Saturday, 29 August 2009



heaps of my extended family from melbourne where visiting adelaide last week including my cousin's 8 year old son lochie... he looks sweet and innocent...

but he designs dinosaur/zombie/vampire/robots who live in a post apocalyptic environment caused by flesh eating bacteria! complete with a snot bubble bommy knocker, tasers, gauging horn, whips, wings, rocket powered skateboard, hydrolic feet and gosh knows what else! aren't they awesome!?! Ben and Lochie spent hours discussing the finer points of dinosaur/zombie/vampire/robots design, most of which i'm sure i'll never understand :)


11 days

it's been 11 days since i last posted ... so much for the photo a day thing huh? i haven't been all that much busier than usual, but i really haven't felt like being around the internet.

these days my internet browsing seems to revolve around reading new posts from blogs i subscribe to, and reading a couple of news website including crikey. when last friday crikey posted this article lamblasting homebirth advocates as wingnuts, well, i just didn't want to be anywhere near the internet anymore. i did manage to stomach a look at crikey on monday to see this response from homebirth australia but it wasn't enough to make the internet a happy place again... so i stayed away a while longer to try and get back some of my optimism and general ability to pretend that the world is a nice place.

it might seem silly to care so much about the birth of a yet to be conceived child but i firmly believe that the safest and least stressful birth i could have is a birth at home with an independent midwife and to have that choice taken away from me is really distressing.

as far as i can see the only reason homebirth with an independent midwife will be illegal as of July 2010 is because the government is legislating against midwives practicing without indemnity insurance... but if independent midwives don't mind continuing on as they have been and practicing without insurance, and their clients accept the risk involved with them not having any insurance, then why should the government care? why not just leave independent midwives out of the legislation and move on?

i believe it's every woman's right to choose the way they want to birth their children. i just want the right to birth my future child the way i want to. i don't understand why the australian government would think it's a good idea to take this right away.
i don't understand why it's come to the point where if i'm not pregnant in the next two months (and i don't want to be pregnant in the next two months) then i'm probably not ever going to be able to have the legal homebirth with an independent midwife that i want.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

here's what i'm up too

Making : another knitted headband, this time for me!
Cooking :
puff pastry to turn the custard i made yesterday into vanilla slice
Drinking :
a small glass of sav blanc
parenting for a peaceful world
to spend way too much money on a kitchen :(
at the internet a little bit too much, i've still got work to do!
pip's game!
hopefully not too much time!
nothing right now ... but i'm thinking about starting a little practice quilt
that designing my perfect kitchen wasn't such tricky business!
watching ponyo!
for my new summer sandals to arrive in my letterbox
Liking: how clever i feel for almost figuring out how to make my vanilla slice as wonderful as the ones from the french pastry stall at the farmers market
how to make my egg custard for the vanilla slice less lumpy, do i really need to strain it like stephanie alexander says?
how the sun stays up a little bit longer every day at this time of year!
Hoping: that there isn't too much more house stuff to do before it starts being built
at the funny radish sounds snoring next to me on the couch.
Needing: not much that i don't already have...
more jonquils... oops! they where super cheap and smelled sooo lovely!
a red babushka dolls brooch and bright red shoes
inhabit, so many clever eco ideas
my aloe vera's flower stem is about to burst into bloom
that i haven't been walking up hills enough recently
that eating 2 1/2 white chocolate mud cup cakes over the last two days was probably 2 1/2 too many ... but they where very tasty! thank you kerry!
Bookmarking:belly dancing tutorials on you tube, it's pretty tricky to remember the moves between classes you know!
Opening: up the patterns pocket in my new meet me at mikes book... so much prettiness!
Giggling: at ben saying silly things
Feeling: toasty warm at home

cup cakes
some of the offending white chocolate mud cupcakes

Sunday, 16 August 2009

kale for sale

kale and lemons for sale
Kale for Sale (i couldn't resist!) from the Food Forest

leafy greens at Patlin's
my favourite spot in the markets, Patlin's Garden's table of leafy greens. the piles of greens are a lot higher at 9am but i went walking through the gardens with ben this morning and didn't get there until 11am.

mr patlin
Mr Patlin was a bit disappointed that i wasn't portraying his produce at it's bountiful best and wanted to re-arrange it all for me!

leafy greens are my favourite veges, but until maybe three months ago i had no idea that the most delicious leafy green by far is kale/cavolo nero.

i'd skimmed through the cavolo nero section in maggie's harvest but not given it much thought... it wasn't until i read about kel sauteing it in olive oil and garlic, and noticed it looking all crinkly and lovely at the patlin's gardens stall, that I bought a bunch. after all, kel always seems to be right about these things!

i was expecting it to be a bit like silverbeet but, after sauteing it like kel does, i was amazed at just how different cavolo nero was to any other green i'd tried... and was immediatley converted!

