A weekend at Mollymook

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It seems that every trip we take to the beach has to commence with a vomit. Well, at least this one did, just like Kangaroo Island. Too many hills with roads that wind down them. This time it was Jude.

However, everyone was recovered for the proper start to the beach long weekend with fish and chips in Bateman’s Bay before heading on up the road to Mollymook.

James is spending the week down in Mollymook playing World in Flames, so we figured we might as well tag along for a few days and enjoy the beach. And enjoy the beach, and the pool, and the chips, we did.

 

It is amazing to see the difference in Sebastian’s confidence and ability in the water. When he started swimming lessons again back in November, he was still struggling to put a few metres together. Now he was confidentally doing freesyle and backstroke across the pool – and taking off into the surf with the boogie board. And so I discover a new stage of beach visits, the ever vigilant stage. No lying about and reading books – while Sebastian was in the water I did keep a fairly constant eye on him, and made sure we were swimming in the patrolled area….His swimming may have improved, but I am still not confident of his abilities if he got swept out of his depth in seas with a strong undertow.

Jude’s swimming has also picked up, and he was also out there enjoying the waves – though still more cautious than Seb. Being so slight, he did get knocked over by a number of waves, and needed some assistance in managing the boogie board, but is getting there. Zac (fortunately!) still liked to hold my hand and jump the waves, though even he was venturing out further than he had on Kangaroo Island. I think we all enjoyed the fact that the sea was rather less cold on the south coast than it was when we were facing the Southern Ocean.

Even I managed a bit of boogie boarding while the small boys were conveniently digging deep holes on the beach. After deciding I was totally crap at it on Friday, I found my mojo on Saturday and from then on managed to get some good rides and only a few total dumpings.

We did all the usual beachy things: walks, sandcastles, lunchtime game playing (this time we tried out my new Doctor Who game to much acclaim) and fish and chips. And more chips. James came and joined us during breaks in his war, but mostly it was me and the small ones pottering about pleasantly.

There are some cool rocks which we explored – weird and flat and slippery.

On the downside I managed to soak my phone – but fortunately I am out of contract so can now acquire a new one – and get sand in the camera. Duty free may have to fix that. We also discovered that while the three boys might manage to sleep together in one room, putting two of them in one bed is a bridge too far. Someone was always moved to the floor.

It got cooler and wetter Sunday afternoon, so wasn’t quite so hard to drag the small boys away. We have now left James to his war while we get on with the day-to-day of life.

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Pudding Odyssey Rejoined: Queen of Puddings

Sebastian and I decided to re-start our pudding cooking tonight with the first of a couple of recipes we had been limited in our ability to cook due to the lack of food processor. First up, the Queen of Puddings (we did the King of Puddings some time back).

First we whipped out some bread crumbs with the stale bread. Lots of fun with the shiny new machine.

Time to add some lemon rind into the mix.

Then heating up the milk and butter to add in.

Time then to cook up the pudding-y bit. Half an hour in the oven while we ate the rest of our dinner.

The raspberry jam went on top of the warm cooked puddings, shortly followed by the meringue. Then it was back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

The meringue certainly puffed up! It did sink a little bit as it cooled, but they were nonetheless impressive in their puffiness. Also delicious. James declared them his favourite of our puddings so far and Sebastian and I were also quite enthusiastic. Jude and Zac were less convinced, so their shares were consumed by James and Seb.

Sebastian and I are now considering making a chocolate version with choc chips and coconut, nutella or similar and chocolate meringue. Got to be delicious!

 

 

Prawn Sausage Rolls

I decided to try out this month’s cover recipe from Delicious – prawn sausage rolls. Except they weren’t strictly sausage rolls – more like pies. Prawns and leeks in a creamy sauce on scallop shells covered in pastry. Nice.  Main improvement – the sauce was a bit too runny and I think probably slightly less cream than called for by the recipe was required. Next time I’ll reduce the cream and ensure the sauce is slightly thicker.

 

Nonetheless, a delicious accompaniment to jugs of Pimms on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Elaborate forts

because you never know when the droids/zombies/bad guys might attack….

Cooking and Eating

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Back before Christmas, we wandered off to Senso to celebrate Jasmin’s birthday. The idea of Senso is that you, assisted by the chef, cook up your own food for later consumption and get a creative cooking experience.

