Monday, August 29, 2011

~ the dinner that makes me feel like a good mum ~

Princess G's turn to make a request for dinner
And she chose....ta-daaaaa!.....spicy salmon and rice.
One of the dishes I love to make for them because its easy, they love it, and I feel like a good mum. 
(how ridiculous to feel proud that they love and ask for healthy food....but Mondays can be like that)
We have been cooking this regularly for the last 5-6 years.  The girls  used to have just water and a tiny bit of soy with their salmon.  Now they love the spicy fish.  HRH LLJ is not so sure...yet.
It's one of those recipes on the favourites cycle of my limited recipe repetoire.  
We also regularly eat spaghetti bolognaise, lasagna, pasta carbonara,  tomato, mushroom and tuna pasta (spotted a theme here?), a pumpkin risotto, a pea and mushroom risotto, burritos, stir fries and roast chicken.  These are the things I can cook in my sleep and I know they'll eat.  They are meals the Doc and I can bear to eat too (with a tiny tweaking of an added rocket salad or some stir fried vegies).  
No cooking separate meals here (that manifests as Thai or Indian take-away smuggled in under the cover of dark).

How different from what I grew up eating.  I remember lots of grilled chops, grilled sausages, steaks, roasts, ham steaks with pineapple, liver  - -  always with loads of vegies and boiled or mashed potatoes.  We were a classic meat and more veg family.

So here's tonight's dinner:

{spicy salmon and rice}

{pear, rocket and parmesan salad}

And here's how you do it (I think I originally found it in a Delicious magazine years ago):

  • 5 x 100g skinless salmon fillets (conveniently pre-packaged just like this at the Salmon shop in Salamanca)
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon ginger from the jar (fresh is best...but so are other meals)
  • 1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • Steamed rice, to serve 

I heat the oven to about 185.  I make little foil envelopes (separate ones for the plain soy and the others) and lightly close them (I open them up just as the fish is about done).  I combine the soy, ginger and sweet chilli sauce, pour it over the fish and then bake for about 10 minutes.
Serve with salad or veggies, drizzle some sauce over the fish and rice and gobble it up.

Huge brownie points for the fish (and the veggies).  
Minus points for the salty soy (it is light).
And clean plates all round.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

~ grateful for small victories ~

My first grateful post (officially anyway - several of them have expressed gratitude for blossom and friends and so on in the spirit of the blogs name) celebrates a milestone win.

Princess G's first ever trophy

Princess G's soccer team - the seashells (the boys teams are called sting-rays and sharks and scorpions - ha!) have played all year with huge hearts and grins but not a single win.
Today, the last game of the season, they won 4-1.
Its difficult to know who had the bigger grins - the girls or the parents who wouldn't have to trot out "its really all about having fun"  yet again this afternoon.

possibly the worst photo ever but I'm still a bit shy about showing the kids on here

Today we can celebrate a little win, revel in the joy of coming first and know that they really do love to play no matter what the score.

{Linking with the fabulous Maxabella who posts every week about how grateful she is}
(and I would be grateful if someone could teach me how to use the buttony thing)

Monday, August 22, 2011

~ the Central Cookery Book comes into its own ~

The Doc had his birthday on Saturday.
Cue massive over excitement from the 3 wombles. 
For even without party bags, games or,  heck, even a party,  the thought of birthday cake is enough to get them going. 

We baked a delicious lemon tea cake from the  Central Cookery Book.  The book that was my year 7 cooking text (and therefore, over 30 years old much to the wombles amazement).

{teacake with lemon icing}

I didn't learn much cooking at school.  6 months of classes once a week in a mixed class in grade 7.
I can remember scones and pizza (same dough) -  that's about it.  That's no reflection on the utterly delightful Home Ec. teacher who was in the classic Mrs Beeton mode.  And is was certainly a whole lot better than the sewing lessons with a relief teacher for 6 months who struggled to get us to do anything except flirt with each other and throw eggs out the window and hide cooking ingredients . I blame my lack of crafting ability entirely on her... I cheated to get my machine licence (used a pin to poke holes in a straight line) and things have never really improved. 

But the cook book lives on.  Stained, torn, well-thumbed and certainly worse for wear.  Many of the recipes in there would never see the light of day in this house - think kidneys on toast,  scotch collops (what??), tripe friscasse... and it suffers hugely from the lack of pretty, light filled photos of the food.
But those old home Ec ladies sure knew a thing or two about baking and cakes.  And pikelets, scones and the like.

{simple cupcakes}

So while I drool over the latest food porn mags (Donna Hay, Delicious) and the gorgeous, plump-with- enticing photos cook books that line the shelves,  it's the old Central Cookery Book that we turn to for ritual and celebration.

