Monday, 27 February 2012

Are we there yet?

We are but a few weeks back in to the new school year & I am already asking when the holidays are.

You know I'm not a big fan of the whole school routine.

It is exhaustipating.

I don't mind making the lunches- in fact I quite like coming up with yumminess for them & I find it kind of therapeutic standing at the bench getting the food ready.

It's the alarm clock I hate.

Like.....really really hate!

And I would really like to know why haven't we invented the 4 day work week yet?

Two day weekends are so not long enough...I mean come on!

I would really like to be doing way more of this....

I usually put the uniforms in the machine in a panic on Sunday night in a kind of 'Where did the weekend go?' type haze......

The whole routine thing & me are not friends.

I keep asking 'Are we there yet?'

Anyway I'm ready for a break & I am SUPER DOOPER excited to be heading with the family to Womad in a couple of weeks time.

So much fabulousness.

You know we love music......A LOT.

And this is a great family friendly music event.  Our lads are VERY VERY excited!

It will be a quick break but sometimes that is all you need to give you a bit of a pep in your step.

Are you exhaustipated already too?

Some soups are the ultimate fast food.
This is one of them. It is so great to have quick soups when you feel tired. They are easy to make & give you a bit of an energy boost.
This recipe doesn't require long cooking times & can easily be made in one pot and blitzed with a stick mixer.
It is super tasty and is delicious served hot with good Sourdough bread & butter or as a chilled soup- like a Gazpacho.  If doing that serve it with some finely cubed cucumber on top as a garnish. Super yum.
Do you love Dill as much as me?
I LOVE it.....but I know it is one of those herbs that some people really don't like.
And I think it goes really well in this soup.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head of broccoli cut into florets (don't waste the stem- cut that up too!)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch dill (set a little aside to garnish)
  • 1/2 packet frozen peas
  • sour cream
  • vegetable stock (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tblspoon Extra virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Heat a saucepan to medium heat and add the EVOO.
Add onion & garlic, fry till translucent.

Add broccoli & peas.

Add the vegetable stock till it just covers the veg.
Bring to the boil & turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until broccoli is cooked through.

At this point add the bunch of dill & blitz with a stick mixer till liquidized.

Serve with a dollop of Sour Cream & some chopped dill.

I am really looking forward to seeing First Aid Kit at Womad.... this track is from their latest album:

Friday, 17 February 2012

50 years of LOVE.

In January my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.


That is half a century!

Not bad eh?!

Worthy of a party.

A BIG party.

Man oh man that is an amazing achievement in anyones books.

Sometimes life is hard yakka and in a marriage there is always someone else to consider.

And then there are the five children they had that were also VERY much there as well.

They had their troubles and most of us kids had our troubles with them too at some stage or another.

I have been living with my husband for nearly 25 years and totally get how marriage is not easy.

Most of my memories of their union are joyful, happy & loving.

No marriage is fun - ALL the time.

All marriages require work, require attention, require negotiation.

Sometimes we are better it than other times.

Sometimes it feels easy.

Sometimes it feels really really hard.

Sometimes happiness comes with sadness.

Sometimes loving someone doesn't mean you like them all the time.

I don't reckon it is REAL if it is not like that.

But what I see in my parents marriage is:

50 years of friendship.

50 years of love.

50 years of respect.

50 years of family.

50 years of living life with passion.

They have been and continue to be inspirational people who at the heart of everything they do is LOVE.

In January we helped them celebrate this HUGE achievement.

FIFTY years together.

Their five kids.

Many many of their friends- new & old.

There were lots of people.

Young & old.

All different.

All unified by their love of my Mum & Dad.

The guests were asked to write a short passage of something they loved about them.

It was fantastic.

Us kids took turns in reading out these messages.

Some anonymous.

Some not.

Some whimsical.

Some serious.

All loving.

It was a great party.




and a whole load of that magic ingredient.....

L O V E.

HUGE congratulations to you both.

I love you.


One of my brother's was a chef.  He has since changed career.
He trained under the very gorgeous Maggie Beer.
She is EVERY bit as lovely in real life as she seems.
You may well have bought her fabulous pate. brother made his famous pate recipe (this is not Maggie's recipe but my brothers own) for the party- it was A HUGE hit.
It always is.
Many of the people at the party have asked for the recipe.
I hope it becomes one of those dishes that when eaten conjures happy memories of a fabulous celebration.
Food is great like that isn't it. Reminding of us significant events.
Like me- my brother LOVES to share.
He was more than happy to have me publish his recipe for you all to enjoy.
I made it a couple of weeks ago using Milawa organic Chicken livers. It was D I V I N E!!!!!
And very very simple! go on give it a go. You won't regret it.

