Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter turns My thoughts to the Zombie Apocalypse

Ah Easter. It's all about Jesus. 

Which raises some questions from the minds of my children.

"If Friday is the day Jesus died why is it GOOD Friday?"


"What does a guy dressed up as a rabbit who breaks into your house and leaves you chocolate have to do with Jesus?"

"If he was dead and came back to life isn't Jesus a Zombie??"

"Why can't I eat the boiled egg I painted at daycare?"

And so forth.
I imagine houses everywhere are full of such questions and they are hopefully as inadequately answered as they are at my house. 

There was also some confusion when my partially deaf husband tried to lip read my frantic whispers when I was standing backlit by a window.
Me"What about the egg hunt?"
Me: "The egg hunt!!"
Him"Who is? What's happened?"
Me: "The easter eggs! When do we hide them?"
Him: "Oh EGG HUNT! I though you said Old c..."
Me: "Oh dear no, not this time".

We didn't have hot cross buns, instead inventing rabbit shaped donuts with chocolate filling. Because there wasn't enough chocolate around.*

 I don't like strings of non trading days together, we all behave strangely because OH GOD THE SHOPS WILL BE CLOSED. I try not to panic. And then I run out of flour. Bugger.This got me thinking about the Zombie apocalypse (or in fact any disaster as they aren't thin on the ground lately) and I have half-heartedly started an emergency box. Mostly comprised of things I have found that are long lasting because I would only eat them in an emergency. tinned soup, powdered milk, bottled water. I am wondering if I should research what's the best thing to have or is that starting down a dark path of paranoia and before you know it I am out the back excavating for a new bunker and running survival drills. But then again living in a flood zone I do think I should have some awareness...

Do you have an emergency survival stash or do you think it is unnecessarily paranoid?

* this is a lie.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Quest for the Best.. Can Opener?

This week I got myself a present.
 It had been on my Pinterest board for years. It was the completion of a strange and overly intensive quest I had been on for years.

Allow me to take you along this tumultuous journey as I look back.

When I was pregnant with our second son I was invited to a Tupperware party a woman at work was holding. Being pregnant I went as there was going to be food which is always a clincher and I didn't have any other kind of social offering on the horizon.
It was there I encountered the Tupperware can opener. Yes can opener. good for tins of beans and cat food.

Now it wasn't any old can opener, it was ergonomic , it was a safety opener meaning there were no sharp edges on the can. Not like my can opener, leaving sharp edges everywhere meaning my tins weren't suitable things because they were all sharp and edgy.  This was a God amongst can openers. With a RRP of $60. Sixty dollars. That's a lot of tins of beans.

So being the bargain hunting quester I set about trying to find one at a good price. I was a woman possessed  I found them on eBay for $31. I still couldn't justify it. I kept searching, I went to another Tupperware party and won a keyring of the can opener in one of those great games you play at such parties. This only served to fan the flames of my desire (for a can opener).

I just couldn't let myself buy it. After all it was just a can opener.
Then I decided there must be others out there, other can openers which met my needs (I don't know if there are other can opener fixated weirdos like myself). I found The Kuhn Rikon safety opener, it cast off the shackles of the monochrome only option and came in colours and was less then $20 but I couldn't decide between pink and red (this is a big problem in my life. I often go with both and rock the Strawberry Shortcake look). So still didn't get it. 

Then I put the pink option on my Pinterest  "Wants not needs" board. That was over a year ago and it was the only thing on there (apparently a roller Skating helmet made to look like R2D2 is a need greater than a can opener) but I STILL didn't buy it as the postage made it too expensive. So I struggled on with my not safe can opener.

Then I found a free post coupon for the discount kitchen ware shop and I BOUGHT THE CAN OPENER and a garlic crusher (red)-I watched a video about the garlic crusher before I bought it. 
I was so excited to hold it in my hand, i had waited so long for this. but  I didn't have any tins to open until; "Mummy can we have baked beans for dinner?" YES! Finally my hands were shaking a bit as I turned the handle to three o'clock and wound around (not too much, could cause burrs) and used the little lid lifting pliers to lift the lid and not even have to touch it.

So gentle reader there you go. Nearly five years after I first set eyes on one I finally have my safety can opener. In case you are wondering, I don't really eat many things from cans. All that BPA you know...

Next I want to buy a robotic vacuum cleaner. I am getting tired just thinking about this...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I don’t Know Why I Blog, I Just know I Need to

On my Twitter feed I see my virtual and real life friends hashtagging their excitement about the Blogging Conference they are attending and I feel a bit jealous. .
I have blogged for years. I don’t know why.

