Sunday, 16 February 2014

Not what it seems...

Ah, I just realized in my last post I said Ben just came back from picking up our washing from his parents.

No, his parents don't do our washing!  Our washing machine finally decided not to comply and the door lock is not working.  Cant have a front loader with the front door not locking so consequently I cannot do my washing.  Service is booked but they are busy and cant make it for another 4 days!

So, I've been dividing the loads and Ben has been doing the washing at his parents.  This has just been since Friday but hopefully they will have the part and can fix it on the spot otherwise... more road trips to parents washers and hand washing school uniforms!

I don't want to leave you with doom and gloom.  I just keep thinking of "calm blue ocean"

Keeping busy with new foods, friends and back to driving in the bush.

Back to the here and now and I'll talk about the school holidays in the next post.

As you know I've been trying to make nutrient rich food for our family and that includes trying out fermented foods, a very timely gift from my sister Practical Paleo cookbook, and this one I just bought, Against All Grain.

I recently made sauerkraut and just a couple days ago tried my hand at milk kefir. 

I was very careful and bought organic cabbage.  I followed instructions from a couple of books and viola, sauerkraut.  I have however heard and read a various lengths of time to ferment, from 3 days to 4 weeks!  So I gather it comes down to taste.  I tasted it, it tastes like soft yet crunchy salty cabbage.  Is that what its supposed to taste like?  Is it likely to improve?  I don't know so I procrastinate.  I figure if it varies from 3 days to 4 weeks I have time.

Then, feeling a bit confident with my success (I presume!) at sauerkraut I am game to try something else.  However my pickle - it jar is filled, what to do.  Then a lovely mum told me via facebook she has milk kefir grains to spare after I posted the question if anyone had any spares.  So after a total Navman stuff up, partly my fault and partly BAD luck I found myself on the other side of Brisbane in North Lakes when it was actually Forest Lakes I was ment to go to.  So yes, it took me practically all school day.  I checked, I really did, text her to make sure I had her address correct, asked her the cross street.  What cruel city planner puts TWO street names in two similar sounding suburb names in the same places both near parks.   That aside she was absolutely lovely and showed me what to do, gave me a taste as well as a banana as I didn't have time for lunch and I was off.

Milk Kefir
I've started with fermenting (if that's what you call it) for 6 hours to get a milder flavour and mixing it half and half with milk with Gav's chocolate banana shakes and Loch's frozen tropical ones.  They have not noticed a change in taste at all.  They love Kambucha but I am not confident they will go for the Kefir!

This weekend was just about the busiest yet.  Not helped by the fact I had to book our washing machine in for a service, the door does not latch.  Very frustrating.  Gav even had a try to hold the door shut so I could get the washing done.   It actually worked once but that was it. 

So Fri night Ben is at his parents with 3 loads of washing! Sat morning I run out to pick up a few groceries and take the kids for a hair cut (they nearly had side burns it was so long) then off to a bowling birthday party for Gav's friend (a tiny bit late).  As soon as its finished racing home but still late for Loch's pool birthday party, there until bedtime.

Sunday, Ben is off just after 5am for a punishing bike ride up Mount Nebo with a friend.  We had friends of Gav's come over for a playdate.  A very hot date today, perhaps 36 degrees, so it was mostly squirt guns, hose and sprinkler playing in the backyard and trampoline.  Everyone had a good time though and Gav got to show his friends his very favourite iPad game.  Ben comes home at 10am.

Everyone leaves at noon and we are off again to meet Ben's school friends for a dirt road drive on Mount Mee. 

Now if you find that you are feeling hungry as you go through Dayboro you have to stop the Dayboro cafĂ©.  We dropped in to pick up some food before we headed to Mount Mee as we didn't have time to pack a lunch.  Not always easy to find healthy food on the run but this place was perfect!  They had the yummiest Gluten Free buns and hamburgers we will definitely be back again on our next drive out this way.

We were taking a friend to get his 4 wheel drive dirty for the first time.  This is the map of where went
The steepest track is A Break, where I tend to lean forward worried we are going to flip.

A Break Track
The view is pretty awesome.  Its such a breath of fresh air to get out of Brisbane.  It was pretty dry though.  We could use some rain.

Gav likes the drive but Loch really came to play cricket at The Gantry, and I just like getting out of the city.

Yes, I am learning how to play cricket too.  I am a decent bowler I think and I can even bat.

We were about to leave when some kids brought out some kites.  Now there was no wind at all but they were having a great old time running with their kites.  Gav simply had to have a go.  We brought out their kites and they ran pretty fast to get those things up in the air.

Gav's trick kite 
Loch's kite
Then its time to leave as we still have washing to do!  The drive back was equally lovely but this time on the road we found the beautiful views.

Well that's about it.  Ben just came home from picking up our laundry from his parents and now I have to sort it and put it away.
Until next time...


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Its been awhile....


Yes, it's been awhile.  I am having a bit of a late start to the new year posting.  Before I get stuck into whats happening now I thought I'd get started with the rest of our school holidays starting from Boxing Day.

This is Sunset on Christmas Day from our house.  I loved the colors and I think it worked out rather well.

Boxing day we left for Noosa and spent a week there.  I made sure I brought my newly bottled Kambucha.  We all seriously love the stuff.  I now have TWO 10 litre containers and a steady stream of Kambucha for my parents in law as well. 

We may have arrived a bit late but after helping unpack the boys were straight onto the beach!

 The beach in front of our unit was perfect.

Then we ventured out to Noosa main beach the next day.


Of course there was relaxing at the unit as well.  Ben watching cricket on TV is exactly where he wanted to be.

Everyone was out and about enjoying the summer weather.
The boys really are best friends.  They finished off the day playing together, building rivers, finding crabs and making sand bombs and throwing them into the water.

In keeping with our healthy eating plan and making everything ourselves I brought our Thermomix.  A blog I follow Quirky Cooking had a recipe for Chocolate Iced Magic.  So I made our own icecream and this is all you need for iced magic, chocolate, coconut oil and a thermie!

The next day was even better waking up to beautiful sunshine.

We decided to check out another beach.  Sunshine beach this time.  The waves were bigger and a bit too rough for my taste but the boys loved it.

After a morning at the beach we got to the Noosa weekend markets just before it closed.  The boys were very tired but still came along with the promise good food.  We found an amazing butcher and got sausages and the best steak we ever had.  Bought a whole bag of mangos that lasted us the whole holiday, two enormous punnets of strawberries and at the very end Ben found what promised to be the very best fudge.

Even with the promise of fudge Lochy was all done in and so we headed back to the unit.

Well that was the first half of our holiday.  Keep looking and I'll post the rest soon!