Backup Plans

Tonight, my little boy announced he wanted to go to bed in undies.

This was a milestone moment for him, and if I was organised enough to have a baby book (hmmm, pondering that thought, I actually think I might have 2, but they are sadly bereft of entries… I think there is one un-dated lock of hair randomly inserted into one of them), I would no doubt be writing the appropriate entry in his book.

So instead, I’m letting you know.

A Country Party

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Hey pesto!

By Bec H

For many, ‘living in the country’ sounds romantic, even idyllic. Having done it now, full-time, for just over 3 years, I can say that for the most part it actually is. But there are some things you need to know … in case you’re contemplating a sea or tree change … I’m afraid you need to hear the hard truths. Some things don’t change even though you leave the city and move to the wide open spaces of rural Australia:

  1. You still need to clean your house (in some cases more often, with the dust or the mud, the myriad insects and animals)
  2. You still need to do the grocery shopping (and in the country this often involves a longer car trip, and frustration at not being able to get all the ingredients on your shopping list for the curry you’re going to make, for example, galangal. This is so hard to get, I’ve decided to try and grow it myself. Anything that says ‘available from specialist / asian / indian grocery stores’.. forget it).
  3. You still need to cook (damn it).

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With relish!

by Bec H

Jack the Dog

Fans of Grease (the movie) would remember the exchange between Danny Zuko and Rizzo over milkshakes and burgers at the diner. ‘Somebody snaking you, Danny?’ Rizzo asks. ‘Oh, bite the weenie, Riz’, retorts Danny. ‘With Relish!’ comes back Rizzo. Ah, I love it!

And so to relish. I am desperately scouring my vegie patch for tomatoes that haven’t swollen and split with all the recent rain we’ve had. My bumper crop of only last year seems but a distant memory. I had the most amazing glut of tomatoes at the end of the season. I’d planted way too many – yellow pear, tigerella, tommy toes – they were all beautiful and so tasty, but I had way too many.

I don’t want to harp on about home-grown fruit and veg, but when you’ve feasted on your own tomatoes, the shop-bought varieties are such a poor second. However, you can have too much of a good thing, apparently. I had bucket-loads of them. I made tomato soup, I roasted some, we had tomato salsa until it was almost coming out of our ears, I froze zip lock freezer bags full of them, to add to casseroles and other cooked dishes. But the ‘peace to the resistance’ (as my brother would say), was my splendid tomato relish. Yes, even if I do say so myself. Continue reading

It’s Showtime!

by Bec C

Spicy Pear Chutney

Whilst lying in bed this morning, I was startled to find myself smiling with genuine pleasure over a memory of something that happened 2 years ago. You may well raise your eyebrows at what you perceive to be a small, inconsequential event, but for me it was an Event that deserves nothing less than a title with capital letters – “The Day I Won the ‘Open’ Chutney Blue Ribbon At the Nabiac Show”.

In a fit of localism, I had entered my Yummy Runny Mango Chutney. No, it wasn’t a secret family recipe handed down from generation to generation in an original hand-written recipe book. I will say only – thank god for the Internet. I chose this particular recipe for the fact that every other recipe called for Green mangoes, and I only had Yellow ones at my disposal. I mean, who buys green mangoes? Continue reading