Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Violent Thoughts

Oh Slug!
Whose moist supple body
insinuated itself through a slender gap
secretively slipping on a mucusoid path

Oh Slug!
No welcome moonlight
revealed your rasping radular
ravaging my hopeful harvest
of cucumbers

Oh Slug!
I will relocate you, expose you
on this crevassed concrete
for some tightly feathered
blackbird's snack

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preserved Lemons

Ages ago - like last year - I made some preserved lemons. And I have made some more since my lemony friend gave me another big bag and I have used all the previous year's supplies up. She also gave me eggs from her free range hens. They are so free range she has to hunt for them! So I think some lemon curd will be coming up real soon.

Preserved Lemons from the Cuisine magazine (Sept. 2001 28 pg. 56)

6-8 lemons
1/2 cup coarse sea salt (I used rock salt)
1 litre preserving jar, thoroughly washed in boiling water

Wash and dry the lemons. If you use store bought lemons you will have to really scrub them to remove the wax coating (and any pesticide that might remain). Cut a thin slice from the top and bottom of each lemon.

Cut through each lemon vertically leaving about 1 cm at the base i.e. don't cut right through. Turn upside down and rotate. Make another vertical cut top to bottom, again leaving 1 cm at the base. You will have 4 quarters that are all still attached.

Gently open up the cuts in the lemons and fill with as much salt as possible (about 1 T per cut). Hold one cut end together while you fill the other to prevent salt spilling out. I hold it over the jar because I can never prevent it entirely.

Carefully squeeze the lemons into the clean jar, compressing them as you go so some juice comes out, but try and retain their shape as much as possible.

Fill the jar halfway with extra lemon juice if necessary. I find I have to squeeze extra to make up the difference; must be my lemons or something. I add some peppercorns and a bay leaf too. You can also add cinnamon sticks, cloves, dried chillies, toasted coriander seeds, or toasted cumin seeds. Wipe the top of the jar clean with a cloth dipped in boiling water, then seal.

Store in a cool place (not the fridge) for 1 month before using. The lemons release more juice while pickling. Turn the jar a few times during the month.

Before using, rinse and dry the lemons. Remove and discard the flesh, then use the peel as required.

Search here for recipes using preserved lemons.

I also made candied lemon peel with the rinds of the lemons I used to squeeze the extra juice from. I tell you - that stuff is moreish.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Name tag

I've been tagged by Ilka :)
1. Players must list one fact, word, or tidbit that is somehow relevant to their life for each letter of their first or middle name.
2. When you are tagged you need to write your own post containing your first or middle name game facts, word, or tidbit.
3. At the end of your post choose one person for each letter of your name to tag.
4. Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they have been tagged, and to read your blog.
5. If I’ve tagged YOU (see below), please join in on the fun!

P - passionate about many things; family, crafts, food, education - the list could go on.
E - embroidery - still love this but it's taken a back burner for a while. Might take it up again when the kids are older.
N - naturally inclined to try and please people which can be rewarding but also can mean I forget about more important things or get frustrated when it isn't appreciated.
N - naughty. sometimes. ;)
Y - (uummm... this is hard) Younger by 1 year than my husband. Ok - I know that one isn't very interesting but I can't think of anything else!

I think I will tag Sharon and Tara.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Local Government

Sometimes we rant at the local government and their decisions. Like when they closed the branch library just up the road from me because it wasn't considered cost effective to run. Now instead of popping the kids into the pram to get some books or make a quick drop off, I have to get in the car and burn some fossil fuel instead. I know they have a mobile library stop there now, but as much as I believe in mobile libraries (in the wild as it were) they are not the same as bricks and mortar. Especially when you have 2 pre-schoolers. I was also disappointed they didn't take my suggestion of setting up a book drop in the local supermarket (situated beside the library site) so people could drop off books when the mobile library wasn't there. I thought that was quite a neat idea and a chance for a great example of community co-operation and initiative.

Not happy people. Not happy.

But this made me happy. Having driven to drop off some books I noticed a small room next to the branch library labelled Cloth Nappy Education Centre. At first I thought it was a weird name for a child care place but upon closer inspection I see it really is as the name suggests. The council is subsidising the hireage of cloth nappies and teaching folks how to use them. I'm impressed that for once our eco-city is putting it's money where it's mouth is.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy bee

When I was going to kindy they had a day where everyone came and pitched in to help do things around the kindgergarten. Kiwi's call this as a "working bee". We had t-shirts with "I'm a busy bee at kindergarten" on it. Well, I've been a busy bee at home! So this is going to be a bullet point post.

