Oh my Gosh. I think winter has finally hit our hills with a vengeance. The thickness of the frost on the ground yesterday morning had us thinking it had snowed! I could only cringe on behalf of my poor Jacaranda Tree snug under it’s super-bag (top) and layers of mulch (bottom) and send a prayer up to the heavens it wasn’t going to take affront at the cold and curl up and die. Due to us living beside a huge lake, we don’t generally get severe frosts here, but as the lake is currently very low, it was Jack Frost’s turn to get even.
Amid 40 degree heat (with NO air conditioning I might add) we partied our way through the first family Christmas celebration yesterday. It was so much fun, with lots of laughter and jokes being shared around the Christmas tree and dinner tables.
That was AFTER they’d all managed to slog their way down the drive and negotiate the electrified bungy cord gateway keeping the cattle from entering the house yard. My brother-in-law from Brisbane (all 6’2” of him) was the only one who rang me from 100 metres away. ‘Ummm … this gateway? How do I open it?’
Life is frantic up on the hill at the moment. H is welding up cattle yards on another block, I'm trying to organise our home lives which got a tad scrambled while I was doing pre-book tour stuff, mid-book tour stuff and post-book tour stuff, and keeping up with the permanent job - kid taxi duty. And when I'm not involved there, I'm getting farm books up to date, going through cooking books and ... packing.
Yep. You heard right. Packing.
The checklist for today, ANZAC DAY, April 25, 2015:
Dawn Service where hundreds of locals gathered. Tick.
Tears while the last post was played. Tick.
Stories shared with the children over breakfast of H's grandfather - a tunneller - killed on the Western Front in WW1, and his father - a Navy man - who fought in WW2. Tick.
Stories shared with the children over breakfast of my Great Uncle, killed whilst a POW on the Burma railway. Tick.
Anzac Biscuits in the oven. Tick.
Sunday afternoon usually sees us with visitors coming down the drive. Our property is locally classified as being ‘way out there’ which in terms of the rest of Australia really isn’t very far ‘way out there’, but in a more populated Victoria, I guess we are, in effect … well, ‘way out there’. Ahem.
A while ago, a cry went up on Facebook in a number of places for some ideas for children’s lunch box/smoko recipes. I thought I’d share this one with you. It’s a fantastic slice which can be adapted to suit the contents of your pantry and a myriad of tastes.
Some time ago I posted a photo at my author page on Facebook of the most divine and totally out of this world, scrumptious circle of decadence called a Lemon Myrtle Coconut Syrup Cake. (Can you tell how much we loved it?)
How many cookbooks are on your book shelves? If your kitchen is anything like mine, lots. But it’s the tried and true favourites like Merle Parish’s cook books, the CWA journals and the Australian Woman’s Weekly selections that I keep returning to. THE AUSTRALIAN BLUE RIBBON COOKBOOK has just joined that exclusive club.
It was my beloved husband's birthday this week. My present to him was my most favourite thing in the whole world besides him, my kids, the dog, my family & friends, the farm ... I got him boots. Motorbike boots though rather than the other kind I like (Ariats forever). He loves them, which ultimately equates to brownie points for me. My birthday’s still to come. You have to think ahead with these things.
I have decided there are three ingredients that I can’t do without in my country kitchen. They are butter (butter is better, or so says the dairy-farmer’s daughter), eggs (used to be our own until the chook house floated downstream in the last flood.) Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits and condensed milk (I LOVE condensed milk). Therefore when the last two are on special at the local IGA supermarket, I buy in bulk. The butter I get from Murray Goulburn, the eggs from a local farmer.