Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Too busy to blog

Just thought I'd post to say I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. It happened last year, and again this year. I've been working 5 day weeks, and my blogging time has been reduced to zero.

What time I've had to spare has been spent doing the things I blog about:

Garden: Mainly mulching and spreading compost around. Apart from that, looking a bit neglected.

Kitchen: Still cooking every day, and just about every day am blessing the discovery of my much loved pressure cooker. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - everyone should have one!!

Sewing: Have made myself a skirt and a pair of cropped pants ready for an upcoming holiday.

Apart from that it's work, housework and family. Life's busy, but good.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lemon cake and bubbles

I do enjoy baking, and like to try out different recipes. Yesterday I made a Chocolate Avocado Cake, for one of Action Man’s vegan colleagues. I can’t wait to hear how it tasted (hopefully there’ll be a slice for me to try!).

Even though I am always casting around for new recipes, I also have a few favourites (Nonna did too - she made Tollhouse cookies, an apricot/almond slice and apple pie ad infinitum, and we never complained).

I love lemon in baking, and this is my favourite way to use it. The method is super easy, and you should have all the ingredients at hand. A no-brainer really.

Lemon Cake

185g unsalted butter, softened (it must be soft)
¾ cup caster sugar
Zest on one lemon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups self raising flour

Preheat oven to 160ÂșC. Grease and line a loaf tin, about 12 x 23 cm.

Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until just smooth. Put mixture into loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack place over a large plate. (see, told you it was easy).
Mix together ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup lemon juice, without letting the sugar dissolve. Quickly spoon over the warm cake. The juice will permeate and cake and leave a crunchy topping.

And no, apropos of nothing, really, some photos courtesy of my nine year old, who has just done a photography course and now won’t give me my camera back!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Things that go Bump

“Mum!” my son shouted. “There’s something in the bathroom! I can hear it!”
Sure enough, there was ominous bumping and thumping in the bathroom. What on earth was it?
“Have you had a look?” I asked.
“No, I’m too scared!”
Great. What could it be? A dog, a possum, a feral cat? At least it probably wasn’t a snake (I’ve had a black snake in the house before, but that’s another story). It was making too much noise for that.
I picked up the son’s tennis racket in case it was a feral cat (have you ever come across one of these? Boy, are they fierce!)
Step by step, I approached the bathroom, racket in hand, son behind me. Clatter, clatter, clatter went the noise inside.
I put my head around the door. Here is what I found:

This is Milton, our most idiosyncratic chook, who typically made the most of her opportunities when fronted with an open front door and made herself at home. Note she even laid one of her snowy white eggs for good measure.
Well we were all soon in the bathroom laughing our heads off. It was so comical to see Milton perched up on the vanity, egg beside her. Meanwhile, the look on Milton’s face was something like “And what’s so funny?”