Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
- Gutting & scaling 6 dozen fish straight from the esky after a big day out on the boat with Da Boys.
- Rinsing thousands of buckets of disgusting nappies.
- Washing all 95kgs. of Miss Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
- Soaking all the filthy BBQ plates & racks.
- Rinsing the dirt from the many baskets of MOTH's beautiful freshly dug spuds (Tassie Pink Eyes are his specialty).
- Cleaning the paint from the Super-Long roller brushes.
- Soaking a King Size blanket & doona.
- Hosing down a screaming, wriggling, slippery mud-covered toddler.
- Soaking the entire Little League team's footy guernseys.
- Holding 4 bags of ice, 6 dozen beer & a dozen champers on Christmas Day.
- Rinsing the hardened crud from hundreds of buckets of MOTH's Secret Recipe plasterboard & cornice cement.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What's it all about, where is it going, where do I really want it to go, the content, the format, the look, but more than anything I was thinking about you. The loyal band of blog brothers & sisters who are The Laurel Hedge. Those of you who have been here since my first post, who still come by each day. I adore you, each & every one of you. Then those who've followed a trail here through others & have stayed as well. Lovely, lovely people that you are. And then there are those who will come by in the future & join in, an exciting thought. I have a responsibility to you all & that's what I was thinking about the most. Not that it worries me, quite the opposite. I really enjoy the ritual of thinking about & writing a daily post. It's added a balance to my left brain world that was missing.
But what I truly enjoy the most is seeing what others have to say. And that got me thinking some more. What is it that attracts me to their blog, what makes me want to become a regular reader & most importantly, what, if anything can I contribute. I guess it's only human nature to wonder if a comment I left did make a difference. Well this week I had my question answered here at Renee's post. The criteria for The Real Award is as follows:
This is an award is for those who are brave enough
to expose just enough to
reach, touch, and possibly help someone else
to see something differently.
I am giving this award to only 3 blogs.
Use these awards wisely.
And do a post on the award telling why you wish to pass it on.
Please link the award on your sidebar to this post.
*Then the meaning of this award will not get watered down or changed.*
I will STOP, READ, and LISTEN to the message,
and the messenger.
Maybe others will too.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
.....passionfruit that is! It's the height of the season & they are spectacular. Ripe, plump, juicy, sweet, highly perfumed & only $2.99 for a bag of 12. MOTH & I have had many a pleasure over the kitchen sink this past week, slurping away at as many passionfruit as our tummies will allow. So because I'm passionate about our amazing country, I thought I'd celebrate this special day with the joys of passionfruit & the Banana & Passionfruit Curd Pavlova is on the menu here at The Hedge today.
180 gm. butter, softened
90 gm. pure icing (powdered) sugar
80 mls. (1/3 cup) passionfruit juice (see note)
225 gm. (1½ cups) plain flour
White chocolate and passionfruit ganache
90 mls. pouring cream
45 mls. passionfruit juice (see note)
2 pieces lemon rind removed with a peeler
180 gms. white chocolate finely chopped
2.Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add juice and combine. Add flours and mix until just combined, then turn onto a floured surface, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4.Spread half the biscuits with a teaspoon each of ganache, sandwich with remaining biscuits and stand until set. Uniced yo-yos will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
500 mls. (2 cups) Traditional Lemonade (Schweppes) or Bitter Lemon soft drink (Soda)
12 iceblock (popsicle) sticks
12 passionfruit, pulp only
1 vanilla bean, coarsely chopped
200 mls. sugar syrup (see note)
2 limes, juice only
Banana and Passionfruit Curd Pavlova
6 eggs, separated (& yolks reserved for passionfruit curd)
2 egg whites
330 gms. (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 bananas, thinly sliced
pulp of 2-3 passionfruits
250 mls. passionfruit pulp (about 12 passionfruit)
55 gms. (1/4 cup) caster sugar
150 gms. salted butter softened & coarsely chopped
300 mls. thickened cream
2. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, gradually adding sugar until thick and glossy and sugar dissolves (4-5 minutes). Add cornflour and vinegar, whisking until just combined. Spread half the meringue into a 19cm x 28cm rectangle on one lined oven tray and smooth top with a palette knife. Repeat with remaining meringue on other tray and loosely peak top. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 100C and bake until meringue is dry and cracks when lightly pressed (30 minutes). Turn off oven and cool in oven with door ajar.
3. Meanwhile, for the passionfruit curd, process pulp in a food processor to release pulp from seeds, then strain through a fine strainer to yield 250ml juice. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, add reserved egg yolks, sugar and butter, whisk to combine. Stir continuously over a saucepan of simmering water until thickened (3-5 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap, set aside to cool, then refrigerate until firm (2-3 hrs).
4. Lay banana slices on top of flat meringue. Whisk cream until soft peaks form, then fold in curd and spoon mixture over meringue base. Top with remaining meringue and serve drizzled with extra passionfruit pulp.