We divided into three groups. Jasmin, Helen, Michelle and I volunteered to take on the salmon – I rarely cook fish at home, it is usually James who does it.

We coked it up with a herb crust which was rather delicious.

The boys meanwhile volunteered their services at pasta making – much kneading and rolling and shape making ensued.

The pasta was also extremely good when it had a bit of sauce dashed over it.

The third group, which included Rachel, made salad and vegetable type entrees – scrumptious and aesthetically pleasing heritage tomatoes featured heavily.

Once the entrees were done, we all sat at a long table and were served up our food. It was all good  – simple in general but good quality fresh ingredients. For main course the chef went off and whipped us up some steak – again straightforward, but pleasing to the mouth.

While the food was good and the evening enjoyable, the “cooking experience” part of it was a little disappointing. All of us attending are avid cooks who have done all sorts of thing in the comfort of our own kitchens and a number of us have done formal cooking classes before. The experience seemed more aimed at non-cookers, or those who are a bit tentative in the kitchen. From my point of view, I would have liked a bit more in the way of tips and insights. The free form approach allowed for flexibility, but at times it was a bit unstructured, and one could have hoped for a little more guidance or expertise. We would have been happy to get in and help with the mains and dessert for example.

A lovely night with friends, but for the expert level cook, you probably won’t learn much Definitely a fun experience for those who are getting a handle on the cooking thing.

Also, he could have been a but more generous with the wine when we were eating!! We were paying for it.

Kangaroo Island Days 14-15: Beach, wine and time to leave the island

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Day 14.

Sadly, no nice weather today. Gray skies and even some rain. However, having finally caught up with the news today that Brisbane is flooded when I saw the front cover of the Advertiser at the General Store, I am not really complaining.

Despite the slight chill and gray skies we did wander down to the beach. Sebastian, Jude and James played some cricket while Zac and I walked to the end of the beach and back. We found another dead penguin, this time with its head missing and spine exposed – a victim of the churning seas.

Walking along the beach with Zachary presents an excellent opportunity to discuss the nature of personhood and good and evil. The dialogue goes something like this:

 

Melissa: Zac, I wish you would stop shooting people with your gun. It is not very nice.

Zachary: Not people, only baddies!!

Melissa: But aren’t baddies people too.

Zachary: General Grevious isn’t a person! Only a baddie!

Melissa: But doesn’t he have thoughts and feelings? Doesn’t that make him a person?

Zachary: Oh. Maybe. But he is still a baddie.

Melissa: Doesn’t mean we should shoot him.

 

Eventually Zac will concede that General Grevious is a person. This does not prevent further shooting. When his brothers get involved in the argument, Sebastian will question whether General Grevious’ nature as a droid, or, at the least, cyborg, makes him less a person. Discussion of the nature of personhood will ensue and agreement is reached that consciousness = personhood. Jude will also point out that some of the Stormtroopers aren’t necessarily evil by nature, rather they are just doing a job. He then gets emotional about the fact that they get killed. We then change the subject.

 

Meanwhile, back on the beach, it started to rain. Zacky and I got to see the little baby surfers doing their lessons near the river mouth before getting back to the other boys. James then went for a walk with Seb while Jude and, occasionally Zac, built sandcastles and I read my book, sheltering it as I could from the infrequent but large dropped rain. We also discovered that the roiling churning ocean had dumped a huge load of shells and rocks near our usual beach spot, and a few good shells were found.

 

Finally, Sebastian and I had a brief swim before heading back to the house. Goodbye beautiful beach!

Given that the weather showed no signs of improving, we played some more Carcassonne back at the cottage before driving off to Kaiwarra for milkshakes and hot milky beverages. James and I sat on the verandah while the boys ran around playing chasey and having races (with appropriate handicapping).

Back home again and Jude and Sebastian completed two thirds of their 200 piece jigsaw before we had to pack it up for dinner. We are now mostly packed and ready to fill the car and head home tomorrow.

Day 15.

So sadly it was time to head back to the mainland. We had a post-lunch ferry, so plenty of time to potter back to Penneshaw. We first stopped in Kingscote for lobster to take back for dinner that night, and also for coffee and honey crackles at the Island Beehive. The boys again got to enjoy the pleasures of honey tasting and enjoyed seeing the bees in action.

