Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The chickens and the eggs


wang wang and funi and charlie and lola
 
 flour + eggs = pasta

sugar + eggs = pamlova
 
pamlova!

 
sunday morning pancake making (before she broke her arm obviously)
In the beginning, the eggs were like precious gold.  We checked the nesting box hourly and celebrated each time we found a new treasure. We took turns collecting the eggs and carrying them delicately to the house.  We nearly cried if we dropped one and the time my clumsy fingers dropped a whole carton I really did cry.  We counted our bounty frequently and planned what we would do with each precious addition to the fridge.

And after a few months Wang Wang and Funi were laying two eggs for us every day.  We were so proud of our chooks and ourselves.   No bought eggs for me!  Because I have chooks in my own backyard.  And they eat our scraps and make us poo and give us eggs!  How clever are they?  How clever are we! 

We thought up new ways to use our eggs.  We started making pasta from scratch.  And added quiche to our weekly rotation.  And found a chocolate brownie recipe that used 6 eggs.  And I learnt to make pamlova (that's 3 year old speak for pavlova).  We enjoyed pancakes and eggs on toast for breakfast and egg soldiers for lunch.

But then Wang Wang became broody.  She stopped laying.  And Funi (we discovered later) was laying her eggs under the cubby house.  So we ran out of eggs.  And I became one of those people at the market I used to scoff at with a carton Rosie's eggs in their trolley. 

So we bought two new chooks.  Charlie and Lola.   And now they are laying two eggs for us every day.  And Wang Wang is no longer broody.  And Funi has figured out the nesting box is the best place for her eggs. So they are laying four eggs for us every day.  And when we check for eggs (once a day) we no longer celebrate.  We put our arms up in exasperation and say "Oh man, more eggs!" and haul them begrudgingly to the fridge and try to find a spot for them and exclaim "Quiche for dinner, again?"  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grateful


Grateful she broke her arm and not her leg.

Grateful she broke her left arm and not her right.

Grateful it was only a broken bone.

Grateful my first visit as a mum to the emergency ward was for something minor and not something major.

Grateful to live in a first world country with good health care.

Grateful for nanna who minded the walrus and erinbaby while we spent 6 hours at the hospital being fixed up.

Grateful erinbaby accepted a banana in place of her four o'clock breastfeed so I didn't have to leave Abby's side.

Grateful for aunties in far away places who send tulips to cheer her up. 
  

Grateful she is still happy to entertain her baby sister while I cook tea.


Grateful she accepted a new party dress and mummy-made sling as a substitute for not being able to participate at her best friend's gymnastics party.




Lots more to be grateful for over at Maxabella Loves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The cowl that gill knit




So I knit this cowl.  All the way to Wilpena Pound and back I sat in the car and knit this cowl.  Around and around and around I knit.  120 stitches (or thereabouts).  40 rows (or thereabouts).  With fat circular needles. In garter stitch.  Which is boring but also easy which is what you need when you want to look out the window and enjoy the view. 

But I don't like it.  I like the feel of it.  I like that it's nice and soft.  But I don't like the look of it.  I don't like the colour and I don't like the texture and it's too long.

But I think Nanna with the chooks will like it.  And it's her birthday in June. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Muesli Bar Challenge

My challenge was to find a muesli bar recipe for the masses.  One without sultanas (Abby doesn't like them) or nuts (can't take them to school) and one that wasn't too dry or bland but also not too sugary or sweet.  

And this is what I've come up with.  It's a mixture of Fiona's recipe and one that I found on Taste dot com.
 
I have experimented a bit and discovered you can add any cereal you like to these (weetbix, cornflakes, even muesli!), just so long as the balance of dry ingredients is correct (5 cups total). 

So, here it is :

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 1/2 cups rice bubbles
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

See?  5 cups of dry ingredients

Plus

125g butter
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar

And this is how you make them :

Cook dry ingredients in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring, for 10 minutes until golden.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter, honey and sugar, stirring, for 4 minutes or until all the sugar dissolves.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. 

Mix together with the dry ingredients and spoon the mixture into a large baking pan (like a lamington pan) lined with baking paper.  Use a large metal spoon to press down firmly.  Allow to cool then cut into squares.

They store for about a week but ours never last that long!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On the weekend

Adventure baby*, the yellow wiggle** and I pruned some trees in the backyard.  We lopped a few limbs off the giant banksia tree which was casting a shadow over our newly planted orange and mandarin trees.  Now we have a lot more sun and hopefully happier trees.

We drove up the hill to have a look at a house and dream of our tree change.  We had many lengthy discussions about schools, travel times, moving away from a neighbourhood we love and the amount of work that goes into looking after a few acres of land. 

I perfected the art of bread making thanks to Rhonda's tutorial.  It looked so good Abby thought it came from the shops.

We collected 4 eggs in one day!  That's 4 from 4.  Thanks chookies. 

We all visited the Farmer's Market (fast becoming a Sunday ritual).  We divided and conquered which was much quicker than swarming en masse. 

We caught up with a friend I don't see enough of and her son at the park.  We talked about parenting in general and the books we're reading.  Mine - Liking the Child you Love and hers - Kids are Worth it.

I ran out of wool half way through the last sleeve of Rory's jumper.  Frustrating!  I will have to go and visit Barb at her sewing world again in the next few days.  In the meantime I'm knitting up a few more dishcloths.   

We went to a birthday dinner for two members of our extended family.  I knitted a beanie for my FIL and sewed some door snakes for my SIL's cold hills house.

* Erin.  Who is not content to sit and play with actual baby toys but must instead explore every corner of the backyard.  Hello chook poo, spiders and ants. 
** Chris (who has a rugby jumper he has worn every weekend for the last 7 or so years.  In fact he has two.  One short sleeve, one long sleeve.  It's yellow.  Hence the nickname.)





  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day off




Today is my day off.  Babs is at school and the walrus is at childcare so it's just me and the baby hanging out at home.  Doing nothing. 

Today, 'nothing' has been :

* knitting 3 rows of Rory's jumper
* baking and accidentally burning a sultana cake
* turning 4 kilos of rotting tomatoes from the farmers market into pasta sauce
* feeding the chooks and collecting the eggs
* folding and putting away two baskets of washing
* unpacking and repacking the dishwasher
* letting a grumpy cat in then out then back in again
* making sure the crawling, standing baby doesn't get up to mischief (I failed. Check out her texta face)
* making some changes to my blog and trying to re-commit to regular blogging
* cutting out a dress I am sewing for a friend's daughter (in exchange for some babysitting)
* googling 'kids camping party ideas'
* meeting a lady about a job.  A volunteer job.
* slowly cooking chickpea stew for dinner

And now that my rest day is over, I'll pick up the big kids and get back to work.
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