Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Food on the farm

I have just spent a wonderful week at my cousin's farm.

I went (all alone!) to attend some of the F.O.O.D week events. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time and with my favourite person living on F.O.O.D week's doorstep, it seemed like the perfect time to go. It was a great excuse for us to catch up and have some quality time together.

Local food and wine, farm tours, real* autumn weather, country drives, bric brac and wonderful new discoveries - together - that ticks all the boxes for a perfect week. But, hang on, these are not pictures of F.O.O.D week. This what we ate on the farm. These are photos of our last lunch together.

Our dinner on my first night.

An antipasto platter and red wine.

Homemade feta, blue cheese, olive hommus, tomato and basil from the neighbours garden, marinated olives, artichokes, rocket, salami - hot and mild, brie, crackers, homemade plumbrillo (made from the bountiful plum tree during summer) and figs from the farm.

But wait there's more... we definitely did a lot of eating this week.

We ate Karen's famous tandoori chicken pizza with mango, coriander and yoghurt dressing and the best-ever homemade sausage rolls. The last of the homegrown walnuts and persimmons were tasted, along with, out-of-this-world stewed apricots and tangy homemade yoghurt. Too many of my cold weather favourites - ham and cheese toasties were eaten (both at the farm and out) and too many cappuccinos were consumed (both at the farm and out). I loved eating Karen's homemade fig and vanilla jam on toast for breakfast, so good, that two jars of it came home with me.

This girl knows how to cook!

Maybe, we didn't need to leave the farm at all.

*In Queensland we do not get what I call 'real' autumn weather, we don't get the four seasons. Autumn is my favourite season, but I did not get to experience it for myself, until I was 22 and moved to England. Now, I miss autumn and the seasons. Every. Single. Day.

Monday, April 14, 2014


I have just slept 12 hours straight. It's been a big week (for me). 

I woke this morning to find Spunky Monkey playing with his remote control cars - in the rain!

And Miss Moo Moo snuggled up in Spunky Monkey's bed watching The Muppet Movie.

I guess I will make some breakfast soon... I love school holidays, especially the rainy days!
(a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 inspired by Jodi's 52 Project)

Monday, April 7, 2014

April is all about France!

When my children were just babies, I had an idea.

I knew that it would be a very long time before I would be jetting off to any far away destinations. So, I thought, that when they are old enough, I would do something like this: Each month we could learn about another country. About other cultures: the people, the food, the landscape. We would cook regional specialities in our very own kitchen and maybe even learn a few foreign words. You get the idea.

Well, with a little prompting...

In April we are learning about France!

We have started a special "Countries Around the World" notebook and have been cutting and pasting and colouring and writing.

Miss Moo Moo is really into it (she loves to learn) She has been grabbing her book at random and writing away, like this above. When I explained to her that the French words aren't written how they sound in English, we hit 'google translate' together and printed off the correct spelling of the words in French. She has even written out a 'procedure' for making wine. Tres mignon!

As for Spunky Monkey, he can take it or leave it, often announcing that he is far to busy for colouring in, when there is lego to be built. And more often than not, prefering to do any writing... later.

The coffee table has been piled high with French themed library books and dvd's.

Last Monday night, I helped out at my Mum's restaurant, she was hosting a 50th birthday party for a French friend, it was a weird coincidence.

We have started watching 'My France with Manu', already eaten way to many croissants,

and watched Monte Carlo more than four times! I secretly love this movie.

Again... Spunky Monkey, not so into this either.

This Sunday

A lovely morning spent at mum's. 

A magical sunshiny Sunday morning. 

Croissants and black cherry jam and homemade cappuccino's and raspberry cordial 
and melt-in-your-mouth shortbread. 

Drawing, colouring and looking at foreign coins. Gossip and french cookbooks. Playing with Nanny's dolls house furniture and 'American Pickers' for my boy. A new hair colour for me, brown, not grey.

Oh...lazy day, Oh... happy holidays!

Last Sunday

Late last Sunday afternoon: a beach walk. 

Dark and moody, wild wind and tiny drops of rain. Sticks and logs and foam and baby jellyfish, upon the shoreline. Fishermen. Usually my most favourite kind of beach day... however on this day, Spunky Monkey discovered a needle syringe on the edge of the dunes. On the edge of the dunes, where he and Miss Moo Moo play, where all the children play, where mum's and dad's and grandma's and grandad's sit to rest 
their weary legs. 

It left me quiet unsettled.

We have asked Spunky Monkey not to play in the dunes, his most favourite place to be. 
This makes me sad.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Miss Moo Moo - ready for the annual Easter Hat Parade.

Spunky Monkey - laying on his unmade bed with a mouthful of cheese and vegemite sandwich. I had been chasing this boy around all week trying to get just one photo!

(a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 inspired by Jodi's 52 Project)


A lazy weekend day at home.

Miss Moo Moo - a homemade choc chip cookie for afternoon tea

Spunky Monkey - pulling something apart, always, pulling something apart!

(a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014 inspired by Jodi's 52 Project)


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