Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Happy Easter

Apologies to you all for not posting for awhile. It's crazy busy around here. All shall be revealed soon (and no that does not mean that I am Junee's octomum or anything). We've been baking and buying chocolate for you know what and for you know who. We had a special easter playgroup with an easter hat parade and a sugar fest. These biscuits were a big hit - kids love icing, especially when it's animal shaped.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Happy Birthday Jack!

Yesterday was Jack's third birthday. To say that he was excited was an understatement. I'd been talking it up so much that he could barely sleep the night before and we know what that means - if Jack is awake, everyone is awake. He received numerous musical phone calls to which his response was always a fairly subdued "thank you" (he's not a phone person). And of course there were presents to unwrap and cards to open (not in that order) and we went to playgroup where we ate little chocolate cupcakes that I'd made and everyone sang happy birthday again.

Last night we had a special birthday dinner. I asked him last week what he wanted and he said beans, watermelon and something else that he's not keen on. I chose to disregard his request and we had homemade pizzas followed by chocolate cake - healthy indeed and a big hit with the birthday boy.As I'm going all out making a Shaun the Sheep cake for his party this Saturday I decided to use my horse shaped cake tins (a xmas pressie) to make a horse and foal.

These things never quite work out as I imagine them to but Jack seemed pleased and sadly this morning only one little leg was left. It felt a little Don Corleone slicing up the cake (though I resisted the urge to put a cake horse's head in anyone bed) but this year he wasn't upset. Last year when Diane cut the train I thought he might cry.

Now I'm in prep mode for the party. I've made a gazillion sausage rolls and this afternoon I'm going to fashion some ears out of black fondant.

return of the ute

Last Saturday I was working downstairs at the library. I was so close to the farmers markets I could just about taste them and even closer to the toy library. With only minutes before the toy library shut I dashed in and extracted a ute and a slide and threw money in their direction and ran back to my desk. In spite of what S says I was busy. Then I had to work out how to get everything home in the echo. in the end the slide went in the back and the ute sat upside down on the seat next to me so that every time I turned a corner it fell on me and set off the hazard lights.
Jack was excited to be reunited with the ute and immediately set about giving it a detail with some help from his almost constant companions Gumby and Pokey.


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The other day Jack spent some time with Noel and Diane. Apparently he did this drawing and when Diane asked what it was he said, "Mummy". Sweet huh?
Then he said, "This is her head and her top and her legs (nice and long just how I'd like them to actually be) and these are her knickers around her ankles.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Tuesday did not start well. I lost my mock crock faux vintage handbag, Jack cried when I took him to family day care (though he cries every week when I drop him off - stopping exactly 2.3 seconds after I go) and I left my pink pillbox hat at home. As I was running behind schedule (and that was before I got stuck behind the person driving 20km below the limit and the roadworks) I decided to forget about the hat and forge ahead. I arrived at the library clutching the makings of a porcupine (minus some of the plastic cheese which S had sliced off to put on his sanger) and carrying my handbag which I had found but which broke in the car park. At lunch I purchased a retro platter ($2) to make the most of my porcupine (it had holes drilled in it so someone must have loved it so much they had hung it on their wall) and some sweet treats from another decade.
When I was in the bookshop and we had author events at the library we struggled to get many attendees, sometimes embarrassingly so but over fifty people has rsvp'd for the retro recipes so we rounded up as many chairs as possible and arranged and rearranged and then I prepared to assemble my masterpiece, the porcupine. I wasn't actually sure if this is what it is really called but it seems that it is and I suppose it's rather apt.

work in progress or a sputnik

It does make you wonder who would've thought, "right I've got twenty people coming over for drinks, two jars of red and green pickled onions, tasty cheese, toothpicks and an orange. I know I'll make a porcupine!" Apparently some other versions also had canned pineapple.
After some debate about how it should be put together I created my culinary piece de resistance and it was truly extraordinary. My only problem, how to get the smell of pickled onions off my fingers. Then I touched up my makeup (as all good 50's housewives should) and got to work on the white bread and asparagus rolls and the 'dessert platter'. I'm not sure what was going on back then but surely the prevalence of toothpicks in all forms of food must be the real reason for the depletion of the rainforests and numerous mouth injuries.
The professor arrived and assisted and then it was time for the talks. The room was quite crowded and abuzz with excitement.

Amy, hostess with the mostess, with her apron and pearls
and standing just so (try to ignore the bin behind her)

Amy covered the 50's and 60's with talk of prawn cocktails, party loaves - don't ask - and blancmange (amongst many many exciting food sensations). It was very funny and you could hear the people muttering in agreement as she mentioned things (iceberg! ooh yes. Oh Tripe! Brains cream! mock turtle!). Then Sara from the tafe talked about the 70's which was like a trip through my family's eating habits though no one mentioned fondue related accidents. My father once set fire to a fetching pair of flares when a fondue dinner party went pear shaped.

asparagus and white bread rolls

Then Sara demonstrated Coronation Chicken (originally Jubilee Chicken) which was actually quite tasty with it's celery, mayo, mango chutney and curry powder. There was a stampede for the food and wine (Nanna's love a buffet) and I heard one remark, "oooh there's dessert!" as she eyed off the neenish tarts, iced vovos and lattice biscuits. Not long after I noticed her clutching a tart in a serviette so she didn't miss out.

Dessert (all storebought and yes those tarts are filled with mock cream)

The night was a great success and such fun. It certainly did bring all those memories back (Slices of devon rolled around cold mashed potato which unfortunately is a a more recent memory from fashion forward Junee).