2018 Highlights Week 18: poke bowls

Sebastian having school holidays is a great bonus to the rest of the family as it means he does more cooking. Here is the fabulous poke bowl he whipped up one night.

2018 Highlights Week 17: fermenting fun

Sebastian decided to try his hand at fermenting these school holidays.

I was at work in a teleconference when I received a text message from Sebastian – he has burned his foot by pouring boiling water on it and needed to go to the hospital…

Apparently, all had been going well until Sebastian decided to sterilize the glass jar by pouring boiling hot water into the room temperature jar. Surprise! It cracked, covering Seb’s foot with water.

Family legend will now never let us forget how Zac played his cello while Seb’s friend Martin struggled to clean. Or how Zac, discovering Seb soaking his foot in cold water in the bath, complained that he was planning to clean his euphonium. Or the number of times Jude texted “fuck” when he finally got my messages an hour or so later.

James took Sebastian to the hospital where the plastic surgeon commended him for having immediately put his foot in cold water and stopped it burning further. He has significant burns, but they were all superficial.

So the next day he finished off his fermenting and we just all had to await the results!

Beach holiday week

Nothing like a week at the beach to relax and recharge and live the Australian dream. We swapped houses with John and Jackie for a week in Merimbula.

The boys spent time boogie boarding when the surf was appropriate.

I actually gave it a go at the end of the week and was delighted to actually do it effectively for the first time in forever. I guess that means more boogie board tome for me in the future.

We also spent a lot of time at Mitchies Jetty, taking advantage of the calmer waters for swimming and other things.

There was a lot of jumping from the jetty. Here is Sebastian doing some sort of flip.

There was also stand up paddle boarding and kayaking to be done.

Jude and Zac managed to get themselves sunburnt through poor sunscreen application, so Sebastian, James and I went shopping then walked the boardwalk.

We had a visit to Magic Mountain to do the tree climb. I spent the entire time mildly terrified and eventually had yo be rescued when I found an obstacle my brain just would not let me climb. I did regain some dignity by being told I was less terrified than most people they rescued and managed to abseilung down on the first go. There are no photos of this event.

There were a number of other activities undertaken. Jude created a paininting for his Ga.

Sebastian baked a cake, but didn’t quite crack the sponge.

Ribs got eaten.

As did icecreams.

And, of course, there was sleeping in.

It was a lovely break, all in all.

And then it was time to drive home.

A year in the life 2016 #356: Christmas Day

I made a Christmas tree.

We started with the good stuff.

There was lots of food-making and preparation – after all, we ended up with 19 for lunch and another six after that.

There was chicken, and scallops and all sorts of things.

An amazing looking turkey (thanks Helen!)

A gigantic (ethical) delicious ham.

There were small people with bon bons.

An Fritha being super excited about everything.

(We had to take a selfie)

There were happy family shots.

And teenagers having fun.

And being teenagers.

Look at the food!

I mean look at it!

There was  a lot of food. But it was Christmas.

Then we still managed dessert (this is but a small selection).

Then more friends turned up with more presents and more dessert – this was my faveourite present (thanks Rachel).

So there was more eating and drinking.

And more selfies!

It was a lovely Christmas  – much love to everyone who joined us for our first Christmas in our new house. And to all those we love who couldn’t join us, we hope your Christmas was equally excellent.

A year in the life 2016 #272: Lima, culinary capitalĀ 

As I discovered in Lima, Peruvian food is the South American cuisine of choice. And Lima, with its access to the sea, the jungle and the mountains, showcases the best  of this.

My fun for Saturday was, thus, a gourmet tour. We visited the market first and met the seafood.

There was also  a huge variety of fruits, including a range of weird and wonderful ones we got to try. (The one below is a cocoa pod)

There was also corn….

…and, naturally, potatoes. According to our guide, they use over 2000 varieties of potato in Peru.

Another key ingredient of Peruvian cooking, chillies – from the mellow to the screaming hot.

And have you seen a melon this size?

After the markets it was off to the sea and La Rosa Nautica, a lovely restaurant at the end of the jetty, literally out over the sea, where the three of us on the tour got taught how to make pisco sours.

Delicious! The biggest trouble in Australia is accessing the pisco!

I did enjoy trying it.

After that is was time to make some ceviche – Lima’s favourite dish.

Here are the additions to the main ingredients, raw fish, lemon juice and fish stock.  I got taught to assemble it all for eating later.

We went in to lunch in the restaurant – but checked out the rocks nad i got to use the Spaniah word for “crab” which Duolingo had taught me. They were on the rocks under the jetty.

We then had a lovely three course meal watching the surfers in the waves.

Gorgeous first course – my ceviche, octopus and one the interesting potato-that-doesn’t-look-like-potato dishes which Peru specialises in.

Seafood was a strong feature – definitelyan excellent part of food in Lima.

And much dulce de leche dessert to finish off.

A delicious journey through Peruvian food.

A year in the life 2016 #268: dinner by the ocean

We went to dinner at a lovely restaurant on the beach called Cala. Saw the sun set in the taxi there and arrived at twilight.

Some fabulous seafood to be had, but of course we started with a pisco sour.

The tuna coconut ceviche was the house speciality and it was amazing – delicious, melt-in-the-mouth.

And the seafood platter wss stunning.

The main course didn’t quite live up to the entrees – slightly too salty – but it still looked good and the prawns were great.

Finished off with a gin, mint and berry slushie for dessert.

I highly recommend Cala if you are ever in Lima.

A year in the life 2016 #231: return to old favourites

We headed out to dinner with Paul, Chun-Ling and Richard to celebrate Richard’s new job and to have a chance to catch up. Nothing like Elk & Pea followed by Frugii to make one feel at home in Canberra again.

A year in the life 2016 #150: work comes to town


For a day or two there were a bunch of work folk in town for a conference so I had drinks and dinners and coffees to add to my days.


So I ate nice food and drank lots in cool Adelaide locations and caught up with all the news and gossip and remembered that while it is nice to have a break from work, I really do like the vast majority of people with whom I work, and I do miss them when I don’t see them.


A year in the life 2016 #134: another salad for lunch


I wouldn’t say that I am dieting in any way (god forbid) but I am taking advantage of being at home and having the time to buy the things I like and prepare what I like to eat salads and things a lot more, especially at lunch. Delicious and healthy and relaxed.

A year in the life 2016 #131: family dinner minus one


Sebastian had gone back to Canberra for the day for an orthodontist visit and was staying overnight to play hockey with his Canberra team, so James and I took the smaller two to the market to pick out their dinner.

We ended up having kingfish sashimi and fancy fajitas with prawn or salmon fillings. Delicious.