So far i haven't done anything else with my bunches of kale... but i've saved the rind from my last chunk of parmigiano and have a bowl of beans soaking on the bench and tomorrow it's all going to be turned into a big pot of maggie beer's minestrone with cavolo nero. i wish i'd thought of soaking the beans yesterday and could make it for dinner tonight!

there are lots more people taking photos in august at The Byron Life.

Friday, 14 August 2009

jewelery boxes

jewelery box


jewlery boxes

i spent yesterday afternoon combing through my mums jewelry boxes and drawers with her. admiring all of the beautiful beads, and listening to the stories behind how she acquired them, while she looked through her books reminding herself of the older beads histories.
she doesn't really wear many of them. she always has a strand of beads around her neck, but it's usually one of the same three or four quiet favourites. but she loves scouring her favourite markets stalls and op shops chatting to the ladies about their latest accisitions and looking for another strand to add to her boxes.

there are lots more people taking photos in august at The Byron Life.

Thursday, 13 August 2009



because sometimes it's good to be reminded that she's cute and lovable ... even if her favourite thing (asides from watching rosellas in the plane tree out the window) is to stalk us around the house and then POUNCE... even when she knows we're looking straight at her... silly, painful, lovable cat.

i should probably try and take her for a walk again soon. she's doesn't seem to mind the leash and she has loves smelling the park after she gets over the initial shock of being somewhere different, it's just getting there that's tricky. there's only one road to cross, it's less then 50m away, but she terrified of cars and digs her claws into my arms trying to escape. silly, painful, lovable cat.

there are lots more people taking photos in august at The Byron Life.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

my scientist was in the newspaper

ben was in the newspaper yesterday! he says they cut out all the good bits ... but i was impressed! (i might be a biased though)

ben with his new headband on our morning coffee walk through the botanic gardens

this is one of the headband/hat thingamajigs i wanted to finish for him, so that's number 68 from the list of 101 things to do in 1001 days done.
I started it when his hair was getting in his face but wasn't long enough to tie back, but that was probably six months ago now and his curls have multiplied so it's not quite so useful as was intended but he says it keeps his ears warm!
i went to start knitting a headband for myself yesterday and realised that i'd forgotten how to cast on and had to look it up on you tube. i probably have a long way to go until i'll be ready to start, number 70, knitting something that involve more than one rectangle...

there are lots more people taking a photo a day in august at The Byron Life.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


i love the keep cup... it's so pretty, so practical and not at all embarrassing like the thought of giving my clunky thermal cup to a barista is. good design is wonderful like that.

yesterday morning i bought a take away coffee. we had run out of milk and i wanted to walk ben to work through the botanic gardens, and everyone knows that a walk through the botanic gardens is much nicer with a cup of coffee to sip, so my thermal cup stayed at home and waste was produced...

i used to buy take away coffees all the time, especially when i was at uni or worked in more traditional offices. i don't think it ever accrued to me that i shouldn't buy take-away coffees because of the waste ... it accrued to me that i was probably spending too much money on milky caffeinated goodness, but that's a different kettle of fish. now that i don't have sit in lectures, work in a suburban house, and have a mortgage to pay i hardly ever buy take-away coffee. i wonder how many take away coffees cup i would need to not use to make up for buying a keep cup, probably far too many....

flat white

Anyhow, this is yesterday afternoons coffee (i promise i don't usually buy coffee twice a day). you don't ever get that much prettiness in a take away cup!

there are lots more people taking photos in august at The Byron Life. they're probably even taking one a day like i said i'd try to :)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

the took tooks

this afternoon i visited my friend and her chicken's. to call then she coos took took, took took and so they've become know as the took tooks, a beautifully evocative name i think...

y&b's little chickens
some of the little took tooks

y&b's big chicken
one of the big took tooks

y&b's chicken eggs
and some of took tooks googly eggs

she originally only planned on having two took tooks but when her first pair flew away she was given a few more, then over a couple of months a few more took tooks flew away so she kept getting more ... but now they've all found their way back home (and have had their wings clipped a little bit) so she's ended up with LOTS of took tooks and too many eggs for just two people.
she generously gave me three little eggs, three big eggs and a jar of her delicious schug (a very hot yeminite condiment) to take home so i'm looking froward to a very tasty breakfast in the morning!

there are lots more people taking a photo a day in august at The Byron Life.

