Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Nostalgic Discovery

I have just discovered a folder in our pictures folder entitled Phone pics... Its three years worth of photos that came off my husband's phone. I can't believe he's had that phone for three years!

Here are some of the more interesting ones:

Such peace! The frog when he was very little... He used to be such a nice kid...

Our first new car - we loved that car...

I love photos of my children asleep!

Yet another - fast asleep.

The Jord, he must have just turned six. You're gorgeous!

And sweet....

And oh-so-very cute when you fall asleep in strange places.

I don't think the frog was impressed with the Pooh ears!

It took a while until Jord figured out how to sleep like a normal person...

Precious kids!

The frog having a bath in Roezitha's kitchen sink.

Fast asleep in his daddy's arms. This was taken in the home of very dear friends - Jaco and Roezitha. We miss them!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Blossom's Ultrasound!


;) I was saying to the man the other day that, seeing as we have to do this all over again, it would be nice to have a girl... change things up a little.

Here are some pictures:

Little feet

Hello littlest one!
Apparently, according to what the radiologist could see (cause it was a bit difficult to see) ...

It's a girl!

About time.

Send pink stuff.

Friday, 24 September 2010


The kids are driving me nuts! Jord has been off school for a week with a nasty sinus infection. The weather outside can't make up its mind what it wants to do, alternating between sunny with howling wind and wet with howling wind (imagine rain falling horizontally...) So I'm not sending him to school in this. Not when his cough is so violent, its sole purpose seems to be to relocate his internal organs. Incidentally my cat seems to be doing the same thing. I wish it would pick a better time to perform it's death scene than 5 in the morning though.

The problem is: Next week is the start of two weeks worth of drive-you-completely-insane school holidays. And they are already testing my sanity.

So I made playdough. Its a foolproof recipe and the best thing I learnt in my stint as a childcarer. I'll share it with you one of these days. But here are some photos:

The frog has already offered me a 'bacon-banana' and then taken it back to make me a pizza. I love the way it says beckin be-nuh-nuh...

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Jord - 8 Years Old

Over the last couple of weeks I've become increasingly aware of how much my oldest has grown up. Its a shocker, it is! After what seemed like a rather rocky start to the social aspects of life he has actually turned into a pretty decent kid. One that I'm pretty proud of!

We celebrated his birthday with the family at McD's and boy, did he get spoilt! New clothes and shoes, a digital camera, a microscope and a fairly decent looking RC helicopter.

The birthday boy
Discussing the camera with daddy
Not a bad idea this gift...
The incredibly confused Frog - its MY birthday!
Thats MY cake. Spoilt little toad!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Making Biltong

On the rare occasion The Man does something pretty cool in the kitchen. I mean, beyond cooking steak on the weekend. He is an absolute wonder when it comes to sauces and marinades. He makes a steak sauce with lemon juice that will have you licking the flesh off your fingers. And his creamy curry sauces are the stuff of my dreams. He even made a Choc Chip Banana Cake the other day that came out surprisingly well. I think its genetic - both his parents are very good cooks.

Anyway, his latest foray into biltong-making has astounded me. For those unfortunates who don't know what biltong is - its a South African delicacy much like beef jerky, but a million times better! Once you've tried biltong you will never want to eat beef jerky again. It tastes like cardboard to me...

He did a lot of research before the actual attempt. Weighing up the pros and cons of the various methods and recipes, he then came up with his own and never looked back. Now, we haven't been without biltong in the house for weeks.

Apparently this is an approximation of how to make it. You take a good cut of beef (you can use most types of  red meat but beef is the most common) and slice it into strips. You then soak it for about 24 hours in salt, sugar, vinegar and whatever combination of spices you want. Coriander is very common. The salt is beginning the dehydration process so drain off the moisture every now and then. After the 24 hours have passed the meat looks a bit sickly, thats fine, its meant to. Its then up to you whether you want to add more salt before hanging or not - The Man likes to add more coriander. Hang the strips of meat in a place that is cool, dry and has good air flow. We use our hot water cylinder cupboard as thats the driest place in the house, with a small fan and a light on it all to prevent mould growth.

Should anyone attempt this, I truly do recommend you do your research - because you can muck it up spectacularly! Good luck...

Friday, 10 September 2010

Cookie Dough High

Ok so, I have to share this with you. It is my duty and responsibility to share the finer things in life with my fellow human beings and I believe that Pioneer Woman's Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies definitely ranks as one of the finer things in life.

