Saturday, September 6, 2014

5 years and father's day

 Me and Martino, 5 years ago. 5 years together today. It has been a very eventful time. 
We hit the ground running as a new blended family, with many relationships to manage, and a shared life to set in motion. We 
have proven to be a 
sensational partnership and I rather love the idea of getting old with this gorgeous man.

Cute op-shop find. I have always had a vision of a gingham covered table under an olive tree with a view of the mountains.....getting closer...

 Lot of orange and yellow in and of the garden....

Spring chalkboard drawing; about the only art work I manage to produce these days, so a joy to render before the wee ones return home.

Spring activities abounding, many of them involving palettes of which we have plenty and for which Martino can always find many uses; right now, a palatial hutch and run for the bunnies to come. 

Most of our bees have moved to new digs out of the city but those that are still here have 
taken to me of late - I think it's my shampoo - stung on the face today and now resembling Marlon Brando!

Happy Father's Day all you Good Men out there!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Baseball try-out with Uncle Gaz; annual sausage-making with the neighbours while there's still enough chill in the air; harvesting the nettle, rampant in the vege patch; playing, cooking and burying each other in the garden whenever the sun doth shine; kids off to school camp; bushdance at the kids' school; and spunky new band pics thanks to gorgeous Mara Ripani!  We're watchin' Winter saddle up her horse down here Melbourne Town. The garden is calling for love and planting; a spring clean ahead; a family holiday......What have you got planned for Spring!?

Monday, July 14, 2014

ballads, bush and broccoli

We played a lovely intimate, acoustic gig at The Owl and the Pussy Cat Theater in Richmond on Friday night, as part of the Leaps and Bounds Festival. We supported Charm of Finches who have just recorded their first E.P. So young and full of grace and harmony and wonderful lyrics. Watch out for them. They will make more and more beautiful music!!
On Saturday Abuelo and I headed for the bush to visit friends, walk a little, roll about on the floor with a delightful 1 year old, sing some songs by the fire and behold the frostiest morning I've yet seen!
It took me a few years to get my head around this Melbourne winter thing....I'm a W.A girl - I'd only ever brushed past woolen under garments in Europe.... now I understand. Layers. Wool. Woollen tights, woollen socks, hat, mittens, coat. Boots. And something to hold the discarded layers when the sun inevitably comes out for a spell. I come from the land of Dependable Weather. In Perth, if the forecast says 19 and sunny, then 19 and sunny it shall be. Not many surprises. Jeans, shoes, shirt. Leave the jacket at home. It's going to be 19 and sunny. No getting caught unawares by the random disappearance of the sun and consequent plummet in temperature. Don't get me wrong. I love this Proper Winter thing. Proper, discernible seasons. (And oh how I have come to love wool with a passion). It has simply been a learning process. Now I know How to Keep Warm. 
So the bush was a delight. Delicate again at last in her green coat and sparkling jewels, not the harsh mistress of summertime, though I love her still when she is brittle,brown and not so welcoming.(No idea why I am referring to 'her' in the feminine - but just go with me.....)There was a lot of mud. Ice on the pond like sheets of glass. Birds hiding in their nests all morning. An abundance of animals an both sides of the highway. Lambs and calves too. I haven't thought of winter as such a plentiful time until now. Plentiful in it's own way, beyond just buckets of rain.. 
...which can also be said of our broccoli crop, looking healthier than ever before. I will share with you my sister-in-law's Broccoli Pasta recipe, which reached new heights of goodness tonight due to aforementioned, generous, fresh supply.It is so easy and delicious and green.

To feed four you will need  -
  • two medium to large broccoli heads with long stalks and leaves too - they are so often neglected!!  
  • cut the florets from the stalks as closely as you can and set them aside. 
  • cut stalks into small chunks and steam them to soften.
  • in a bowl or food processor add the steamed broccoli stalks, 2 or three big cloves of garlic, 6 or 7 anchovy fillets, grated lemon rind, a good lug of olive oil, dried or fresh thyme and chilli flakes - I only use about a teaspoon to save the kids from agony.
  • blend until creamy 
  • put broccoli puree into a saucepan and set on stove to simmer while you cook the pasta.
  • put pasta on to boil, and use the water to add to the simmering broccoli 'sauce' if it is getting too thick, just a little so as not to dilute the flavour.
  • blanch the broccoli florets in the boiling pasta water just before it is ready to drain. 
  • combine pasta, florets, and broccoli 'sauce' and serve to bowls.
  • drizzle with olive oil, and lemon juice or Parmesan cheese to serve.
It's so delicious and so very, very healthy.

May your broccoli be virulent; your knee caps be wool bedecked; your soccer quota be fulfilled; and your hot water bottles be close at hand....

Oh and what other delicious recipes can you recommend for broccoli? We're going to need some variety!

"Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets coming out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love honey baby
I can stand...."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

keeping away the cold...

Cooking lots of Persian Stews and Italian soups and making most of the warmth of the oven....
Reading (lots of Peanuts) under layers of bedding and hot water bottles.....
Taking in whatever sun there is to be had, with dear friends and a good fire......
Plenty of Silly Business on a city adventure.....
Fun and free stuff to pass the time - Pastello at the NGV.....
'Art' shots know...why not....
Looking forward to the broccoli from the garden, trying to keep the elderly pets warm, planning new knitting projects, playing a few gigs, soaking up the young 'uns and bracing ourselves for another school term.....How are you keeping away the cold?