Friday, 7 August 2009

rocky road

i'm trying to simplify my life, trying not to buy myself 'things' and trying to to buy othe people 'things'. this is all very well and good but what do i make for my little brother when he turns 22? rocky road of course!

lots of chocolate
take lots of chocolate (but not quite this much... half is for me)
i made the mistake of assuming all Green&Black's chocolate was fair trade but isn't, i should have read the packaging instead of assuming...

lollies for rockyroad
mix together mashmallows, red rasberries, cashews and almonds

rockyroad mixing bowl
melt the chocolate and combine with the nuts and lollies, while trying not to think about the sugar...

rockyroad ready to cool
then spread out the mixture, put it in the fridge and wait for it to set

rocky road
cut it up into peices the next day and you end up with a huge bowl of rocky road, too easy! hopefully my brother takes his time eating it all...

there are lots more people taking a photo a day in august at The Byron Life.
these are my photos from thursday and friday ... i'm all caught up again!

an indian birthday feast

spices for the royal chicken korma

my favourite part of Indian cooking is the very first step of heating the oil up so that it glistens and dropping the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamon pods in, so they crackle, spit and pop around the pan. my nose twitches and my stomach does a little dance and suddenly my body, not just my brain, knows that soon it's going to get a tasty curry to enjoy!

Indian Dinner
royal chicken korma, saag chicken, spicy chickpeas

on wednesday ben's brother got a year older and to celebrate his mum and i made indian curries. she made a really spicy melt-in-your mouth chicken curry and i made a royal chicken korma with lots of cream and saffron, a saag chicken (i think saag can refer to any leafy green, mine was an untraditional silverbeet), and spicy chickpeas and potatoes. we didn't talk about what we where going to make in advance so we ended up with lots and lots of chicken ... but it was all delicious so it didn't matter.

it's one of our 'things' to get together with ben's siblings and eat an absurd amount of take-away indian ... usually until our bellys feel like they'll explode with tastiness! i don't want to be a take-away buying person anymore. i love cooking and can make indian almost as tasty as our favourite take away, it's just getting around to doing it that's the problem ... and learning how to make good garlic naan at home ... i've got no idea how to make good garlic naan at home!

there are lots more people taking a photo a day in august at The Byron Life.
these are my photos from wednesday, but they're a bit late again... taking photos everyday is pretty easy to remember, but posting about them is much more difficult!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


jonquils at the kitchen table

i bought myself some jonquils on sunday as a preemptory reward for all the house cleaning i was going to do on sunday afternoon (we had an inspection today).
whenever i walk past a patch of jonquils flowering i always stop to enjoy their scent, but i try not to buy cut flower so i have to concentrate on not giving into temtation and buying a bunch when i see them for sale.
while i've got my bunch of indulgent jonquils i'm making the most of them by taking them with me all around the house so i can enjoy their perfume where ever i am (and occasionally i lend them to ben so where ever he is can smell nice too).
i don't like growing food on my balcony becausue of all the car and bus fumes but maybe next autumn i could plant my empty pots full of jonquils and have my own little flower farm come winter.

jonquils next to the bed

there are lots more people taking a photo a day in august at The Byron Life

Monday, 3 August 2009


i tried to post this yesterday but was having trouble learning how to use flickr so i'm two days late again ... there's a lot to learn with this blog business!

not having a garden means no cut flowers, but a bunch of fennel stems works just as well. I've got lots of recipes for fennel bulbs, but what else can i don't know what to do with the stems/leaves...

radish and the fennel

this is what happened to the fennel bulbs:

Chicken and Fennel Pie
enough pastry for a lid
egg wash
1 onion
2 leeks finely sliced
2 fennel bulb sliced
350g chicken cubed
300ml chicken stock
2 star anise
1 tbsp arrowroot
5 tiny zucchinis sliced thickly

saute onion, leek, fennel for 3 mins. add chicken and sear all sides, add stock, dill, star anise and bring to boil. reduce to simmer.
thicken with arrowroot and simmer for 10mins
add zucchini and cook for 3 mins
put filling in a bowl, put pastry lid on top, brush with egg wash and cook for 30mins in a hot oven.

it's a very tasty pie if i do say so myself and is super quick and easy if you're lazy like me and buy the pastry! i tried careme's puff pastry for the first time last night and went to buttery heaven and back again!

there are lots more people taking a photo a day in august at The Byron Life

a photo a day in august - day 1

last night i was comment clicking around taurus rising and found katy's new blog i see you and noticed that she's doing a the byron life's photo a day in august and following the aformentioned convoluted trail of clicks i thought i might join in too, albeit a bit late.

now it just so happens that i had my camera out on saturday to record my first attempt at quince preserve so here are day one's photo two days late.

over the last three weekends i've been taking boxes and bags of fruit to my parents house and together we've been learning how to preserve. the quince preserve we made this weekend comes from turquoise : a chef's travels in turkey and involved making a quince jelly with the peels, cores and slices of quince, but removing slices before they disintegrate, straining the juices so the jelly is clear and adding all the slices of quince back into pot for the last 20 mins of cooking. so in the end you get a lovely clear rosy jelly AND lots of tasty slices of quince to squash on your toast!
the quinces we used where very ripe so we added a couple of lemons to the pot while it was boiling away to try and increase the pectin. i'm not sure how the lemons halves would have changed the flavour of the preserve, but my dad thought they where delicious and ate all the candied pink lemon flesh as we fished the quaters, piping hot, out of the pot!