250 gms. caster sugar
250 mls. (1 cup) passionfruit juice (see note)
scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
juice of 1 lime
300gms. double cream
150mls. pouring cream, lightly whipped
pulp of 2 passionfruit, plus extra to serve
2. Combine creams in a bowl, whisk until soft peaks form. Fold into passionfruit mixture, fold in pulp, spoon into an 8cm x 22cm plastic-lined rectangular cake tin, smoothing top (there may be mixture left over), freeze overnight until firm. Slice thickly and serve with extra pulp spooned over.
1 egg yolk
150 gms. caster sugar
150mls. pouring cream
200mls. strained passionfruit pulp, from about 20-30 passionfruit
icing (powdered) sugar to serve
225gms. unsalted butter
100gms. icing (powdered) sugar
375 gms. (2½ cups) plain (all purpose) flour
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2. Preheat the oven to 160C. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 3mm thick and use to line six 8cm-diameter tart tins, then place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Line pastry-lined tins with baking paper, then fill with pastry weights, dried chickpeas or rice, and blind-bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden. While still warm, fill any cracks with leftover pastry, then brush the insides of the tartlet shells with the beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 120C. To make the filling, lightly mix together the eggs, egg yolk and caster sugar in a bowl until sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cream and passionfruit juice and then strain through a fine sieve into a jug. Pour the filling into the tartlet shells and bake for 10-15 minutes or until just set – the filling should still wobble slightly in the centre. Leave to cool to room temperature.
4. Just before serving, dust the tarts with icing sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch or under a very hot grill.
Monday, January 25, 2010
And it seems we had a love affair with colour in our homes. Not just one colour, but as many as we could possibly use in one room with 4 walls. They say everything that goes around comes around, but I'm fervently praying to the God Of Interior Design please, please, make sure this look doesn't undergo any form of 'resurrection' - the shock would be all too much for me!!
To quote the Home Owner - 'It has been fascinating explaining to people what we have done. Their lips curl up.....but then they see it!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
MOTH & I saw George's new movie Up in the Air yesterday & absolutely loved it!! In fact MOTH was so caught up in it, he didn't wriggle in his seat once. So in recognition of this once-in-a-lifetime event, I need to give George the No Wriggling Award for services to theatregoers everywhere. Let me know a time that's convenient & I'll organize a presentation luncheon - anyone interested? And kudos also to Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner for adapting Walter Kirn's original novel so eloquently. The script was tight, punchy, ever so thought-provoking & with just the right amount of quirkiness. A must see.
Thank you to Jeanne from Collage of Life for my Kreativ Blogger Award. Jeanne came onto the Blog scene last year & posts on her adventures relocating her family from one side of the world to the other. They make for fascinating reading.
I've always said how much these Awards mean to me, so thank you again to Rita & Jeanne for your thoughtfulness & recognition. Can I direct you to a previous post 'Thank-You's' here. The list of things that make me happy & things that you didn't know about me are there in great detail!
Friday, January 22, 2010
Not too flash & slick, it would be the perfect bolthole for recharging the batteries.
A simple kitchen that wouldn't demand too much from me.
A fishing rod or 3 to hang over the side.
It's been a good week, going back to work has been fine & the FY '10/11 budget process not too painful. A relaxing & happy weekend to you all.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
It's Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under today & it's the biggest day of the year for our little village. The race starts in lovely Unley (our old neighbourhood for 16 years),winds its way south along the coast, through the McLaren Vale wine area, up into the Hills via Meadows & Echunga & finishes here at the Stirling Oval. But not before Lance & the boys ride up gorgeous leafy Avenue Road, just at the end of our street twice on their final laps. All very exciting, but as I'm not a fan of the Deadlie Treadlies, elderly men in one size too small lycra shorts who should know better or crowds (an estimated additional 60,000 people all crammed into the main street today), it might be a good day to make an early exit down into the City & reappear about dinner time. For those of you interested in seeing the boys riding in the spectacular Adelaide Hills, go here for live feeds.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Image 1: News Image 2: She Said Image 3: Yahoo
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
I used Toiles De Mayenne Bandol Stripe Small for the bonded roller blind.
And the same to make a long cushion for the blanket box & had the edging piped on the diagonal.
The mirror was a good buy at the post- Christmas sales.
While pretty ugly, the original 1972 built-in wardrobe was functional & very well built, so MOTH saved it. However to give the room a better configuration for furniture placement, he relocated it.
.....from this wall where the mirror & blanket box are now
.....to this wall facing the window. The brushed silver wardrobe door hardware is still original 1972, they looked OK, so we just used them again. MOTH did build a plaster board bulkhead to give the whole thing a finished look. Otherwise the top of the wardrobe would just be a dust collector.
This was the empty wall the wardrobe was relocated to. MOTH getting rid of the hideous, unsalvagable nylon carpet for me.
Just before receiving a first coat of primer.
I'm delighted with the fabric choice & so grateful to Miss Richfields for her gentle guidance. We have been friends since our kids were babies, so she has my number well & truly & knows how to 'manage' me!
This pic is for Ange who queried whether I did all my Domestic Goddess chores in my pearls & evening dress as depicted in my Home Page photo. As you can see Ange by the disgusting old t-shirt, no make-up, bad, bad hair & the absence of any pearls, the answer to your query is a loud NO!