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic
  • Bay leaf, salt, pepper, nutmeg, crushed cloves, juniper berries, some green herbs like thyme and parsely
  • 1 –  1½ cups red wine
  • 250g butter
  • 300g chicken liver

1.  Sauté  onion garlic and herbs and spices - on medium heat until translucent
2.  Add red wine, simmer for a few minutes
3.  Add butter and allow just to melt
4.  Blend all this up in vitamiser or food processor – take out the bay leaf first!  Do this while it is still fairly hot – so you will have to be extra careful not to burn yourself
5.  Add liver and blend until all smooth.  Adding these while the onions and wine is still hot ensures more even cooking.
6.  Put into cooking dishes – oven proof bowls or terrine dish
7.  Put in double boiler: cover dishes with foil, put in oven tray with a kettle of boiling water and cover tray with foil.
8.  Cook in moderate oven 150 -170º, for 30 minutes or so.  Just to barely cook the pate, leaving it pink inside.
9.  Refrigerate.
10.               Once cold, cover with a thin layer of barely melted butter and cracked pepper; or as Maggie Beer does, with aspic and juniper berries.

Note this does not have a very long fridge life:  approx. one week 

I'll let Nina weave her magic with this one:

Monday, 13 February 2012

Wearing my Teflon Coat

Last week saw the beginning for school for my Number 4.

He hopped into his school uniform with the excitement that comes for the beginners.

It is either that or anxiety.

Number 4 has been waiting and waiting for the day.

And so it came.......
And so off he went.......

Another one.

It makes me a mix of happy & sad.

Happy for him at all that is ahead.

Sad for me that it signals the beginning of the next part of him growing up.

But I still have another with me.

So off we went alone.

Just the littlest & me.


That for me is something I have not been able to do for over 10 years.

Just me and ONE child.

It was liberating.

Back when I had only one child I was a beginner too.

Bound by my own stress & worry & nervousness that comes as a new parent.

Not able to just purely enjoy the moment.

Always thinking about sleep time, whether I had packed the right snacks etc etc.

Not anymore......those things don't worry me.

I know it works itself out.

So we went to Ikea and I felt free.

Free to enjoy.

Free to take time.

Free to just be.

Free to let my littlest run....
Let the judgers judge.

Let the grumps grump.

Let the brows crease as people look at me letting my child climb & run.

He is doing no harm.

He is being a child.

He is still able to enjoy the freedom of living in the moment.

I will help him make that last as long as I can.

Much like I don't let the minutiae of parenting get to me anymore I have also learned to wear a teflon coat to protect me from the people who judge the way I parent.

Sometimes the teflon coat gets holes and I need to patch it up.

Sometimes I wish I had the quick responses to their barbs.

They always come later don't they....the comebacks.

Darn it.

Just once I wish I could deliver a line of awesomeness that silenced those judgers.

Never mind.

They're not really listening anyway.

This curry is a real long time fave- for most of my family. I know my sister cooks it fairly regularly too. 
my kids and I love to try and say it's name really fast- tongue twister style.
My sister gave me my copy of Madhur Jaffrey's classic- 'Indian Cookery' way back in 1992! It is still going strong despite being well splashed with cooking ingredients.
This curry is from that book. 
It is a great curry for kids as it is flavoursome but doesn't need to be hot- the chilli is optional and it tastes fab without it. 
Madhur like Charmaine Solomon is one of the best recipe writers for curries out there I reckon.  Both of their books have stood the test of time. 
Don't be put off by the list of ingredients! 
As long as you have a food processor it is a VERY simple recipe.


  • 1 large chicken, jointed - or pieces of your liking. You will get  a much tastier dish if you cook meat with bones. 
  • 2 onions
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 25g ground almond
  • 350g red capsicum 
  •  2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 225ml water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
If your spices are whole grind them (it really is worth roasting them gently before you do this to release more flavour).

Place onion, ginger, garlic, red capsicum (or pepper), almond meal, & all spices in the food processor and blitz till a paste. 

Heat a heavy based saucepan to a medium heat & add oil.

Add the blitzed mix and fry gently. Stir until the oil starts to separate from the paste.

This will take about 10 minutes or so.  

Put the chicken in and stir to coat all pieces.

Add water, lemon juice & black pepper.

Reduce heat and allow to simmer gently for an hour or so.

Serve with rice.
I love this song by Mick seems appropriate. What works for some doesn't for others....compassion and understanding are good things to remember.