Friday, July 10, 2009

A winters tale.

Life has been very busy for the past couple of weeks and it doesn't look like letting up for another week. I do like to keep myself busy but I think even I have reached my limit. Is it just the weather? Cold and windy ? I think in a past life I must have been a bear because right now all I want to do is crawl into a warm nest for the rest of winter. Since I live in sunny Queensland I think I am either getting old or just becoming a wimp?

Last week saw me spending a couple of days finishing up the books for the end of the financial year, a messy task locating all of the necessary receipts and juggling the figures until everything balances. All done now for another year. Yeah :-) I also spent a couple of days down in Brisbane with doctors appointments and errands. Thursday I came back to the farm arriving just a few hours before our weekend guests arrived.

Cherry and the girls arrived at lunchtime.....well they would have done if they had not done a little unintended detour to "sight see up at the Dam" LOL. Still Girls...its always good to see the local sites of interest :-) We had planned a girlie night in before the boys came up the following night. I had been out the previous day and purchased all the necessaries........movies, popcorn, the makings of hot chocolate and of course the marshmallows, not to mention enough snacks to last two teenage girls for a month of Sundays. Oh and did I forget to mention the very sin full fudge. Mmmmmm. Six different flavours from the "Fudge Shop" they were balanced out with a kilo of strawberries. You gotta have something healthy in there!!!!!!

What I didn't realise is that they had also had the foresight to cater for the evening. We had enough snacks to last ALL weekend. The fire was lit and we curled up to watch the movie Australia, which I though was very kind of them as they had already seen it and Marie Antoinette. I hope they enjoyed the evening as much as I did.

Next day after a very late start there were many cups of tea and lots of catching up to do. Many hands make light work, the dough was made for fresh bread for dinner.

A slice with roasted vegetables and feta cheese was made to accompany the tandoori chicken and salad (which had tasted so darned good last time I made it that I decided it would do well for a light dinner).

The bread went into the oven

and we were ready!!!!!

The Gorgeous boy and "Nods" arrived just as dinner was ready to be served. We kicked off the evening with dry martinis, a drink that featured heavily in the dinner parties of our younger days! A delicious walk down memory lane and straight on to dinner.

We macerated some of the strawberries with a little sugar and aged balsamic and served them with mascapone cheese for desert. The recipe was compliments of Marie from "The English Kitchen" and well worth making. Absolutely yum!!!!!!! Her blog has some delicious recipes...whoever said English cooking was boring!!!

The next day we did intend to take the girls kayaking (the kayaks were still in the trailer!!) but never quite got around to it. We all pottered around the garden as it was a good "moon day" for planting leafy vegetables etc and GB and I explained the principles of moon planting to Nods and Cherry. We hope that they have as much success with it as we do.

We took our guest for a drive around the local area to view a property that was for sale that they were interested in viewing. Unfortunately the real estate agent had shut up shop for the day (such is life in the country!!) so we decided to drop in at the Kandanga Pub for a beer on the way back. The new owners have a cute little girl schnauzer called Milly so Tiggy got to flirt a little before we headed home.

The wood fired oven was flashed up again for another attempt at Pide. I love to use my guests as guinea pigs ;-) Fortunately, this time I followed the dough recipe, and had more success. I am sure that I can further improve on this.

Lunch was very late in being served at around 3pm but with the addition of an anti pasta platter with grilled Halumi cheese, salami, sun dried tomatoes, olives etc we were all so full that we decided that the Roast beef with a mustard crust which was planned for dinner could wait until lunch on Sunday.

Sunday morning breakfast was french toast with mixed berries in syrup and cream. Oh what decadence!!!!! A restful morning for everyone before lunch of the afore mentioned roast beef and vegetables. Desert was a very simple dish of vanilla ice cream with warmed up strawberry and rhubarb jam drizzled over the top. I have to say was delicious...such a good way to use up some of the many bottles of jam in my pantry!!!! Our guests headed home in the early afternoon. It was wonderful to have them here and I hope that it will not be as long before we can get together again.

Monday morning saw us heading down to the city as GB had to go into the office and I had decided that the Granny flat was long overdue for a spring clean and the gardens needed mowing and the trees pruning. It took two days of solid work but was worth the effort. The Princess came over on Tuesday to give "Nana" a hand!!! She shows skills at dusting but was easily distracted and soon lost interest. Its a good job that Nana had a copy of "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" on hand :-) She is now convinced that with the right spell she can "magic" all the housework done. Let me know that spell little one when you have it figured will be invaluable. dr K dropped in for dinner and stayed over the night which is always nice.

Wednesday was a busy day of errands. While out I decided to buy the Princess a new outfit. It was a cold and windy day. It is still early winter but I could not find any winter clothes anywhere for sale. All the summer stock is now going out on display. There I the shops...all rugged up with long sleeves and a woolly jacket with a scarf wrapped around my neck and all around me are shorts, sundresses and beach wear. I am sorry guys...I want to buy winter clothes in winter and summer clothes in summer!!!!!! I guess this life is all going a bit fast for me....I think I want to get off....I am so "over "the commercial push, push, push. Give me the simple life any day.

Thursday, Mama, the Princess and I went over to visit my sister-in law for lunch and spent a delightful four hours in her company. We explored her gardens and came home with a bag full of cuttings of some bright daisy like plants (I have to admit....I can name all types of vegetables but flower names sometimes elude me) and some native violets. These I left with Mama to plant in the garden and headed back to the farm with GB after he had finished work for the day. Its good to be home again. Unfortunately, we are heading south again tomorrow for a party and will spend the night near Cleveland. Next week I will be busy running back and forth between the two homes and I am looking forward to returning here at the end of the week with no more commitments for a while. Just to have the time to potter in the garden, maybe do a little sewing and to catch up here "at Bellavista". Mariana at Through my Kitchen window has asked for the recipe for the venison roast that we did a couple of weeks ago. I promise I will post it next time.


  1. Thank you for such an interesting story, I envy your lovely bread/pizza oven. Although we live in a similar environment, a wood fired oven could only be used here during the winter months because of the bush-fire danger.
    I think I shall have a "go" at making the slice, it looks delicious.

  2. I am exhausted again after reading about your full on activities. Good on you for completing all the tax stuff. It would have to be the biggest pain ever! These days we hand over all our stuff to the accountants so it is a lot easier.
    Looking at your plate of fudge has sent me hunting off through our cupboard and I am eating some chockie now. So I have you to blame for my midnight sugar attack. Hehehe.
    Oh I too am envious of your oven. I dream of one!! Congrats on getting a better result with the pide. It really does take a few goes before you get the hang of these breads. By the way your "breads" looked so good Linda. They looked like they had "proven" perfectly. WEll done.
    I love the sound of drizzling some warmed up jam over ice cream, really innovative.
    It sounds like you had some precious moments with your Princess - how wonderful.
    Hope you manage to get some of that pottering time you sound like you really deserve. See ya next time.

  3. Oh, every thing looks so good Linda, and thanks so much for the nod! You are living my dream live, on a "farm" down under. My Todd has always wanted to live there and so have I. It is my dream to one day visit.