Thursday, February 23, 2012

I was on TV last week!

Oh, ok, only in the background of a group scene, skulking behind a handy pole, but it's a start...

It began with an apparently routine email which turned out to be rather exciting!
"Marty Moo will be cooking up a storm at Tidal River! I will be serving a gourmet barbeque breakfast of Garden Farm eggs, Terramirra Park venison sausage and Hope Farm sourdough. Please come on down and enjoy breaky with me, all welcome! But if you can’t come then tune in to the Today show and see me on the telly! Marty" 
I don't watch much TV, and have never watched a breakfast show, but this was too good an opportunity to miss. Tidal River is the main camping ground at The Prom (aka Wilsons Promontory National Park) it's always a treat to get down there, and the added attraction was a free breakfast compliments of Marty!

What's not to like? ... apart from packing of course. However, we flung the tent and assorted camping gear in the car and headed off - one night only due to work commitments, but hey who cares, this was going to be a real treat.
Sunset treat at Norman Bay
Up and about by 7am
The Today Show airs on Channel 9 and the weather reports were duly broadcast live from Norman Bay at the Tidal River Camp Ground on Wilsons Prom by Today presenter Stevie Jacobs.
Kids, food, sand, water and expensive equipment -
What could possibly go wrong?
What really happened was sunrise, kids, sand, water (great combination with cameras!) swatting March flies, National Parks Rangers and personnel, parents and teachers, all the technical bods who put these things together seamlessly and heaps of hangers on, otherwise temporarily referred to as the Marty fan club. Did I mention swatting March flies - surreptitiously when the filming happened - nasty bitey things and larger and more enthusiastic than ever this season.

Later, back at another picturesque setting and BBQ, 
Marty and Emily were cooking up a scrumptious breaky. 
The Gourmet BBQ segment with Marty Moo showcased some exceptional Prom Country produce, cheerfully devoured by all and sundry.

As far as the locals were concerned, the real star wasn't Stevie, the host of the Today Show, (centre front in the pic above) but local identity and restauranteur Marty (far right) - otherwise known as Marty Moo of Moos at Meniyan.

Thanks for the invite Marty, it was a beaut mid week break and my birthday lunch was great too!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

A blessing or a millstone?

We realised we had more books in our home than most people, when the class assignment came home one afternoon. The instruction was to "Count the books in your house."

The assignment created quite a lot of stress in our household. Did the teacher of these grade 3 students really mean all the books?

Surely not!

Perhaps we'd misunderstood and what she really meant was all the books in one room, in one petite bookshelf. That would be reasonable! But all of them! Did she mean my son to include the ones teetering dangerously on the floor by the beds ready to succumb to gravity, those on the shelves in the toilet, as well as the ones secreted away in the wardrobes? Oh what a daunting task for a child (and parent).

We set to, if not with enthusiasm, at least with curiosity ... for a while ... at 500 we'd barely got through one modest bookcase of current titles. At 1000 we gave up. It was an overwhelming task. Sneezing took over the household as books, some long forgotten, but loved nonetheless, were un-wedged and opened, producing clouds of dust and unsettling the occasional silverfish which was promptly squashed.

Some are works of art in themselves, with leather covers and wafer thin pages. They are a window into the past when the writing was flowery and long winded. They echo a slower pace of life which relaxes into the rhythm of our old clock - tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
I feel myself slowing to a happier pace as I write this, and what had seemed like a burden of history, memories and inheritance shifts gradually from being a millstone, to a link with ancestors both known and unknown - and I'm grateful I kept some of these books that so often feel like they're weighing me down.

Some of the thousands that have gone to fetes and op-shops might have been a bad decision, but the quantity was overwhelming. But I often wonder what happened to the stacks of "Popular Science" and "Popular Mechanics" I'm sure I could have made space for them ;)
Oh, and the teacher's comment when my son confessed we hadn't counted all the books. "Perhaps it's time to get rid of some of them."

So, the question is, should they stay, or should they go?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meatless Monday Recipe :)

- adapted from a recipe in Tamara Milstein's "Soup"

This is a really easy recipe and very filling :)
Our neighbour's vegie garden

Indian Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

60 g ghee
2 Tablespoons ground coriander (sounds a lot but is fine)
500g carrots grated
500g tomatoes chopped
3 Tablespoons sugar (less is fine)
4 Tablespoons vinegar (I used white, but apple cider vinegar could be nice)
1 medium cabbage sliced finely (1/2 a largish one was ok)
4-6 cups vegetable stock

Heat ghee, add coriander, stir.
Add carrots and tomatoes, stir over heat till softened.
Add sugar, vinegar, a smidge of salt and pepper and some of the stock, then buzz till mushy. Keep on low heat.
Add the rest of the stock and the cabbage and enjoy a glass of wine (or beer) while you wait for it to get soft - about 30 minutes or so - when you're on the second glass of wine (or beer) remember to check to make sure it's bubbling along merrily.

Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a grate of nutmeg. I added some precooked brown rice which was scrumptious - I might try a few lentils next time.
Bug free, healthy, prolific - why doesn't my garden look like this?
And why, I hear you ask, did you cook a cabbage soup in the middle of summer? 

It had turned chilly, and our lovely neighbours had appeared at our back door laden with gifts: tomatoes, cabbage and assorted greens. There's only so much coleslaw one can eat in a week before you start looking for something a bit different! Soup was ideal.