I Thought I Saw Ol' Man Winter

I thought I saw Ol' Man Winter arrive on the train last week. Just a glimpse of him, in amongst the people on the platform hurrying about their business. I thought I recognised his hat, pulled down tightly over his head with his scarf wrapped high up around his ears.

I thought I saw him carrying his big suitcases, packed with everything that winter brings - the rain, the wind, the cold, the nights that steal away the afternoons before you have time to notice.

But.... it seems I was mistaken. Day two of winter and he still hasn't arrived. His train is now two days late. I am sure it will be here any day soon and he will step onto the platform with one hand on his hat, his scarf blowing in the icy wind.

In anticipation of his arrival I have prepared the house with extra blankets, socks and jumpers and have dusted off my number one tool of defence.... the slow cooker.

...... and although it is only 3.07 in the afternoon, that damn smell drifting through the house is enough to make me rip the lid off and gorge myself on it now!!!!!

Who invented these damn things anyway.....................?


Re-Using Success.

I still have a lot of plastic in my cupboards.

I have been making a real effort to re-purpose a lot of it because I don't think there is any sense in just throwing it all into landfill. It defeats the purpose.

Slowly but surely I have been changing over some of the storage containers in my cooking cupboard, a cupboard I have above my main prep area so I can just reach up and grab everything I need.
The large glass jars are from buying coffee in bulk and the smaller jars are from local oysters. They have a plastic lid unfortunately, but I still like to re-use them.

I have labeled the jars very simply with a permanent texta.

I enjoy opening the cupboard and looking at all the cooking supplies. I can see at a glance what needs to be topped up, often from a bigger supply in the pantry. I especially enjoy decanting the farmer's market honey into my little pour bottle which makes it easier to manage and easier to pour out a little for a cup of tea or to add to a recipe. I also like having my spices in bigger containers because I use so much of them.

But most of all I love the fact that the containers are NUDE. There are no brand names, no bold colours and no in your face slogans. It makes me feel all 'Little House on the Prairie -ish' LOL or maybe even a bit 'Waltons-ish' - knowing I can send John Boy to the store for a pound of sugar any time soon!

- Gotta love a spoon full of madness each and every day.


{CLICK} {CLICK} Hello .... Are You There ?

Gremlins have been in my system!

The first few times I had emails asking me to give 'permission' to read my blog, I thought they had me confused with somebody else!

Then more emails came...... then more...... then more.......

It seems I somehow defaulted to a 'permission only' blog that would default back, even though I would untick the box.

Anyway........ enough of all that boring tech stuff.

I am just popping my head in to say the following:

- hello

- no I haven't abandoned you

- thank you to all the concerned emailers. Sorry I can't answer each of you individually, but take this as a collective {hug}.

- and most importantly..............................

holy crap - check out those crows feet in that untouched photo. I could sit here for four hours and 'photoshop' them out, then again I could post the photo as is, for all the world to see and claim them as a trophy of a life well lived and know that they came about after chasing two beautiful boys around the place.

So.... if you can read this..... send me some lovin' via comment or email so I know that you can read me loud and clear.


What To Do On A Dreary Day ?

It was such a dreary, miserable raining grey day. I just had to search out some colour to brighten up my world.

So, when it's rainy and dreary - what do you do ? You jump in the car and drive up to the lighthouse and run around like mad people because it is so windy and cold and everyone is hyperactive and the wind somehow gives you permission to yell and scream and let out all the energy that builds up when a storm is approaching.

Don't you love this mural ?

As the rain eases and the sun breaks through you get back into the car and drive home like a 'normal' family and become 'normal' and refined and well behaved once again.

You drive back up the driveway and the neighbours will never know how crazy you all really are.


Friday Night = Pizza Night

We always whip up some yummy pizzas on Friday nights. It is much quicker than driving to town and picking them up or having them home delivered. Last time we had pizzas home delivered we were SO disappointed with them because we are TOTALLY spoiled after having home made ones for so long now.

The basic dough recipe is:

1 cup plain flour
1 cup of self raising flour
pinch of salt
rounded teaspoon of yeast
teaspoon of honey
1 cup of lukewarm water.

