Posts Tagged ‘family’

The best avo dip in the universe

January 2, 2012

I saw Carol Selvarajah make this on SBS at least 15 years ago and wrote down the recipe. It’s MUCH nicer than guacamole, IMNSHO and a great way of getting a lot of healthy foodstuffs into your family.  MissN knows that I will make it on request, ripe avocadoes being available.  I usually have all the other ingredients.  We are growing our own chillies and I look forward to using them.. maybe my next dip.

“Asian type” avocado dip

Whizz together in a food processor (a stick blender works well too)
1 avocado
1/2 granny smith apple, core removed
bunch coriander (cut off roots, use stems)
small brown or white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
some ginger – about a half inch square piece or the equivalent (peel it with the back of a teaspoon)
some green chillies (one long green one, seeds removed is a good base to work from)
1/2 cup coconut milk powder
a dollop of tamarind paste (HP sauce is a good substitute)

This is wonderful! We like it with corn chips.

Jude 2

Stay at home mum

June 15, 2011

Today I give thanks that I do not have a paid job.  Yes, I miss the sense of achievement.  Yes, I miss the company.  Yes, I miss feeling important and successful and the praise for a job well done and the satisfaction of being good at what I did.

But being available to care for my family, and especially my beautiful daughter, is so much more important to me.

Yes, you can do both… in an ideal world with support networks and super flexible workplace arrangements or your own business.  But it didn’t work for me.

So I am thankful that I do have the privilege of being home with my girl when she is not well.  Many mothers, probably most mothers worldwide, do not have that choice.

Jude 2

I will give thanks

June 14, 2011

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you wrote the psalmist in Psalm 118.

I’m going to try to post daily on something for which I am grateful.  Some friends are blogging the 365 Gratitude Project and others posting daily gratiude updates to facebook.  I will try to resist my tendency to overthink things and write long, illustrated blog posts. Nor am I going to commit to a photo per post. I’m not going to be adamant about posting every day (life sometimes prevents that and I am NOT in ownership of a smart phone to post from – nor do I want one).

Was pondering where I should start (thematically and practically) and weighing up if I should tweet, use tumblr, facebook or my good old neglected blog.  And I realised had my first thing to be grateful for – the myriad ways I can connect with people over the interwebz.

These are the days of miracle and wonder

This is a long distance call…

I am thankful for how I can open my laptop and chat with my family who live in South Africa and England and Wales and Queensland and the USA and Canada and elsewhere.  I am thankful that I have made and can communicate with friends in Kuwait and Bonaire and Brazil and Mauritius and other exotic and not-so-exotic places (as well as friends who live just down the road).

When we emigrated from South Africa to Australia in 1987, the idea of a videophone was a dream of mine and one I prayed we would be able to use with my family before the end of the century.  Sadly my parents never had more than dial-up internet and so couldn’t video chat with us.  But I am thankful that facebook especially has allowed families to re-connect.  I love seeing photos of my nieces and nephews, chatting with my aunt and cousins whom I haven’t seen irl for far too many years and sharing the lives of those we left behind when we moved to Australia.

Jude 2

Far for lunch (well – just 91kms!)

July 8, 2008

St Albans is not THAT far from where we live, but from suburban Sydney it seems another world away.  Google maps tells me its 91.2 km away and the time estimated to get there is 1 hour 44 minutes.  It took us just on 2 hours on Sunday (it was quicker getting home) because I didn’t consult Google maps before we left (having been there maybe 5 0r 6 times before) and we have some new freeways that don’t appear in my street directory (ie we took a few wrong turns getting out of Sydney) and it’s some years since we were last at the Settlers Arms for lunch.  I should have just let C decide the route – he knows the way to Riverside Oaks well!  He enjoyed his first long drive since his recent eye surgery.  Four weeks without driving got to him!

The Settlers Arms is one of my favourite places.  It is a atmospheric convict built sandstone inn, dating back to 1836, it’s in a remote and unspoiled valley reached by crossing the Hawkesbury River by vehicular ferry,

it’s almost a given to spot at least one kangaroo in the MacDonald valley (I saw several), the birdlife is amazing – and the garden setting is quite lovely.  I took my mom there when she visited us – it’s a lovely place to take overseas visitors.

MissN still has an injured hand (torn ligaments which she hurt while playing goalkeeper) so no soccer yet.  Thus we were “free” from soccer commitments and could take a long drive for lunch.  The food is good quality pub food – not very innovative but fresh, tasty and so much nicer for being eaten in the sun.  I had a beer too – something I seldom drink.  Cascade Light, if you are interested…

Working clockwise, C had a chicken pie, I had a smoked salmon and potato salad and MissN had a spicy sweet potato soup.  It was a bit TOO spicy for her, and she is used to spicy food.  (I won’t share that both C and MissN had dessert!) So I thought I would share MY sweet potato soup recipe, photo below taken when I made it a week or two ago.

Roast Sweet Potato and Red Capsicum Soup with Rocket Pesto

Peel and dice 2 sweet potatoes,  deseed and dice 2 red capsicum (sweet/bell/red peppers), peel and quarter 2 red/Spanish onions and peel a few cloves of garlic (choose large cloves).  Toss all the vegetables in olive oil and place in a roasting dish.  Roast for about 20 minutes.

Tip all the vegies into a pot.  Pour some boiling water into the roasting dish to deglaze it, and add it to the vegies.  Cover the vegies with water and add some stock concentrate if you like (I use PlantaforceVecon is also good) and bring the soup to a boil.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Blend the soup.

Serve with a dollop of pesto.  I made rocket and walnut pesto, as rocket is a cheaper option in winter, and walnuts were on special too (I stocked up for my brownie cake!)

Pesto (from The Harvest Pantry by Barbara Beckett – a great recipe book I use for a lot of my basics)

2 cups basil (or rocket) leaves

half cup extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons pine nuts (or walnuts)

1 teaspoon salt, optional

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese (I omit this if I don’t have any)

about 2 tablespoons hot water

Put all the ingredients except for the cheese into a food processor (I use my hand-held Bamix) and blend.  Add the cheeses gradually.  Gradually add some water until is is a smooth thick paste.  Serves 6.

This will keep well in the fridge for some weeks or longer.  Make sure it is covered with a layer of oil.  Pesto originates in the Ligurian area of Italy where it was a way of preserving basil in the winter and adding some “fresh” greenery in winter when other greens are scarce. We had a magical 4 days in Liguria on our first trip to Italy in 1993 (C had been before but it was my first trip) when we stayed in Tellaro, visited Portofino, the Cinque Terra and ate at the wonderful Locanda Miranda.  Memories…

Our day on Sunday was special.  We laughed and talked, enjoyed great music in the car (a lot of Talking Heads), were refreshed, renewed and restored and nourished by food that was more than just physical.