Saturday, December 19, 2009

In the Hut...

The box which the new washing machine came in is fantastic. One gorgeous pre-built hut, ready for decoration. Wonderful :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Some Weekend Snaps


Christmas Tree Hunting! The backpack is amazing. Thanks so much Catriona!!

A Gingerbread Cocktail for Christmas!

What could be better on 'Christmas Tree Hunting Day' than a gorgeously Christmassy drink!

I stole the idea from a Nigella Lawson book, but as I didn't have any of the gingerbread syrup she mentioned, I went about making my own (which I'm guessing probably made it nicer - more spices, less sugar!).

Gingerbread Cocktail

Make a gingerbread flavoured sugar syrup - 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar & 1 Tablespoon of honey, with as much crystallized ginger as your tastes require (mine required a whole lot!), 8-10 cloves, a big piece of cinnamon, 10 or so black peppercorns, a few gratings of nutmeg, and a tablespoon of whole allspice berries. Bring to the boil then simmer gently until the mixture has reduced & turned syrupy rather than thin. Strain off the spices through a muslin cloth - otherwise the nutmeg will end up in the syrup! Let it all cool down & pop it in the fridge.

Put a little syrup in the bottom of a champagne flute, and top with sparkling wine. Nothing too fancy or sweet, if it's too grapey flavoured I don't think it would taste so good. I used a trusty bottle of Lindauer!

Best sipped under a Christmas tree with lights twinkling, whilst listening to music which makes you smile.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Romping in the Rompers

Great baby ensemble Rachel :) Jarvis says thanks!

Highchair Mark II

Back in October, the highchair looked like this...
After some fine highchair remodelling, it now looks like this!

Oh yes, best high chair ever. Especially for a $20 trade me highchair. Note the green racing stripes, carefully co-ordinated with the green Formica top. Incidentally the lighting is a bit crap, the highchair was white initially, it's now a milky coffee brown!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jarvis meets Softie the calf...

Softie is one of the shorthorn reds which live up at the Clos Ste Anne vineyard most of the time. Her mum wasn't too keen on feeding her, so she's become everyone's best friend (so long as they come bearing a whole lot of milk from the cows down the road!).

Jarvis has met the mummy cows before, but this was his first up close & personal experience. I think he was impressed :)

Friday, December 4, 2009


Not enough time to write, but just enough to post a few snaps :)

Right, back to add a little bit of a tale! Jarvis is napping, my wonderful guitar girls have departed, and Shane is most likely feeding a baby cow & won't be home for a little while yet!

The lovely Jarvis is gearing up for Christmas, practising his climbing, commando crawling and general manoeuvring so that once the Christmas tree is up, he'll have a way of investigating it further! ('investigating it further' is a codename for picking something up, rolling onto his back, and carefully examining said item with hands & mouth!).

Crawling is imminent - we have rocking on all fours, and if he's on carpet a tentative knee moves forwards before it all gets too much. The lounge is barricaded off with a curious assortment of furniture & suitcases...He's working out potential weak points though, even though he doesn't want me to know about it!

Climbing is another fave pastime right now, there's an obstacle course of suitcases, pillows, big fat dictionaries & a guitar or two in the middle of the lounge. I think he's been paying attention when I do yoga - a very impressive downward dog happening, as well as a good looking high push up( as demonstrated in one of the pics) ! Wish mine was that good, sadly I am too lazy.

Christmas decorations are up in the lounge, despite the lack of tree. Ornaments hanging from the curtain rails, the hooks in the ceiling, in fact anywhere it was actually possible for me to hang something! I'm hoping a tree might come home tonight...although how exactly we'll protect it from the chief investigator of objects is yet to be decided :)

Rach - as soon as the weather stops being wintery, a snap of the romper suit in action is coming!! Poor little guy will freeze if I make him model it in this weather ;)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pretty pictures from days gone by...

I was browsing through folders of old photos from when we lived in Central a few years back...such a beautiful place. I love the way the lake mirrors everything, it always reminds me of one of those paintings you do at kindy - paint half a butterfly & fold the page over :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hmmm...however did you end up there?

The things Jarvis gets up to when he thinks nobody is looking...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Butter-Chicken-ish Recipe

My friend Belinda had a conversation thread on her facebook the other day where Butter Chicken was being discussed - mostly the way it makes you feel horribly ill afterwards, even if it does taste sinfully wonderful at the time.

I'm a crazy compulsive Mistress of Spices amongst other things, and have an addiction to Indian food - the preparation of it as much as the consumption.

I make a Butter-Chicken-ish thing, it has the same spices, a lot of the same cooking technique, but no cream & no butter. And it tastes wonderful (in my opinion anyway!). Give it a go, I promise you'll like it! And try to get hold of the methi leaves, they make such a difference! Apologise for the randomness of my recipe, I tend to go with the flow in my cooking rather than follow any particular structure...

