bowerbird lay alongside recovering from a nasty all over rash he woke up with. It is a game only a child could invent, and I cannot explain it. I hesitated in letting her play with them but decided why not, it was her idea to pick them in the first place. I love that sour plum face, then she still went back for more.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Car Travel with Kids

The journey home from Phillip Island was remarkably quick and peaceful.  Especially as I slept half the way.  We have a little car and its pretty squishy in the back for the Bowerbirds, especially with the car seat. This forced extreme closeness doesn't always bode well for Bowerbird harmony. Fortunately the littlest nodded off quickly and some activity books helped the other two keep occupied.  The middle Bowerbird got a set of Action Packs for Christmas and was really enjoying  playing the car trip treasure hunt that had a list of things to find,it's surprising how hard it can be to find a VW Beetle.  It would be fun to make up our own treasure hunt for the next trip - could even add some sight specific markers to look out for - like the Giant Koala or the sea on Phillip Island.
 It rained for two days following our departure so not the worst time to leave the beach. I took this from the car before I nodded off.

Do you have any favourite games for long car trips?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Churchill Island

We had a beach holiday at our old home of San Remo, yet I don't have any pictures of our time at the beach. I don't really like taking the camera to frolic in the sand unless I'm only going for the sole purpose of taking pictures, a little paranoid I know.  We stayed with wonderful old friends and spent a lot of time hanging out at home, the kids were so happy playing with each other it seemed a shame to move them. Middle Bowerbird has nasty eczema and screamed when when the salt water hit his legs so he wasn't so enamoured with the sea but still had a great time with the sand and shells. Little Bowerbird is besotted with the ocean and takes an eagle eye to watch, as she makes a fast beeline to the water.
We visited Churchill Island, it feels like an old friend as it was a regular haunt when we lived on Phillip Island. An ancient olive tree, they're such tough trees.  I have one that has fallen over in it's pot, exposing its roots, being invaded by couch, yet still thriving.

These two girls have known each other since they were babes and have the most beautiful long distance relationship. They were inseparable the whole time we visited. 
 A trip to Churchill Island wouldn't be the same without a stop at the cafe.
The prerequisite babycino, my big kids still love these, finding a hot chocolate a bit too sweet and large.
My sister passed me on this hat when she shifted to London but regrettably it's too small, it sits high on my head and looks rather silly, the big Bowerbird has been delighted to put it to good use.
I just want to gobble her up in this picture, her hair is getting sooo curly, she asked the hairdesser for a Tinkerbell haircut but Shirley Temple comes to mind. The little Bowerbird mastered saying metamorphosis this week and likes to pop it casually into conversation,  she's still seeking the initial cheers of applause when she first uttered it. "Can we read the metamorphosis book mum?"
Stealing a few petals from the feijoa flowers, they taste like puffy floral marshmallows, a little hard to describe but recommended.


More beautiful gardens to explore, I love tree magnolias, we have one at home that has been blessing us with flowers since Christmas, not as impressive as this specimen though.

Churchill Island is just as beautiful as I remember, amazing birds, great old gardens, an array of heritage farm animals and breathtaking views.  We got to spy on some of the indigenous plants we grew and planted over 10 years ago. Such a delight to see our work with Landcare still blooming years later, trees grow pretty slow in the salty windy conditions so it's takes time to see them prosper.