Monday, 10 January 2011

Create a Buzz!

I've signed a few petitions in the past and it seems I get more arrive in my inbox daily. I was moved enough to add the one on South Africa and 'corrective rape' a couple of days ago.

Today I received one no less close to my heart but not humanitarian in this case. This one is about out lawing pesticides and chemicals in the EU and US that may be causing the demise of the bee population. Apart from honey they provide 90% of pollination services. I won't spray on too much about sprays - here's the link to reading more. Only takes 5 seconds to sign and I find it intriguing to watch the names and locations of the signers as they sign. 1 every second.
Online Petition

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Making Paint while the sun shines

Actually I do all my gardening in the morning and late afternoon when it's cooler. During the sunniest part of the day I either mud the house or paint it. I've had fun making more than food recently, experimenting in recipes of the non-edible kind.

I've painted Caleb's room with goat's cheese paint. A mix of quark and lime putty and clay pigments. I'll have to take a photo of his wall. We worked on it together and it got a bit wild. He now wants to tone it down a notch. Pity. I was happy with the wild stuff. But will comply.

The mud walls are being painted with lime wash, which is made from lime putty (we made from quicklime as lime putty is hard to get, and expensive due to the cost of getting it to Tassie) water and pigment. I've used sandstone coloured clay pigment for the wall in the photo, but have 2 kg of titanium dioxide coming next week which will be used on all the internal walls for a white finish.

Lime is dangerous stuff to work with, being very caustic, hence safety glasses, and usually gloves, though not for this mock up. Typically someone pulls out a camera and I can't help but smirk at the lens. My mother has the same affliction. Usually why I'm found behind the darn thing and not in front of it.

N-ice Cream

I'm on holidays, so cooking figures more highly, simply because there's more time to do it. No one is complaining. I was disgusted to see hot cross buns on sale in the supermarket recently. I enjoy being disgusted every year. The moment Christmas is over it's onto the next commercial seasonal event. It didn't stop me making spicey hot buns when I got home though. No wonder Trev has put all the weight back on and added some. He calls his paunch, his porch and is forever making it the focal point of conversation by pointing it out for us all to take note of. Anyway, the real point of this post was to add a recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream. A great way to use surplus eggs. We also used goats milk, but had to buy the cows cream. It tastes sublime.

Ours turned out strongly yellow, something to do with orange chook eggs I suspect. The image is all that's left of yesterday's ice-cream.

Italian Mummas must really love their Babies

I decided to make pasta, the make your own from scratch variety. Little knowing that three hours later I would still be rolling out pasta thinnly and making little parcels with goat cheese and herbs. One of the last jars of tomatoes from last year came out and became the basis for a sauce and grilled zucchini topped the dish. I learnt that you can't sit them on top of each other or they become one amorphous pasta blob and I needed to use less filling and have more of a compressed edge to keep the cheese inside. So, there I was, thinking it was the one and only time I dedicated myself to such a mascochistic cooking experience, now I will have to repeat it and get it completely right some time soon.

Caleb recently made Tagliatelle with a rich meat sauce for Trev and himself. Mastering more of the cooking basics that will hopefully see him well fed once he leaves home. He's almost taller than me now, his voice has broken and he has hormonal days, one's where a mummy cuddle is simply out of the question. Sigh.

The Last of the Windows

The last of the windows goes in. The house's eyes finally look less blank.
Just the doors to go in.

I was cooking dinner last night when Trev yelled 'Help!' Off we ran expecting to find him lying in the grass with various bits broken, but no, he was stuck at one of the top windows in a position he couldn't shift from holding up 15kg of window in one hand at an awkward angle. Caleb went to the rescue and the final end opening window went in.

Chick magnet

The house is a chick magnet every sparrow within coo-ee has taken to it's eaves, its corners and crevasses and stuffed every inch with nesting material and baby sparrows. Their nesting material is generally our insulation. It can't happen. It must stop and the books say they can be deterred if you remove their nests often enough. So Trev does. Usually it's only eggs, but this time, alas, it was wee chicks. Needless to say they didn't survive long out of the nest.

Building a house often inspires nesting instincts, how many times do we see young couples vowing and declaring not to reproduce while building, only to be found nailing up boards with a baby strapped to their back not long after. Just wish it wouldn't inspire the sparrows too.

Coffee ... with Love

For the past year or so Trev has made me a coffee (fairtrade, organic of course)most mornings, and fluffs up the milk and draws me a heart on the top with it. We're not a particularly demonstrative couple, gently ribbing each other is our form of verbal affection. No great protestations of undying love going on here. But when my coffee comes with its wee heart inscribed in the top, it kind of goes beyond words.