En route to Penneshaw we stopped at Sunset Wines. Fantastic view and they have quite a nice set up where you can take your tasting wines and a platter of food and sit and look at the view. Wines weren’t bad – our favourite was their sparkling red which we were lucky to discover they were selling a cleanskin version quite cheaply. Something of a bargain.

Then it was back to Penneshaw where we ended our time on the island as we had begun it, with fish and chips from FISH. This time, it wasn’t half as busy and she hadn’t run out of most things, and it was truly the best fish and chips we have had. Yum.

Then it was onto the ferry and home again. We had a lovely time and I am sure we will be back. Goodbye Kangaroo Island!

Kangaroo Island Days 12-13: Disaster, koalas and beach

Dancing boys

Day 12.

A grayer, windier, colder day awaited us this morning, so it was pancakes and bacon for breakfast and lolling about the house. Sebastian and Jude did elaborate drawing, James played with his camera and Zac lay on top of me playing his DS while I attempted to read. Reasonably pleasant, though eventually I objected to having the squirming one on top of me and he had to put up with sitting next to me. Just before lunch we decided to go for a drive to the jetty and this was when Compulsory Holiday Disaster struck. It was discovered that I had accidentally left the keys in the ignition and the ignition on yesterday evening after the boys had finished watching an episode of Doctor Who in the car. Of course, the battery was totally dead. There was cursing. However, disaster was not too disastrous as I called the owners of the house we are staying in and they were around 10 minutes later with a battery charger. That is the kind of full service accommodation I like! This is a good opportunity to praise our accommodation. A little cottage called Green Gable Cottage, it is quick walking distance to the beach. While ideally designed for 4, we have fit quite comfortably with Zacky on a camp bed upstairs in the loft with us. It is really beautifully maintained and well outfitted and we have very much enjoyed our stay. We even got clean linen delivered half way through. Definitely recommend it for the family of 4-5 or less. Or a couple – very cosy.

We left the battery to charge for a couple of hours while we had some lunch and I once again got beaten at Carcassonne. The car then got tried and lo it did work. Hurrah – major disaster averted. When then drove around to the jetty (which was not enormously exciting it must be said) and then for a quick walk on the bluff. Once back at the house it was off to the beach where despite the wind and gray, James and Jude and Sebastian all once again made use of the boogie board. Zac and I went for a walk along the beach – him in his swimmers and hoodie. We wandered down to the rockpools where I think he was hoping to replicate his game of a couple of days ago, but the highness of the tide and the wildness of the waves meant this really wasn’t advisable (James reported after that the undertow was fierce). He and I did, however, get rather wet jumping over the waves as they hit the shore.

After dinner I went for a walk by myself again, slightly further down the beach. It was a lot harder and less pleasant going walking down the beach with a howling head wind and mizzle/mist which made everything, including me, damp. Slightly easier coming home though!

Day 13.

I got to have something of a sleep in this morning – the boys actually managed to stay quiet in the morning! An open loft upstairs means that small boy morning noise does impact rather on one’s ability to sleep in. Some mornings they have been very good, some mornings not so much. The fact that none of them was up until after 8am probably helped as well. After bacon and eggs and mushrooms and tomatoes from breakfast, the small boys and I headed down to the beach for a quick visit. Sebastian and Jude made sandcastles, Zacky (briefly) and I went on the boogie board. It was amazing weather – mist covering the beach, so much so that we couldn’t see 200 metres down the beach. The sea was churning and roiling and the usually crystal waters filled with sand and seaweed. The churning, choppiness of the waves did not make for fabulous boogie boarding conditions, but I managed to catch a couple of good waves. It wasn’t particularly good, just dark and misty and foreboding. We had a short time back at the house (including a somewhat torturous game of Junior Scrabble between Sebastian and Jude) before heading off. Sebastian and James were off to the Kelly Hill Caves for their adventure caving experience.

Jude and Zac and I headed a bit further down the road to the Hanson Bay Koala Sanctuary where we went for a walk and spotted several koalas including a mother and her (rather large) offspring on quite a low branch. We then headed even further down the road to Flinders Chase where we had afternoon tea in the cafe and Jude and Zac did a bit of digging in the fossil pit. It was then back to collect James and Sebastian who told us tales of their caving experience, including the number of tiny spaces they had to squeeze through on their stomachs. Ugh. Another walk to the beach this evening – the mist has gone and there was even blue sky evident. And there were proper waves. Fingers crossed for nice weather for our last full day on the island.