Sunday, December 30, 2012

bit of baking

No Knead Bread recipe! I've tried to bake bread so many times - never quite cracked it. Almost gave up. Then at our family boxing day picnic, Sooz brought this bread - it was delicious and reportedly simple to make so I baked it today. The secret is beer and dutch oven - I didn't use the latter so the loaf was a bit heavy and tacky right in the middle. We have a dutch oven though that just needs a clean, so next time I'll bake in that. But the flavour is fantastic and it was really easy to make! The recipe can be found here.

The little tarts are blackberry/ blueberry and almond in puff pastry. I just cut up the pastry sheets into squares big enough to fit into cup cake tins, pre baked them a bit before filling them with berries and the following;

200g Almond meal
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
vanilla essence
teaspoon baking powder

Mixed well and poured into each tartlet. I baked them at 180 for about 20 minutes, then took them out of the tin and baked them loose on a tray for another 10 minutes to cook the bases a bit more. They are really yummy.

 New Years Eve. The world around us is quiet though it seems the neighbours diagonally behind are up for a big one. We are just relishing the time at home, which is rare during Uni/ School term. This is longest I've lived in the one place since I was 19! That's 26 years ago. We've been here 2 and a half years with no desire to move. Finally a place where we dig in, watch trees grow and fruit, know our neighbours, local shop keepers and will have a history, memories. Our third New Year's Eve, our third Christmas, our third jam-making season etc.

Happy New Year!!  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

ubiquitous and the rest

I know everything looks pretty wholesome and splendid here and for the most part it is (and they are certainly the moments I choose to record for posterity) , but sometimes the training wheels of our little blended family fall off and we spend a day or two tending our sore spots and trying to get back on the bike. This sometimes happens at the most inconvenient times with a spectacular crash, as was the case at the end of Christmas Day and pretty much up until yesterday afternoon. Fortunately there is enough love and humility and commitment between us to move into and through these Inconvenient Spectacles, which I think I am coming to accept, may not necessarily go away but may have to be wrestled for some time yet as Big Honey and I drag our hearts and minds into the present and work out this step parenting business, and learn to trust each other and eat the odd handful of shit now and then (a fact of life in order to stave off total disaster...) and love the Wee Ones with all our might and be nice to ourselves and count blessings meticulously. Over the last three years I have come to understand that this is all very normal under circumstances such as ours; normal if not even comparatively mild. We have also come to find the humour in a number of things 1. the panel of five families that has to be consulted before stepping out the door 2. the questions from our children's' class mates (and parents sometimes) curiously requiring clarification as to exactly who belongs to whom and when...3. the extended step family of grandparents, aunts, cousins, in-laws and friends who accept us and love us regardless of Inconvenient Spectacles 4. the intricacies and sensitive etiquette of co-parenting with ex-partners 5. the sometimes frustrating but unavoidable geographical limitations (brought on as a result of 1.) 6. the futility of expectations of any nature 7. a future impossible to imagine (6. and 7. being pretty much universal but with a few added complications) 8. trusting that one's child will be happy, well-cared for and safe for the 50% or more time they are living their life without you physically in it 9. ridiculous tendencies to compare any one family to another....

Truly I don't feel in general that we have it hard, on the contrary, Abuello and I feel fortunate and grateful that we have as much time/ resource/ opportunity/ health etc, as we do . But I think it's quite OK for anyone to say "Shit that was a tough day/week/month/ year..I am an Absolute Super Star for pulling it off......". So, really that's what I'm trying to say. I was going to add that things are looking up, but who knows that for sure either?? Things are just as they are. I'm praying for more equanimity with age.

I hope you have had a really safe and happy Christmas with  minimal inconvenience, and that whatever you have come through this year bodes well for the next. xx

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Her name was Lola......

Never a happier man was there who 'ere did purchase an Eski. 'Willow', 70's...Gen-u-ine...
Pretty happy about the brogues too. Did I mention Big Honey is a Shoe Man.
The Hillshoist Cabana - stroke of genius for a garden with no shade. Deserves every little bit of op shop pleasure he gets.

Life is very good, peaceful, relaxed and simple. Feeling very, very grateful and wishing such contentment for you and yours.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Digging In

 Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012