I see people blogging for profit or to educate others. I see people blogging their way through grief and post natal depression, through weight loss and renovation. Not me. I just blog.
I don’t think I would want to commercialise the blog to the point where I am no longer writing for myself. I don’t know if I would want to narrow my blogging scope.  I wonder at my audience. I know you are out there even though my Google analytics fell over because my coding is terrible, I still know there are around 500 views a month but my comments fields area like a ghost town, complete with tumbleweeds.
This may come across as needy but as a prolific commenter I wonder at those who look at my blog posts and have a peep into my life and then wander off without feeling the need to comment. I wonder if I am boring, or shocking or…I simply don’t know as I have no feedback from the silent audience!
I don’t know why I need to blog, I write about jam and children, about business and pets, about books and property, I am not a niche blogger but I am me.

Sometimes I read other people’s posts and I look at the number of followers they have and the number of comments and I think “I don’t get it, why are they so beloved, why does this spark so much commentary?”

I know that some is clever, ceaseless self promotion, I know that some people have talkative wannabe hangers on but it doesn't account for it all. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one feeling this way… Perplexed, but not bitter, I don’t begrudge anyone success in their chosen endeavour.
I don’t like posts on Social media purely designed to get comments (which are rife at present, is it just me who feels they are a trick and dislikes them on this basis?) , but I always engage if someone has a genuine question I can answer or a topic I feel I have something to offer.
I don’t know why I blog, I just know that I need to and I will continue doing so.

To my silent audience, I am glad you are there for whatever reason, but I will continue even if you disappear further into the ether.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Foraging Fun!

I have been hanging out for Autumn, Autumn is wonderful, the weather, the leaves and the foraging, Blackberries, apples and rose hips being the major players.

Autumn officially began at the start of March but we have been having a prolonged heatwave which has the result of Tasmanians being surly and sweaty  first we realise that our antiperspirant doesn't cut it and then we all wear too much and the place smells like a cheap body spray whenever you have had a visitor (not my friends  mostly customers by the way  I am sure all my friends smell very sophisticated). So it's been too hot but we insisted on some good old fashioned foraging anyway. 

Proper foraging. 
Not buying from farm gates or door knocking nearby houses (both of which were called foraging on Masterchef!)but picking from the brambles ourselves. 

We found a good spot near the river and whilst baby slept peacefully in the (well ventilated and shaded) car we picked over four kilos of blackberries. Well that's what we weighed up, I am fairly sure we picked more because delightfully quirky four year old never had any in his bucket, seemed to spend most of his time getting caught on brambles and still ended up covered in berry juice so he must have eaten more than we saw!

As soon as we got home I had to start work on using them as they were so sweet and ripe and warm they were already softening. Proper fruit doesn't keep well. It should be processed into delicious things as soon as possible or eaten whilst still warm from the sun and fragrant and juicy. in an ideal world.

I used the Thermomix to make jam (so easy it's like cheating!), froze some mixed with some rapadura, made a blackberry slice based on Bill Granger's recipe here. I used a sweet shortcrust base from a Leon recipe... because I knew I liked it and I could make double quantities, rest it in the fridge, nip out for a quick beer with fabulous people and then use the pastry to make both the slice and a a crumple topped blackberry and apple pie (for dinner). because I forgot to mention we found and old apple tree and I used the apples in the pie.There were some creatures but I cut the creaturey bits out and did only used the good bits!

It was wonderful. I wonder what we will forage next...?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What is the Dull Roar Philosophy?

What is the Dull Roar Philosophy?

I have three children, two boys currently four and six and a baby girl who is six months. Combine this with running (and expanding) a business with my beloved, an enthusiasm for cooking and a blindspot when it comes to housework and things get interesting.
That's why I examine things against my Dull Roar Philosophy. It's not about perfect organisation. It's about keeping the chaos down to a dull roar. I am not one for organisation. It's really boring for me, I didn't sign on for marriage and motherhood to devote myself to arranging children's belongings and unfortunately my younger son has inherited a more severe form of Pig Pen syndrome which I suffer from so having a spotless house and scrubbed clean children is never going to work.
Here's a few things I do to keep things down to a dull roar.

  • Multi-tasking errands, a trip to the market forms part of the food shop and is exercise and entertainment for the family. 
  • Feeding the children raw vegetables when they are watching television. Television is excellent for promoting mindless eating so if healthy food has been low and they are watching TV I give them carrots. tomatoes, beans etc.
  • Teaching the children to do the housework. This is in the first stages but they are nearly as good as me. This doubles as entertainment for a few minutes. They like vacuumming and unpacking the dishwasher best at present!
  • Older child reads his daily school reader to the family for the bedtime story.
  • I make custard in the Thermomix often for breakfast, this sounds counter-intuitive but with an egg and rapadura instead of sugar and served with frozen berries in is a wholesome start to the day and the Thermomix does all the work!
So I try to get the most bang for the least buck (or effort). And try to keep the chaos down to a dull roar.
I think it's kind of sort of working!