The Recipe:
Marinate boneless chicken (for an hour to a day) in: Puree of 6 garlic cloves & about an inch of ginger, 1t chilli powder, 1/4t ground coriander, ½ t ground cumin, ½ t ground garam masala, ½ t salt, 2 t lime juice, 400ml or so natural yoghurt (fat content of your choice!).

Take a can of crushed tomatoes, put them in a saucepan with cinnamon sticks, a few cardamom pods, & as many dried chillis as you desire. Bring to the boil then simmer until they’ve reduced by about half. Strain through a sieve, keep the lovely rich spicy tomato sauce.

Grill the chicken, bake the chicken, bbq the chicken. Cook it in some way. Shred it or cut it into pieces.

Put the cooked chicken into the nicely reduced sauce. Add ½ a teaspoon of Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) if you can get hold of them, they really make the whole thing amazing. Add another teaspoon of garam masala.

Take the whole lot off the heat. Add a little of the SAUCE into another 100g of yoghurt. NOT the other way around or very bad things will happen, especially if you’re using low fat yoghurt. Add a little more sauce into yoghurt, mix it up, add a little more, this way the yoghurt gets gently heated. By the time you’ve added about half the sauce/chicken mix into the yoghurt you should be safe to mix the whole lot together.

You can heat it VERY gently if it’s cooled down too much, but don’t let it boil or the sauce will separate. Yuck.

Such a yummy meal, and won’t make you feel like you’ve eaten a brick afterwards.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anniversary Wine

Our third wedding anniversary called for a lovely wine. Best when sipped under the walnut tree in the late afternoon sun. Wonderful :)

Fun with Balloons.

I can see you all now...flinching in advance, waiting to see if it's going to pop!


Today Jarvis & I are :
  • Listening to Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde. His favourite song by far is 'Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again'. He's totally crazy for it.
  • Drinking homegrown chamomile, mint & lemonbalm tea. It's wonderful & he rather likes it in his sippy cup.
  • Cooking a most delicious chilli. Will post the recipe later so long as it tastes as good as I anticipate it will.
  • Planning to spend the afternoon under the walnut tree watching the clouds go by and the branches swish in the wind. That's if the predicted thunderstorms don't turn up! Looking pretty good so far.
It's a perfect day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This is what happens when the highchair is being remodelled...

Highchair in many pieces on the deck

Boy who has had dinner without a high chair

A Picnic at the Duck Pond

What on earth are those things?

Ducks! Ducks! Ducks!

Mummy, look at the awesome ducks!

A Bicycle Ride

My first ride on a bicycle in many years! I used to cycle everywhere when I lived in Korea, but if I tried to do that here I would have been crushed many times over. The driveway was a pretty safe bet, my mammoth journey involved cycling to the letterbox and back...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Toor Dal Rocks

New most favourite food!

Toor Dal (split yellow lentils), boiled crazily in water for 5 minutes with a hunk of ginger (gets rid of the gassy compounds), drained & simmered in home made chicken stock & turmeric for another 15 til it's wonderfully mushy, then stirred into some natural yoghurt. Yummy (for Jarvis & Mummy).

The New Highchair

Loving the highchair I bought from Trademe for $20. It's wonderful. And will be even more so once we finish sanding it down & giving it a new paint job. Jarvis is enjoying his new seat whilst reading a book with Nana (who preferred not to be pictured!), the smile on his face says "I'm a super cool big boy to be up here. Yesssss!"


Jarvis attended his first gig on Saturday. He was super responsible & used ear plugs to protect his little taringa from the sound (you can see them in one of the photos!), and had a wicked time rolling around under a tree, reading the paper, eating grass, gazing up at the sky, and hanging with his friend Leroy. And he wore his best Hawaiian shirt. Wonderful!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jarvis & the Thunderstorm.

(A poem for my small friend).

The sky was blue, the clouds were white,
The wind a gentle puff
When suddenly the sky turned black,
We moved just fast enough!

Jarvis saw the rain-drops fall
As big and fat as grapes,
His eyes grew round and sparkled as he
Watched the dancing shapes.

Then thunder rolled & crashed around,
And shook our little house
But Jarvis didn't cower,
He just wanted to get soused!

Sheet lightning flashed and cracked its way
Across the charcoal sky,
Jarvis's feet were flailing fast
He squeaked out happy cries!

The petrichor smell filled the air
And filled his wee nose too,
It seemed to make him dance some more
As lovely smells can do.

Then just as fast as it appeared
The black sky turned to blue,
The storm was gone, and Jarvis thought
"I'll go to bed now, too".

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Things Jarvis Loves...

I love my red car, my green balloon, and my (clean) nappy with a bus on it.
Don't try and take them off me now!