Friday, August 19, 2011

~ what are you? ~

HRH LL J and I had quite a chat as we were changing his nappy today (as you do).

About our family and what we do and how we describe ourselves.

"Me good boy mummy" he said.  "And you good mummy too."

 I love that about 2 year olds.  The certainty. The absence of doubt.  That qualifiers are not needed.   

 So unlike me.  And unlike zebras apparently.





I asked the Zebra are you black with white stripes? 

Or white with black stripes?   And the zebra asked me,

Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on and on....

{Shel Silverstein}

So, what are you?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

~ friends ~

I'm still smiling every time I think about the weekend.
Not because the sun was shining.  Not because the in-laws had the children and we got to go to Melbourne alone.
This weekend we caught up with a group of friends we don't see often enough.
And it was great.

We ate.
And we walked.
And we shopped (a little)
And we talked (a lot)
And laughed so much my non existent tummy muscles are aching.

These are special friends
The ones we met after Uni, before kids, in that window of time when we had a little money, a lot of freedom and anything seemed possible.

We holidayed together, played in bad mixed netball teams all together, had parties, bought houses, loved life.  Then we started having babies.  We bought bigger houses.  We walked and beached and holidayed and shared our lives like family.

And then we all moved away.  Felt the pull of family, the need to return home to raise our families.

And so we live far apart.  We don't see each other nearly enough.  We promise to email, to phone, to keep in touch and then find we learn more in the Christmas letter than we knew.  And yet....ten minutes together, everyone talking at once, a few old jokes  and it feels like we've never been apart.

This is the family we chose. 

These are friends for life.

And we promise to do it again soon (maybe)
...but know in our hearts it won't matter how long it is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

~ musical beds ~

I'm feeling tired today
This is NOT a new feeling (by any means.  I'm not going there though.  The whole sad litany is enough to have anyone reaching for the anti-depressants, the gin or another blog to read).  In fact, things are so much better than they were 12 months ago that I don't feel I have the right to even mutter under my breath about it (except of course I do because that's what some mum's do - sacrifice sleep for love and then talk moan about it when anyone will listen).

[Just in case reading about someone's else's sleep woes might make you feel a bit better about your own lot in life here's a very brief summary. Princess G has barely slept through a night since birth.  She's almost 7.  She was having bizarre night terror type events that lasted started at 9-ish, lasted all night and that had our GP, the paediatrician, the web and the anyone else who would listen totally baffled.  We had tried eveything - including special permission to use a drug they use for airforce pilots with disrupted sleep cylcles.  And nothing.  Cue an amazing osteopath, a gradual improvement and a total reversal in my opinion of alternative therapies. We have our evenings back now and things are gradually improving all round.]

But the musical beds thing is getting to me.
The small people who live in this house can't seem to get enough of this game.
On and on and on...
Night after night...
The same old tunes....the same old game.

Things start well - we all love story time, they settle well, they are not serial get-uppers, the evenings are generally peaceful. 
But I could count on one hand the mornings that we all wake up where we went to bed. 
Princess G comes for a cuddle,  I move to find a HRH LL J a dummy, I choose the empty single bed, someone has a nightmare/needs a drink/wants a cuddle/is moving from the snoring and joins me.  I move again.  Someone wakes early and we go somewhere else for an attempt at sleeping past 5am.  And there in the KS bed the Doc sleeps (snores) through it all - simply opens the arms wider to cuddle any strays. 

Part of me already knows that I'll miss it when its gone.  That those precious, barely awake hugs are like gold.  That I'll long for those little arms around me and those sleepy endearments.
But for now I want to wake up in the vastness of that KS bed, just me and the Doc, and realise that I've slept all night and that I feel good.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

~ missing the pink ~

Its gorgeous outside - sunny, hint of breeze and the first thought that pops into my head - perfect drying day.  (Perfect for Tassie that is - not the perfect we used to have in Perth when just as I finished hanging out a load the first things were already dry!)

Don't worry - I know how sad that is.

So I hung out the washing and I couldn't help noticing the lack of pink .  For years I've been doing the dark, the light and the pink load.  And now there is no pink.

Lady L and Princess G have almost totally eschewed it.  (I would have said totally but the Doc took them shopping for new doona covers on the weekend and they both came home with pink versions.  I suspect the desire of new won out - maybe in the light of not much choice -but the bedroom redecorates are definitely on hold again).  

{when all was pink}

No skirts, no cute stripey tights, no fairy dress-ups...and no pink.  

My little girls are growing up and while I marvel at their new achievements and enjoy every stage there is a little part of me that feels a pang for the fairy princesses that used to live here.  And the pink load.