Birthday boy turned 4 today so we had the party on Saturday. The train cake turned out well. He was totally spoiled. He asked us at tea time "Is my party day finished?" to which we said yes it was. "Can I have it again?" Aaah no. Not until next year. Maybe.

Finished a number of layouts:

Finished sewing up a romper I made originally for DS but decided it was too girly and didn't make it up. Now that I have a girl you know. Just so you're convinced, here is a picture of her in another smocked romper I made, and a beautiful purple hat my friend S knitted. She is the queen of drool right now as you see.

Also finished the PIF gifts which have to wait until next month to be sent, after which I shall post some pictures!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

PIF recipients

Heh heh - my post with the PIF in it didn't ge that many comments so eliminating those who opted out and my PIFer Janine I only had 3 people left anyway!


Amy and Kristen - send me your addresses and you will get some happy mail. Ilka - I have your address so I shall send a little love your way too! :-)

I hereby give permission to my PIF recipients to refrain from passing on the meme if they don't want to. Especially Ilka because she has already been so generous these past few weeks.

And I'd like to give a big public thank you to Janine and Ilka for their lovely envelopes of goodies that came yesterday and today! I'm excited about their contents... and I really, really want to get scrapping! Just got to get this week of party preparations out of the way and you won't see me for .. uh .. not dust but probably glue and bits of scrap paper! LOL!

Monday, September 10, 2007


I read this blog called No Impact Man - it's a guy and his family who is trying to live in New York City with as little environmental impact as possible. It certainly makes my efforts to reduce my ecological footprint look puny.

However, I noticed this post today and it resonated with me. Particularly this statement.
When I have less internal conflict, I cause less external conflict. When I cause less external conflict, there is less conflict in the world.
You can read his post but basically he comments about an incident at home that could have easily happened in my house and his reaction was one that I recognised.

I need to work on this.

m m m marshmallows

Some of you may recall the interview with my DS where he mentions marshmallows as a favourite.

We were getting some things for his birthday and he happened to notice an enormous bag of marshmallows on the shelf.

DS: I think we need some marshmallows.
Me: Oh.. why?
DS: Because Daddy ate them all.
Me: Is that so! Oh well. I guess we can get some more.

Then on the weekend he sidles up to me and says:
Have we got 4,5 , 6, 8, 11, 14, 17 marshmallows?
Me: Probably.
DS: Daddy hasn't eaten them eh?

I think he's feeling a bit protective.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This and That

As it turns out, Daddies are better kite flyers than Mummies around here. It helps when you have the kite 'bones' inserted the right way round apparently.

Unfortunately the weekend degenerated from here. Both kids have had colds since the 23rd August. Now, snotty noses are bad enough ... but both of them also got diarrhoea which is not something you want to deal with in the middle of the night with a nearly 3 1/2 year old who readily pukes at the smell of his own ... er .. business at the best of times.

DD had it for a short time, but DS still has it 5 days later. So, we're off to the Dr. Not sure what he can do but it makes me feel better. I am soooo sick of it. And the colds are still here too.

On a happier note, I did manage to weed and rotary hoe my garden and now I'm happily plotting out what I'm going to plant.

We have 4 family birthdays this month but I've got it mostly sorted. Just got to finish off a mini album for SIL and post it off. DS is getting a train theme party and as of this morning I am the proud owner of a Wilton train cake pan courtesy of Millys. So that should make my life a bit easier. No chain saw cakes this year. Not sure what I'll do with it after this birthday but I know a number of other little boys who's mothers may like to borrow it. Maybe DH would like a train cake too.

Now - I've been PIFfed by Janine. So here's the deal possums. I will send a gift (something handmade or something bought) to 3 random people who leave a comment on my blog. The only thing you have to do in return is “pay it forward” by making the same promise on your blog or some other form. So, if you like this idea and a bit of ‘happy mail’, please leave a comment on my blog!

Aside: Garsh - I hope there are still people around who haven't been piffed... if you want to opt out of it, let me know :)