Thursday, 20 May 2010

Gnocchi Gnightmare

Recently I'd been itching to make gnocchi. It might have started with Masterchef. Then Stefano Manfredi had a recipe in the weekend paper. I bought the right potatoes then used them for something else. This happened a few times till I put my foot down and said, "tonight we shall eat gnocchi!"

I cooked the potatoes and made the gnocchi, boiled the water and just as I was about to cook them I noticed the flame under the pot seemed a little lacklustre. The gas had run out. We use bottles here for gas, and they seem to last a long time. So long that you may be lulled into a false sense of security that they will last forever. They do not.
Before I could utter the words, "I told you this would happen..." S had fired up the barbie (thankfully its bottle was new) and cooked the gnocchi in a rather unothodox manner.
Still the barbecue did the job and we all sat down to a gnocchi dinner. Early the next morning S set off to get a replacemnt bottle of gas.

too much cake

As it's been getting colder lately we've been eating lots of wintry foods, curries and ragu with lashings of polenta. Warming but my servings meter is out of whack and I'm plating up (thanks masterchef) meals fit for a lumberjack. I guess that would be okay if I hadn't been testing recipes from the new AWW High Tea cookbook.
home made monte carlos

Chocolate macarons
That's meant cake, cake and more cake and when we were over that biscuits. Some have been very successful but some (yes I'm talking to you eclairs)
my midget eclairs
not so much. Jack and S selflessly tested the offerings and gave me feedback. So too did some of the ladies from work who devoured the sponge I made while I was on a desk shift at the library. That is the sponge was consumed while I was on the desk. I did not make it while issuing books. Thankfully the birthday girl Amy for who it was intended, managed to snaffle a slice.
Thank goodness that now I've written that review we can move on to healthier fare. What was it that we had for dinner last night, oh yes roast chicken with pancetta with potatoes cooked in duck fat.


I love owls. There's something about them that is so captivating. Maybe that's why we had the Owl and the Pussycat as a reading at our wedding. Maybe I just fancy sailing away in a pea green boat. When I saw an owl workshop at the quilt show I attended (was that one or two years ago?) I really wanted to do it. In spite of not being able to book beforehand and turning up really early the classes were full by the time I got there (I'm sure to get over it in another year or two) so I bought the pattern and fabric instead. I wanted to immediately make my owls but life got in the way and the patterns were packed away with a million others until recently. It's amazing what you unearth when you declutter.
So I couldn't resist. I whipped up two little owls for fellow owl fanciers at work. Before I handed them over I made sure I took a pic.I'm tempted to make more in all sizes. Maybe after we move.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

oh dear!

There's a great new(ish) labelling system at the library. Putting the authors initial on the front makes it easy to put away books quickly. Sometimes though the labels cover up some of the words or pictures and sometimes things like this happen. Oops!

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No, not Jack's party and goodness haven't I been slack with posting on that one? We went to a party yesterday for Jack's friend William. He was turning three and in the definite manner of a three year old decided he wanted a baseball party. Hmmm...small children armed with bats - a recipe for disaster?

I volunteered to make the cake (a baseball cake) which was tricky as there aren't too many baseball related cake thingies (the official term) available. So I improvised. I bought a little German axeman and chopped the end off his axe (Dr Freud! Dr Freud - paging Dr Freud) and whittled away at his pants and voila an old school baseball player. I was going to have two figures on the cake but it started to look crowded.
The cake was a big hit, as was the baseball. All the kids got a souvenir baseball cap (doesn't that put the pressure on the rest of us for future parties)? and raced around on the grass. Well almost all the kids, Jack just wanted to play with William's new toy helicopter.

Then Kelly produced the face paints. Jack asked me to give him a koala face. When I asked why he said "Koalas can do anything!" with such gusto I was convinced (I guess that's where anything means sleep and eat).
Renee gave S a tiger face (little did he realise that Richmond would yet again receive a drubbing) and I got a butterfly.
After the kids (though not Jack - he was still playing with the helicopter) chased a couple of stray dogs and some kangaroos bounced on past it was time to go.Posted by Picasa