Because we try and make most of our meals low GI, I double this recipe and use a mix of wholemeal flours - so that's 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour, 1 cup of white plain flour then the same with the self raising flour.

There's nothing fancy to the method. I mix all the dry ingredients together before pouring in the water and roughly combining it with the other ingredients. Then I just let it sit for a while - sometimes ten minutes sometimes an hour - just depends on how side tracked I get! lol You can see when the yeast has done it's job because it roughly doubles in size.

I then plonk it onto a floured surface and tumble it around a little - I won't say kneed because there is not really a lot of effort involved. I cut it into three and roll them out to the size of the round pizza trays. I use olive oil on the trays and then hammer the bases with a fork to allow the heat to penetrate through when cooking.

Depending on how thick you like your pizzas you could make more or less. I make one thick pan style with just olive oil, herbs and tomato paste for son number one. Son number two and I share a thick base and then I make Hubbie's a thinner one.

Next we start chopping up the 'whatever' to go on the top. Last night I had king prawns, coriander, basil, chicken, pineapple and onion. Let me say ...... yum yum yum !!! ( Mine is the left hand side of the pizza on the right)

The pizza on the left is Hubbie's. He is a chili freak and he has various versions of homegrown chili, capsicum, olives, pineapple, onion, salami etc etc. His chili is so potent he has to have a separate chopping board, knife and other tools. I also make him put his on the bottom shelf of the oven so there is no contamination dropping onto my pizza!!

They take about 12 minutes to cook in a very hot oven.

We look forward to Friday nights. Some nice music, a glass of wine and the feeling of accomplishment when you sit down to these little beauties knowing that everyone has given a helping hand.


Our Grandparents Never Went to the Gym

Can you imagine trying to set up a gym or fitness centre in 1940. You would have to convince people that it was of benefit to them to come in and use the equipment.

I can imagine a farmer being told to get onto the treadmill so he can walk to get some exercise. He’d be saying – he get his exercise in the paddock thanks!

What about the gardener. She would be told to get on the weights machine, but she would argue that she gets enough of that pulling weeds and digging potatoes.

What about the woman told to jump on the bicycle to ride her way to fitness, she’d be saying that there was no point in doing that because she just rode four miles to get here on her own bicycle and still has the return journey ahead of her!

Yes, I agree with you that the 1940’s gymnasium would be a total flop!!

But, as a 2010 girl I have a gym membership. We have a community owned aquatic and leisure centre about half way between my house and town.

Sure, I could get my exercise walking in the paddocks, digging potatoes and riding my bicycle like they did in 1940, but there is one big difference. They never allowed do get themselves overweight in the first place.

Have you noticed when looking back at old photos and hearing people’s recollection that very few people were overweight ? I believe it is a combination of an active lifestyle and limited food variety and quantity.

Today we lead a more sedentary lifestyle and have an abundance of food all around us, and like any cow on a good pasture we are bound to add a few kilos each year until you hit middle age and ........... Last week I read that obesity is now the biggest health problem in Australia and is responsible for all kinds of preventable diseases and conditions.

If exercise was a pill it would be a wonder drug. It reduces stress, makes you feel very very happy, reduces blood pressure, corrects type 2 diabetes, makes for strong hearts, great skin, hair and nails. Who wouldn’t buy a box of that pill ?

So. Quite ironically I drive to the gym to get on the exercise equipment. One of the trainers told me I am close enough to ride my bike there and back, which I am… but if I rode my bike there, I wouldn’t have to go inside!!! ( That’s my logic …..and I am sticking to it for now!)

Is it worth the money ? I think so because I use it almost every day so the actual cost of each visit is less than a cup of coffee and I feel so damn good after a class. Today during a bodypump class with the music blaring I had a massive rush of endorphins and could barely stop myself from yelling out ‘damn…yeah!’ as I threw that weights bar over my head.

You can check out all about bodypump here.

April Theme: Re-organise and Transition

In the Southern Hemisphere, April is in Autumn.  The days here are still warmish, but there is a sneaking whisper in the wind. That whisper ...