I discovered Pioneer Woman's blog last week when my friend Kerryn mentioned her cookbook in her Facebook status. I truly love cookbooks - they inspire me. Don't actually ask me to follow a recipe though, recipe methods and ingredient lists are recommendations, not rules. Where is the adventure in cooking if you follow everything to a T?

Anyway, I digress. Get used to it - digression happens. Back to the cookies. So I discover this amazing blog and take a scroll through her recipes. She does them very well - a photo demonstrating just about every single movement she makes. And good photos too. I decide to try the cookies. It all seemed very easy until I got to the bit about Malted Milk Powder. I don't think I've ever heard of Malted Milk Powder and its unlikely I'll ever find it out here in rural New Zealand. I briefly considered using Milo but then remembered some really old Whole Milk Powder buried in the back of my cupboard. Maybe that qualified. So that went in instead.

Then I made the terrible, horrendous mistake.

I tasted the cookie dough. And couldn't stop.

Now ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem. I've been known to deliberately flop cakes just so that I can pig out on the supposedly inedible remains. They were always very edible. I made sure of that. The problem was I couldn't stop eating this dough and it had raw egg in it. I'm pregnant. Eating raw egg isn't a good thing.

I forced myself to actually bake what was left and had the best cookies of my life! The cookie dough tasted better though.

All in all, I won't be making it again for a while. Not only have I run out of milk powder - although Milo is an option I suppose - NO! No... I must resist temptation. But I can't make them for a while because I know the strength of my own willpower, which is zero. I'm pathetic that way. And I know that if I make them again I'll eat the dough. And I have to force myself to accept that baby-number-three is more important than cookie dough.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Miracle Red Cross OpShop Find

Last friday my mother had a brilliant idea. Now, for those of you not in the know, my mother's brilliant ideas are much like mine in that, the brilliance is relative. We think we're geniuses (genii?) whereas our husbands generally get a tolerant smile on their faces and, if we're really lucky, go along with it.
My mom took pity on Ryan and myself by taking us to McDonald's - Ryan's favouritest place in the whole wide world (and mine since it has a McCafe and a play area - you can't beat good coffee and the peace that comes when your kid is occupied elsewhere). After this extreme act of mercy my mom suggested we take a walk to the Red Cross shop across the road. After a rather hairy game of chicken with the cars on Bank street, we made it and occupied ourselves by alternately browsing and chasing Ryan down the sidewalk. Ryan found a kiddy shopping trolley that he instantly fell in love with (and decided to take a walk to find the nearest grocery store to try it out), my mom found this really cool black flowy top - but I made the best find of all. The cookbook that goes with my microwave!
Now, in order to put this into perspective for you I have to explain a few things. Pieter and I are the most blessed people I know. People are constantly giving us things. Important things. Like washing machines and vacuum cleaners and tons of other things I could name. A new friend of mine, Lynn, has decided to singlehandedly furnish baby-number-three's bedroom. Last year sometime my washing machine died around the same time that my friend Melanie's sister decided to move to Australia. Brigette (her sister) wanted to know what I needed and having just moved to a new country with just five suitcases of clothes, I told her we needed anything and everything she could spare. She sent a washing machine - I have a passionate love affair with washing machines that harks back to my days of post natal depression after Jordan was born. I found it very cathartic to sit and watch that specific washing machine go round and round. Incidentally that machine was given to me by Bron Bruyns - love you girl! You'll never know how much!
Anyway Brigette practically gave me a truckload of stuff. And among that stuff is my current microwave. A National called "the Genius". It has all kinds of buttons which, at the time, I ignored because they looked scary and complicated. Up til this point we've been happy to just stick things in it and heat it. But then the miracle occurred - I found the cookbook - for a dollar!
I now can cook entire meals in it. It has revolutionised the way I cook in the way my beloved Bosch dishwasher revolutionised my entire life three years ago. I loved that dishwasher...
But the real miracle, this cookbook was first published in 1983. If you think about it my microwave should be slightly older than that, which makes it as old as I am. And the fact that I find both of them in two different places for just about nothing astounds me!
God must love me BIG time!
Oh, and PS - those that want to preach to me about the evils of using a microwave to cook food - I love you - but go and rain on someone else's parade ok?


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