Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rendezvous at the Museum

The first week of the holidays I have had my mum and a good friends daughter visiting . These two are the best of friends, even though they haven't lived near each other since they were two.  Back then the big Bowerbird was very fond of asserting herself by biting her golden locked buddy, leaving serious tooth marks. She obviously made an impression as the friendship has lasted. So pleased she grew out of her T Rex ways, all kisses, cuddles and giggles these days.
 Hilarious to see these big girls balancing on little buckets.
 Unfortunately the BF had to be returned home so we organised a rendezvous half way point at the Melbourne Museum.   It was a beautiful day so we spent quite a bit of the day in the outdoor areas of the museum.

 We didn't go to see the new Mesopotamia Exhibit but the middle Bowerbird had fun creating his own Mesopotamian village.

  Playing with mirrors in the children's section, wish I'd taken a picture with all the kids, was a great effect.

 The highlight of the day for me was seeing my blog's namesake. Mr Bowerbird has built and furbished the most divine bower in the museum's rainforest. I was rapt to actually get to see him inside the bower, he seems quite unworried by visitors and has gathered up quite a collection of blue treasures.

We spent ages in the dinosaur area talking to a volunteer about dinosaurs.  We got to hold real fossils, including an ancient shark's tooth, and helped unearth the fossil of a 40 million year old crocodile. The kids have been instructed to act like a dinosaur here, not sure what sort the little Bowerbird is, Smilosaurus. A great day of catching up with old friends, playing and learning.  The little one on the left insisted no visit to the museum was complete with pressing the fart button. I didn't know about the fart button (our little one wanted to know if the poo in the exhibit was real) but I think it may become a tradition with our kids as well.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ricotta Gnudi

That gorgeous daughter of mine is taking cooking for the family to new heights.
These are called Gnudies and are a delicious mix of ricotta and polenta. I am not sure if there is any room to improve from this point. Gnuuuuudiiieees. And everyone liked them.
I have my mum staying with me at the moment and we are cooking up a storm from the latest issue of the ABC delicious Magazine.

The Ricotta Gnudi with pine nuts, currants and oregano is our favourite so far.

My daughter's version (served six with bread)

  • 500g fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan and some extra to serve
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup polenta (because we had no semolina and I have enormous stockpile of polenta)
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten (from our neighbours chickens - so delicious
  • 75g butter
  • 1/2 cup oregano leaves
  • 1/3 cup currants soaked in 1/3 cup of a mix of red wine and balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups wilted silverbeet

  • Mix cheeses, flour, polenta, eggs and season. 
  • Roll into walnut sized balls
  • put water on to boil
  • toast pine nuts - set aside (put on table for self serving)
  • Make sauce - melt butter, when foaming add oregano, sizzle for 20 secs, Add silverbeet cook until just wilted and tender. Drain currants, add to pan, season.
  • Cook gnudi in batches in boiling water until it rises to the surface (few minutes).  Remove with slotted spoon.
  • Serve gnudi with sauce, nuts and parmesan

The Big Bowerbird's cooking skills were recognised recently by some masterful ladies.The CWA gave the Big Bowerbird first place in her schools show day cake competition, it was a wonderful rainbow creation that she made with a good friend. Could their be any greater compliment than a CWA first prize?

The school goes all out for show day - even the teachers dress up. The kids had some wonderful creations in the show hall, I'll have to get mine better organised next year.  The Middle Bowerbird didn't enter anything then was filled with regret, awwww.

The Big Bowerbird's guinea pigs went along to show day (kids are encouraged to bring their pets or a soft toy). When I saw the crowd of excited dogs around, and thought of the terrible possibilities, I think this may be a once off affair.

Show Day at school - so much better than the Royal variety.

Monday, September 24, 2012

To Market to Market

There were no pigs, but I love this nursery rhyme.

