Wednesday, 16 September 2009

hafla nerves

evangaline leads improvisation
evangaline, my teacher, leading women from all three collectives
in a dance at the hafla!

I went to a hafla* on sunday and after only six lessons, my belly dancing class performed for four whole minutes. I was even brave enough to dance in the front row!

Now i don't do things in public. I freeze up and get super anxious infront of any sort of audience so it was terrifying, and if i'd know that i had to perform after only six lessons i don't think i would have started dancing... especially not tribal belly dancing where you learn dance moves but you don't learn any choreography. Instead the leader of the chorus of dancers improvises the choreography on the spot, it's like a game of follow the leader.

The whole thing only stopped being terrifying when halfway through our dance our leader/teacher improvised a move none of us knew and we all stuffed up, all of a sudden i didn't care if i made a mistake anymore and it started being lots of fun! I'm sure there's a lesson to be learnt there ... but i'm sure it won't make any difference to how anxious i feel when i next have to do something in public. :)

* i think a hafla translates to party. in this case it was three belly dancing collectives getting together for an afternoon of food, wine and performing for each other, no boys allowed ;)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

i took a photo of a bird!

we visited ben's mum, who lives up in the adelaide hills, on friday night. neither of us wanted to drive home after she was extra lovely and fed us tasty champagne as well as taking us to chingari's, our favourite indian restaurant, so we made up a bed and stayed the night in her little valley.


in the morning his mum and i traipsed around the garden admiring the prettiness



while i dug up some of the self sown silverbeet and herbs from the lawn to pot up for my balcony

silverbeet in the grass

and very happily noted that she's letting the kale go to seed, so hopefully they'll pop up everywhere next year too...


when this little blue wren flitted past!

a blue wren

granted he did sit still for maybe 30 seconds...

a blue wren

but i'm still pretty happy i manage to snap two whole decent photos of him!

(do you think that's too many photos for that little writing?!)


6:50am got out of bed, had shower.
7:20am shared a coffee with ben and walked through botanic gardens with him to work. it rained lots.
8:00am came home soaking wet becasue i didn't bring an umbrella. got changed, dried hair, did some work
9:30am dentist appointment. my teeth are all good.
10:15am made egg sandwhich for brunch
10:50am went to the homebirth rally. there where heaps more people than i expected. it was wonderful! i forgot to take my camera but there's some video of the rally here.
11:45am rally was rained out so went home
12:00 did more work.
3:00pm drove to waterfall gully with ben
3:30pm met mum and dad at waterfall gully, started climbing.
4:40pm ate muslei bar at summit, recovered, started walking back down the mountain.
5:20pm drove to yoga from waterfall gully
5:50pm got changed out of yucky walking clothes
6:00pm yoga (my brain wasn't racing nearly as much as usual becasue of being all tired out from the walk, it was a wonderful.)
7:40pm drove to iga to buy dinner for victoria and me
7:55pm tried to find car park near womens and childrens hospital that wasn't scary to walk from at night (Nakita was admitted on sunday because she's not breathing properly, poor little thing)
8:15pm found car park.
8:25pm found Victoria and Nakita's ward. watched the nurse do her thing with Nakita. had a play and a cuddle with Nakita.
9:00pm had dinner and cups of tea with Victoria while Nakita was asleep
10:00pm went home, debreifed with Ben
10:30pm time to sleep...

Thursday, 3 September 2009

gnome recipes

i made falafels and chocolate brownies for the gnomes gathering on the weekend and said i would share the recipes, so here they are :)

the chocolate brownie recipe that i made was maggie beer's and was on the cook and the chef a few weeks ago. You can find it here . maggie adds prunes to her brownies but i prefer adding lots of nuts, although next time i make them i think i might try one of pip's suggestion and add some berries.

soaked chickpeas and shelled broad beans

now for the falafel! the falafels i make is an adaption of a greg malouf recipe. I think that in egypt falafels are usually made with dried broadband, and in israel, syria lebanon etc they are made with chickpeas but i like them with half half .

150g dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
300g shelled fresh broad beans (or 150g dried skinless broad beans soaked in water overnight)
1 1/2 cups coriander leaves and stems
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 medium onion chopped finely
1 teaspoon schug - see recipe below (or any other middle eastern spice past would also be fine or even just a chili and a clove of garlic would work too).
LOTS of olive oil for frying.

drain and rinse the chickpeas. whiz all the ingredients in a food processor or with a bar mix. form small balls or patties. either deep fry the falafels for 6 minutes or heat enough olive oil in a frying pan so that it will come halfway up the sides of the falafels and fry the falafels for 3 minutes either side or until they're golden brown.
serve with yoghurt or tahini thinned with water and a little lemon juice.

broad bean skins and falafel mix

i always have a jar of schug or harissis in the fridge to add to my cooking and use as a condiment. i think i've posted the schug recipe in a comment on kel's blogs before ... but it's a good one so i'll post it here too! in the words of my friend Yaara (owner of the gorgeous took tooks) schug is "very simple to make, just a large handful of dried chillies, bunch of coriander, 1 garlic bulb (peeled), 3-4 pods of cardamon and some salt. chuck it all in the food processor and let it run! or you can go for mortar and pestle if you're keen... it keeps for about a year in the fridge but it does go brown after a few weeks".

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

gnome flowers

daffodils the gnomes potted for me. thank you gnomes!

gnome flowers
bunches of flowers from the gnomes garden. thank you again gnomes! :)

on sunday afternoon the gnomes had a bunch of bloggers over to wander through the garden, have a bit of a chat and consume lots of tasty treats. It made for a lovely afternoon indeed!
i've only been writing this blog for a very short while, but i've been reading (lurking around!) these adelaide based blogs for a while now, so it was both bizarre and delightful to match people to the words and pictures i've been admiring on my computer screen. it was also lovely to meet lots of seed savers and learn about their group!
the drive to the gnomes was a long and windy adventure into the back of the hills, so i got to see a beautiful part of south australia that i never seem to venture into. it was all so very lush and green and there'd been a bit of rain so all the foliage was glistening in the sun... and then there was the sunset illuminating the hill faces as i drove home ... the gnomes really do live in a lovely part of the world!
thank you both for having us over and for all the present gnomes!
I'll post the recipes for falafels and brownies i said i would soon. i promise.