The child's demands are incessant. He just won't let me play on the computer all day.
And he doesn’t want to get dropped off at playcentre. So playcentre is annoying me too.
The husband has a terrible man cold*.
I'm dying for some ALONE TIME.
At some place other than the supermarket. Some place with a broadband connection.
*Thanks to the Bloggess for sharing this very funny link.
Edited to add. My husband finally read my blog, and he pointed out that this post was a little misleading. He didn't lie on the couch with his man cold. He soldiered on. As we parents do. Yeah, remember the days before children, when we could camp out on the couch with a cold, and just watch telly? Oh, the memories. My point is that men are so very pathetic when they have a cold. Sorry, it's sad.
Not so much Christmas and Easter. Although they’re different down under too. Come to think of it, they drive home the very same point--my family is ten thousand miles away.
I just don’t celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, or July Fourth any more.
Okay, I admit it. I’ve tried to encourage Halloween, but I feel a bit silly, cackling in my witch costume, when all the flowers are blooming, and we are like the only house handing out lollies.
Every year, I have fantasies about a Thanksgiving dinner, but everyone is at work. By the time the weekend rolls around, I realize I should be Christmas shopping.
We do have an American flag hanging up at our house. And it may surprise you to know, it was up during the Bush years.
No parades for us on Memorial Day. No picnics. And it’s definitely not the beginning of summer.
I know, I know. The emissions. But wood fires are so very romantic.
Of course, there’s an art to building a good fire. Which I still haven’t quite mastered.
Chopping wood and splitting kindling? Isn't that what husbands are for?
I heard lots of harden up. And put on another wool-y jumper.
Houses in New Zealand are cold and damp. Most houses do not have insulation or forced-air heating.
The NZ Labour party is still trying to pass legislation to encourage homeowners to put insulation in their houses.
I guess our landlords put in double-glazed windows because they pretty much had to.
Chicken stock is such a staple. Homemade stock makes soups and curries sing with flavour.
And it's so cheap and easy to make. I like to make chicken stock in my slow cooker. I just toss everything in, turn it on, and forget about it.
1-2 chicken carcasses
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
2 tsp salt
Large sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
Boiling water to cover
Pre-heat the cooker for 20 minutes. Put all the ingredients in your crockpot or slow cooker, cover with lid, and cook on High for 5-6 hours. Cool, and strain the stock through a sieve.
But in winter, the wind blasted into the house, through not-so-charming cracks under and around the doors.
Last November, the night that Pres. Obama was elected, there was a gale. Up the coast, we have gales all the time, and we think nothing of it.
But this gale was special. It ripped the latch from the bottom of a French door, whipped the door open, and two panes of glass broke.
We were going to fix the door ourselves, but the door was buggered.
The husband boarded up the broken windows with plywood, and we lived with the windows like that for SIX MONTHS while our landlords tried to sort out a solution.
Hurricane windows. Ghetto chic.
Yes, we are the kind of tenants that landlords dream about.
The French doors were replaced, and we got a totally unnecessary new side door and new windows in the kitchen, the lounge and two in the bedroom. Double-glazed windows. Six of them!
So the husband has been hired on to clean up the frames and paint and such. We still have all the old glass and old frames scattered about the property. The husband insists all the rubbish might come in handy for something. Kiwis!
Chicken and chick pea curry
400g stir fry chicken
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp curry powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 cup chicken stock, heated
1/2 can coconut cream
2 tsp arrowroot
2 zucchinis/courgettes or asparagus
1 can chick peas
Brown chicken. Remove from pan. In same pan add oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add chick peas, chicken and vegetables. Stir until coated with spices. Sprinkle over arrowroot. Then add chicken stock and coconut cream. Then simmer until thickened and vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes. Serve over basmati or jasmine rice. If you like it hot, like I do, sprinkle chili powder on top, or add some spicy pickle on the side.
I love to eat hummus as a dip with carrots, celery, or potato chips. I also love it on sausages, and of course with pitas and falafel.
1 can chick peas
juice of 1-2 lemons
1 clove garlic, crushed
3/4 tsp to 1 tsp salt
about 3/4 cup olive or canola oil, or a combination of the two
Put chick peas, lemon juice, garlic, salt and about half the oil in a blender. Whiz the mixture until it is smooth. Add the remaining oil slowly, then add extra seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate until needed (up to a week).
I love the deli's luxurious ham slices and gourmet sausages, local olives, and dolmas and little savoury quiches and sweet slices. Also, amazing Parmesan and Edam and soft goats' cheeses. They have lots of fresh breads and pantry items like pasta and mustards and olive oil.
The deli is such a pleasant little spot. The service is cheerful and accommodating. They have a wood-fired oven to make pizzas. I’ve heard they even will make you a coffee.
Since I was disappointed with the village cafe, I decided to try the pub cafe.
It was 11:06. I tried the door, but it was locked. Someone looked out the window, but she didn't wave or motion for me to come in.
Then I saw someone go in a side door, and I thought, maybe I'm supposed to use that door.
I was wrong. There were no customers in the pub cafe.
When I asked for a coffee, I was told that the pub doesn’t open until eleven. And they were opening late.
I was given my coffee, and then the pub owner came over to chat with me. He was surprised to find out that I’m local and I’ve been living in the village for years.
I hardly ever go to the pub, I said stupidly.
Locals, he sighed.
He said the pub has been busy. People come from up and down the line. And the pub has lots going on, with quiz nights and karaoke and art.
I promised to pop in one night for a wine, and then he unlocked the door so I could leave.
It was now 11:30 a.m. and apparently, the pub cafe still wasn’t open.
The cafe is under new management and I think they’re still moving in. There were boxes stacked up in the old fish pond.
There was a strange light standing by the pastry cases. It looked like a garage sale find. And there's no longer a place to plug in your phone or your laptop.
My scone was a bit off. I felt like I had stumbled into a stranger’s lounge. But maybe I’m expecting too much. I never felt that welcome at the old cafe either.