Another day at the market, not as financially successful as the last, but just as fulfilling, a little easier the second time, I knew what I was doing, and I had two great helpers, and two good buddies to sit next to. I brought my camera along without it's memory card (don't you hate it when you do that!), fortunately Christine from Slow Living Essentials came to the rescue (she has some great pics of the day on her site). She and her daughter had the most exquisite hand crafted stall.

 I really need two spots to fit all my stuff! Unfortunately, on returning home, there is a lot still waiting to be unpacked from my car, perhaps one more market.

My daughter and her friend had some super funky face painting from a gorgeous and creative
 French lady. They were happy to do sales while I wandered, they got so excited when someone bought something.

 I got to chill out with good friends, people watch, and listen to music. I had some great chats with some of the other stall holders and had fun trading with them.

I'd really love to create something for the next market, if only I was a little more crafty.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Suitcase Rummage back in Melbourne

Another Rummage this weekend, I will be there again selling lots of vintage stuff. Was great fun last time, with delicious food and excellent music in the most beautiful of venues. The tricky bit is whittling my goods down to just three suitcases.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Excited about Art

Photo: Maia Dery

Courtesy of Springfield Museums
Artist Patrick Dougherty 
photo credits and more about the artist-
Coming to Melbourne's Fed Square in October. I can't wait to see what he creates! Such wonderfully organic willow structures.  The artwork is bound to look dramatic against the harsh lines of Fed Square. I wish I could make something so wondrous - unfortunately my weaving skills don't move beyond wonky wreath making. Wouldn't that make the best cubby house?

This commission is part of  Fed Square's 10 year birthday extravaganza.
sounds like a great party.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spring In the Garden

 Tiny Tim - Tiptoe Through The Tulips

 The winter was plenty cold enough to chill these delightful bulbs.
I love it when a photo reveals something you missed when you were taking it.  A little praying mantis is standing guard over my Hollyhock buds.
Our avian visitors are wreaking some havoc in the vegie patch. Goodbye Romanesco broccoli - you weren't doing as well as I had hoped in any case.

I can't resist letting them out of their cage at times, even knowing the damage they will do. This is Henny Penny, she and Owen (a gender confused chicken) are given more free reign as they are not nearly as destructive as their white counterparts, who really like to scratch up seedlings and mulch.

 The little Bowerbird chose these for the garden, they are a rainbow of cheer, I like to let her choose a punnet when we visit the nursery and she was very firm on her choice of Polyanthus.

 A mystery fete plant is finally flowering, tiny bugs are visiting it daily, some sort of lanky indigenous Billy Button.

 The smell of this tiny plant travels far and is an all time favourite of mine.

If I only had smell vision. Three of my favourite scents in the garden right now are (from left) Fresias, Buddleias, and Brown Boronias (I am amazed this plant has lasted a full year and is now flowering a second time). The Buddleia tree (which should really be a shrub) fills our backyard with a heady scent.

 Pink Boronia, also scented although not as strongly as the Brown Boronia.
 A good year for Bearded Iris.

 Broad beans, just need some bees to do their thing.

A meadow of self seeded coriander, broccoli and silverbeet. The onions are competing for some space.
 Rhubarb and Alpine strawberries are filling this bed. Potatoes have been harvested and replanted here.
 Strawberries waiting for warmer weather, they are covered in tiny buds.


These are not fallen petals, the Rosellas and Cockatoos take great joy in stripping the plants of their buds. Always so sad to see a tree doing well under siege.

 Second year for our nashi and it has a number of buds. last year their were a few fruit but the possums broke through my defences.

Not well shot, but my successfully grafted apple. New green shoots have sprung from the graft that I put on this time last year, I thought they had all died so this was an unexpected find. I am quite jubilant to have success at my first attempt at grafting.
 A spinebill watches me fussing around in the garden.

 Camelia flowers are bringing in the Red Wattle birds, there is no shortage of flowers to visit.
 Lilac buds
The ever abundant Grevillea flowers

I really need to start tearing open some seed packets, summer will be here before I know it.

Playing along with Squiggly Rainbow's Tuesday Garden Journal.